The chunky Reflex grip offers comfort, damping and traction with ODI's renowned quality
The Reflex is ODI’s latest model in its extensive range of grips, all of which are designed, tested and manufactured at its Californian HQ. The brief for this grip was to increase overall ride comfort, reducing vibration and arm pump, without compromising control or precision – with hard-charging trail riders as a focus rather than fire road cruisers.
The Reflex grip is made in two sizes: the regular model with a 33.5mm diameter, which I’ve tested here and a larger 34.5mm XL version. There’s a range of colour choices, but no super-soft compound option or flanged model.
At first glance the Reflex looks like a mash up of various grip designs, taking cues from the ever-popular DMR Deathgrip as well as the Deity Knuckleduster. Don’t let the looks – or the size – put you off though, this is a design that hasn’t been rushed to market. ODI has studied the shape your hand makes when holding the grips and how your placement changes in different riding situations.
For this all-new model, ODI has taken the raised grid palm pad from its well-regarded Elite Pro grip as a starting point. It’s then doubled its size and offset it at an angle, linking it to the underside waffle panel. The inboard thumb section uses a ribbed ‘mushroom’ panel, but again it side-steps traditional grip design with ribs that are arced rather than running parallel to the collar. And whereas brands such as Burgtec and DMR offer regular or soft compound grips, ODI sticks with a medium compound rubber for the Reflex. It claims traction comes from this grip’s surface design as much as the material’s tackiness.
It’s good to see the neat v2.1 single lock-on collar carried over from ODI’s Elite Pro; with the slim design resulting in more usable hand space on the grip.
There’s plenty going on with the Reflex grip. It’s all well considered though and it didn’t take much trail time to appreciate the cushioning. Riding with or without gloves, in both dry and wet conditions, traction and control are excellent and the comfort is immediately apparent. But it’s on longer trail rides, on chopped-up dry tracks peppered with roots, that the real benefits shine through. Sure, this large diameter grip may prove too much for riders with smaller hands, but the design of the Reflex naturally results in more bulk. It’s hard to see how the same benefits could be achieved with a smaller diameter grip.
If your riding hours have increased and your arms and wrists are complaining before your legs are, the Reflex grip is definitely a sound choice. The price may feel a touch high but in my experience ODI grips are durable and last well, making the price tag more acceptable in the long run.