Fizik Tempo Microtex Bondcush Classic bar tape is surprisingly comfortable – compared to how I thought it was going to feel after giving it a squeeze in the box. With its retro look and coming in a variety of colours, it'll definitely suit a whole range of bikes, especially those of a steel persuasion.
As you can guess from its name and the faux leather finish, the Classic option of Fizik's Tempo range of bar tapes is designed to work with bikes that have a more traditional look. Saying that, I still think it looks pretty good on the carbon bar in the pics.
According to Fizik, Bondcush is a layered mid-padding polymer foam that runs along the centre of the tape for the absorption of road buzz. It is surprisingly thin with the whole tape only measuring 3mm thick, but it does a very impressive job of providing comfort. (Dave reviewed the Terra Microtex Bondcush, designed 'for those who go off-road on drop bars', recently and thought it excellent, if expensive at £32.99.)
In the box the tape felt quite firm and unforgiving compared to some foam or cork brands, but once fitted I could ride without gloves for a long time without any discomfort.
Grip is pretty impressive too for such a smooth tape, even in the wet, with just enough tackiness for gloves to purchase.
When it comes to fitting, the Classic isn't the most flexible so you really have to pull it tight as you wrap around the bends to stop large gaps forming, so it takes a little bit of re-wrapping to get things looking neat and tidy, but it is worth the faff for the finish.
I reckon the black here looks classy, but other colours are available: white, blue, green, red, pink, yellow, orange, honey, silver and celeste.
Cost-wise, at £21.99 it's not the cheapest out there for this style of tape. The PRO Microfibre tape we tested a while back cost just £14.99, but the review does suggest the Fizik delivers better comfort.
If it's a tape high on comfort you are after then you could go for the Selle Italia Smootape, which'll set you back £17.99.
On the whole, the Fizik tape might be a little bit more expensive than some, but it does perform very well indeed and looks/feels to be very hardwearing – so at least it'll last a while.
Pricier than some and takes a bit of extra work to fit, but worth it for impressive looks and comfort
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Fizik Tempo Microtex Bondcush Classic 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?
Fizik says, "Tempo are bar tapes designed for an unparalled performance, durability and versatility of use.
"Bondcush is layered mid-padding polymer foam that aids the absorption of road buzz. Bonded to a microtex outer layer this material blend is our chunkiest option that combines comfort, versatility and durability, ideal to tackle all kind of roads.
"The classic touch is a durable perforated leather-like texture, with traditional aesthetic and smooth surface slide easily to different riding positions."
A solid bar tape delivering everything a good bar tape needs to.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
- Bondcush construction 3mm thick
- Classic touch
- Colors: Black, White, Blue, Green, Red, Pink, Yellow, Orange, Honey, Silver, Celeste
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
When it comes to grip and comfort it can't really be faulted.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Plenty of comfort for such a thin tape.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Not as easy to fit as some.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
You can get cheaper from various brands with similar styling, but the Fizik is good quality for the money. Fizik's own Terra Microtex Bondcush Tacky Tape is £32.99.
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 overall score
A comfortable, grippy bar tape that performs well on all types of bike for decent money.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed,
With 20 years of road cycling and over 150,000 miles in his legs it's safe to say Stu is happiest when on the bike whatever the weather. Since writing his first review for road.cc back in 2009 he has also had a career in engineering including 3D-CAD design and product development, so has a real passion for all of the latest technology coming through in the industry but is also a sucker for a classic steel frame, skinny tyres, rim brakes and a damn good paintjob.
His fascination with gravel bikes is getting out of control too!