When Mark Haimes, owner of Loam Lab Components, found himself sitting in a Whistler Clinic with a broken pinkie, he decided it was high time he created the Counterpunch, an idea that had been brewing at the back of his mind for 15 years. Had he been running one of these micro-hand protectors when riding that day, he may have come away from the altercation with a tree with his fifth digit still intact. For those of you wondering whether the Counterpunch slides against tree bark or actually hooks onto it, Loam Labs created this video to demonstrate…
Loam Lab Counterpunch
Mark created the Counterpunch to decrease the likelihood of breaking your pinkie when you take a hit off a tree. The component essentially replaces your standard bar-end plug, secured via a simple expansion collar. A metal protrusion extends forwards, hugging the outer edge of your pinkie. It isn’t a full-on hook. The subtle curve is designed to help the bar slide against the tree bark, allowing you to glance off it.
Of course, some riders like to hang the outboard edge of their palm off the edge of the grip; Loam Lab says the Counterpunch still allows you to do that to a certain degree. A secondary claimed benefit of the Counterpunch is improved control, with some testers having cited the ability to use it to apply pressure to the bar-end during cornering; this is something that wouldn’t be possible with regular handguards.
The Counterpunch is offered as a standalone product, or as a package with the Loam Lab Grips. This is a thin (29mm) lock-on grip, with select portions of the inner plastic sleeve cut away in an effort to improve comfort in strategic areas. Loam Lab says the cutaway core at the thumb region creates a thicker flexible pad that absorbs vibration for better traction with less gripping force required.
This dual-clamp grip is designed to work seamlessly with the Counterpunch, but Loam Lab does offer a single-clamp version for those who don’t want to run the pinkie protection.
Pricing & Availability
The Loam Lab Counterpunch retails at $39 CAD. An extra $20 CAD gets you the Loam Lab Grips, too. Alternatively, you can pick up the Loam Lab Single Clamp Grips alone for $33 CAD.