Fi'zi:k Performance Bar Tape
|Price:||$10.49 - $71.95|
|Sale:||Lower price available on select options|
- Material: Microtex
- Recommended Use: road cycling
- Manufacturer Warranty: 2 years
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Fizik's Performance Bar Tape comes in two distinct flavors: Soft and Tacky. Soft is a standard microfiber feel, which is pleasant enough to handle bare hands for hours on end without complaint. Tacky is fashionably grippy with a :k tread pattern to keep your hands or gloves glued to the bars -- even when conditions are less than favorable. Regardless of which finish you choose, the Performance tape brings 3mm of dense-yet-forgiving comfort to your bars.
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The tape itself has a thinnish layer of foam on the underside, which has a sticky strip strip (not adhesive) down the middle to grip the bar while you wrap. This mean you just wrap the tape tight enough so that it doesn't move and you can undo and re-wrap if you miss a spot. There is a line sewn down off center on the tape which helps a lot to wrap it evenly. I probably wrapped mine too tightly, but there is no concern about ripping the tap while wrapping like there is with cork.
The tape is firm (not so much thin, though) and not cushy or gel-like. For me this is an advantage - on my other bike I have "gel" cork tape which is much cushier, but not more comfortable for me. The longest ride I've ridden on this tape is 105 miles, at around 5 hours and I did not feel discomfort in my hands. I normally wear gloves and the grip of the tape is sure in light rain and somewhat sweaty gloves. I haven't used this is in the heavy rain, or with gloveless and very sweaty hands so I can't comment on the grip when very wet.
The tape has a very high quality, almost leather like look. It's very attractive, and I decided to try a lighter color (yellow) since I was hoping it is washable. I've put about 800 miles on the tape - enough for it to start to darken from use. Using a rag with dishsoap I was able to lighten it back up and clean off grease that I got on the drops. This is pretty hard to do with cork/foam-like tape. The pattern is slightly different than the thin Fizik tape that is normally used with the Fizik gel inserts and the material seems more synthetic leather-like than the microfiber-like feel of the thinner Fizik tape.
I really, really like this tape and think it's probably cheaper than most tape in the long run because of the durability.
Only downside (I know!), which was obviously a business decision by Fizik, is that the wrap is slightly too short. I had to re-wrap my bars a few times in order to correctly space the tape so it would reach the top. That was a little frustrating and is something that should not be an issue with a couple more inches of tape. Bad, Fizik! How much money did that save you and how much frustration did you bring your customers with that decision? Anyways, you lose a star for that. No excuses.
It's thick, stiff, a little hard to install. You have to wrap slow and pull hard, it won't tear. This tape has a small raised ridge, this is where you start your over lap, however you can't do this around the bends. Go slow making sure you don't leave any gaps. If you do, no worry, it has a light adhesive backing and you can pull it off and try again. I really like the feel of this tape. Makes my bike feel different. Fizik bar tape is noted for being very long lasting and durable. The end pugs don't need a couple of layers of electrical tape, they fit nice and snug. I use black electrical tape for finishing tape, and cover it with the Fizik finishing tape. I have 44mm bars and I had to cut off a lot of tape, so you get more than enough. I had to struggle a little when installing this tape, but the end result was worth it. This tape looks and feels great, What else do you need? Great price at Amazon. Do it.
Color: Hard to get an idea of the color until it's in front of you but the range seems very stylish. My hands and gloves turned metallic blue in the heat when I first started using it and still slightly do after a year/5k miles.
Durability: At least a year/5k miles and it still looks and feels good. A fall and slide took a chunk out of an aluminum bar cap but only half a layer of the tape on the drops (quite a few layers off me as well), protecting the bar completely.
Texture: As advertised, this is not a tacky tape. It can be pretty slick even when not wet.