You many have noticed the recent rise in popularity of silicone handlebar grips. The reason is simple; The soft, yet densely packed nature of the silicone offers excellent handling and dry performance. The silicone construction also combines high levels of traction, a soft feel, but crucially still firm, and not squishy and unstable, like foam grips typically are.
Silicone grips perform better than Lock-On style grips at damping high frequency vibrations, which typically cause numbness and tingling in the hands and soreness in the wrists. Lock-On’s have a plastic base, taking valuable space for cushioning, as well as reducing the riders feel for the bar. As a bonus silicone grips are lighter than Lock-On’s too. Why waste 30-40g on grips?
absoluteBLACK saw opportunities to make major improvements. Firstly, to improve the durability of the grip, to improve damping performance and, also to improve grip performance in damp and wet conditions.
To improve durability, absoluteBLACK selected a denser silicone material. With less air in the grip, there is more material. This makes them less prone to wear and more resistant to cuts and tears, yet still develops an optimum balance of soft touch and resilience in the hand.
To improve grip performance in damp, wet and muddy conditions, absoluteBLACK added a series of plain grooves to the circumference of the grip. These well-defined, machined channels in the grip surface serve two key purposes. They add working edges to the surface of the grip, these edges generate added friction, for improved control, in poor conditions, especially when used with bare hands. Because of the compliant nature of the silicone, the grooves don’t change the feel of the grip in the hand.
Secondly, the grooves in the absoluteBLACK silicone grips serve as drainage channels to evacuate surface moisture, be that rain, or sweat. The channels also provide an escape path for dirt. The edges of the grooves can also be used to ‘scrape’ dirt from bare palms while riding, if required.
The width of the absoluteBLACK silicone grips is 130mm, standard for mountain biking grips of all types. Naturally you can achieve wider measurements for your grips, by adding further lengths from a second pair. Our research shows this is especially popular with marathon XC racers looking for added hand positions with wider bars.
The grips come with a pair of super lightweight gun metal grey anodised alloy end caps. These finish off the bar in an attractive way, while also providing protection against rips or tears to the end of the grip. They stay in place and don’t wear out, like the plastic ones do. Many race organisers mandate bar end caps as part of their entry requirements, so they’re an important part of the overall package. .