By Guest Writer
on 6.3.09

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By Gear Patrol Reader Drew Hildebrand:

The guys at Gear Patrol seem to have it in their heads that members of the untapped masses can write up a worthwhile gear review, so out of some bizarre compulsion I decided, “What the hell!” After all, what’s the worst that could happen (Clearly, all that Top Gear I’ve been watching hasn’t taught me anything)?

Chances are, if you ride a bike, at some point you are going to need some repairs and, if you’ve ever had to remove old grips to get to shifter controls and brake levers, then you are no stranger to the joy of removing old grips.

Whether you are tackling the job yourself and are looking to make your job easier or you’re having your steed serviced by your local mechanic (and you have any decency within you at all), look into a set of ODI Lock-On Grips.

odi-locking-gripsThe grips rely on a collar at each end of the grip to stay put, and do so with the tenacity of the mightiest of barnacles. However, a few turns from an Allen wrench to each collar and they effortlessly slide off. This simple feature makes any handlebar service quick and easy, considerably shortening the turnaround time for any related repairs (which, if you are paying your mechanic by the hour, can add up)!

The actual grip sleeve is made up of plastic wrapped in ODI’s proprietary compound rubber, and the whole package is surprisingly low profile. The compound is comfortable, though it gets a bit sticky if your hands sweat and you are not wearing gloves. There are a few riders that prefer being hot glued to their handlebars like this, but most don’t. In terms of aesthetics, both the grips and the collars are available in a variety styles, colors, and patterns, so there is sure to be something to fit what you are looking for.

Having run with a set of these grips on my own bike for the last few years, commuting, racing and just being out and about (i.e. being a nuisance to mall and campus security), I can tell you from personal experience that these things can take a beating, even while doubling as bar ends. Only once (due to a particularly spectacular attempt at flight) have they failed on me. Even then, it was only where the sleeve attaches to the clamping collar, but the collar stayed fast. The landing nearly cost me my forks and my wrist, so rest assured that they are no gimmick – they are tank tough. ODI also makes grips for Motocross, ATV, Snowmobile, Personal Watercraft and anything else with handlebars. To find a dealer near you, check out ODI’s dealor locator, or check out the link to purchase provided directly below.

Cost: Grips $20, Lock on Collar Clamps $11 from pricepoint.com, or view a wider selection on Amazon.

About the Author: I am a penniless gear junkie with a seriously unimaginable field of interest, mostly due to having recently graduated with a degree in Outdoor Adventure & Administration (No, seriously, it’s a real degree). I’m originally from Los Angeles, but now live in a small village west of Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. All this, having spent five years working as a Master Mechanic at a bike shop in California where I raced downhill and commuted regularly on my bike. Since moving for school, I have found myself all over the continent in a variety of pursuits from canoeing the Green River to ice climbing and dog sledding in Ontario, and I love it all.

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