I have often suffered the irritation of rotating handlebar grips when out trashing the trails. Other brands (which will remain un-named) of grips have, up till now, misbehaved regularly on cold mornings or during rainy rides, slipping and rotating when moisture got in-between the inner surface of the grips and the handlebar. For some time, I tried a crude way of making the grips hold ? involving spirals of double-sided tape stuck onto the handlebar at each end. But then, the hassle of slipping the buggers back on (even with hair spray, compressed air, and lubricant) and ensuring a trouble-free ?stick? got to me, and I left my latest pair of misbehaving grips (standard Ourys) free to do as they pleased, a pair of pseudo-motorbike throttles between bar-ends and brake reservoir clamps.
Fact is, the Oury grip design is such a comfortable one, with enough ?give? to have positive grip and good control, whether with full-finger gloves, half finger gloves, or none at all. The material of the grip is also durable and not prone to gumming up into sticky, dirt-attracting goo in our hot, humid climate. But slipping they were, and slipping badly enough for me to worry that it would affect the finesse of steering required at prolonged high speeds on off-road terrain. I had a couple of local and overseas adventure races coming up, and I could not afford a high-speed crash that would jeopardize the entire effort. Glue was definitely out of the question, as I wanted to be able to rotate the grips over the months of usage to extract the maximum lifespan from them; and I did not want to have to mess up the handlebar surface for the next time my grips were replaced.
Enter the Oury Lock-Ons, a simple innovation to end all slippage woes. It consists of the original Oury grip pattern and material with a lock-ring at each end. An Allen bolt sits in a semi-recessed, tapped shaft on each ring. Plastic internally expanding end-caps for the handlebars round off the package. The method for fitting the grips is instantly understandable and easily done with a 3/32? Allen key.
The bottom line ? these grips do not slip or rotate at all ? with no need for glue, tape, or cable ties. They are easy to take off and re-adjust to even out wear, so as to extract the maximum lifespan from them. The dreaded, deformation-inducing, ?slow slippage?, or stretching did not even register for these puppies. This symptom is one of the first stages of the wear-and-tear process. Under strong grip and all-weather conditions, all other grips ? unless perfectly taped or glued – would have exhibited this tendency. The locking hardware is of an excellent design, with no hard or sharply protruding edges. The semi-recessed bolts are rust-free and chrome-plated aluminum ring is hard to deform or scratch, even after the bike has repeatedly crashed or toppled on its side several times. For the record, other bolts used for securing shifters, brake reservoirs, stem, bottle cages, and such are all in varying states of oxidisation.
The Oury Lock-Ons come highly recommended for carbon and titanium handlebars The plastic end-caps are just the thing to cushion carbon bars from crash damage. These attach by means of a screw-actuated plastic ?expanding flower?. What more, used with standard end-caps, these grips are bar-end compatible.
It must be noted, however, that they are relatively heavy due to the hardware. Devout gram counters ? and even as an adventure racer, I am not among the most picky of them ? would go for something lighter on the market if slippage was not a big issue. Care must be taken not to over-tighten locking rings on carbon bars, as not all bars have metal reinforcement rings or butted sections where the lock-rings are meant to clamp down on. The expanding plastic end-caps are prone to damage and deformation in crashes on hard surfaces, and the screw may even get jammed in worst-case scenarios.
The Lock-Ons give new life to your favourite grip design – in this case, of the most enduring and classic tread patterns that has become a mainstay on mountain bikes all over the world, Oury.