A Chromag Grip Guide

A Chromag Grip Guide

Posted by Michael Sawatzky on

 

 

As one of three touch points connecting you to your bike, the choice of grips matters as it influences how secure and comfortable you feel as you barrel down the mountain. The ideal grip choice is intricately tied to variables like your hand size, the grip's durometer (its firmness), and your preferences towards slim or thick grips, as well as its physical textures / patterns. Chromag, known for its craftsmanship, has developed a diverse range of grips, each tailored to address distinct rider preferences and demands. In this comprehensive grip guide, we delve into Chromag's lineup, exploring the design nuances and features that set each grip apart.

Alright, before we dive in, let's get some basics down to make sense of grip specifications. This will set you up with the know-how you need to pick out your next pair of grips.

Width Chart

Narrow mountain bike grips typically suit riders with smaller hands or those who prefer an outboard (toward the end of the handlebar) hand placement. As most of our grips have flanges on both ends, a narrow grip can create a feelig of 'containment' where the hand is locked in between the ends. They also allow closer spacing for the brake levers, which usually compliments shorter fingers.

Wide grips typically suit larger hands but can also provide room for movement during the ride which can add a degree of comfort or create clearance between the hand and controls (shifter, brake lever). A rider with larger hands may want more clearnce in the width of the grip while also being able to place the brake lever at an optimal position without the shifter interfering with the inside of the hand.

Riders who do tricks (like no handers or barspins) may also prefer wider grips as they create more unobstructed surface (away from brake levers) to quickly grip on to.

Durometer Chart

Durometer serves as a standardized metric for assessing the firmness of materials, such as rubber and plastics, by quantifying the force required to create an indentation. This measurement is particularly crucial in the realm of mountain bike grips, where seemingly subtle variations in durometer ratings can have implications for durability, comfort, and overall grip performance.

The durometer rating, denoted by values like 25a, essentially signifies the level of firmness in the rubber. Higher ratings, such as 25a, indicate a firmer composition, leading to heightened durability. This robustness ensures that the grip can withstand the rigors of mountain biking over extended periods.

Conversely, as durometer values decrease towards, our softest compound 9a, the grips gradually adopt a softer and more adhesive texture. While these softer grips possess increased levels of grip and tactile adherence, it's important to note that their longevity might be comparatively reduced. Their pliability and tackiness, while advantageous for traction, may result in slightly quicker wear and tear.

Starting at 25a, even our highest durometer grips are quite soft, with a focus on comfort and performance. This means that any Chromag grip will start to wear from the first day you start using them. Typically, a 25a grip should last a full season of riding where an ultra-soft 9a grip would be replace once or twice a season, or even more if you are a competitor or a committed enthusiast!

The tread design will influence our choice of durometer. For example, models such as Palmskin or Squarewave have taller more flexible tread shapes and feature a higher 25a durometer. While the surface may be less tacky in these models, the flexible shape of the tread still provides cushion and comfort. Our Dune and Basis models feature a very dense, consolidated tread design and allow us to apply very soft 9a-15a compound, which provide a very tacky surface without excessive ‘squirm’. Our Clutch, Format, and Squarewave XL models have moderate tread heights and feature a mid-level compound at 20a.

Diameter Chart

What is the difference between thick and thin grips?

Chromag grips feature diameters ranging from 30 to 33mm. A thicker grip diameter typically suits larger hands but can also provide comfort via enhanced cushioning and shock absorption as well as a bigger surface/diameter against the hand.

A smaller diameter grip will typically suit a smaller hand but can also provide a stronger connection, a more direct feel and be more graspable with increased ‘wrap’ of the hand.

Again, hand size is the primary definer here, but comfort may be prioritized over grasp strength. Note that: A small hand may not be able to optimally wrap a larger grip, but may also experience more comfort. A large hand may ‘overwrap’ a narrow diameter grip at which point, there isn’t a benefit in grasping strength.

Tip: If you find the tips of your fingers are fighting against your palm as you ride, you may be overwrapping and should try a bigger diameter grip!

 

Chromag Grip Models

The Clutch Grip: Versatile Mastery

The Clutch Grip is one of our widest grips and stands as a versatile master with its integration of palm dimples and finger-friendly waffle tread. This dual-textured approach strikes a balance to optimize both traction and comfort. The palm-side, facing the rider is where the hands are in primary contact with the grip.  This side has a square grid pattern which features rounded edges with dimples for cushioned traction.  The opposite side of the grip comes more into play when the rider is experiencing demanding conditions and needs to grasp more firmly.  This is the part of the grip where the fingers wrap around.  Here we have placed a more aggressive waffle tread, contoured to match the knuckle bends along the finger's length, creating a prominent series of ridges to grasp. Its 30mm diameter, combined with an extra-wide 150mm, allows flexible positioning to accommodate various hand sizes. Striking a balance between softness and durability, the Clutch Grip boasts a 25a durometer. It also features a hallmark of Chromag dual clamp grips, it's 'Split-Teardrop' end clamp not only safeguards the bar end but also ensures a secure connection to the handlebars.

