Renthal Traction Lock-On Grips - Review

Jul 12, 2016
by Olly Forster  
Renthal Traction grips
Renthal have four compounds to choose from. From left to right: Medium, Soft, Kevlar and Ultra Tacky.


From the iconic moto 'half-waffle' to the long-standing 'mushroom' pattern from BMX, the humble grip has seen more twists, turns and indeed, U-turns in its history than most parts on our bikes. But taking the lessons learned from past designs and innovating one of the most important contact points on our bikes, specifically for a mountain bike, is exactly what Renthal have set out to achieve with the new 'Traction' grips. Built around their existing twin clamp lock-on design, these new grips have been engineered to help riders who regularly find themselves in adverse conditions or who simply want more grip for when you're hanging on for dear life...

Renthal Traction Grip Details:
• Increases 'mechanical' grip
• Directional grip pattern
• Twin clamp lock-on design
• Available in four compounds
• Left and right side specifc
• Width: 29-31mm, length: 133mm
• MSRP: Soft & Medium $29.95 USD / £21.95 GBP
• MSRP: Kevlar & Ultra Tacky $32.95 / £24.95 GBP
renthal.com

Renthal Traction grips
Ensuring grip alignment is critical - thankfully, the Traction grips point you in the right direction.


Renthal's existing lock-on grips have been around for a while now and the myriad of compounds on offer has no doubt helped their popularity. Those grips rely on a rather basic pattern, while the Traction grips use a more advanced design. With the words 'top' and 'forward' accompanied by some useful arrows, setting up the Traction grips is a cinch, just make sure you can see them as they are harder to spot on the Kevlar option. The reason for this positioning is that the grip pattern alternates around its circumference to more effectively interact with each part of your hand.


Renthal Traction grips
Not only is the pattern directional, they are left and right side specific.
Renthal Traction grips
Forward facing ramps on the underside help boost grip.


Wrapping your hand around the new Traction grips, your finger tips are immediately greeted by a series of five forward facing ramped ridges. Those ridges are designed to increase grip when you are pulling back on the handlebars, and because they are forward facing, the ramps lay flat when cruising keeping things nice and comfortable. The rearward facing portion of the grips contains six angled grooves for your palm. These have been designed to boost grip when braking and descending, which according to Renthal, is concentrated through the palm. Between these two portions reside two sections that are all but absent of significant features bar some minor indentations in the pattern - this is where the base of your fingers and thumb joint sit.


Renthal Traction grips
The Ultra Tacky compound was a firm favourite throughout testing.


Pinkbike's Take
bigquotesOnce aligned and tightened up on your bars, which takes just a few minutes, and running your fingers across the various 'zones', the Traction Grips really do feel quite unlike anything else out there. On the trail and in an attack position, everything starts to make a lot more sense. That's because your hands are exactly where Renthal's engineers planned them to be, engaging with the various contact points across their circumference. Exerting maximum body English on technical terrain and yanking on the bars, the Traction Grips dish out a noticeable difference especially when jumping between these and a pair of standard 'round' grips.

Another feature which I really liked is that they can be easily purged of mud if your bars hit the ground and get covered in slippery muck. Thanks to their unique pattern, which is essentially a series of horizontal ridges, you can easily remove any mud by simply pushing outwards with your hand. A standard waffle pattern, which similarly dishes out lots of extra grip, is far harder to purge thanks to all the right-angles which need a different and more timely approach to clear. The level of comfort was also another surprising highlight of this new design, especially considering the aggressive pattern. All in all, Renthal have done their homework with this new grip pattern and combined with the compounds on offer, are well worth a try, especially if you struggle in adverse conditions or just want more grip.
- Olly Forster




MENTIONS: @renthalcycling



112 Comments

  • 296 3
 I knew I shouldn't have cut the ends of my handlebar to fit those WTB Padlocks.
  • 4 0
 Whenever I see those grips I think they are an April Fools story that just gained a life of its own.
  • 62 1
 Ribbed for your pleasure
  • 16 5
 Ewwww
  • 2 0
 just like the raceface love handle...
  • 4 1
 @OliverSwinnock: nice waynes world drop
  • 4 0
 just as well they can be easily "purged of mud" then i suppose
  • 53 0
 'Forward facing ramps on the underside help boost grip.'

