Welcome to the winning world of Renthal
Renthal is the leading handlebar and chainring manufacturer in the motocross world. In the last few years, the company embarked on an exciting new venture by creating a cycle division with the aim of using its passion, creativity and expertise to produce products for the mountain bike market.
We have created this lock-on grips buying guide with the help of Renthal's cycle marketing manager Ian Collins. The guide aims to help you choose the best mountain bike grips for you and your style of riding. We’ll explain the importance of grips as a key contact point, the R&D that is involved in their creation, and we'll also explain the four unique grip compounds in the Renthal mountain bike range and the performance characteristics they provide.
The importance of your grips
People often choose their mountain bike grips based on looks alone, yet Renthal see their grips as a performance product that should be higher up on a rider's pecking order when it comes to improving contact and control. Renthal's cycle marketing manager, Ian Collins, explains their philosophy: "Our thinking is that you wouldn’t choose your tyres on looks, your choice is based on the performance characteristics of the product. This should be just the same for your grips, which are your main point of contact with the bike and can massively influence control levels."
Research and development
Product testing and data acquisition work is always a top priority for Renthal; the company strives to produce products from the ground up using the highest quality materials, engineering and craftsmanship. Ian Collins explains some of the key stages in the product life cycle:
"Renthal complete a number of laboratory tests to prove out strength and durability of our grips. A lock-on grip has the advantage of being very easy to fit effectively and consistently and offers the most durable attachment to the bars. Durability tests involved destructive testing in a number of axis and an accelerated environmental test for long term, structural durability in extreme climates."
"We also have a depth of test riders, from World Cup level Downhill and Enduro athletes to high mileage trail riders. The World Cup downhill riders weren’t as keen on the Super Comfort compound as they were on the Kevlar, as the grip can move in shear too much for them under the high torque loads they generate. Trail riders loved the super comfort though and we found the lower torque loads produced by this less aggressive form of riding meant control wasn’t compromised."
Renthal's grip compounds explained
Renthal firmly believes in the importance of having a grip that meets your individual needs as a rider. To achieve this they have developed four unique grip compounds designed to provide you with the widest choice of performance characteristics and comfort. Ian Collins, Renthal's cycle marketing manager provides some key insight into each compound.
"Kevlar is our ultimate compound. It offers the best combination of soft and tacky feel, control and durability. This compound is suited to almost all types of riding, from trail riding, to XC, to downhill to dirt jumps. Virtually all of our World Cup Downhill and Enduro riders choose this compound."
"The medium compound is the firmest we offer in the Lock-On range. Riders requiring direct contact with the bike and the ultimate in control would choose this grip. Factory sponsored rider, Chris Akrigg chooses this grip for his trials bikes."
"The soft compound shares nearly all of the properties of the Kevlar grip, but at a lower price point and with reduced durability. So, like the Kevlar, this compound suits almost all types of rider except where budget is a criteria, or the unique colour of the Kevlar grip isn’t to the riders taste!"
"The Super Comfort compound is aimed squarely at the rider looking for the ultimate in comfort and shock absorption. Whilst there is a slight trade-off in terms of durability, nothing else out there offers the same level of comfort. Gloveless riders are particular fans of this grip, due to its extremely forgiving nature."