Review: DMR Deathgrip - Ribs & Waffles to Make Your Hands Happy

Nov 20, 2018
by Mike Kazimer  
DMR Deathgrip review

Developed in collaboration with Brendan Fairclough, the Deathgrip has been in DMR's catalog for a couple of years, but the number of different versions continues to increase. All of the models have the same basic grip design, with three-quarters of the surface covered with a knurled pattern with a waffle print on the underside. The inner quarter of the grip has a ribbed pattern for extra thumb and forefinger comfort.

There are flanged or flangeless options, along with three different rubber compounds – hard, soft, or 'Race Day', which uses a super soft, super tacky rubber. There's also a veritable rainbow of color choices, everything from fluorescent yellow to snow camo. The grips use a single clamp lock-on design, with a tapered internal plastic core for additional security against slippage. MSRP: $24.95 USD.
Deathgrip Details
• Single clamp lock-on, tapered inner core
• 134mm length
• Soft or hard rubber compound
• 29.8 (thin) or 31.3mm (thick) diameters available
• Multiple color options
• Weight: 100 grams
• MSRP: $24.95 USD
www.dmrbikes.com


DMR Deathgrip review

DMR Deathgrip review
The grips are secured in place with a 3mm Allen bolt.
DMR Deathgrip review
The ribbed portion adds an extra level of comfort.


Installation

Installing a set of lock-on grips isn't exactly rocket science, but the Deathgrips do require one additional step that you might not be used to – they need a few taps from a hammer, or any blunt object, to slide them all the way onto the handlebar due to the tapered core. Skip this step and there's a good chance you'll have inadvertently increased the width of your bars by a couple centimeters on each side. Once they're in place it's still possible to twist them to get them exactly where you want, but it takes a little extra effort compared to lock-ons without a tapered core.


Performance

My hands are permanently covered in callouses from all of the hours of riding I put in, but that doesn't mean I'm fine wrapping them around any old grip. I prefer thin over thick, and soft over hard, and I don't really see the need of an inner flange, which are the exact options I picked when selecting my set of Deathgrips: thin, soft, and flangeless.

The pattern is like a mash-up of all my favorite grips over the years, and it works extremely well. It's the inner ribbed portion that really puts the Deathgrips on top when it comes to comfort, especially if you're spending a lot of time on rough descents. I've had grips rub the inside of my thumb raw, but there wasn't even a hint of that happening with these. They're nice and comfy with or without gloves, and there's plenty of traction even on days when it's pouring rain. I've ridden with them in the wettest conditions imaginable and never had any trouble with my hands slipping or sliding out of place. The grips themselves never budged an inch either, but that's not really too surprising – I can't think of the last time I had a set of lock-ons move on me.




Pinkbike's Take
bigquotesThe Deathgrips have become my new favorites thanks to the way that they blend comfort and traction. They have that 'just right' feel right out of the package, and they just get more and more comfortable as time goes on. Two happy thumbs up.  Mike Kazimer







