Dirt Rag Magazine

WTB introduces new grip/handlebar fitting


Standards. The word has little meaning in the bicycle world anymore as companies continue to reinvent the proverbial wheel in search of better performance. The new line of PadLoc grips from WTB mount to a special handlebar (or modified handlebar) and eliminate rotating or slipping thanks to the integrated subframe.

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Basically the system works by lopping off an angled portion of the handlebar where the stresses are minimal and using the flat surface to prevent rotation. The extra depth of the grip material adds to comfort too, WTB says. The brand says it was prompted to design the interface after its professional team riders were experiencing grips slipping during the most crucial moments of their races.

There are two ways to run the new PadLoc grips: Park Tool has introduced the SGI-7, a fitting for the existing adjustable saw guide that allows shop mechanics to modify existing handlebars. SRAM has also introduced PadLoc compatible versions of the 750 mm Jerome Clementz signature carbon fiber handlebar and a 780 mm aluminum Boobar. Both models ship with the grips already installed.

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WTB will offer six different versions of the PadLoc grips, each in different colors and each selling for $34.95 when they go on sale in September. There is a 28 mm Thinline version, a 30 mm standard version, a 33 mm clydesdale version, plus a winged version called Wingnut and an ergonomic version called Ace. Finally, the standard version will also be available for SRAM GripShift users.

What’s your take? A problem solver or a solution in search of a problem? Do your grips slip? Let us known in the comments.

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Review: SQlab 711 SY locking grips


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SQlab is a German brand focused mainly on fit points: grips and saddles. The 711 grip looks like the Incredible Hulk wrapped his mighty paw around a round grip and gave it a squeeze. It’s perfectly shaped to fit your hand as you hold it and comes in three sizes to fit nearly any hand.

The shape is constructed to reduce pressure on the ulnar nerve, just like many of the “wing”-shaped grips that are popular now, but without the bulk. The body is a very firm rubberized material that transmits a lot of feedback to your hands. The texture is also quite rough to provide grip on your gloves. Then again, I thought riding them without gloves would destroy my palms but it wasn’t so bad.

Because of the very ergonomic shape there is really only one way to hold these grips, and if you move your hands around a lot or hang your pinky off the end of the bars, these might not be for you, but SQlab makes a 711 MX grip with a smaller wing.

I have big hands and prefer extra-fat grips, but I think these are going to stay on my bars as long as they last. For $29 they are also priced competitively compared to other ergonomic grips. SQlab products can be ordered from its distributor, Radsport USA or purchased at your local bike shop.

 

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