Wolf Tooth's Echo grips bite rather than embrace.
Wolf Tooth makes a range of cockpit componentry, so it was only a matter of time before it produced a lock-on grip. Like most, the Echo Lock-On features a nylon core, a rubber grip and a machined aluminium collar.
The collar is not held permanently on the grip, so it can fall off when you remove it, but it is a symmetrical design so you can have the bolts facing the same direction – it can make access easier. The bolts are also 3mm rather than 2.5mm, which are less likely to round out.
The grip portion features an alternating diagonal pattern, which has a mushroom surface, the idea being it compresses when you grab on. It’s also an open-ended grip, which I initially found a bit strange because only XC racers use bar ends – the whole point of open grips – but there’s method in this madness. The Echo is compatible with Wolf Tooth’s EnCase System, which is a plug-in handlebar tool system which we’ve reviewed previously. Instead of the plastic plugs provided, you insert a tool into either end of the handlebar.
At 132mm, the Echo is average in length and the 32mm diameter is just a bit fatter than most. There’s only one rubber colour, but you can mix things up with eight primary anodised collars. The Echo is also covered by Wolf Tooth’s Right to Repair program, which means you can replace parts as and when.
Wolf Tooth claims the rubber on the Echo is soft and tacky, but that’s not been my experience. It feels pretty wooden, and that’s because the Nylon core is thick and inflexible. Some manufacturers machine slots into the nylon to create a bit of flex and also increase the depth of rubber under your palm, but with the Echo there’s no give or extra padding. This grip also hasn’t fared that well on my e-bike – one end has already started to come apart.
Although I think the grip diameter should roughly match your hand size, comfort and feel is down to personal preference. I ride without gloves, so I prefer a softer grip with a bit more feel – like the excellent Renthal Traction Ultra Tacky or Burgtec Bartender Pro – but if you like a firmer hold, the Echo is solid in more ways than one.