A grip is a grip is a grip?
Not if ODI
and Troy Lee Designs
have anything to say about it. Inside we take a closer look at the result of ODI and TLD collaborating on grip design.Did our paws agree with the unique Signature grips? Read on to find out,
ODI, the company that was the first to liberate us from using wire and zip-ties to prevent the dreaded throttle grip effect, has conspired with the crew at Troy Lee Designs to bring us these new Signature grips. While their Ruffian and Rogue models are long standing favorites with just about every rider, the ODI/TLD Signature grips are a departure from the current norm. I'd stop short of calling this a grip paradigm shift, but they are pretty cool nonetheless.
The diameter of the Signature grips is thin, but at the same time the pattern is more aggressive than most other options. The reverse waffle design uses ramped leading edges that are squared off at the opposite end, thereby creating a sort of grooved scaly look. ODI says that those grooves are there to clear mud and water. The single-ply compound used is not nearly as soft as found on the much larger diameter Rouge grip, no doubt in an effort to prolong the thin Signature's lifespan. A ramped low flange at the outer end of the grip is meant to keep the outside edge of the rider's palm from chafing on the Lock-On collar, and the larger flange at the inboard end is still low enough that it shouldn't interfere with shifting duties. There are some fitting marks etched on the inboard collar that are meant to be used to line up the grips to your liking during installation, which is clever, but I'm not sure what one is supposed to reference them to given that most bars have no markings in the corresponding places. ODI's ingenious Snap Cap bar plugs, included in the packaging, have been designed to snap directly into the Lock Jaw Clamps which locks the plug into place when tightened onto the bars. No tools are required (besides the hex key need to install the grips) and unlike a typical bar plug, it doesn't matter what the internal diameter of your chosen handlebar is because they snap into the collar instead.
The ODI Troy Lee Signature uses a unique pattern, stubby flanges at both ends, and features markings etched into the inboard collar to help installation
ODI TLD grip features:
- Overmolded flange on outside end keeps hand from contacting clamp
- Etched inside clamp shows grip angle for easier installation
- Undercut grip surface to give slim comfortable feel with great traction
- Grooved channels prevent mud and water buildup
ODI TLD grip details:
- Thickness: 29.7 mm
- Length: 117 mm (grip surface), 131 mm (incl. clamps)
- Weight: 58 grams (per grip, incl. clamps, bar plugs, and hardware)
- Available in red w/ black clamps, black w/ graphite clamps, yellow w/ neon clamps, and white w/ red clamps
- MSRP $28.95 USD
The ODI Troy Lee Signature grips use a hard compound and an aggressive design - those who don't wear gloves should beware
There was a time when ODI's Lock-On grips were the only real option when you wanted to guarantee yourself no throttle grip, but now the market is flooded with various options, many that use only a single clamp on the inboard end to hold them in place. I've gone this route in the past because I've found that the outside of my palm chafes on ODI's outer clamp, but the low ramped flange on the ODI Troy Lee grips do a great job of eliminating this issue. The opposite flange on the inboard side seemed to be completely useless to me, but at the same time it isn't large enough to obstruct shifting in any way. Grip feel is very positive. There are no two ways about it, the ODI Troy Lee grips offer an incredible amount of traction between your gloved palm and the grip surface. Enough in fact, that I would never recommend these grips to any glove-less riders out there. The aggressive reverse waffle cut uses ramped leading edges combined with square trailing edges to provide a very positive feel in your hands. Now, I can't remember ever slipping a grip in the past, even in the nastiest of conditions, but it certainly feels as if there is more purchase available from these unique grips and that can't be a bad thing. They are on the thin side, measuring just 29.7 mm across with the digital calipers (RaceFace Strafe Lock-On grips come in at 33 mm, the very thin Senus non-locking at 27 mm), so those with bigger paws may want to look elsewhere. I wear a medium glove and have always preferred a thinner feel so I was right at home using the ODI/TLD grips. Wear rate looks to be impressive, with the grips pictured having well over one hundred rides on them and still looking great. It's also worth mentioning that no play developed between the aluminum clamping collars and plastic grip barrel, something that I've experienced with many other Lock-On options. Colored grips don't make a lot of sense to me, but both the red version shown here and the bright yellow versions on my bike clean up quick and look like new without too much fuss.
The ODI Troy Lee grips are great, but just like anything else, they won't be everyone's cup of tea. As mentioned above the grip pattern works well, but is very abrasive. If you don't wear gloves, these are not for you. It may sound completely silly, but they do not come with concise mounting instructions that tell you which orientation to put them on. This normally wouldn't be an issue, but running the grips in reverse produces a feeling that I would liken to giving a cactus a firm squeeze - not good. Do yourself a favor and install them with the logos facing forward. Besides those quibbles, ODI and Troy Lee Designs have put together a grip that is actually quite different from most other offerings. If you're looking for a thin, but aggressive grips, these may be just the ticket.
Visit the ODI website
to see their entire range of products.What do you make of the new ODI/TLD grips? Have you tried them or do you have a grip that you swear by? Put your thoughts down below.