After having their grips slip during competition, top enduro athletes Jerome Clementz and Jason Moeschler went to their sponsor WTB for a solution. Moeschler, who’s also WTB’s director of global OEM sales, has been keen on moving developments through the pipeline quickly there if they could improve his and his teammate’s results. And safety:
“Both Jerome and I have had our locking grips completely slip on us when we need them most,” explains Moeschler. “We’re not big riders, which is the strange part. If it’s happening to us, it’s happening to others too. I’ve had serious crashes from twisting a grip, it was obvious we needed to change the way grips fit on bars so we developed the PadLoc system.”
To remedy grip slippage required rethinking, redesigning or literally hacking your handlebar, too…
“In order to prevent grip slippage, you have to look closely at where the rotation is occurring,” stated Chris Feucht, WTB’s manager of new product development. “Purely bolting a grip down is not going to solve the problem, you have to think about how (the grips) slide and then work on that specific contact area to prevent movement from occurring. Creating an angled plane on the handlebar’s end that counters forward movement solves this issue. The best part is, this also adds real estate for extra rubber, which makes PadLoc grips remarkably forgiving and comfortable. It’s funny that such an aggressive design is so easy on the hands.”
The result is the new PadLoc grips and handlebar interface. The extra comfort mentioned above comes from a thicker wedge of rubber at the outside edge, where the meat of your palm usually sits. It’s colored differently on all of the grips shown here, indicating its position.
In order to get that extra rubber in there and create the angled plane that prevents grip rotation, the handlebar ends need to be reshaped. WTB’s press materials say it requires a modification of your existing handlebar (squishing the ends?) or one of these new ones coming from SRAM/Truvativ later this week:
- Jerome Signature Series UD Carbon Bar – 20mm rise / 7º back-sweep / 5º upsweep / 750mm wide / 225g / $226 USD / Includes Commander with signature green accents
- Boobar 7000-series alloy bar – 20mm rise / 7º back-sweep / 5º upsweep / 780mm wide / 335g / $111 USD / Includes grey Commander grips
For existing handlebars, Park Tool has created the SGI-7, an insert for their SG-7.2 adjustable saw guide, which will give you the angled cut shown here. What this does to your handlebar’s warranty remains to be seen (but we could venture a guess).
All grips will be available in December for $34.95/pair. The handlebar/grip combos from SRAM will ship in September. We’ll check these out and more new goodies from WTB in person when Eurobike’s indoor show opens on Wednesday!