A grip with boost...when will the madness stop! Wink
  • 6 0
 will never stop never ever
  • 4 0
 148mm seems narrow for a grip...
  • 52 4
 My mate was having a proper whinge the other day when he said his hands kept slipping off his bars. I told him to get a grip.
  • 17 4
 Yeah, he does tend to waffle on doesn't he...
  • 6 0
 Well...good thing he was only on a Renthal bike. When he gets home he knows what grips not to buy.
  • 17 1
 I've struggled with the standard Renthal lock ons in the past with the outer collar hurting the outside of my hand as it's quite heavily raised from the grip surface. Can the testers say whether these are any different?
  • 7 0
 @Robarnold I feel exactly the same way. I hang off the ends of my grips out of habit, and that is the only reason I cannot warrant spending out on dula-lock grips.. no matter how much I want them.

Just invested in some Deathgrips, time will tell I guess.
  • 7 0
 @steviestokes: i been on the death grips for a while now and teally like em. Im on the thicker size and in the softer compound. Everything is in where i want it grip wise and they dont move as i think inside of the grip they are a little smaller diameter at the ends. You do have to smack em on a bit to get flush with the end of the bar inside but with no lock on the outside they're comfy and dont shift/twist. Dont usually go for signature stuff but it is brendog!! ;-)
  • 8 0
 I just nought a pair of deathgrips. Feel a bit funny at first but I really wanted them because your hand can go right to the end, and also the end is rubber all around which won't scratch my car when I prop the bike against it. I've never bought a signature product before in my life but it's Brendog. He probably makes 25p off each pair which I'm happy to pay for the entertainment he provides.
  • 8 0
 It'd also be nice if the reviewer could state what the different densities feel like.
  • 3 0
 I liked the Renthal grips but the outer lock drove me crackers rubbing on my hand. I've been running the thin/soft Death Grips for about 3 months, capped to bits with em.
  • 6 1
 Now that I've tried RaceFace Half Nelson, I won't be going back to a grip with outer lock on collars.
  • 3 0
 Tell a lie. I bought the TOMAC Attack grips in 1991!
  • 3 0
 @slowrider73: Yeah, Brendog sold it for me haha. Normally would choose black.... but why not choose camo, when there is camo to be chosen?! haha
  • 3 0
 I do the same thing. I ride lizard skins northshores. They work just fine, lock rings are smooth with the grip
  • 1 0
 @LemonadeMoney: im likn santa cruz $18ish option, about the same thing. Half lock
  • 5 1
 ESI silicon grips man, you'll never go back to a standard rubber grip. Always soft, always tacky, no hard parts, never slip or rotate. Best $13 I ever spent.
  • 1 1
 @derekfloyd: Ever tried the DSP Foam?.... o_O Best grip known to man... shame about the $$$$
  • 1 0
 same issue with renthal, though these new ones look good. Have been really happy with the ODI elite pro, fwiw, has texture enough to throttle a bit and is perfect for keeping your hands on the end of the bar as it only uses an inboard lockring
  • 2 4
 @bjam: Grip on the ESIs is terrible compared to just about anything, if your riding hard that is. I think they are more of an XC grip.
  • 2 0
 @bjam: Preach it man...those that haven't (or won't) try them simply don't know.
  • 2 0
 @jaame: those were awesome, ODI mushroom grips.
  • 3 1
 i love the sensus Disisdaboss grips...
  • 3 0
 ESI's are great if you add bar end plugs (Hope aluminum...) for protection. The only time my ESI's suck is when they get wet and I don't my have gloves on.
  • 2 0
 @Jamesb15uk: I completely disagree - if you "think" you obviously haven't tried them. I've been running them on my DH bike for the last 2 seasons. 2 full summers in Whistler and they are still mint and in my opinion they do a great job of absorbing break bump chatter. All preference I suppose. Most people are hesitant to try them, but I'll never put anything else on my bikes.
  • 2 0
 @RollinFoSho: Agree with you. When the rain pour and the mud splashes that's gonna cost you alot of troubles having a silicone grips.
  • 3 0
 I wear my gloves 99% of the time so it really hasn't been an issue and the grip is fantastic. There has been a time or two with no gloves + the ESI's got a little wet and muddy = SCARY slippery!
  • 1 0
 @RollinFoSho: Il be honest, I ride GloveLESS 99% of the time... and if you were after a foamy that was not only good in the wet.. but, like.. you don't even know its raining?... then Those Lizard Skin DSP's are phenomenal!! don't know what they have laced into the surface of the foam.. but it really is amazing stuff.
  • 2 0
 @RollinFoSho: Yup, been there. Sooo scary. After 1 run (about 5 KM) my arms and fingers crammed because i hold my grips as hard as i could just to fight for my life.
  • 11 0
 Is this where I go to express my outrage for the price and express my unsolicited preference for another brand?
  • 13 3
 "Exerting maximum body English" Pinkbike, exerting maximum Engrish carnage.
  • 1 0
 Hear hear,body english,somebody has been watching too many ama races.ha
  • 1 0
 @unleash: eli tomac!!!!!
  • 1 0
 @takeiteasyridehard: definitely takes after his old man.
  • 13 5
 Forced orientation isnt so rad.. May work like hell in position but it unfortunately doesnt enable us to turn the grips 180 degrees when there s significant wear
  • 2 2
 Not forced
  • 6 0
 @RedBurn: I'm curious how that specified rotation works with different brake lever angles
  • 2 0
 @kleinblake: me too !!!
  • 3 0
 It's like how Nike put L and R on symmetrical socks to make you wear through the toe twice as quickly.
  • 1 0
 Except it's not. Spin em if you're too cheap to replace them. Simple.
  • 8 1
 Outside lock rings. Not anymore thankyou. I just tollerated them until I tried the Race Face half nelsons. Now I know how uncomfortable that outside ring really was.
  • 8 0
 "Boost" grip - oh for goodness sake
  • 4 0
 Slightly off topic.
I for one don't get how people can ride/race without gloves. ..I see it often. ..when I ride, my hands get all schweaty super quick if it's hot out to point I can't get a firm grip. How does one race gloveless?

