Pedalmaniac

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Get a Grip

I rode my mountain bike to work yesterday with the idea that I would go for a long off road ride on the way home. It was Friday, I was a little slow getting going in the morning -- kids to feed, dress and get to daycare. None-the-less I decided to take some trails on the way in to work.
As I was riding I noticed that my grip on my left side was a little loose. We have just been to the Oregon Coast, where my bike sat on the car for 5 days in the pouring rain. It was buffeted with water on the drive down, it sat out in the sleet and hail and driving rain and salt air for just too long. I think it was trying to tell me something, something like "take care of me". Anyway with all the water, some must have worked it's way under my left grip (front brake side). As I was descending along a trial towards work I came to a hard left-hander with a root just before it. Now I have taken this route to work many times. What I like to do is get a little air off the root and kick out the back end of my bike, landing in the correct direction for an exit to the corner. There are a few things that make this maneuver a bit dicey though. First off I'm still getting used to the new set up on my cross country bike. It still seems a little squirrelly. It might be the new forks or the new front wheel, but I really think it is the low end rear wheel (a Mavic Crossland) that makes it a handful. Secondly, the roots were all slick from the rain we had the previous night. Finally, there is a big tree at the apex of the corner, so one false move and ..... well you get the picture. But on this day none of those were to cause me grief. The loose grip on the other hand was the trump card.
Down the hill over the root -- a little air, kick out the rear wheel, land in the appropriate direction, a little front brake for speed control, a little front brake for speed control, hello, a little front brake for speed control. There was to be none of that. As I went to pull on the front brake as I landed my grip spun backwards. I jammed my wrist as I spun out of control towards the big tree at the apex of the corner. Luckily with a bit of body "English" I was able to miss the big tree and careen into the bushes. Hmm, I'll have to get a new grip. Who knew grips are so important?

Now I am partial to my grips. I have a set of rather ancient Serfas Connectors with red metallic sparkles that remind me of a kids bike.
They are comfortable.
The rubber is grippy.
They have character.
They have holes.
Those holes let in water.
The water makes the grip not so.
They have to go.
Get a grip

2 Comments:

  • not sure if a comfortable lock on grip has hit the market
    but
    lock on grips do not slip
    that much is for sure

    By Blogger gwadzilla, at 7:36 PM  

  • It's funny, I have lock grips on my "Free ride" bike and have always found them comfortable. This weekend I went for a long ride with a lot of downhill (read: braking) and my hands were really sore after it. Then I remembered your blog on lock on grips. You're right they aren't very comfortable.
    I'll probably just get grips that don't have holse in them, that should help

    By Blogger pedalmaniac, at 11:40 AM  

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