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!
Makers of handlebars, stems, and chainrings for all things moto and MTB, Renthal currently splits its off-road grip range into three specific categories; Push-On, Lock-On, and Traction Lock-On, all of which are manufactured in the UK.
Each design has its own fans, but it’s the Traction grips shown here that I’ve been using for the past six months.
Renthal Traction Lock-On UltraTacky Grip Specs
- Diameter: 29-30.6mm
- Total length: 133mm
- Grip area length: 114mm
- Dual locking clamps w/2.5mm hex screw
- Weight: 115g
- Colour options: Black
- RRP: £24.99 / $54.95
On The Trail
Of all the grips on test, the Renthals are unique in several ways. For a start, they’re the only dual-clamp grips here. The clamps are nicely made out of 6082-T6 CNC machined alloy, and I love that the snap-fit plastic end caps can be rotated to get the ‘R’ logo level before locking them down. Unfortunately, these grips require a 2.5mm hex key to install and remove, and that’s a size that a lot of multi-tools don’t have.
They’re the heaviest at 115g for the pair, and they also have the narrowest grip area of the lot. Because the rubber tapers up to a bigger 33mm diameter towards the alloy clamps though, this gives a really well defined yet consistent area to hold onto.
Still, I would really like to see Renthal offering a single clamp option, or at least with some sort of rubber sheath to cover the outer clamp for those who like to run their hands wide on the bars.
Compared to Renthal’s usual knurled grips – which are essentially derivatives of the ODI Ruffian – the Traction grips feature an entirely unique tread pattern, with deep lateral grooves cut into the soft rubber compound. Four compounds are available, including Medium (light grey), Soft (grey), Kevlar (Kevlar yellow), and UltraTacky (black).
These UltraTacky grips I’ve been using could very well be made out of dehydrated treacle. The rubber almost oozes it’s so soft, and that makes them wickedly sticky – regardless of the conditions.
I’ve noticed my bare hands end up with black residue on them after a hot summer’s day out, but I’m ok with that given just how soft and well-damped these grips are.
To help with setup, the grips have both a ‘Top’ and a ‘Forward’ etched into the rubber. This is because the rubber is actually thicker on the palm side for added cushioning.
The front traction grooves are also angled specifically to dig into your fingers when pulling up on the bars, and the rearward traction grooves angle into your palms when braking and descending. The result is proper poop-on-a-blanket traction with zero slippage whatsoever – even when it’s properly muddy out.
If you want maximum grip, these are without doubt the gluiest grips on test. The soft rubber will wear faster, but along with those traction grooves, it provides unbeatable all-condition traction. Fingers crossed for a single clamp version in the future, which would make these absolutely perfect.
|Traction Lock-On UltraTacky
|£24.99 / $54.95 AUD
|by Wil Barrett for 6 months