You many have noticed the recent rise in popularity of silicone handlebar grips. The reason is simple: The soft, yet densely packed nature of the silicone offers excellent handling and performance, combining a high levels of traction, a soft but firm feel, and no squish or instability like some foam grips.
Silicone grips also do a good job of damping high frequency vibrations, which can cause numbness and tingling in the hands and soreness in the wrists. Conversely, lock-on grips have a plastic base, taking away valuable space for cushioning, as well as reducing the riders feel for the bar. Silicone grips are also typically lighter than lock-on’s, often in the neighborhood of 30-40 grams.
See these trends, absoluteBLACK saw an opportunity to make improvements to grips, both in durability and damping performance. To improve durability, absoluteBLACK selected a dense silicone material. With less air in the grip, there is more material. This makes them less prone to wear and more resistant to cuts and tears.
To improve grip performance in damp, wet and muddy conditions, absoluteBLACK added a series of plain grooves to the circumference of the grip. These well-defined, machined channels in the grip surface serve two purposes. They add working edges to the surface of the grip, which generate added friction for improved control in inclement conditions, especially when used with bare hands. And because of the compliant nature of the silicone, the grooves don’t change the feel of the grip in the hand.
The grooves in the absoluteBLACK silicone grips also serve as drainage channels to evacuate moisture, be it rain or sweat. The channels also provide an escape path for dirt, and the edges of the grooves can even be used to scrape dirt from bare palms while riding.
The width of the absoluteBLACK silicone grips is 130mm, standard for most mountain biking grips. You can achieve wider measurements for your grips by adding further lengths from a second pair. This method is especially popular with marathon XC racers looking for added hand positions with wider bars.
The new grips come with a pair of lightweight gun metal grey anodized alloy end caps, providing a hint of flair and providing protection against rips or tears to the end of the grip. They stay in place and don’t wear out. Some race organizers actually mandate bar end caps as part of their entry requirements, so they’re an important part of the overall package.
Price is $36.50 and they just come in one color (black/gray). To learn more head to absoluteblack.cc.