The Loam Grips from PNW are seriously impressive performers for the cash. They're grippy, really nicely shaped and feature a Goldilocks compound – not too sticky, not too solid, but just right. There's very little to grumble about.
The Loam Grips use PNW’s Happy Camper rubber compound, which is designed to be soft yet durable, damp vibration and keep its shape under pressure. There's a single locking collar, and they come in an impressive selection of colours.
That rather complicated pattern is designed to create further damping, it seems, and also to wick water.
As you can see, there are two distinct patterns: a specific palm portion on top, and malleable horizontal fins elsewhere. The top uses a beefier, more solid layout for extra grip but slower wear.
The Loam Grips use a tapered design, and as a lover of tapered grips, that’s a big plus for me. The flange is very gently ramped too, so if you position your hands more inboard, they’re really comfy.
The combination of the lovely shape and the contrasting patterns leads to a grip that is not only grippy, but also really comfortable.
Because the fins can squish as you grip the bar, they provide some cushion and the firmer palm area provides a supportive pad.
As I’ve not ridden the grips in torrential rain I've not been able to properly test their water-wicking claims, but I have saturated them with mud after a bit of a spill. While the feel gets noticeably stiffer (because the fins are caked in muck), overall grip isn't too hindered.
As for downsides, well I'm really clutching at straws here but I would like them more if they were open-ended, just so I could stow hidden tools in my bar. However, the closed ends are a nice feature, as you'll never lose an end in a tumble.
The Loam Grips feel fairly similar to the £27 Ergon GD1, another tapered grip, yet outperform them despite being nearly half the price – and that's entirely thanks to the design of the pattern, and its well-judged squidge.
The PNW Loam Grips are comfortable, well-shaped, and above all, grippy. If you're in the market for fresh grips, you're doing yourself a disservice if you ignore these.
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