Aaron Gwin's New ODI AG-2 Grips - Review

Jan 3, 2018
by Mike Levy  
ODI Gwin Grips


For being one of just three contact points we have with our bike, and arguably one of the most important of those three, grips don't get the attention they deserve. A lot of us seem pretty ambivalent about what we're holding onto, but you know who isn't? Some guy Aaron Gwin. ODI worked with the American downhiller to come up with the AG-1 grip back in 2014, and now the pairing has a second, updated version called, you guessed it, the AG-2.

The $35 USD AG-2 features a bunch of modifications that Gwin wanted, enough that the new offering should really be thought of as an entirely fresh design, but they do retain the single, inboard lock-on collar that the AG-1 employed. One AG-2 grip weighs 53-grams (with hardware), which is 9-grams heavier than its predecessor.
AG-2 Details

• Single, inboard lock-on clamp
• Aluminum reinforced outboard end w/ plastic cover
• 30.5mm diameter (AG-1 was 28mm)
• 135mm length
• New, softer compound
• Coarser knurl pattern
• Six color options
• Manufactured in the USA
• Weight: 53-grams per grip (w/ hardware)
• MSRP: $35 USD
www.odigrips.com


Design

If you're going to have a grip named after you, it better be exactly what you want to use. And it turns out that what Gwin wants to use is a grip with a slightly larger diameter - and softer material - than the AG-1. Instead of having an ultra-thin 28mm cross-section, ODI has bumped that number up to 30.5mm at the behest of Gwin. This, along with the more compliant rubber compound, should make it more forgiving on the hands than the harsh feeling AG-1.


ODI Gwin Grips
ODI Gwin Grips
On the left is the original AG-1, with a 28mm diameter and four fins. On the right is the new AG-2, with a 30.5mm diameter and only two fins. One is a whole lot better than the other.


Also new is a much coarser knurled surface; the AG-1 had a very small, tight texture to it, whereas the AG-2's pattern is larger and more open. ODI says that all of the above should provide the rider with more traction and better damping vibration abilities. Or, in other words, more comfort.

The AG-1's defining feature was its four evenly spaced fins that ran about three-quarters of its length and were meant to line up with the articulation points on a rider's hands to supply extra traction. ODI has nixed two of those fins on the AG-2, however, which is probably a good thing as I found them to feel quite pronounced under my palms.

At the outboard end, you'll find a ramped section that's said to provide extra comfort and to help keep your hands from being exposed when hanging off the end of the grip. And, finally, the inboard end has an eagle molded into its raised section to increase patriotism and comfort.
ODI Gwin Grips
The two raised fins are meant to be aligned with the articulation points on a rider's hands to supply extra traction.



Performance

I had ODI send me a set of both the AG-1 and AG-2 grips in order to find out if newer equals better, and instead of swapping the grips back and forth, I ran an AG-1 on the left side and an AG-2 on the right. Besides looking like an idiot for awhile, this gave me an easy and instant way to compare the two. As it turns out, 2.5mm can make a world of difference... when it comes to grips, I mean.


ODI Gwin Grips
Eagles for your drivetrain and now eagles for your grips?


I've always searched out the thinnest grips that I could find, which is why I assumed that I'd prefer the older, 28mm diameter AG-1s over their new, thicker replacement. But compared to the AG-2, the older grip had me feeling like my left hand was wrapped around the bare handlebar, and not in a good way. When Mike Kazimer reviewed the AG-1s back in 2014, his main issue was that they had a ''harsher feel than expected, not providing very much cushion or vibration damping,'' and I'd have to agree with him on that point.

In contrast, the slightly larger diameter of the AG-2s just felt just right to my one hand holding onto it, and more forgiving to boot. I can't tell you if that's down to the different knurled pattern, the different compound, or the extra 2.5mm, but there's certainly a pronounced difference.


ODI Gwin Grips
ODI Gwin Grips
The ramped inboard and outboard edges are there to provide some extra cushioning.


