While the lock-on style grip has taken a big hold on the market, a new player is set to infiltrate the grip arena. ESI Grips are the latest must-have accessory, and judging by the number already appearing on bikes around the trails and races, they’re set to claim a big slice of the pie.
What sets them apart is the fact that they don’t require any locking hardware, which keeps the weight to a minimum. And as any gram-counting rider will attest, anything that saves a bit of weight will always be well received. As well, ESI Grips are 100% silicone, offering a no-slip, softer hold that helps to dampen trail vibrations through the bars.
I tried both the 30 mm diameter Racer’s Edge model, as well as the slightly comfier 32 mm Chunky option. Both grips felt nice and soft under hand, but I preferred the Chunky model for their better interface with GripShift shifters. They’re thicker on one side, for a cushier platform for the palm, while the thinner side looks after the fingers. They’re fairly easy to install and remove, with a spray of window cleaner or a blast of compressed air all that’s needed to manipulate them onto the bars. They’re also easily cleaned, so riders choosing one of the many colour options can keep them looking like new.
ESI Grips are a simple, low-cost upgrade for any mountain bike, and may well be one of the most popular new products of the year.