dmr deathgrips lock-on

Review | The DMR DeathGrip lock-on grips are made for rough ‘n’ rowdy riding

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What are the best mountain bike grips? Wil’s tested a bunch over the years, and here he’s put together five of his favourite lock-on grips. Over to Wil!


The DMR DeathGrips will be well known to our UK readers, having amassed something of a cult following over the past few years.

As Brendog’s signature love handle, the DMR DeathGrips feature a clever combination of otherwise simple tread patterns to create a single, unique profile – something that’s becoming more difficult amongst the sea of grip options these days.

dmr deathgrips lock-on
DMR DeathGrips have earned themselves something of a cult following.

Thanks to the original’s popularity, there’s now a healthy array of options in the DeathGrip range, with both flanged and flange-less profiles, thick or thin diameters, and soft or firm compounds. There’s also a super-soft ‘Race Edition’ for those who want the tackiest rubber going.

DMR DeathGrip Non-Flange Grip Specs

  • Diameter: 29.6-30.5mm
  • Total length: 134mm
  • Grip area length: 123mm
  • Single locking clamp w/3mm hex screw
  • Confirmed weight: 92g
  • Colours: Black, Blue, Camo, Yellow, Red, Tango, Snow Camo, Pink & Grey
  • RRP: £17
dmr deathgrip lock-on
Inside is a tapered sleeve that makes them a pain to install.

On The Trail

As a Small/Medium glove wearer, I much prefer the thin diameter option. I also like the flange-less design, which reduces interference between your thumb and the shifter and dropper post lever.

The outer ¾ of the grip isn’t dissimilar to the ODI Elite Flow grips, with a spiky knurled base pattern and a half-waffle tread sitting underneath. This keeps things low profile, while giving your fingertips more square edges to hold onto when pulling up on the bars.

The inside ¼ then shifts to a flexible mushroom pattern, which adds a softer feel for the squidgy bit of skin between your thumb and forefinger. I also like how the start of the mushroom section provides a tactile reference point for your hand position on the bars, without having to resort to any funky ergonomic profiles.

dmr deathgrip lock-on
The mushroom inner profile is simple, but flexible and comfortable.

Being on the thinner side (the grip diameter averages out at 30mm), you shouldn’t expect a huge amount of vibration damping. This is the tradeoff for the superb tactility though, which I’ve found to remain reliable even when things are wet and muddy. I’ve also happily used these gloveless too, though the high friction design means you can expect to grow some fresh calluses if barehanded riding is your preference.

One thing to note on installation; the tapered nylon sleeve is there to minimise twisting even with the single clamp, but it also makes the last 20mm very difficult to twist and push into place. Take care with this, as it’s easy to think you have the grips slid all the way onto the handlebar when they’re still overhanging the end of the bars.

dmr deathgrip lock-on
That spiky tread pattern and half-waffle deliver excellent traction.

Annoyingly, the alloy clamps aren’t captured on the grip body, so anytime you install or remove the grips, the clamps often fall off on their own. Once locked down, there’s basically zero chance of anything twisting free though – they are super secure.

Overall

A popular mountain bike grip for a reason. They’re not the most comfortable, and they can be tricky to install. They do possess excellent traction for all but the muddiest of conditions though, with great feel and control for white-knuckle riding.

Review Info

Brand: DMR Bikes
Product: DeathGrip Non-Flange Thin Soft Lock-On Grips
From: dmrbikes.co.uk
Price: £17 / $34.95 AUD
Tested: by Wil Barrett for 9 months
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Comments (3)

    Worth pointing out that they’re one of the lightest and cheapest out there too. £10 and 10g less than the ODI elites, for example.

    And come on, the instructions tell you to line them up as required and bang them on. Not in the slightest tricky to install

    @honourablegeorge – Absolutely! They’re great value grips for sure.

    @danielshiels – Maybe for the hench folks like you with them real muscles! But as a cyclist with puny little biceps myself, I’ve found these to be the most difficult to install out of any lock-on grip I’ve tested. Only ESI silicone foam grips are harder to install – those things can be a right old pain in the arse!

    [ST Wil]

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