114 Comments

  • + 91
 Seriously disappointed by the lack of possible Pinkbike Innuendos on this review....these soft thin ribbed rubbers will help prevent any rawness under prolonged efforts...I mean COME ON!!
  • + 18
 Because NO rubber prevents rawness under prolonged efforts. Only lube does that. Have you ever lubed up your handle grip?
  • - 5
flag Bikeordie1 (Nov 20, 2018 at 4:03) (Below Threshold)
 They're too preoccupied coming up with click bait titles to think about innuendo!
  • + 11
 @Boardlife69: gonna try that before tomorrow’s ride. I will let you know how I get on.
  • - 4
flag bigtim (Nov 20, 2018 at 4:10) (Below Threshold)
 It's hard to COME ON when you've been rubbed raw,
  • + 44
 Get ready for some hard hammering as these babies do not come easily on to your handlebar. It is worth the effort however as they can take a sustained pounding on the rowdiest trails, be it sloppy wet or painfully dry. They may be only 134 mm long, but their soft ribbed surface and wide comfortable flange give you the confidence to ride all day without hand fatigue, rawness or premature evacuation.
  • - 3
 @chillescarpe something has gone desperately wrong.....PC brigade has killed humour in the young, fortunately I'm an old git
  • + 2
 @Travel66: Adding this rubber on to your bar if not put on properly will add 2cm.....there is too much!
  • + 3
 @Konyp: Prevents premature evacuation??? I'll take two.
  • - 2
 serious question: I know the phrase was “ribbed... for her pleasure.” But was this actually true for anyone? Girls I dated were all mystified by the suggestion that these “ribs” would somehow be pleasurable...
  • + 11
 I only ride rawdog - no grips at all.
  • + 1
 Come on what?
  • + 4
 do they come in blue waffle?
  • - 3
 @dtax: They come in every waffle to make them cream filled.
  • + 0
 @sevensixtwo: I think in this case it's referred to as 'bareback' .
  • + 1
 @dtax: no, blue waffle is when you need to change them.
  • - 6
flag chasejj (Nov 20, 2018 at 21:50) (Below Threshold)
 Grips should be how Kazimer likes his cocks.
Long, Fat and Black. :-)
  • + 1
 @powderturns: turn them inside out and have them ribbed for your pleasure...
  • + 45
 A flange is great for flipping your bike upside down, as it doesn't rest on brake lever clamps!
  • + 11
 Waaaaah!?!? Mind blown! Seriously I'd never thought of that before.
  • + 10
 Lots of flange is great
  • + 2
 Yeah that’s why I go flange. Best grips I’ve ever used to!
  • + 1
 What would we do without flanges?
  • + 12
 @Boardlife69: We wouldn't have delicious fruit filled sponge desserts. Oh... wait... that's 'flans' I'm thinking of.
  • + 2
 Good point about protecting the levers. I've recently cut the flanges off mine with scissors. Still prefer them without though.
  • + 2
 Yep Sensus Swayze.
  • + 16
 Seems a bit late for a review of these grips. I've been running them for 3 seasons now.
  • + 3
 I’ve been running mine a while now (soft/thick/flangeless) and am really impressed with them. I used to use Ergon grips which were supposed to reduce hand pain, but didn’t for me. The Deathgrips are cool, have also stopped my hands hurting and we’re £10 cheaper.
  • + 1
 Went from Ergon to these as well. Liked them for a while but was getting some numbness in thumb and trigger finger. Picked up some sqlab tech&trail grips and resolved issue but don't totally love them. Beware of these though huge pain in the dick to put on and once they're on they aren't ever going anywhere without major damage to your bars. Really pissed me off since I just put them on a brand new set of carbon renthals.
  • + 15
 @dro-cfr: You are getting huge pain in the dick from deathgrip? Then you cannot get off without damaging your bar?
  • + 0
 @dro-cfr: Never had a problem with these on renthals
  • + 0
 @dro-cfr: I get mine off with an adjustable spanner and hammer, open the adjustable spanner to the width of the handle bar by the grip and then rest it next to the grip clamp and give the spanner a few gentle taps( after you have loosened the clamp bolt of course) at the head of the spanner and hey presto they will come off with a gentle tug.
  • + 2
 is the thickness in line with ODI Rogue? I don't care for the thin grips.
  • + 1
 @spenceratx: Yes, I run Rogues on my hardtail. Will likely swap to Deathgrips when they wear out though.
  • + 1
 Can see how post could be read wrong. Trouble is with the Sqlab grips I mentioned not deathgrip. Those go on and off with zero issue @zyoungson:
  • + 1
 Absolutely maybe too much bike love. No problem is with the Sqlab grips @harrybrottman:
  • + 0
 @tomsk123: gentle tug, yeah.
  • + 2
 The Hard 'Kevlar' ones are the bomb too! I had 2x pairs of soft (Woodland camp & Blue) and the latter of the two lasted me just 2 weeks riding in the Alps on a trip, so when I got back I tried the Hard compound.
Amazingly comfy WITHOUT Gloves (preference) once you've bedded them in for a few rides, and they last about 4x longer! Don't be put off by the Hard statement, they supple up nice and are just as comfortable as the soft with added longevity!!
  • + 3
 4x longer? That would be 8 weeks. That's still very fast for a grip to wear down.
  • + 0
 @pyromaniac: how very pedantic.
  • + 1
 @steviestokes: Thanks Smile

