The Oxford Driver Lock-on MTB grip is a low-priced grip that offers comfort, grip and excellent value. They may not be as soft as other options from the best MTB grips category but they have lasted very well and are very difficult to fault.
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Oxford Driver Lock-on MTB Grip - Technical details
The Oxford Driver Lock-on MTB Grips use a single-alloy clamp to lock the grip. It’s a simple method and it worked with no issues but felt it needed a little more to tighten on. Once installed they were absolutely reliable.
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There is a web and waffle mix of textures. The waffle texture offers some cushioning and the web helps enhances grip at the fingertips. At 130mm long with a 30mm diameter, they aren’t especially long or bulky, so if you prefer a thinner style grip they are worth a try.
By slightly increasing the thickness on the inside where the thumb wraps around, it provides a little more support and padding. They have built-in bar-end covers and these have happily taken knocks and hits with no damage. There is no mention of the grip material used but, in terms of application, they are a straightforward, no-frills, lock-on grip.
Oxford Driver Lock-on MTB Grip - Performance
At first, I felt the actual grip material was a little firm and perhaps too thin, but it’s softened over time and kept in one piece with no signs of deterioration. The thinner style is a personal preference - I prefer a thinner grip, but had to use gloves initially and then bare hands as they softened.
In the wet I felt they were a little slippery at times with no gloves, but improved with wear - they play nicely with gloves too with a good feel and feedback. I liked the mix of waffle and web - reminiscent of mushroom-style grips, but the pattern mixes the two styles well.
The grip material is super minimal, which is probably the main attribute for the low weight at around 100g for the pair. The single clamp mounting interface has also reduced weight but I've had to tighten them a little more than other single-clamp grips to avoid them from slipping. The downside of the enclosed ends means you can’t stow any specialist bar tools (if you use them).
Oxford Driver Lock-on MTB Grip - Verdict
At a lower weight, with five choices of colours (black, red, blue, orange, and fluro), and a low price point, there isn’t much to fault. The only issue is they may not feel as plush or soft right away and will take some time bedding in. That said, they’ve lasted as well as other grips I’ve used.
There aren’t many grips at this price point. We tested the PNW Loam Grips which were £15 but increased to £18 recently, and the Race Face Getta Grip is the next nearest in price we’ve tested - the PNW has the same compromise with cushioning comfort. If you like a thinner, firmer grip and are on a budget, then the Oxford Driver Lock-on MTBs are a worthy consideration.