Lock on Grips
Well my friends out in the world of internet. MTB has gone absolutely crazy here in the UK due to the Lockdown and Corona virus. Mountain Biking is the ultimate Social distancing sport or hobby. You are alone on your bike fly through the woods or countryside. Anybody you meet goes by in the blink of an eye and even if others are there, they will be at least 2 metres away. Great. Now there are lots of new riders buying bikes from all over the internet and bikes of all budgets are flying out of the doors. This leads me to point out to all you new people out there and those who are on a budget about a simple upgrade that can help your riding.
Most bikes under around £600-£700 will come with a standard set of rubber Handle bar Grips. This is not a problem for street riding or even some XC. If like me you are heavier or aggressive with your bike then you will notice what I like to call GRIP SLIP. This is when the motion of riding and turning causes outward pressure on the Handle grip.
This is one of the Cheapest upgrades you can do to your bike. Get a Grip and Lock it on. Every decent MTB site out there sells a range of handle grips to suit all riders. Have a look at the spec of more expensive bikes and you will see they all have a lock on grip.
What is a lock on grip?
Basically a lock on grip is a basic handle grip with either one or two lockable flanges to keep it in place. The price range is massive for these grips but you can pick them up cheaply at most sites. If, you go to a bike shop they will have a few brands available and if you go to the high street retailers they will have maybe two home brands. You get a much better deal online.
I just popped over to Chain Reactions and these are £7.99 and available in many colours. Now these are the home brand type but, they are good enough to improve riding.
Sometimes you can pick grips up for £3-£4 if a line is being cleared out.
Obviously not all grips are created equal and depending on your weight and riding style, you may need something with a little extra rubber.
When I go my pair they were on offer for £8. I choose them because of the double flange. I am a very heavy rider and I have actually had a normal grip come off in my hand. These grips lock on and stay in place.
Single or Double Flange?
This is another one that comes down to personal choice but, there are some good reasons to choose. I like Double for the Extra Lock but, it probably is not needed unless you are really hitting the trails and shredding up a storm. Of course if you are heavy then you may want the extra lock. One of the thing to note is movement. If, you have a double flange then there is an outer limit to the grip. If, you have big hands or you move grip a lot then the outer flange may dig in to your hand. This is where a single flange at the brake end of the grip may be a better option.
Different Compounds and styles
There is a lot of research and investment that goes in to developing grips. At the cheaper end of the scale you will see standard flat types of patterned rubber. This is just mass-produced to do a job. It is a grip so it will do the job. As you work your way up the scale you will see different compounds and even professional endorsement. Basically the Manufacturer will work with riders to develop grips that can really help.
One of my favorite companies for this kind of R&D is DMR. DMR pedals are everywhere. I ride V8’s which are brilliant budget pedals and the list goes on. Have a look at the DMR DeathGrip. This has had some serious R&D and that is why it starts at around £15.
DMR Brendog Death Grip
These grips are the result of a collaboration between DMR Bikes and Brendog (Brendan Fairclough).
The Death Grip is available many colours styles and compounds It is a great grip, as you can see from the picture there are three different grip styles on the on grip.
The Knurl Pattern is there to give an all weather surface for your palm and the Waffle area is for extra grip up front. You will also notice a soft Mushroom type grip in the thumb area. This helps with extra control as it is soft and malleable and takes the pressure off the thumbs. This particular Death Grip has a tough closed end and an inner rubber flange to protect your hands.
Grips are a very personal choice but, they are often overlooked by most of us when we start out riding MTB. I would recommend Jumping on some main bike websites and having a look at what is available for you. Remember this is a very cheap upgrade for your bike and it will make some difference to your ride. If, you suffer with your hands going numb then I would recommend getting some softer mushroom type grips. These will take the impact out of the bumps and give you extra control. I always ride in gloves and I also find this helps with circulation problems that you get when hitting the harder trails. I will put some links below for my main go to websites so please feel free to click away. If, you click on the images above it will take you to Chain Reactions, this is because I was using there site to get some ideas for you.
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