ODI Rogue last years for me.
  • + 1
 @pyromaniac: that’s fair. Riding gloveless, I hate when grips go manky. So I guess I’m a little fussier than a gloved rider
  • + 3
 Have a pair of these grips for couple of months now, become my favorites to. Wearing XL size in gloves and these grips feels spot on in hand. Nice color variety to pimp your bike.
  • + 2
 Love these grips, to date they are the best grips ive used (santa cruz palmdales a close second) the only things I would change is for them to be a little bit longer, and for them to be a little harder on the bar end bit as they do tear quite easy there.
  • + 4
 Best grips ive ever owned! Super comfy with loads of grip, bonus for non glove wearers!!
  • + 1
 Good looking grips. Tried them and liked them on a buddies bike, but refuse to buy a set for myself because of the single lock on clamp. Seen to many friends go through multiple sets because of falling. The rubber outside doesn’t slide like plastic or metal, which leads to the rubber getting stuck in the ground and the handle bar will continue to move. Ultimate leading to the handle bar ripping out from the side of the grip Frown
  • + 1
 Rode a demo bike with these on it over the weekend. Notice how far in on the grip his hand is. Very wide grips.

Your palm hardly comes close to that inner flanged area, so they rode just like a ODI Ruffian to me.

Only people who ride dirt jump style with their hands far in on the bar or guys in the 6'3" or taller range will have their palm/thumb area use that inboard section of these grips. They felt fine, but I'll still take the WTB Padloc's over every other single clamp grip.
  • + 5
 I used to ride with WTB Padloc's and loved them. The area where the bars are cut and its filled with rubber was perfect for resting the hands on while cruising. Then the bars nearly went through my leg on a normal crash. The grip end was torn off and the cut down end of the handlebar was poking through like a spear. I will not ride them again and advise others not to use the Padloc system.
  • - 1
 @Plancktonne: The bar didn't almost gore you. The handlebar and grip buried into debris and got ripped up. That same thing would happen with any other single lock grip too. It's not like after the grip rips in a viscous crash, it then comes back up off the ground and you fall back on it.

The same would have happened to a regular handlebar & any other single lock or friction grip. Go down. rip end of grip off...be faced with hollow handlebar that wants to gash/gouge/gore you.

I've watched a guy get medi-vaced from a XC race when he fell onto a slender shoot of a limb no bigger than my pinkie that punctured his lung. My point being, there are far more dangerous things on a bike than a Padloc grip and handlebar. Pedals, braker levers, seatposts, SEAT RAILS!!!

You go down and rip a jagged edge into your bike, it's not the bikes fault if you jump back on and keep on rolling. I stabbed my thigh with seat rails once when I was dumb enough to try to race it out.
RIPPED THE FOKK OUT OF MY LEG SINCE IT"S A SHARP PIERCING PIECE OF STEEL. But there it is...aimed at your FEMORAL ARTERY ALL DAY EVERY DAY>>>>>>>!!!!

Big Grin
  • + 0
 Ban seat rails. They want to slice your femoral artery and make you a eunich!
  • + 1
 @bizutch: I hear what you are saying, but this happend in 1 fall. From fine grips with no damage to being almost buried in my thigh (tearing up muscles in the process).

I also understand that can happen with other grips which leave the bar end open, only covered with rubber, which is why I now choose grips with those plastic bar plugs or similary secured against piercing.

But anyway the spear shape of the Padlock handlebar is only asking for troubles, and even tho I loved the comfort I will not go back to it.
  • + 1
 @bizutch: SADDLE RAILS! ARE THEY GENOCIDAL OR SPERMICIDAL??? Ask Pinkbike.

