XC Racer Blog Post


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BY: George Budd

Published: 29th November, 2017

Grips.  These are always a tricky thing to review, partly as they are so personal but also because they are such a simple product.  Despite being one of the cheapest parts on your bike, they make a huge difference to how it feels to ride.  Too thin, too thick, too fragile, too firm... so many potential pitfalls for such a simple product.  These new ones from ODI have set out to create a whole new direction for the humble grip with their new AIRE elastomer compound.  ODI have produced two grip patterns - the F1 Vapor (textured) and the F1 Float (smooth).

Hang on - elastomers?!  Yes folks, it's like the 1990s have returned all over again, only this time they aren't melting and freezing inside your "suspension" forks; they're damping vibrations that would otherwise go into your hands.  If you think about it, elastomers are a great material for a grip - durable, natural damping properties and they can be made in different hardnesses very easily.  After about 10 years on the venerable ODI Rogue loc-on I was apprehensive about going back to a slide-on grip, but after the popularity of various types of foam grip in recent seasons I was happy to give them a go.  Maybe things have moved on since 10 years ago and they don't just go sliding off the bars any more!

ODI have managed to create a super product here.  The problems faced by other foam-style grips are that they can slide around when wet and that they are very fragile when you crash.  The ODIs get around these problems by being made from a far more durable material and also by having a firmer inner core around which the AIRE compound is formed, meaning they stay put on the bars.  Fitting them meant breaking out the hairspray for the first time in a while, but they have stayed very firmly attached.  Comfort-wise they are excellent; they damp vibrations really well, which riding my local man-made trails is a real bonus.  Not having loc-on collars means no hard bits to rub on your hands, which was always a problem as the grips wore down.

So there you are - good value, loads of colours, durable, grippy grips.  They're lightweight too.

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George Budd

Marathon racer & Deputy Head. Usually found eating carrot cake in Peaslake.

Thanks to my sponsors: Pivot Cycles, Upgrade Bikes, Ison Distribution, USE, Exposure Lights, ODI, Gusset, Halo, MRP, Schwalbe, Absolute Black and Rotor


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