And then there's the buff factor. ..
  • 3 1
 tacky stuff makes this not a problem. cheap grips.. yes, it can slip when sweaty. Tacky or foamy.. never been an issue

that said i ride with gloves too but for another reason: falls, bushes, etc. It protects my hands well well.
  • 2 3
 @bankz: I use some pretty good grips... never skimp on em... it must be me... maybe I'm part Mexican
  • 4 0
 @PedalShopLLC I really like riding without gloves. Believe it or not - up to a point, the grips feel tackier to me, the sweat sort of gums them up - to a point. When I'm sweating like crazy- forget it. In the end I wear gloves most of the time due to falls. Nothing worse than shredding your palm and thinking "I wish I had gloves on".
  • 1 0
 @DARKSTAR63: what grips are you running that get tackier when sweaty?
It takes me about 10 minutes with any grip I've tried (rogue, sensus, easton, a couple flavors of ergon, love handles, pro koryak, ruffian... a few others too long ago to remember) before they're basically zero friction. Even with gloves... the palms get saturated with sweat after a while, I just about have to carry a change of gloves if I'm going to be riding for more than 2 hours.
  • 1 0
 @Weens: odi ruffian. When broken in they readily do this. New, I would say not. I just rode gloveless yesterday. Tacky af. Gloveless feels wonderful, but terrible for your hands.
  • 2 0
 @Weens: I like the Renthal Kevlar grips, pretty tacky. Tried those yet?
  • 1 0
 @SteveDekker: Haven't tried them yet, I saw that these come in a kevlar version. Probably will give them a try.
  • 1 0
 @DARKSTAR63: just don't cRaSh!
  • 2 0
 @properp: LOL... easy for you to say ---- actually, I crashed on my last ride --- really weird crash too.. I was doing a short, steep climb after I just came off a short and steep descent, there was a slight turn to my climb, I rolled a rock and I guess i spun out cause the rock flipped backwards (guessing), next thing I know, I'm on my back, slamming down (luckily) on my back-pack. if I wasn't wearing a back-pack, that would have hurt, a lot... I don't have the crash on video but, this is the area where I was riding.

www.pinkbike.com/video/449866

after I crashed, I started singing to my local trail --- www.youtube.com/watch?v=tX6ggRByE8g
  • 2 0
 @PedalShopLLC: Crashing always sucks. It is natures way of teaching you your limitations. I hope on your way home you used the heater in your truck and decided that you don't give a huck.
  • 7 4
 @EeehhZink If it's not patented, would Sensus consider offering a similiar model? Hell, even if it is patented, if it doesn't ruin profit margins TOO badly, I sure would love to see it!

This is alluring, but it just feels wrong not to ride Sensus grips!!
  • 4 0
 Same here. Riding them since two seasons, never looked back! Wink
  • 2 0
 So if I undertand correctly, you like those grips. You would even be interested in buying them, but only if they were branded Sensus? I honestly don't get it, seems a little childish no? Why not encourage the brand that actually designed, produced and marketed them first? I'm sorry, got nothing against you personally but this kind of blind fanboyism grinds my gears.
  • 2 0
 Sensus is rider owned and operated. That's all. I love Renthal too, I just like Sensus more.
  • 2 0
 @therealtylerdurden: What do you find wrong with the Disisdaboss grips? Ever since getting some on my Capra I won't ride anything else on my personal bikes (except Swayze's on my DJ - though may try some on my DH bike too).
  • 1 0
 Nothing to be honest, this is just really fucking intriguing!
  • 2 0
 I have to say, Renthal's super tacky compound is amazing. The compound is so grippy and tacky that I physically don't have to hold on to the handlebar as hard to still have the same amount of grip. I ride mostly gloveless so it's well appreciated.