This review of waffles ribs Mike Levy and Tim Horton.

www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/tim-horton

Yes, the Ford Pantera existed.
  • + 1
 @Plancktonne: Thanks for telling that story. I've wondered about the possibility of that exact Padloc circumstance happening. They're on my Mach 5.5 and as much as I like the feel, it scares me to have a spear point on my bars. I fell 12 feet on to the end of a carbon bar in a crash many years ago and if the bar hadn't broken, I'm pretty certain it would have cored-out my inner thigh. The full-thigh bruise was a bad enough outcome.

Why is this @bizutch character disputing your story? Do you know each other?
  • + 1
 @tripleultrasuperboostplusplus:
Nah, I don't know him. He probably misunderstood me a bit..

And yeah I know your feeling with full-thigh bruise :-/ Even though normal bars and grips are capable of doing the same damage, it just seems like playing with fire having such a pointy end with no solid protection.
I got goosebumps seing the pointy end of the handlebar sticking out from the grip when I got back home from the hospital.
  • + 1
 @tripleultrasuperboostplusplus: not disputing him. Pointing out that every thing covering or uncovered on a bike is out to kill you so I'm not concerned about Padlocs. They are a solid plastic sleeve with a rubber coating so if the rubber on the end gets ripped off, more often than not, the plastic sleeve is still covering the bar.

He had a wicked crash that ripped that undersleeve off, so obviously it would have done it to any other brand single collar lock on grip. If it were a regular rubber grip, no lock ons, far worse. There are lots of handlebars out there (thin walled to thick) that once exposed in an easy or viscous crash, pose a danger to us.

But so do pedals, brake levers, which I've seen go through and break off, in the skin of a finger. Seat rails and so forth.

Again...not disputing him...but Padloc doesn't change any functional danger regarding handlebars or bike parts safety to me. To him, it does.
  • + 1
 @bizutch: I'm not so sure about the plastic sleeve. I will check tomorrow at home and post update and pictures.
  • + 1
 I'm on my 2nd set, flangeless this time. Not had any problems with installation, a solid tap or too and they're good. My first set of thick,soft ones lasted me a whole year before going bold here and there (3 rides/week, about 3200km in total).
I love them for the lack of an outer clamp and the ribbed part that actually improves longivity. I used to wear through normal grips with my thump where it rests.
  • + 1
 These grips are the best. Ive had 3 sets now. Flange or not makes no difference. I like the soft end but its true they break and wear fast. Meh, they arnt expensive and worth the comfort. I ride often without gloves and my home trails have a lot of close trees that Iv pinched my pinky on many times with twin locking grips.
  • + 2
 Thick soft with flanges here - didn't even realised the flange was an option! They are great grips but I can tell that someone who rode harder and more frequently than me would go through multiple sets a season.
  • + 1
 Couple errors in here. Says MSRP $23 and then right underneath is says MSRP $24.95. Which is it? It also says the reviewer prefers thick over thin and then proceeds to write he went with his preference of thin.

"I prefer thick over thin, and soft over hard, and I don't really see the need of an inner flange, which are the exact options I picked when selecting my set of Deathgrips: thin, soft, and flangeless"

Aside from that a good review. I have these exact grips - thin, soft and flange less death grips in black and they're very, very good.
  • + 1
 that's what he said
  • + 2
 @siruz: They've fixed both now.
  • + 2
 Teresa May out. #Brendog4primeminister
#monstersendingbagsofstylelooneyparty ???????? Just putting it out there ????????‍♂️
  • + 1
 I bought a set of these grips for my bike, my son likes them, they were not for me though, such a strange feel. Stuck with the good old ODI ruffian. Each to their own though as contact points are personal preference.
  • + 0
 I tried the DMR Deathgrip. The grip feels like plastic and not rubber. Thus, the grip was poor and when wet is was like butter. Also, the quality seemed to be poor. I rode with these for one day and took them off my bike forever. A better grip and more of a rubbery feel is ODI and Deity that i use.
  • + 3
 Is "snow camo" just white?

