When you’re shopping for your next bike, perfect grips are probably low on the list for must-have features. We’ve sort of expected stock bikes to come with basic grips that get the job done, but often aren’t a major selling point – they are relatively cheap and easy to replace after all. That makes it that much better when you jump on a new bike and it’s love at first grip. Kind of like on the new Pivot Switchblade.
Previously, the Pivot Phoenix Component System made use of the WTB PadLoc system. If you’re the type of rider to place a lot of pressure on the very end of your grip, the big squishy pad at the end of the grip was a welcome change. For everyone else, the idea of having to use specific bars or cut the end of your current bars at an angle to work with the system was a bit of a turn off. Moving forward, the Pivot Phoenix grips and bars will no longer use PadLoc. Instead, they rely on a new grip that was completely designed in house.
Even though the new Phoenix Lock-On Grips step away from PadLoc, they still use a single clamp lock-on design. The inner plastic shell is molded into a single piece with a hard plastic end cap, but is also perforated with core windows for more rubber and more comfort at the bar.
The grip’s design is also left and right specific, with a tapered ergonomic design. The inner diameter of the grip measures 30mm, and tapers to 32mm at the outside of the grip. The round profile is also offset at the end of the grip towards the rider for a more ergonomic hand position. I tend to find myself in the middle of grip thickness preferences – not too small and not too big. I found these to be just about perfect.
Since the grips are left/right specific and adjustable in terms of position, each has alignment marks molded into the shoulder and are labeled as L/R as well as where the top of the grip sits.
Squishy Yet Firm
Going along with the new shape and construction, the grips feature a raised micro-grid texture with low durometer ultra-tacky rubber for a supremely comfortable feel at the bar. Somehow, the texture and the rubber makes them feel both squishy and firm at the same time. Hopefully the durability matches up to their feel.
Offered in six colors, it’s probably not a coincidence that they match up quite well with a bowl of M&Ms. But they should also match well with a number of current bikes – Pivot or otherwise.
Weighing in at 100g per pair, the grips will sell for $29.99.
New Bars Too
To go along with the grips, Pivot will also have a new range of Phoenix carbon handlebars without the ends cut for the PadLoc system. Like the previous Phoenix Team carbon bars, these will also only be available in a 35mm clamp at the stem. Interestingly, Chris said that it took a lot of engineering to get the 35mm bars to feel as comfortable as past 31.8mm bars.
So why bother with 35mm? Apparently in their testing, the 35mm bar and stem combinations exhibited much lower twist at the stem, which is the major benefit to the design in Pivot’s opinion. The end result is a bar with the same level of compliance, but a stiffer interface at the stem for precise steering input.
These bars will be offered in 760, 780, and 800mm widths with a 20mm rise, or a 760mm flat bar with simplified graphics.