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Existentialism-- Just a bloody good excuse to go riding...

Monday, August 2, 2010

PDW grips

Was happy with my T-One with add-on DIY cushionings for awhile. But realized that it wasn't really that condusive to use with the Shimano DCLs. no matter how its tweaked, the levers doubling up as shifters will not be as responsive as dedicated brake levers.

This leads to one problem. Getting the right amount of lever reach with a thick ass grip is a bitchy affair. Too close, while one finger is able to be on hand to brake comfortably without stretching but the relatively long lever throw of Shimano brakes leaves too little clearance as the  levers hit the other fingers... before the calipers can effectively clamp down on the rotor.

While adjusting lever reach further away improveson the above, its a bit of a stretch for the index finger and forces the hand to hold it in a position which I'm not comfortable with especially in mid-air.

Mojak posted up a pic of a cool looking grip from Portland Design Works. They seem to be the answer to my problem. With an inner section curved inwards by a few mm, that's all it takes for me to have a better grip as the arch of thumb and index finger can be moved a little closer to the lever while the rest of the hand is still further back. That would allow the hand to hold more comfortably even when the lever has been adjusted further away.

My only hesitation then was the length. It looked to be about the standard length of most grips like ODI Lock On etc. I've been spoilt by adjustable length on the T-Ones.

But still it was too cool to pass up.... so got meself a pair in the end. Not cheap for grips but hey its something not often seen too. Again thanks to Mojak for all the arrangement. I guess there really are still some nice folks around!

Chucked it in my parts stockpile for a month before deciding that once installed, the shiny silver lockrings on the PDW Speed Metal Grips will be scraped and marred under my less than stellar riding into trees plus spills all over the trail by week's end.

Installation was a breeze. The logo part can be rotated to whatever facing you wish. At the same time it dawned on me that since the T-One used adjusable 10mm why not just leave a couple of them on to get back to my normal grip length of 19 cm.

The grip area as usual with most grips was not really to my liking. Might be sufficiently "ribbed" and "studded" if it was part of some vibrating toy in a ladies handbag.

However my big moronic palms whipered in me ears that they still like it thick cushy and rubbery... hence it received a dose of my standard tried and proven punctured tube sleeve. Only this time I did not cover the whole grip as the extra thickness will negate the concave feature which is the whole reason why these grips were gotten in the first place, apart from vanity.

First ride out with these were a little weird. Overall my bar suddenly feels different. Then I realize that the cushioning I had on in the past was really thick. With these now, the comfort level did not really suffer but I could "feel" my front end more, keeping me more in touch with what the front wheel and fork is doing.

I have long since realize that a couple of degrees in a bar can lead to very subtle changes in the way the hand holds them and the resultant shoulder position makes a hell of a difference when riding. The best people to check this out with are trials rider. They have the most demands when it comes to setting up the bar, stem and grips. Similarly the little concave section here is making slight subtle changes in  positive ways.

I manage to screw up my left hand with a really bad sprain right near the start of the ride but was still able to pull through a lap before stopping for the day. But overall even with a mangled paw, there was sufficient comfort in this new grip setup. With the arch of the thumb resting nicely on the concave section, the old T-One rings are probably not necessary as the tendencies to grip that far in is quite remote for me nowadays especially with a bike this big but I just hate having a 2 inch gap between the grip and levers.

Been 2 weeks now with no rides. Got to go out tomorrow night and get some air off the ground and see how the grips + levers work in tandem. From the first trail ride, it should not be disappointing.

All my grips last forever and throwing them out has never been a case of the original rubber area wearing out as all that gets worn out are the inner tube sleeves that gets changed from time to time but with these Speed Metal Grip u can choose to buy an extra set of the grip area. Good for those folks that doesn't have "add-ons" like me. Otherwise all is not lost too. I love hacks of replacing the rubbers on lock ons... and due to the design of the Speed Metals, this hack is even easier than most other lock ons in the market.

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