It’s funny how I’ll constantly change some of the bits on my bikes, trying different tyres, stems, bars etc – but when it comes to grips I settle on one design and stick with it.
For years I have been rocking the WTB WeirWolf push-on grips, a knobbly and reasonably thick grip that I found perfect for my hands in terms of both grip and comfort.
I’d tried a few lock-on designs but most were too thin and hard, and that’s before getting to the £25-plus that some were priced at.
Enter the Death Grip
It was on a Scottish road trip earlier this year and I first had a look at the DMR Death Grips in person, killing time in Bothy Bikes, Aviemore, while a friend bought something he’d broken on our Feshie Hills ride.
Despite entering the shop with zero intention of opening my wallet, I was quite taken with the shape and feel of the grips – and decided to give myself a little holiday treat.
As you can see from the pics, the grips have a little flange on the inside, then a raised, finned section for almost a third of the length, before reverting to a knurled diamond pattern, with grippy lines overlaid on one side.
Importantly, the outer edge of the grip has no lockring and it wrapped in rubber, giving greater comfort and less chance of slipping off the bar as you push into corners.
There’s also a natty little DMR logo indented in the rubber where the end cap would usually be.
They are apparently the brainchild of DH “freeracer” Brendan Fairclough, and the man obviously has a bright future as an accessories designer ahead of him – if the bottom ever falls out of the jumping-pushbikes-over-canyons market – because these are without doubt the best grips I’ve used.
They provide the perfect balance of squish and firmness, and they are grippy while still being easy to reposition your hands on. I’m a sucker for a nice flange as well.
They also have the benefit of making me hum Iggy and the Stooges’ “Death Trip” whenever I think of the name. “No Fun” is the better song of course, but I can see that wouldn’t have worked so well as an MTB product name.
Which ones then?
The Death Grips come in thick and thin sizes and soft or hard compunds. Personally I would call the thin grips thick and the thick ones extra-thick.
I now have three pairs of these grips on my MTBs, including both compounds, and I can’t tell them apart by feel – so I’d say go with the harder ones.
And while the usual selling price of £16 or so is hardly a bargain compared to my trusty £3 WTBs, it’s pretty good value for premium MTB grips.
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