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Verdict: 
Comfortable and smart looking bar tape at a reasonable price
Weight: 
108g
Fizik Performance Bar Tape
8 10

Spring has arrived (well, maybe...) which means it's generally a good time to treat your bike to some fresh bar tape after the hard graft of winter grinding has taken its toll. The Fizik Performance Classic Bar Tape is a good choice, being compliant and grippy, but it's not that easy to fit and the white doesn't stay that way for long, unsurprisingly.

Installation is a little tricky, but not impossible. The lack of stretch in the tape makes it difficult to get a clean wrap quickly, so you have to be careful and fastidious to ensure you get a neat, smooth and consistent wrap around both halves of the handlebar. The upside of the material construction is that it won't tear or deform easily when wrapping it. Sticky-back plastic keeps the tape securely in place, yet provides a bit of wiggle room if you need to go back a few wraps and start again.

> Find your nearest dealer here

Once in place, the Fizik tape provides a very comfortable setup. It has 3mm padding and this delivers a good injection of comfort on any bike it's fitted to, and is noticeably better at cushioning your hands from smaller vibrations than some thinner tapes. It's great if you've got long rides on your radar like sportives and audaxes.

It's a tactile tape that is comfortable with or without gloves, and if you do ride without gloves the grip factor is high, even on warmer rides when you're sweating or in rain. It's not quite as grippy as some, or Fizik's own Performance Tacky Touch tape if you want more stickiness from your bar tape, but it does a good job.

> How to wrap bar tape

The tape is made from a perforated microtex material and it's durable and hardwearing. I've been testing it on an adventure bike that's been getting plenty of hard use in adverse conditions. The white colour, unsurprisingly, has rapidly deteriorated but it does clean up fairly well, though you'll never get it back to box fresh condition again. Other more UK suitable colours are available so steer clear of white if you want to maintain a good appearance for longer. One downside of washing the tape is that it takes ages to dry out.

Once fitted this classic looking tape is really comfortable, good for longer rides and rough terrain. Avoid white if you want it to look sharp after a few rides, though.

Verdict

Comfortable and smart looking bar tape at a reasonable price

road.cc test report

Make and model: Fizik Performance Classic Bar Tape

Size tested: Length: 2100mm Thickness: 3mm

Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

Fizik distributor Extra says: "A great-looking 3mm bar tape that's available in all sorts of colours and touches to match any finishing kit. It will scrub up time and again to ensure your bike looks as good as new."

From Fizik:

"fi'zi:k's Bar:Tapes are developed and tested in conjunction with leading riders – from road and cyclocross, to give the most demanding feedback on grip, comfort and feel across every terrain and distance, and in every type of weather conditions. Consequently, fi'zi:k has developed Bar:Tapes in options of three different thicknesses, and with a number of different textures. Each are available in a number of different colorways to suit your bike and club colors. All fi'zi:k Bar:Tapes are made using durable, breathable and tactile perforated Microtex material. Laser cut perforations mean no rips or tears."

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

3mm extra thick design for better grip and superior comfort

Made from Microtex: ultra-durable, strong and breathable, washable

Foam-padded to dampen vibration

Conforms to riders' hands

Weight: 52g (each roll)

Length: 2100mm

Thickness: 3mm

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10
Rate the product for performance:
 
8/10
Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the product for comfort (if applicable)
 
9/10
Rate the product for value:
 
7/10

It's nudging towards the top end of what I'd expect to pay for bar tape but it's by no means overpriced.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Durable and comfortable for longer rides.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Comfortable and tactile.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

A little tricky to fit.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your score

Fizik products typically command a premium but looking through the bar tape road.cc testers have reviewed over the years, £17 isn't all that expensive – though you can certainly pay less. You're getting a high-quality bar tape here, with good comfort and durability, even if white isn't the most sensible colour choice (there are alternatives).

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 31  Height: 180cm  Weight: 67kg

I usually ride:   My best bike is:

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, touring, mountain biking

David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.

7 comments

Avatar
harragan [216 posts] 8 months ago
0 likes

I've recently put this on my bike and I also found the white tape gets grubby almost immediately.   Other than that, excellent tape.

Avatar
Man of Lard [338 posts] 8 months ago
5 likes

All white tape gets grubby quickly. This shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone who doesn't live in a chalkmine.

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tritecommentbot [2268 posts] 8 months ago
1 like

Hahahaa laugh

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Liam Cahill [83 posts] 8 months ago
0 likes

White tape just means more cleaning. Great for those with a mechanic and a year's supply of new tape, less so for me.

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Grahamd [723 posts] 8 months ago
2 likes

Before you buy new tape; I purchased new bar tape last year, as my existing tape was looking rough. Decided to rewrap old tape for practice and was better than when I bought the bike originally, so have left it on and kept new tape in reserve.

Avatar
harragan [216 posts] 8 months ago
0 likes
Man of Lard wrote:

All white tape gets grubby quickly. This shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone who doesn't live in a chalkmine.

 

The previous white tape I had on my bike certainly became grubby, but not as quickly or in the same way this did.  I should have been clearer. 

Avatar
TypeVertigo [416 posts] 8 months ago
2 likes

This is the tape I use most often on my bike. It's excellent - much better and longer lasting than LizardSkins anything, which tends to crumble and peel off its top layer. The Fizik 3 mm tape just keeps holding on, even after multiple removal and reinstallation cycles.

Slightly pricey, but cheaper than Supacaz where I live, and because it lasts so long and does its job so well, it's damn worth it.