These super light grips from VEL offer simplicity over everything. No lock on, no dual compounds, just a foam sleeve that is just shaped and finished at the ends, with a slight chamfer on the edge.
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Getting the grips onto the bar was no easy task, and despite using the recommended alcohol wipe to help lower friction, there was a degree of cursing and arm wrestling to fit them onto the bars - which were smooth, clean carbon. I assumed it was due to the super tight fit to ensure they don’t rotate under use.
Once fitted, they seemed solid and initial comfort was good, especially over the local trail centre loop that really ensures fuzzy hands after a few laps. On the second lap, a fairly major issue arose, the left grip started to become loose in the middle, making them feel a little un-nerving whilst pushing the bike about - and for me, this issue is a deal breaker.
The right-hand side stayed put, even in varying weather, from heat to cold and wet. My concerns of heat generated from my palms and making the grip loose didn’t arise - but the loose patch is either down to the force used to get them on, or a build issue - and if its due to the tight fit, then it's a fatal flaw. I have continued riding them to see how the issue might change, but it seemed to spread out, and at some point they grip will ‘throttle’.
I think if the grips are to be installed they should come with the appropriate alcohol wipe to install. I used first aid kit ones, and even with these they were a bit of a mission to get on. Obviously using anything else like detergent would mean they’d become loose or spin easily, and when they became damp - which is going to be fairly often on a mountain bike.
I did feel the grips had a good shape, and for the time that they didn’t start to rotate, where comfy. 32mm size is a good mid-size approach. They are lightweight and come in a heap of alternative colours, but I hope the rotation issue is just a one-off.