What to look for in a lock-on grip

Grips have been bulking up recently. Gone are the super-skinny lock-ons of the early Noughties that pounded your palm to raw meat.

They’ve been replaced by a new breed of fat, ergonomically designed grips made form soft rubber and featuring clever moulded patterns.

This steady progression has been great for riders, reducing the force you need ot exert through your hand and making the whole business of holding onto the bars that much more pleasurable.

Here’s how to pick the right grip for your paw.

Go soft

To get started, go for the softest grips you can find – they’ll wear out quicker but they’re easier on your hands that way. DMR does a Race Day compound and ODI makes a supertacky version too.

Avoid old-school grips with collars on the outside of the handlebar that could cause discomfort; new designs are fixed on perfectly with an inside collar and tapered bores.

Grips patterns are incredibly varied, with knurled patterns for your fingertips, waffle patterns for your palm and, in the case of the DMR Deathgrip, a raised mushroom profile for thumb cushioning.

Whatever you opt for, make sure there’s a decent amount of rubber under your palm, and not a think veneer over the hard nylon core.

Size matters

Choose a width and length for your hands. As a rule, we’d argue that fatter is better, but of course, if you’ve got small hands it might be easier to grasp a thinner grip – go and finger some at your local bike shop to get an idea.

Grips don’t need to be round anymore either, Ergon makes the superlative GE1 that’s formed to mimic the shape of your hand on the grip and provide more rubber for support. It even extends the width of your bars by projecting out 5mm each side – handy if you want a bit of extra control.

Fit it right

Fitting grips correctly is essential; plenty are left-right specific and most need to be rotated round on the handlebar, so the softest rubber is under your palm and the tougher or knurled surface is under your fingertips.

Grips with flanges on the inside edge are great for protecting your hand from the metal collar, but they can obstruct your thumb on the shifter in some cases – don’t be afraid to snip a bit off with scissors to improve access.

Pick of the grips

Ergon GE1 – read the review

Ergonomically shaped for the inside of your hand, the GE1 also uses two different rubber compounds, fixed bar plugs and an inner 3mm clamp system to comfort your hand.

ODI Elite Pro Lock-onread the review

The Elite Pro gives you may of the benefits of fatter grips without hte bulk, thanks to an eccentric core that puts more rubber in the palm of your hand and less on the underside of the grip.

DMR Deathgripread the review

Not one, but three, surfaces adorn the Deathgrip: a knurled section for your fingertips, a soft waffle under the palm and a mushroom section for your thumb, combining to make one of the comfiest grips on the market.