Remember the days before lock-on grips? It's a distant memory now, but there was a time when a can of hairspray and a spool of bailing wire were necessary to keep your grips securely in place. Without the proper precautions the damn things would spin like a rolling pin whenever the slightest bit of moisture made its way between the bar and the grip. Of course, non-lock-on grips still exist today, and some riders continue to swear by them, but their popularity has certainly dwindled now that it only takes turning one or two hex bolts to permanently end any slipping or sliding.
Where grips are born.
While it can be difficult to debate the merits of a non-lock-on grip vs. lock-ons, the actual style of grip is another matter all together. It's like arguing about creamy vs. chunky peanut butter, or the proper way to install a roll of toilet paper. There's no right answer, but there are plenty of strong opinions about the issue. For grips, the big questions is whether you prefer them thick or thin. Hand size is part of the equation, but it really just comes down to what you're most comfortable with. Some riders prefer to feel exactly what their bike is doing, and pick the thinnest grips possible, while others would rather have a bit more comfort, and choose to go with thicker, more cushioned options. Along with pedals and seats, grips are part of the 'points of contact' trifecta, the three spots where your body is actually touching the bike, and where small details can make a big difference. There's nothing worse than finding out that a set of supposedly 'ergonomically correct' grips actually cause soreness and fatigue, or that a grip's surface becomes as slippery as a metal slide coated in baby oil whenever it rains. That's why so many riders develop such a strong loyalty to one grip style or another – once you find a pair that works, it's hard to let go.
Pinkbike Poll Contest
As a bonus for entering this week's poll, ODI has offered up a prize pack that will be awarded at random to a lucky winner. The pack includes ODI Flight Control II bars (750mm, extendable to 788mm), ODI All Mtn or Direct Mount Stem (50mm, 70mm or 90mm) and your choice of ODI Lock-On grips.