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'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.
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.Pinkbike's Take
|Once 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