03 August 2009

bikefix Exclusive Review: Syntace Screw-On Gripz Moto

Yes, we at bikefix review a lot of Syntace equipment. No, we do not get a better deal for their stuff than we usually get (we almost always pay wholesale, EP or retail for the equipment in our reviews). We just like Syntace stuff- the company seems to do a consistently good job. I liked the idea of lock-on grips but I have never really warmed to them when using them. I guess the biggest problem I have with them is that they tend to run fairly thick. I also don’t like how, no matter what I try, I can always feel a bolt-head under a finger or two somewhere on the grip while I’m riding. I also have to admit that I almost never have traditional grips start moving on me either, so I’m not that motivated to keep on trying lock-on’s.

The Screw-On Gripz caught my eye because they only bolt on the outside, and that appealed to me since I often use SRAM XO twist (Grip Shift) shifters. The inside of the grip is also the side that I often feel the bolt-head on. When the grips arrived, I was even more impressed because they are thinner than most bolt-on grips. Despite being thinner than most lock-on grips, Syntace managed to put a strip of extra cushion along the grip for the rider’s palms. I mounted them right up with no trouble at all and off I rode.

I do like the Syntace grips, but in practice I didn’t like them as much as regular old rubber grips. I do like them more than any other bolt-on’s that I’ve tried, but they still don’t fell quite “right” to me. I have small hands though (no jokes now) and perhaps therein lies the rub. I didn’t like the extra padded strip of rubber under my palm at all though (it’s too mushy/flimsy) so I rotated the grips about 180 degrees and I like them much more this way. One thing I really have learned to appreciate is the protection offered by the lock-on ring, especially turned around the way I have them. They offer a fair amount of pinky protection from scrapes on tight trees or rocks. The Screw-On Gripz are completely compatible with Grip shift as they can be cut-down on the inside and they come in Black, Grey, Yellow, or Blue.

Syntace have stopped bringing the Screw-On Gripz into the US, as the market is pretty saturated and they never really took off. This is too bad- these are well made and thought out- and the best locking grips I've tried. My problems with them are more along personal preference lines and very specific to me. Many people won’t have the same issues, so they might be perfect for a lot of folks. Living in a dry climate doesn’t endear me to lock-on’s in the first place, because as I mentioned, I rarely have grips that decide to start turning on me. If you live in one of the sloppier parts of the world (where they are available) and are looking for a thinner locking grip, this may well be the grip for you. They weigh 99 grams and retailed for about $22.00



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