Not sure how I feel about this ribbing and riding gloveless though...

Renthal, when are you guys coming out with a one sided lock on grip? My palms are aching!
  • 1 0
 After trying lock-ons from at least 5 manufacturers and probably 10different grip styles on my different bike i've come to the conclusion that a regular 'ol ODI longneck bmx grip with the flange cut off is my grip of choice for my riding style. Renthal kevlar on all my moto bikes though.
  • 2 0
 try renthal atv kevlar for dh, you will be amazed
  • 1 0
 I cut my middle finger tip off at the joint while at work a few weeks ago. May be looking at these once I'm able to ride again since I'll need a little extra help holding onto the bar. These may be the ticket as long as they're thin enough.
  • 1 0
 How can you take a company seriously when they do all this work designing a grip yet still think its acceptable to run an outer lock on collar? I change my grips all the time and the old renthal Kevlar grips were by far the worst grips I've ever owned and there's no chance I'm making that mistake again.
  • 1 1
 I bought a pair of their original 'super-tacky'(i.e. the ones that were supposed to offer the best grip) grips a couple years ago, and unfortunately they were the only grips in recent memory that actually allowed my right hand to shoot forward off the grip while braking over some chatter.
Never in all my years have I had ANY such problems with Renthal grips on MX bikes, road race bikes, other MTBs..Don't know what happened in this case, but I of course cut 'em off(they were glue-ons) and moved on to another brand.
  • 2 0
 Yes, that was definitely the grips fault....Whats that saying about bad workmen?

Also Renthal don't make the super tacky grip in non-lock on. So not sure whats going on there...
  • 2 0
 Here's the real solution:

Renthal (or Oury) ATV grips, hairspray and some moto safety wire. Cheaper softer, tackier and the grips are like $10 when you need to replace.
  • 1 0
 Hopefully they're better than the Kevlar lock one I had before. I was disappointed with them, they were no more comfy or hard wearing than my usual Ruffians and only came in an ugly colour. Love their bars though.
  • 8 5
 This review was a handful
  • 5 25
flag NormanPerez (Jul 12, 2016 at 0:46) (Below Threshold)
 Got to HAND it to Renthal. They might have a HOLD on the GRIP market with this new design.
  • 19 2
 @NormanPerez: HOW many TIMES do you WANT to point OUT that YOU'RE trying to BE punny
  • 2 2
 It was quite gripping; they set the bar high.
  • 1 6
flag NormanPerez (Jul 12, 2016 at 8:45) (Below Threshold)
 @Waldon83: In truth. I wanted to see how many times I'd get Negproped.
  • 3 0
 In my old moto days we just wired them down. Cheap, effective.
  • 3 1
 Because installing both grips facing the same way was never done before.....
  • 3 0
 WARNING: warranty on your bike is void if installed backwards
  • 4 1
 I just cant let it go
  • 2 1
 So it's a "boost grip" and it won't fit on my handlebar, which is just 31,8mm?
  • 2 0
 Still has an outer lock. No thanks. Inner lock only please!
  • 2 0
 ^^^This right here^^^
  • 1 0
 Any idea how to actually buy these? I need new grips, might as well try these
  • 1 0
 I installed these on my HD3: best grips ever. Improved the quality of my riding significantly!
  • 1 0
 Will spare grip cartridges ever be available?
  • 1 0
 I need to have one of these.
  • 6 0
 Id get 2
  • 1 0
 Does anyone know, do they feel thin...or thick??
  • 2 1
 If Gwin doesn't ride them, than I don't want them.
  • 1 0
 Renthal makes good stuff.
  • 2 1
 Raceface Half Nelson for the win!!!!
  • 1 0
 did i read "boost grip"?

lol
  • 1 0
 oddly when I go their website I don't see any grips that look like those
  • 1 0
 ourys for life
  • 1 0
 Body english indeed!
  • 1 0
 fancy
  • 1 3
 hopefully they throw in some colors soon!
  • 3 6
 So, I use $4, plain black lock on grips from China that I buy on eBay.

They are the cows teets
  • 1 0
 How often do you ride in Aus when it is REALLY wet?
  • 1 0
 @siward: Not often, but when I have, my cheap lockons do their job
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