The four raised fins on the old AG-1 grip seem odd to me; I understand why they're they're there, but they feel far too pronounced. ODI dropped two of those fins from the AG-2, and while the four fins gave me a 'rock in my shoe' kinda sensation, the two fins on the AG-2 grip were mostly invisible. Now, I can't say that I've ever had issues with any grips being too slippery, but the fins surely help. Moving to the ends of the AG-2, the ramped sections of rubber on the inside and outside edges weren't noticeable, at least by my hands. Then again, I sometimes get sore spots on the outer edges of my palms from the hard outer ends of a grip, and I never had that issue with the AG-2s, so maybe there's something to it.


Pinkbike's Take:
bigquotesUnlike the AG-1 grip, ODI and Gwin nailed the new AG-2. I'd argue that good grips should feel undetectable while also being forgiving, and these new lock-ons do exactly that. Mike Levy






Must Read This Week

124 Comments

  • + 124
 Felt like reading a condom review.
  • + 24
 I've heard single inboard lock-ons are the way to go.
  • + 32
 @MTBrent: But only if there's an eagle "to increase patriotism and comfort."
  • - 12
flag properp (Jan 3, 2018 at 8:53) (Below Threshold)
 There to small for me.
  • + 13
 @properp: THAT'S WHAT SHE SAID!!!
  • + 11
 @bizutch: I always tell them if it's not enough the first time we can always do it again
  • + 12
 @properp: *they're...too
  • - 11
flag properp (Jan 3, 2018 at 10:06) (Below Threshold)
 @COnovicerider: compliments Google talk to text
  • + 12
 You read condom reviews. Now that’s a pros pro
  • + 4
 I didnt know she had the G.I Joe Kung Fu grip.
  • + 2
 @bizutch: only she spelled it correctly!
  • + 1
 @MTBrent: quite possibly my favourite pb comment ever
  • + 46
 Got a set of these but still not winning races. Do I need the AG-2 shoelaces too?
  • + 29
 no chain is the answer
  • + 4
 great marketing right here folks, wait for AG-3 they will enable you to win races chainless
  • + 6
 Don't forget your Onza Aquila tires!
  • + 6
 @lobohusky: And your TRP brakes!
  • + 8
 @PoopMonkeey: AG-1 invisible chain hits market this spring for $64.99
  • + 34
 What`s the difference between red and purple.........The grip
  • + 11
 lubricant
  • + 28
 #gwips
  • + 2
 #gwinning
  • + 18
 My friends and I have arrived at a different conSensus.
  • + 2
 I agree
  • + 17
 Could Gwin win a World Cup gripless??
  • + 34
 He could probably do it without bars.
  • - 8
flag skeeple (Jan 3, 2018 at 8:10) (Below Threshold)
 That's silly. A Company would never plaster a rider's name on something they'd never use.
  • + 7
 I'm getting these Looney Tunes images where you see the character travel at full speed while the vehicle gradually loses vital components. Gwin is kind of a Toon, in a good way.
  • + 1
 @skeeple: wooooosh
  • + 8
 "And, finally, the inboard end has an eagle molded into its raised section to increase patriotism and comfort. " Mr Levy always crack me up.
  • + 7
 I like my DMR DeathGrips ????????????

It just has everything and feels good on every ride. I use zero padded gloves so comfort is always a big factor.
  • + 3
 This, Brendog has nailed it, I doubt they'll be completely changing the design of them in a years time!
  • + 4
 @matwilliams: I was thinking that too. I wonder what happens to this review when the AG-3 comes out in 2020? I am guessing they will tell us that the 2 was too large diameter with not enough traction, but Gwin and ODI have really bailed it this time with the 3.
  • + 9
 At first glance, the grip looked like it had been repaired with duct-tape.
  • + 9
 Gripping review
  • + 2
 Not hard to make an improvement when the first gen were so awful. My buddy tossed them after two rides. I would have been done after the first. Too many good grips for less out there.
  • + 3
 Really? I really enjoyed the 1st gen grips
  • + 1
 I have always had hand pain. My riding buddy had these ridiculous old serfas comfort grips(Sway Ergonomic Dual Lock On). He told me they were the only thing that kept his hands from getting sore. I got a pair on ebay and they are the most comfy grips ever, although I look like a tool riding with them on.

