Fizik's Terra Microtex Bondcush Tacky Tape is excellent: really comfortable, grippy and good looking. It's also really expensive. Still, you pays your money and all that.
The Terra tape – I haven't got time to write out the full name every time, there are things to do – consists of a cushioned polymer foam grip layer on top of a Microtex base, with a tacky surface finish applied. The base looks to be the same as the Selle Italia tape I tested recently and its main properties are that it's extremely strong, and not especially flexible. That means it requires a firm hand to get a nice tight finish.
There's a Fizik logo on on edge of the tape; depending on which way you wrap it you can either expose that or cover it up. There's a sticky gel strip on the rear of the tape that both acts as an adhesive and offers a bit more damping. It's tacky rather than sticky so it's easy to remove.
The tape is available in six colours, it's 3mm thick and does a really good job of soaking up road chatter. This is one of the better single-layer tapes that I've used in that regard, and in terms of shock absorption it's comparable with the Selle Italia tape I mentioned above – and that comes with gel inserts.
The surface is very grippy, almost sticky in fact, and in all conditions. It does pick up dust and grime, though, so if you're picking a light colour then it's not going to stay pristine for long. My green tape buffed up okay with a wet wipe, but some dirt does get ingrained. It doesn't stop being grippy, though, or at least hasn't yet.
Fizik says 'Terra bar tapes are designed for those who go off-road on drop bars' and certainly this is a good choice for gravel bikes and the like, giving good damping and excellent control. It's also worth looking at for general road riding, especially if you're spending a lot of time on smaller roads with questionable surfaces.
If you need more padding than the tape provides on its own, stick a few sections of the bar tape you're removing underneath the relevant bits of bar when you fit the Terra tape, or look at some gel inserts.
No doubt about it: this is expensive bar tape. (A quick look here shows plenty of examples of cheaper tape, some lots cheaper, though not all recommended.) It is really nice though, so if you're after good comfort and grip and you have a few quid to throw at the problem, you're not going to be disappointed.
High quality bar tape that's grippy and comfortable
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Fizik Terra Microtex Bondcush Tacky Tape
Size tested: 3mm thick
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?
New fizik tape designed for use on dropped bar bikes heading off the road. Ideal for gravel or CX adventures. Smooth to avoid mud sticking whilst also having a tacky feel to keep your hands just where you want them.
Terra – designed for off-road riding using drop bars. A sticky gel backing serves two functions: it replaces the adhesive tape for easy removal during cleaning and damps off-road chatter without feeling too squishy.
Bondcush – layered mid-padding polymer foam that aids the absorption of road buzz. Bonded to a microtex outer layer this is the thickest tape option that combines comfort, versatility and durability. 3mm thick.
Tacky – finish gives a sticky, nonslip surface with a raised texture for grip in all conditions.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
- Bondcush construction 3mm thick
- Gel backer
- Tacky touch
- Colors: Black, White, Red, Dark Blue, Green Blue, Brown
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very well: comfy and smart, with good grip levels.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Very grippy and comfortable.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Expensive, picks up dirt more than some.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's good but expensive. You can pay more.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes, although it is pretty expensive.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
Performance is very good; it's expensive tape but worth the money.
About the tester
I usually ride: whatever I'm testing... My best bike is: Kinesis Tripster ATR, Merida Scultura
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking, Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling, track
Dave is a founding father of road.cc, having previously worked on Cycling Plus and What Mountain Bike magazines back in the day. He also writes about e-bikes for our sister publication ebiketips. He's won three mountain bike bog snorkelling World Championships, and races at the back of the third cats.