See what I did there? Get a grip? Because this article is about grips. Don’t roll your eyes like that. Bad puns are required by law in this bicycle journalism game. Ask BikeSnobNYC if you don’t believe me. But now, to business.
If you’re experiencing fatigue on the bike — and aren’t we all? — one important facet of the bike to investigate is what we in the bicycle blogulating industry call the “contact points.” That’s a fancy word that means the places where your ridiculous carcass makes contact with the bicycle. Namely, pedals, handlebars, and saddle, which are touched by your feets, mitts, and pants hams, respectively.
WTB are contact points masterminds, and their latest mad invention that’s so crazy it just might work is called the PadLoc. It attempts to solve unwanted grip rotation and add comfort by putting a bevel on the end of its handlebars that mates with a beveled rubber doohickey inside the grip. Here’s what it looks like.
I have glorious memories of twisting loose grips on my BMX bike when it was my primary mode of transportation and going “vroom! vroom!” to make it sound like a motorcycle. And that was just two years ago. Start of a miserable first date, that was. Feh.
If you’re looking at the beveled design of the PadLoc and thinking, “Hey, wait, am I going to have to modify my handlebar?” the answer is “Yes,” but also “No,” shouted at the same time.
Yes, you can purchase PadLoc-compatible handlebars from WTB to go with your PadLoc grips, but no, you don’t have to do that. You can just modify your existing bars to have the bevel the PadLoc requires to work properly. WTB says Park Tool is going to make a special thingy to help bike shop employees to bevel existing bars. Aw yeah! Tools!
Once you’ve gotten yourself a bevel, you won’t just be saving yourself from grip slip, you’ll also get a little extra padding for the outside of your hand, which WTB are sure will increase your ride comfort.
The PadLoc is slated for release in December of this year (2015), which I believe might coincide with a certain gift-buying season. Since the PadLoc is not out yet, we don’t have concrete info on weights, but we do have some verbiage related to pricing from WTB: “All PadLoc grips will retail for $34.95 USD and have a projected mid-December availability from WTB…”
For more information, check out the official press release here, and a video introducing the PadLoc below.