ODI did not invent bolt-on bicycle grips. Take a trip down the rabbit hole that is patents.google.com, and you’ll find a wood and sheet-metal contraption conceived for the razzle-dazzle velocipeds of 1899. But it didn’t catch on, and all we had to secure our grips for the next 100 years was safety wire and hairspray.
That all changed in 1998 with the the ODI Ruffian Lock-On. Since then, ODI has set the standard in dual-clamp grips. They’d been steering clear of the growing single-clamp category until just last year with the introduction of their Version 2.1 system used on the Aaron Gwin signature models.
The unique concept permanently attaches the aluminum hardware to a remarkably stiff plastic core. And at the opposite end, short strips of sticky rubber are exposed through the plastic to add extra friction against the bar. The result is one of the stiffest-feeling single-clamp grips you’ll ever lay your hands on.
Beyond addressing the flex issues that plague its competitors’ grips, ODI figured out a unique way of making the thin, Ruffian-like grip just a little more soft and forgiving. Though its outer surface is perfectly cylindrical, the soft rubber of the grip isn’t the same thickness all the way around. ODI put clocking marks on the outside end of the grip to help with alignment–the 0-degree point aligns with the thickest and softest part of the grip. When aligned correctly, the $29 Flows put more cushion against your palm without feeling like bloated soup cans at the end of your bars. If they’re still too thick, ODI also offers the more traditional and minimal Elite Motion grips. Or, if they’re not thick enough, there are the softer and uniquely contoured Elite Pros.
The waffle pattern on the Elite Flows’ underside aptly anchors your fingertips around the bar. The small flange at the end surrounds a durable integrated plastic cap, and is much nicer to lean against than a hard aluminum ring.
To all the dual-clamp die-hards out there, the times are a-changing. Nobody’s trying to take your Ruffians away, but consider what you may be missing before we have to pry them from your cold dead hands.