Heres a pic of same grips, but not my bike:
turbobobbicycleblog.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/154-serfas-grips.jpg
  • + 1
 I think they are well thought,pressure points have more cushion,that is your thumb and your out hand ,cause when you are smashing the turns and rough stuffs that’s where the pressures are so I think,it’s nice to have products made by people that actually ride bikes and feel them in every aspect ,I am a ODI Ruffian mx rider but I will give a try on these ones,keep it up Gwin,BUT a McLaren?there are better ones out there :-))))
  • + 4
 So what grips are out there for us with manly hands?
99% of the grips are just way to thin for me..
  • + 26
 Rogues
  • + 1
 Ergon GA2 Fat grip has a 33mm diameter
  • + 1
 @jeffsworks: these are my grips of choice because I have large hands. Are you familiar with any other large diameter grips? If so I would love to hear about them.
  • + 1
 @properp: I recently threw a pair of Deity Knuckledusters on my bike and have really liked them. 32mm is larger than what I previously ran but I dig them and they fit my hands well.
  • + 11
 Oury
  • + 2
 @jeffsworks: have been using odi Rogue/LS Northshore till I found Ergon. GE1 first and GA2 Fat now. The ergonomical/tappered shape in the Ergon grips is way more comforable than the standard grips for me
  • + 4
 @properp: I like Rogues as well. The ones I use now are Easton lock-on grips. They also have a 33mm diameter. Very comfortable for big hands like mine.
  • + 1
 Race Face Strafe's are awesome!
  • + 6
 Santa brought me a pair of Wolf Tooth Fat Paws. 36-37mm diameter. I just don't understand why company's don't go over 33mm. And I can't believe how long it took me to find the Fat Paws.
  • + 2
 Chromag Squarewave Large
  • + 1
 @joepax: thanks the world is full of little grips.
  • + 1
 @elmo9039: I have looked at them I have just never given them a try. Thanks for the reply.
  • + 7
 I ride an XC hardtail that’s been converted more to trail duty, but i’m running ESI foam grips. I think they make a 33 mm “super chunky” or something. If you crash they aren’t the most durable, but they are the comfiest grips I’ve ever used.
  • + 1
 Red Monkey silicon lock-ons at 35mm o.d.
  • + 2
 @aks2017: I had ESI grips... for about 10 runs. Durable they are not. Now running Ergon GA2's. Not quite as comfy but better than most other grips.
  • + 1
 @MikeyMierk: Thanks for the info,will check them out.Currently on Northshore but still too small.Read somewhere dat Sensus would bring out some fat grips but last time i checked still nothing.Hope this will help to reduce some armpump.
  • + 3
 ESI Extra Chunky
  • + 1
 Primo Chad Degroot
  • - 1
 @pakleni Not what Trump said
  • + 2
 Chromag Squarewave XL and huge and very comfortable
  • + 1
 Chromag squarewave XL are great.
  • + 1
 @properp: i like the large diameter eastons too. that is what I am currently using. think they are 32mm with directional flanges for grip on the underside.
  • + 1
 DMR Death Grips. ODI Rogue. ESI Extra Chunky.
  • + 1
 @LuisCR: Yeah everyone was going on about how thinner grips are better. Tried Renthal (non-lockon) grips this year, feels way too cramped for me. After the recent introduction of those GA2 Fat grips, I think I'm going for these now. I'd appreciate the better distributed load.
  • + 1
 @ceecee: Alas not available in the Great White North (excluding mail order).
  • + 1
 If you want a cost effective grip I use specialised XL. ~33mm DIA. They are $35 here in NZ so probably US$25. Single lock on, never had any issues with them.
  • + 1
 @74NZ: I wanted to try that ones. My lbs has Enduro model in xl thickness.
  • + 1
 +1 for Wolftooth Fat Paws, thoughI also like ESI Chunky
  • + 1
 Any 33mm grip, I use Rogue's myself
  • + 2
 Only a single lock on each grip and an 18 gram per pair penalty compared to old model? This Gwin kid must not ride very fast.
  • + 3
 "Besides looking like an idiot for awhile..." jfc. how vain can we get with our gear?
  • + 1
 quite to incredibly... apparently
  • + 4
 I'm waiting for the Sensus Kyle Strait Meat Paws
  • + 3
 Oury grips ftw. Just wish I could figure out what the hologram is a picture of...
  • + 1
 Ugliest sticker there ever was - it's a grip on a bar. They had that sticker for decades. They have a new one now. Oury sure are cushy.
  • + 1
 @neimbc: Yeah, I see the grip on the bar, but in the background it looks like the Whitehouse, and other times it looks like a bridge. But yes, ugliest sticker, but still a hologram!
  • + 2
 I have these grips and they are so much better than my other smaller ODI grips. It's definitely the extra 2.5mm. Sounds crazy but it's night and day.
  • + 1
 The whole idea of larger circumference grips seems like the bike would be more maneuverable with the leverage, and comfort.
  • + 1
 @Kramz: I'm 6' 3 and ride a bike that fits me. It's nice that people are making grips for people with big hands, finally.
  • + 1
 @pistol2ne: Oury was making thick grips in 1988 at least, maybe earlier. That's what we all rode back in the day
  • + 5
 'Murica
  • + 2
 @mikelevy In future reviews please fall off, dump them in mud, and see how they perform. As a british rider this is very important to me!
  • + 1
 For sure, also, stop once in a while in the snow to throw a snowball and see if you can still hold the grip. Not a regular requirement in the U.K. but it would be a help to me in 2022 when it snows and I ride again.
  • + 3
 My girlfriend wishes i had an extra 2.5mm Frown
  • + 2
 the original ones were cool but only lasted like three weeks before the fins started to remove themselves...
  • + 3
 I need the purple ones so I can feel like Mace Windu when I'm on my bike.
  • + 1
 All you need to do to feel like Mace Windu is make ridiculous wooshing/whirring noises while filming
  • + 4
 $35?! Get a grip!!
  • + 8
 retail is for suckers.
  • + 0
 Gwin's gotta get paid, insurance for his GT3 isn't cheap!
  • + 2
 @charmingbob: traded it for a mclaren i believe.
  • + 4
 @mm732: Keep Gwin in McLarens. Buy these grips.
  • + 1
 @PinkyScar: Soon he'll be in a Koenigsegg or possibly a Bugatti if I have anything to do with it.
  • + 2
 Vans Cult lock on grips best grips ever!
  • + 1
 Damnit you guys stole the best pun from us! Still coming to grips with losing the padding of puns in the comments...
  • + 1
 The AG-2 grip is a noticeable improvement from just grabbing the handlebar itself.... hence the high price people.
  • + 2
 Got peaty grips 10 years ago.now on my sons bike.btw paid £12
  • + 1
 Eagle for you drivetrain and now eagle for your grip


