ODI are hailed as the pioneers of the lock-on grip and as we are longstanding fans we were excited to see the arrivals of three pairs of their Elite series grips drop onto our desks in the all new colour ways. We’ve got reviews coming up for each of the Elite, Pro, Flow and Motion Lock-on grips so I’d best get started.
The ODI Elite Flow grip sit within a range of three pairs in the ‘Elite’ series, a range of grips that ODI say are suitable for riders that are looking for more comfort without sacrificing durability. ODI aims to provide more padding where you need it in the package of a slim grip. The Elite Flow grips feature offset padding, a single clamp (using the V2.1 Lock-On System) and rubber covering in a knurled pattern with a half waffle design on one side. The offset padding means that a thicker layer of rubber is placed at the top of the grip where the most pressure is usually exerted throughout the 130mm length. The location of this padding is denoted by markings from -30 to +30 degrees on the outer end of the grip, these marking are used to position the grip depending on your riding style. This design does not affect the outer circumference of the grip, it is perfectly cylindrical in shape giving the Flow grips a 31mm outer diameter.
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Fitting the Elite Flow grips was a doddle, as it is usually is with any other lock-on grip, but this time made even easier by ODI with the use of 3mm Allen key bolt heads. Thus preventing any unnecessary rounding off, I’ll admit some ham fisted moments in the past using smaller bolt heads! I positioned the thicker part of the grip just past 12 o’clock heading in a clockwise direction on the handlebars to adequately cushion my palm. This left the grippy half waffle pattern on the underside of the grip to meet with my fingertips. As I fitted the grips I noticed short rectangles of rubber sticking through to the inner side of the plastic core – ODI have exposed strips of rubber at the outer ends of the grip to increase traction with the bars and prevent the grips twisting.
I have used these grips on a variety of trails from forest singletrack, trail centre loops, the odd race and even to laps at Bike Park Wales. During this time I have ridden in all weather conditions and even on one forgetful day; gloveless, I can report that the ‘Soft Pro Compound’ from ODI provides good traction in all conditions whether my hands were wet, dry, muddy or sweaty.
The grips translated trail feedback well, whilst dispelling vibrations on all but the roughest tracks. During bike park laps I found myself wishing for just a touch more damping to absorb said vibrations. I found the grips to be of a comfortable circumference for my not overly small hands, without any hand pump created over rougher trails as I sometimes find with thinner grips. With regards to the single lock-on design of these grips, if like me, you tend to ride with your hands on the outer edge of the grip then the rubber outer ends will offer a whole world of comfort in comparison to resting up against the nasty metal ring lock ring seen in twin clamp varieties. Although double lock-on grips are more secure in my experience I didn't experience any twisting of the Elite Flows.
I will update you about the wear and tear of these grips after a few more miles using them, after about 6 weeks use they are still looking brand new, if a little dirtier! If you are looking for a slimmish grip, with great traction for all round trail riding you’d do well to grab a pair of these grips and at £26.99 we don’t think you will be disappointed. Remember that you can also try the other grips in the Elite series line up; the Elite Pro with a diameter of 32mm and raised ergonomic ribbed padding or the slimmer Elite Motion with its 30mm diameter and no extra ribbing or waffle pattern.
Go to www.isondistribution.co.uk for more.