A fresh roll of bartape is one of the best ways to make your bike look new again. Conversely, dirty, torn, or even just a poorly wrapped bartape can ruin the look of an otherwise beautiful bike.
I have long been a fan of Fizik’s microtex bartapes. It comes in a ton of great colors, doesn’t tear easily, can be cleaned easily, and lays nice and flat on the bars. So when I first heard that Fizik was going to be coming out with new versions of their tape in a shiny finish, I knew that I would have to some; if only to match my new rain booties.
The shiny tapes come in red, black, and white. Since it was still before Labor Day, I opted for the white. First impressions were good. Despite the slick finish the tape offered loads of grip even in the wet, the shiny finish also made cleaning a cinch. Just wipe it down with a damp towel and it’s good as new; very important with white bartape. And even though I never felt the original Fizik tape was lacking, the shiny seemed to actually offer a MORE cushioned feel.
After about four weeks of riding fairly regularly the gloss finish started to wear off and once the tape got dirty where the finish had worn, it stayed that way. So now my beautiful shiny white tape was turning black just behind the hoods and in the drops, where I put my hands. Needless to say I was a bit bummed. The tape still felt nice, and was lying on the bars nice and smooth, but it just looked awful. I may still try the black, which hides the dirt much better, as I really do like the feel and look (when new) of the tape, but unless you plan on changing your tape fairly regularly, I’d avoid the white.