What Are Some Different Types of Bike Wraps?


Quick Answer

Handlebar tape and vinyl skins are some different types of bike wraps. Bar tapes vary by materials used, such as cork, foam, microfiber or leather; by the method of adhesion, including gel inserts or sticky backing; and by weight.

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Full Answer

Cork bar tape consists of natural soft cork mixed with polyurethane. The tape wraps easily, prevents stress injuries, wicks sweat and enhances grip. The product comes in a variety of colors.

Foam bar tape comes impregnated with gel or with gel inserts or sticky backing. The material is less likely to tear or lose its padding than cork. Foam bar tape provides improved cushioning against the increased vibrations resulting from the introduction of aluminum frames. Its thicker profile may be a problem for riders with small hands. The gel versions have enhanced road-shock dampening effects.

Microfiber wrap provides a thinner profile and a better grip in damp weather. Leather is also thinner, but becomes slippery when wet.

Vinyl skins are typical on larger vehicles such as motorcycles and automobiles, but also see some use on mountain bikes. Some use vinyl to apply images, while others use it solely to protect the vehicle's frame from damage. Light-reflective bike wrap makes bikes more visible in dark conditions.

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