I love bar tape, and I’m not afraid to admit it. There’s something really satisfying about wrapping new tape on your handlebars and knowing that you’re going to break it in on your next ride.
And like everything, there’s good tape and there’s bad tape. Bad tape is hard, absorbent, slippery when wet and doesn’t last very long. Good tape is comfortable, durable, and makes holding the bars for hours on end a little bit nicer. Especially if you don’t like to ride with gloves.
Decent quality tape also tends to have a little bit of stretch to it, making it easy to achieve a nice, tight wrap, and one that won’t slip when you’re shifting your grip around on the bars.
There’s also quite wide variations between various types of tape, from feel, to padding thickness all the way down to grip, and what you’re looking for will largely depend on the type of riding you lean towards.