While grips may not be the sexiest things on your bike, they’re a crucial contact point for both comfort and control. Here are some of the new models coming from ODI, Ergon, and ESI.
ODI and Vans – two great tastes that taste great together
ODI has partnered with skate shoe company Vans for a new grip model that features the latter’s iconic waffle pattern. ODI uses the more open waffle for one half of the grip while the modified pattern with its denser network of lines is used for the other half to improve durability – just as is done on the skate shoes.
ODI even replicates the trademark tan color while the anodized aluminum locking collars are lightly etched with Vans’ signature checkerboard pattern. Other colors will be available when they’re released next month although the exact hues – and the price – are still being finalized.
ODI is also making a push into the road bike market after purchasing Hudz last year. Brand manager Colby Young says that the company has pared down the range to just one rubber compound instead of two but that the new one falls somewhere in between the original and soft versions and now fits more securely than before.
ODI will offer Hudz replacement lever hoods in seven colors starting next month along with new shapes to fit Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 9070 and 105.
Ergon and Quoc Pham pair up for new leather grips
Ergonomic mountain bike grip specialist Ergon and classic-looking leather cycling shoemaker Quoc Pham have joined forces for their own collaboration – a special-edition grip based on Ergon’s GP1 model but with a luxurious-feeling leather cover.
The GP1 Quoc Pham will be offered in a single model and size for US$80 starting in June. Unique etching on the locking aluminum collars will call out the Quoc Pham partnership and the package will also include a cleaning cloth and oil to help maintain the leather’s look and feel long-term.
ESI goes extra-large with Extra Chunky
Somewhat of a novelty just a few years ago, ESI’s silicone foam rubber grips have now become commonplace for their ultralight weight, surprising durability, cushy comfort, and impressive resistance to slipping. In addition to the 30mm-diameter Racer’s Edge (US$16.99, 50g) and 32mm-diameter Chunky (US$18.99, 60g) models, ESI has now added a 34mm-diameter Extra Chunky size for riders who have larger hands or just want something meatier to hold on to.
As before, the Extra Chunky size will be available in a wide range of colors and ESI will even made custom color combinations with multiple sections of grips on demand if you prefer the Lifesavers look. Claimed weight is 80g per pair and suggested retail price is US$22.99.
ESI is also developing road handlebar tape made with the same silicone foam rubber as its grips. As a result, it’s incredibly stretchy for easy installation and, provided it’s wrapped with sufficient tension, doesn’t seem to migrate on the bar, either. ESI plans to taper the edges for a smoother finish by the time the tape is launched this fall and target retail price is around US$50.