OCD for the Bianchi

Oh, lamentations! Fizik, purveyor of microfibre handlebar wrap, have discontinued wrap in celeste, the sea-foam green hue made famous by Bianchi bicycles. Currently 4 out of my 6 bicycles are celeste or have celeste accents… even my custom Sycip is celeste. Half of them have matching celeste Fizik Arione saddles too. Until this year, I was just going to always keep a spare celeste Fizik bar wrap in supply box at home. My life was going to be so easy!

I mean, I’m not too crazy. I don’t have to have spanking new wrap on my bars; the bars can have can dirty or ripped wrap and still pass my requirements. But something fills my heart with glee to see my arsenal of bikes on the wall… celeste with celeste saddles.

So I’ve done what any rational person would do: I’ve bought up all the remaining stock of celeste Fizik wrap that I could lay my hands on.

Fizik wrap 2.jpg

A couple years ago, I stocked up on Rudy Project Tayo glasses after they had already been out of production for 3 years, because nothing else fits me as well. Byron tried to buy a pair off of me. I told him no way. Ten years from now, I’m going to be like that one guy who rides around wearing original Oakley Factory Pilot shades.


Now there’s a man with taste!  The celeste color speaks to my soul, too…

Tell me:  there are a couple other brands who make celeste bar wrap…is the Fizik stuff that much better?  I’ve personally been underimpressed by the Bike Ribbon and Bianchi-branded cork tape;  should I rush out and try to score the remaining celeste Fizik tape, too?

I use Fizik on all of my bikes except my Orbea, which doesn’t need wrap on the carbon track bar.

The Fizik wrap is much tougher than foam or “cork” type wraps; I first started using it for my travel bike because that way I wouldn’t be electrical-taping down shredded cork wrap half way into a two month music tour (things get scratched up from all the packing and travel). However, the standard Fizik tape doesn’t have much padding to it, so some people won’t like it.  It has pretty good grip, and cleans up pretty well. 

There are two types of the standard wrap, regular and “soft touch”.  THe soft touch is grippier but maybe not as durable.  Some colours are available in both types, but black is only soft touch.  Celeste is not available in soft touch.

I use the Fizik wrap with the Fizik gel.  I like the Fizik gel because it won’t leak like other companies’ products which are sealed envelops of gelatinous fluid that can puncture.  The Fizik gel can be cut to size, and if you’re clever you can stretch it thinner before you cinch it down with the wrap.  That way you can minimize bulk where you don’t want it.

There is also a stitched two-colour type of FIzik called “Dual”.  Besides the contrasting colour, Dual also incorporates a thin foam backing.  If you care about those things, the Dual weighs more than the standard wrap but less than the standard wrap with gel.  Unfortunately, Dual does not and never has been come in celeste. 

In all cases, Fizik takes longer to wrap than some other wraps. You must use a fair bit of tension as you wrap to avoid wrinkles, especially with the Dual wrap.

On that note, I know that there was a similar run on discontinued colors of Tressostar cloth tape a year or two ago.  The usual suspects hoarded it, and I think Velo Orange is trying to revive at least some of those colors.

It’s good to know there are two kinds of the Fizik microfiber wrap, because the stuff I got was obviously the luxurious soft-touch wrap that falls apart like a Shredded Wheat biscuit.

Yes, the Fizik “soft touch” also seems to tear if you need to partially unwrap a bar because you left an accidental gap, or if you’re OCD and the spiral isn’t quite up to your aesthetic ideals. It’s not so much that it tears, but more like it delaminates.

The standard wrap is pretty durable, gets a little grippier after a few wet rides, and is tolerant of re-wrapping.  I only use the standard type of wrap.  Byron’s been using that on his “Modal” and “hotspur” bikes as well.

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