- Great textured feel to the grip
- Loads of comfort from well shaped padding
- Questionable life span of grip
- Hard to clean
These Dread Lock grips (endorsed by the hirsute Tinker Juarez, geddit?) have a super plush compound and offset design which aims to balance padding without over bulking the grip. They're great for comfort on bigger distance rides or for trail riding for those that don't mind a chunkier grip, though they do come in at a higher price point.
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First of all, the grips are built around the V2.1 Single-Clamp Lock-On system, which is an aluminium clamp bracket and plastic shell, with a softer bar end, that is meant to reduce the sudden jarring on your hands under abrupt impacts. Over the top of the plastic shell is the very soft and light A.I.R.E. compound rubber. This means one bolt to clamp the grip on, which is pretty standard, but it's nicely tucked away and works just fine.
They have a really good, high spec feel to them, and the offset design places padding under your palm but it is reduced for where your fingers wrap - so there is a fairly thin bar feel, but enough padding to keep you comfortable. The A.I.R.E. compound is really comfy, and the texture on the surface adds more grip, and also a small degree of minimising trail vibrations. The only slight gripe is that they grubby up pretty quick - and scrubbing them is going to lead to more wear. This is is sort of annoying if you like your bike to look spotless.
It's meant I’ve ridden without gloves happily on these, without any sore points or numbness over longer rides. It has shown some signs of wear after a heavy couple of months riding, in a really mixed amount of weather and riding conditions. The wear isn't drastic but the pay off for a soft, comfy grip is going to be that it's faster wearing - there is a small amount of movement on the clamp end, where the compound peels back from the surface. It hasn't got any worse and I don't think it’ll be a problem, long term.
The end caps are built from a firmer rubber-like material, that offers a degree of support at the end of the bars and helps to keep your hands in a good place, also handy if clipping trees as there is a degree of give rather than shattering the base shell, which can happen on other thinner grips with little end cap built in. The 130mm width is an average size, and almost all of that is the actual textured grip area, with approx 5mm take up by the unobtrusive clamp.
I really liked the Dread Locks - the shape and texture, out on the trail I found them to offer good long ride comfort, and the padding helps with prolonged trail buzz. The end caps, made from a firmer rubber offer a noticeable bit of blow softening from harder corners or that sudden knock entering a rock garden or clouting a trail feature unintentionally. The also give a distinct end to the grip and it was good to have that at times when your grip got knocked. Riding with a loose hand grip, this marker helps keep your paws in place.
As a trail grip for more distance based riding, these are great, and they're well suited for general use as well, they are comfortable and well made - bear in mind the softer compound and how long it may last you. The grips come in five colours - black, blue, green, red and orange.