I've been riding either Oury or ESI grips for so long, I'm not sure I could make a switch.
  • + 1
 Anyone have issues with grips that don't have some sort of outer protective surface, as dual locking grips do? I prefer the feel of rubber to the end, but live/ride in a rocky locale and one crash does them in.
  • + 3
 Thick isn't thick enough, needs to be at least 33mm to match ergon fats, northshores etc.
  • + 1
 In terms of bike handling it would seem almost as though, "the thicker the better". Try to wrap your hand around anything small in diameter, it's terrible.
  • + 1
 Where I live these have a cult following. They don’t last to long but for the comfort they provide I think it’s worth it. Only other grips I’ll run are the set of Fabric Magic 50/01 grips which I love
  • + 1
 Bought a pair of these and even after banging them in with a hammer my bars were almost 2 centimetres wider. I'm not gonna cut the bars down because of that so I swapped them with another brand.
  • + 1
 Same problem here. It was way too tight to install even with the hammer.
  • + 1
 @jaakkoso: yep, I thought I was going to damage my bars. Do you have Renthal Fatbars by any chance?
  • + 1
 Even with hairspray?
  • + 1
 @makripper: yes, I've tried everything
  • + 1
 These grips are brilliant, the only reason I don't currently use them is I have cracked the plastic core of every pair I have used so far.
  • + 6
 You probably weren't fitting them properly, you're meant to bang them on with a hammer to make sure its all the way on
  • + 1
 @elliottglynn: I do bash them on properly, but they still seem to crack at the ends. (However, cracking aside, they are some of the best grips I have used.)
  • + 1
 Can confirm 10/10
would grip and rip again.
I particularly like the soft inner flange and inner ribs for pleasure and comfort.
  • + 1
 Useless until they have a seperate end cap rather than one piece because as soon as you crash or scrape them they are trashed. Pity as they feel fantastic.
  • + 3
 I have em... Best grips I have used to date.
  • + 1
 Wear way to quick these. Had a pair of DE1's and they are still going after a year. Cost more but last 10 times longer. The Deathgrips lasted 6 weeks.
  • + 1
 Yeah, I wouldn't mind large diameter grips I don't think. I feel my ODI Ruffians (which are absolutely classics, and perfect) my hands kind of wrap around them too much.
  • + 1
 Wouldn't mind flanges either, instead of ruining the paint everytime I put my bike upside down to work on it.
  • + 1
 Can anyone provide a comparison with the Deity Knuckleduster? I love those and these seem similar.
  • + 1
 or my current favorite: ODI Elite Pro Lock-On Grips. Would love to hear from some people who have tried both.
  • + 2
 Good grips but they wear smooth and go slimy pretty quick
  • + 1
 been riding them all year in the the different rubber compounds offered. best grips i have ever used.
  • + 2
 It's funny how many people I know still swear by Oury grips!
  • + 1
 if you work with your hands either for work ( not on keyboards ) or as a work out you dont get death grip at all.
  • + 2
 These are the best grips ever.
  • + 1
 "I prefer thin over thick, and soft over hard.." So many jokes here, my immature mind can't function.
  • + 2
 Rode these grips all summer and these things fuck!!
  • + 1
 Glad I got a Deathgrip for next year. Otherwise Den I would have gone Rogue and Strafed somebody's Race Face.
  • + 0
 Really sorry to here about all those calluses from riding too much...maybe we can start a go fund me for manicures and lotion for you.
  • + 1
 I get bored of grips before they tend to run bald anyway. I have these in both diameters and textures and both are great!
  • + 1
 Welcome to the club. BTW, don't be tempted by the Race Day, unless you are happy to buy a new pair every month or so.
  • + 1
 "I prefer thick over thin, and soft over hard... so I picked thin and soft."
  • + 1
 Mines thick and hard. Good grip indeed.
  • + 2
 Best grips i ever had .
  • + 2
 He said Flange! Snigger.
  • + 1
 Single lock-on is great because they don't scratch your car.
  • + 0
 These look a lot like Intense and Specialized grips got together and made a grip.
  • + 0
 Since Oury's no other grips are needed.
  • + 2
 Oury grips are great, but these are just as good IMO. Much easier to find too.
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