Clutch Specifications:

  • Durometer: 20a
  • Length: 150mm
  • Diameter: 30mm
  • Clamp Type: Dual clamp
  • Weight: 113g/pair

The Format Grip: Feature Packed Single Clamp

Catering to riders who prefer a smaller width, diameter, and a single clamp design  Format Grip employs carefully designed patterns and zones to accommodate various hand dynamics. Its a culmination of all the knowledge we gained after making grips for over a decade. It comes equipped with a relieved thumb section for comfort, a waffle pattern underneath to give you something to pull against and subtle finger pockets to give it that pre broken in feel. Its firmer 20a durometer compound balances tackiness and durability.  Its narrow width also make it a great option for medium to smaller hands. 

Format Specifications: 

  • Durometer: 20a
  • Length: 133mm
  • Diameter: 30mm
  • End Clamp: Single Clamp
  • Weight: 91g/pair

The Basis Grip: Uncompromising Performance for Intense Riding

Designed for riders who demand a direct and positive connection, the Basis Grip boasts a slender diameter a pattern of dimples and a very tacky compound. This combination enhances grip while minimizing surface wear, making it the top choice for high-intensity scenarios where a precise understanding of your bike's behavior is crucial. Its narrower and thinner profile suits individuals with average to smaller hands, offering improved maneuverability in technical terrain without rapid grip fatigue. The consolidated structure of this tread design allows us to use a softer, 15a compound for a tacker surface feel, without excessive wear, or a ‘squirmy’ feel.

Basis Specifications:

  • Durometer: 15a
  • Length: 142mm
  • Diameter: 30mm
  • Clamp Type: Dual clamp
  • Weight: 104g/pair

The Dune Grip: Consistent Tread Design

Chromag introduces the Dune Grip as its latest addition to the lineup, catering to riders who prefer utilizing the full width of their bars. Sporting a single clamp design, the Dune Grip allows your hand to be placed on or over the edge. Its rounded diamond knurling ensures consistent traction across the grip's entirety with a slight degree of cushion. With a 15a durometer compound, the Dune Grip is softer than most and wears in quickly. The Supasoft variant, identifiable by its silver collars, prioritizes ultimate traction, boasting an ultra-tacky 9A durometer. We like to think of it as max grip tires for your hands! Both versions benefit from a break-in process for enhanced tackiness.

Dune Specifications:

  • Durometer: Standard 15a / Supasoft 9A
  • Length: 134mm
  • Diameter: 30mm
  • Clamp Type: Single Clamp
  • Weight: 88g/pair

The Palmskin Grip: Supple Comfort, Moisture Management

For those seeking a softer, potentially gloveless experience, the Palmskin Grip offers a ribbed pattern that enhances compliance and moisture dispersion. This feature makes it an excellent option for wet weather conditions. The ribbed pattern can fold and compress more easily under then hand, while the gaps between the ridges accommodate air flow to expel trapped moisture.

Palmskin Specifications:

  • Durometer: 25a
  • Length: 142mm
  • Diameter: 30mm
  • Clamp Type: Dual clamp
  • Weight: 104g/pair

The Squarewave Grip : Performance Meets Endurance

Combining performance and comfort, the Squarewave Grip features a gentle bulge that cradles the hand's cup, distributing pressure evenly across the palm. Its progressive tread, with a softer outer edge and a coarser center, utilizes a 25a compound for prolonged durability. Due to its smaller, firmer knobs, the Squarewave Grip is recommended for use with gloves.

Squarewave Specifications:

  • Durometer: 25a
  • Length: 142mm
  • Diameter: 31mm
  • Clamp Type: Dual clamp
  • Weight: 106g/pair

The Squarewave XL: Big Diameter Extra Cush

Whether you have bigger hands, or simply prefer a larger grip, softer grip, the Squarewave XL provides a larger overall diameter with increased width. Increased rubber depth makes for an overall softer feel and the subtle bulge fits nicely in the cup of the palm. Having this extra cush will ensure that your hands will be grateful during those all-day adventures. It's a great option for those who intend to spend long days out on the bike and want to keep their hands feeling fresh.

Squarewave XL Specifications:

  • Durometer: 20a
  • Length: 146mm
  • Diameter: 33mm
  •  Clamp Type: Dual clamp
  • Weight: 148g/pair

    The Wax Grip: Cushioned Control for Dirt Jumps

    For those prioritizing cushioning and an 'all rubber' feel, the Wax Grip stands as an exceptional choice. Its generous 150mm width offers ample hand positioning options, especially for tricks and jumps. The ribbed pattern increases cushioning, making it suitable for larger impacts while maintaining a grip even in sweaty conditions. 

    Wax Specifications:

    • Durometer: 25a
    • Length: 150mm
    • Diameter: 30mm
    • Clamp Type: N/A
    • Weight: 130g/pair

      Chromag's grips are all about making your connection with your bike even better. We've got something for every rider, every preference, and every style. If you're still not sure which grip is right for you, shoot an email to sales@chromagbikes.com for a personalized recommendation.

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