Race Face has updated the Chester MTB grip with a softer, tackier rubber compound and a new shape said to enhance comfort and control on the trail. It employs a 20A rubber compound, as measured on the Shore A hardness scale. The lower the number, the softer the rubber. That's pretty damn soft, given that some of the softest, tackiest downhill tires have a Shore A hardness of around 40A.
It is no long the BMX-inspired push-on affair of old, a design that was popular amongst riders who valued the added damping. Now, the Chester has a plastic sleeve running underneath the rubber, with a single lock clamp at the inboard edge. However, not seen is the fact that the sleeve is perforated along its surface. Race Face say that has reduced the hard contact area to the bar by 29% (versus a continuous core), allowing them to increase the average thickness of the rubber underneath the rider's palm.
Surface texture is new, too. The region that interfaces the rider's palm is ribbed, said to help wick away moisture. Then, where the finger tips wrap, the ridges are deeper to give a better purchase. The outboard edge is much thicker, with taller ribbing at the inboard edge increasing effective diameter where the rider's thumb wraps.
The Race Face Chester
has an overall length of 136mm. Prospective customers have the choice of a 31mm or 34mm diameter option, and the choice of 10 clamp colors. Choose from black, blue, purple, turquoise, kashmoney, forest green, orange, silver, red or gum with a black clamp.
All have an MSRP of $27 USD / $32 CAD.