In my quest to relieve nagging hand and elbow pain I have tried a number of different products. My latest grab at a quick fix are Fat Paws from Wolf Tooth Components. Made by Red Monkey Sports in the USA, they’re constructed of 100% silicone. Unlike most of the grips they make which have normal diameters, the Fat Paws are designed for riders with really big mitts. The 9.5mm thickness creates an outer diameter of 36-37mm.
They are if anything—fat.
Unlike other foam grips which have been around as long as mountain bikes themselves, the 100% silicone Fat Paws ($23.95) have a tacky exterior. Under a gloved hand they almost feel like traditional rubber. They also have a springy rebound, unlike most foam grips.
My last go-round with silicone grips was several years ago in pursuit of gram-shedding. All of the grips in the Red Monkey lineup are extremely light and the Fat Paws clock in at just 45 grams for each grip, not counting the end cap. I’m not too concerned with grams these days, but comfort ranks high on my list.
After a quick install using just a few drops of alcohol I hit the trail—and hated the Fat Paws immediately. They are huge. But, I was determined to give them a fair shake.
After two months I concede they didn’t help my hand pain or my wonky elbow. But I did notice a modest amount of deadened vibration. I expected them to relieve more pressure than they did and thought they would feel softer after hours in the saddle. In some ways, I’m glad they are not too squishy as that would certainly degrade the connective feel to the bars.
If I noticed one benefit, it helped me reduce my tenacious grip. As I noticed with the Revolution Grips I tried this spring, the Fat Paws promote a more relaxed grab. That in itself might have reduced a bit of my hand fatigue.
With a width of 133mm, they’re no wider than the other grips made by Red Monkey. I didn’t encounter any slippage and they have held up well. I sometimes wish they offered a more ergonomic shape. Red Monkey sells the Cäm Ergonomic grip, but it only has a pronounced flat edge. I would prefer something more contoured.
Overall, I think I will continue to use them. There is one strange tradeoff to using jumbo grips. Normal grips now feel like I’m hanging onto a No. 2 pencil.