Marque Handle Bar Tape: Quick Review

Marque Handle Bar Tape: Quick Review- by Guitar Ted

Handle bar tape is not often spoken of. However; since it is one of the “touch points” of our bicycles, it seems like it should be more important. Maybe like a saddle is important. Ironically, it doesn’t seem that way. Especially when you consider that there are certain types of cycling where handle bar tape could maybe make an even bigger difference, such as gravel road riding.

Gravel riding would seem to be a type of riding that would put a premium on tough, vibration damping, grippy bar tapes. The question is, which bar tapes can manage that magical trifecta of characteristics? Well, I have tried several brands and types of handle bar tape over the years. I have even tried those gel pads, gel tapes, double wrapped bars, and these odd grips under the tape. I’ve got favorites for sure. So when a new handle bar tape comes along, I have some high expectations. Marque sent along a couple boxes of their newest tape for me to try out. It’s called “Diamond Tape, and following are my thoughts on it…..

Marque Bar Tape
The Diamond tape from Marque is a new handle bar tape brand to these shores.

What It Is: Marque makes a full range of handle bar tapes, but this newest style, the Diamond, has an almost file tread pattern with a thick, firm backing. The tape comes with the usual compliment of plastic bar end caps, and finishing tape. Now I know what you might be thinking- “Yeah, but who ever actually uses that finishing tape?!” Well, I’ll get to that, but if you get any Marque handle bar tape, do not discard the finishing tape strips! You’d be making a big mistake if you did that. First off, here is a feature set list from the Marque Cycling site:

  • Extremely durable 3-layer tape with a superior hand feel
  • Super anti-slip texture and durable construction for more riding comfort and longer wear
  • Additional shockproof pad beneath microfiber tape optimizes vibration absorbing performance for increased relief of pressure in hands
  • Extra layer of Vex gel provides easier wrapping to bars without leaving anything behind on the bar when removed
The Diamond Tape takes its name from the small, diamond shaped pattern that makes up its surface. This makes this tape nice and grippy!

I received two boxes of the Diamond Tape, one black and one a nice Sky Blue color. Marque claims that their colors stay fast and don’t fade, an issue I have seen with other handle bar tapes. The tape is backed with an adhesive strip, which is a common feature with many tapes these days.

Installation of the Diamond Tape was straight forward. In my “day job”, I wrap hundreds of handle bars a year as a bicycle mechanic. Since I get to handle a lot of different brands of handle bar tape, I can give a pretty good read on what you can expect here. The Marque Diamond tape is beefy in the hand, yet it has a reasonable amount of stretch. It is “rubbery”, but not in the elastic, squishy way that some tapes are. This feels like a cross between Lizard Skins tape and fizik tape, a good thing, in my opinion.

The roll had plenty of length to cover my 46cm flared drop bars, which is nice. Some rolls don’t give you enough length to do a nice, closely overlapped wrap and still cover a flared drop bar’s flats. Remember that finishing tape? Well, Marque has the best finishing tape I’ve ever used. It looks like the rest of the roll, but it is thinner, stretchier, and has a lot of adhesive. All in the best way possible that it is so much better than using anything else that it would be a shame not to use it. In fact, it blends in with the tape so well it doesn’t look like you used a finishing tape at all! (Which may put off purists who like the finishing tape contrast)

Marque Bar Tape
The Marque tape has confidence inspiring grip, but it gives enough to make a difference in the rougher gravel.

Ride Feel: The Marque Diamond Tape feels like it has give, but it also is firm, not vague or too squishy. When you have to make a decisive move using the bars, the grip is solid and tacky. Yet this tape does help mute the vibration of the gravel enough that it is definitely noticeable. The tacky feel doesn’t restrict movement with gloves, which is nice. Bare handed I think it feels very good. While it hasn’t been hot, or anything even close to it here, I think the tape will still have a good tack even with sweaty hands.

I haven’t had this tape long enough to determine if Marque’s claims of non-fading colors and durability are going to hold up, but I have had a spill on gravel with the tape on. It didn’t rip at the slightest hint of trouble, and only a small biff on the handle bar end is all that can be seen as a result. Impressive…….so far. If anything untoward should pop up during the time I’m using this tape, I’ll chime back in here, but I don’t expect it to. In fact, I’ll be switching over the herd of bikes here to this tape, it is that good, in my opinion.

The Diamond Tape sells for  $24.99 USD per roll and comes in six different colors. Marque Handle Bar tapes can be found at their site: 

NOTE: Marque Cycling sent over the Diamond Tape handle bar tape for test and review at no charge. We were not paid nor bribed for this review. We always strive to give our honest thoughts and views throughout.


Author: Guitar Ted

Guitar Ted hails from Iowa. Home of over 70,000 miles of gravel and back roads. An inaugural member of the Gravel Cycling Hall of Fame and Co-creator of Trans Iowa in late 2004- Guitar Ted has been at the forefront of the growth of gravel events and riding since then. Creator of Gravel Grinder News in 2008, he produced the premier calendar of gravel and back road events. GT joined forces with Riding Gravel in late 2014.

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3 thoughts on “Marque Handle Bar Tape: Quick Review

  1. Good review. And the price is nice too! I’be long been using the ESI grips and wrap for both my bikes and it would be hard to convert me but I like how this sounds and 25 bucks is easy to swallow next time I scrape up my current wrap.

  2. GT: your absolutely right, handlebar tape silently rolls under the radar screen for some reason. Get bad tape, and we all have, its either an eyesore or gets in our crall before the ride even starts. Get good bar tape, and it doesn’t get the reward it merits. Personally, I look for a real tough tape that can be cleaned on my gravel bike and will endure the dust/junk and perform over time. I will check this one out and appreciate the mentioning!

  3. Als Tennisspieler habe ich seit einiger Zeit wieder Probleme mit meiner rechten Schulter. Besonders beim Aufschlagen, aber auch beim Schlafen am Abend nach dem Training ist es teilweise unangenehm. Das Problem kenne ich schon länger und ich hatte schon früher mal ganz gute Erfolge mit einem Tape gehabt.Ich habe mir das TRUETAPE bestellt weil ich für den Sport ein hochwertiges Tape haben wollte und weil ich die vorgeschnittenen Streifen echt praktisch fand. Außedem war ich bei der Suche nach Anleitungen sowieso schon auf den Namen gestoßen.Die Anleitung für die Schulter war auch richtig einfach nachzumachen. Meine Freundin hat mir geholfen beim Aufkleben.Ich hatte das Tape jetzt 5 Tage drauf und bin voll zufrieden. Meiner Schulter hat das Tape wirklich gutgetan. Die Muskeln fühlen sich irgendwie entspannter an. Das Truetape ist etwas dehnbarer als meine vorherigen Tapes. Es trägt sich dadurch angenehm und hat mich mich auch beim Aufschlagen beim Tennis kein bisschen behindert.Habe es jetzt nach 5 Tagen mal runtergemacht, aber ich glaube es wäre wahrscheinlich noch deutlich länger draufgeblieben.Kann das Tape also wirklich nur weiterempfehlen. Klare Bonuspunkte sind die vorgeschnittenen Streifen, die darauf angepassten kostenlosten Anleitungen auf der Homepage und die super Tapequalität. Negativpunkte konnte ich bis jetzt noch nicht bemerken.Lesen Sie weiter

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