ok skip! I used shimano :v
  • + 1
 I think i have run almost every odi grip they make over the years but afterbi ran revgrips i never looked back.
  • + 1
 Sounds like a big improvementtup
  • + 1
 A review on grips.. how gripping...
  • + 1
 Rather ride with dicks in my hands then that ugly ass grip.
  • + 1
 I feel like I’m the only guy on the planet that likes the AG-1’s.
  • + 1
 does it really work without any new standard?
  • + 1
 Grip or throttle? Aaaaaand FIGHT!
  • + 1
 grip shift for life
  • + 2
 @adrennan: X-ray 8 speed 4 lyfe
  • + 1
 Never realized grips were complex enough to warrant a full page review!
  • + 1
 Two grips one handle.
  • + 1
 WAY over PRICED!
  • + 0
 Keep hawkin’ them producrs AG. That McLaren won’t pay for itself.
  • + 1
 Looking at how Mclaren's been doing recently in F1, they need all the help they can get
  • + 0
 Slow news day = grip and stem reviews...
  • + 1
 Ribbed for her pleasure
  • + 0
 DEATH GRIP job done , awesome at half the price
  • - 1
 ODI clamps gouged my carbon bars. wish they would spend the money to smooth the corners of the clamps. cheapp
  • + 0
 Then stop buying ocean fill bars.
  • + 1
 Or you file the edges yourself. Its not that hard.
  • + 0
 It's ugly.
  • + 0
 So you look at your grips all the time when you ride?
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