Best gravel bar tape: Comfort and style for the roughest rides

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(Image credit: Josh Ross)

When it comes to the best gravel bar tape, there’s not a tonne of difference compared to bar tape aimed at road riding. In fact, the riding I do tends to lend itself to using bar tape aimed at gravel on my road bike. As you head for longer, rougher rides it can be nice to have a bit of extra cushion under your hands, and the best gravel bar tape will do just that. Instead of thinking about this list as being gravel specific, you might want to think about it in terms of options designed for more cushion and the ability to take more abuse. It doesn’t matter if your riding is endurance road riding, all-road, or all-day gravel, you can find something that will work for you. 

The thread that pulls all those situations together is rough roads and long days. Having the best bar tape can be a surprisingly big upgrade in those situations. The right gravel specific bar tape will last a long time, provide tons of cushion, and feel good on your hands. It doesn't hurt that there's tonnes of options for style to match the best gravel handlebars and the best gravel bikes. Also, this is an upgrade that won't break the bank. 

Josh Ross

Josh hails from the Pacific Northwest of the United States but would prefer riding through the desert than the rain. He will happily talk for hours about the minutiae of cycling tech but also has an understanding that most people just want things to work. He is a road cyclist at heart and doesn't care much if those roads are paved, dirt, or digital. Although he rarely races, if you ask him to ride from sunrise to sunset the answer will be yes. Height: 5'9" Weight: 140 lb. Rides: Salsa Warbird, Cannondale CAAD9, Enve Melee, Look 795 Blade RS, Priority Continuum Onyx