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It’s easy for mountain bikers to get caught up in the next big fork or wheel upgrade around the bend, but it’s easy to forget about the most important point of contact between you and the bike: the grips. A set of good grips will keep your hands safely in place, reduce fatigue from vibrations, and make your ride way more comfortable. If you’re looking for an upgrade from slippery, fragile foam grips here are our top 5 choices, including the Ergon GA2, Renthal Traction UltraTacky, ODI Elite Flow, DMR Brendog Death Grip, and Chromag Palmskin – one specifically for you crazy gloveless riders.
The most ergonomic mountain bike grip
The Ergon GA2 is a solid ergonomic grip without any muss or fuss from one of the most highly-regarded gripsmiths in the industry. Key to Ergon’s success is their ergonomic design that allows your hands nestle into just the right spot in the cushy silicone as soon as you touch it. But don’t just take our word for it – it’s Amazon reviewers’ top choices for the top mountain bike grips too.
The Renthal Traction UltraTacky is a slick, simple grip coated with some of the stickiest rubber in the industry. If you can’t find a grip that works for you through pattern alone why not try one that works through sheer tackiness? 4X riders love these for the super-sure pull in gate starts so they should work great for any other kind of mountain biking too.
The most recognizable feature of the ODI Elite Flow is the well-defined waffle pattern with anchors on the underside. This seems to be the best of all the waffle patterns we’ve tried, and certainly adds an extra dose of confidence to your grip. That confidence is increased by the strips of sticky rubber inside that stick it to the bar solidly. This is also the lightest grip we feature here, but if you’re looking to save weight on your grips you had better already have one of these killer wheelsets.
The DeathGrip’s design just goes well with any bike, from the latest enduro powerhouses to that old Klein you found in the basement. The Kraton compound combined with DMR’s Classic Knurl pattern makes it the perfect all-weather grip. Your hands will keep reliably stuck to it no matter how wet they are. This thick waffle is great to pull back on big gaps and helps offer rest for fatigued hands, suiting a slightly looser grip. The grip fits your thumb in comfortably and the mushroom pattern is soft and malleable.
The best grips for no gloves
The Chromag Palmskin is easily the best grip for gloveless riders. The soft, ribbed full mushroom surface adds extra comfort by deforming around your hand as you grab the grip. Its ridges channel moisture away, eliminating one of the greatest enemies that all grips face. If you’re looking to use these with a pair of gloves, use the thinnest you can find. Additionally, the ribbing will allow your hand to float above the handlebar a touch better than with any other grips out there. So if you’re looking to go for some pleasant, precise but cushioned gloveless trail riding, look no further than the Chromag Palmskins.
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