How 2 – Wiring Grips
July 6th, 2012
Lock on grips swept into mountain biking like a whirlwind, removing all traces of regular ‘old school’ grips from anything other than cheap completes and the fossil records. But here we are and the old school ‘push-on’ style grip is making a comeback in mountain biking. Renthal stepped into the sport just over a year ago releasing their non lock-on grips to great success and then there’s Danny Hart, winning the 2011 World Champs on some regular push-on Odi Ruffian’s.
Words: Olly Forster | Photos: Nathan Carvell and Alex Tyler
So why have we starting to look at technology and designs that we considered backwards or obsolete just over a year ago? Fashion and aesthetics are certainly playing their part, but there are other benefits too. Lock-on grips carry more material in their circumference due to their design, making them wider and to an degree, decreasing feel and grip. Push-on grips also increase grip by decreasing pressure accross the palm, as there’s less girth and adding more real estate for your fingers to grip. Sure you can whip a pair of lock-on’s on and off in five minutes, but follow these instructions and get creative with your set up and do some experimenting. So how do you get them on and how do you stop them from slipping off in the rain? Hairspray? Magic? Read on…
Special grip wire is what you need and it’s dirt cheap, just like your newly purchased push-on grips and readily available from your local MX store. You’ll also need some pliers and something sharp to cut the wire with. I use a regular set of wire cutters and some needle nose pliers that live in my tool box. Nothing special.
To get them on, I’d recommend using Renthal’s grip glue – it’s messy and often needs a few hours to set, but it offers a seal against moisture getting under the grip, preventing any water from getting between the grip and your bars leading to slippage. It also acts as a lubricant to get them on and when it sets, provides a semi permanent bond between your bars and your new grips. Quite often and when time dictates, I use GT85. Spray it inside the grips, slide ‘em on and within a few minutes they’re on and stuck fast. With your grips on, it’s time to start wiring…
The first stage of wiring involves cutting a piece of wire just long enough to go all the way around the circumference of the grip with enough to length at either end to grab, pull and twist (like in the photo below). You then start twisting the wire. At this stage, check to see if your grips have any grooves or channels in them – these are usually where the wire should go.
Get the twitsing started by hand and get a few turns in before grabbing the pliers…. At this stage, make sure your wire is straight and not at an angle – gotta keep things nice and neat!
With your pliers, pull down on the wire and start twisting. At this stage you want things to start getting real tight, but you don’t need too much pressure as you can snap the wire…
When the wire’s tight enough, it will starts to bite into the grip. A few more turns and it good to remove the excess…
With the wire tight and biting into your grips, grab your cutters and cut everything off past about 5mm.
With the wire cut and with your 5mm of tightly twisted wire, firmly push this excess into the grips so it won’t snag on your hands or gloves. Remember – the wire is sharp so use something hard like the end of your pliers or a flat bladed skrew-driver to push this out of the way and into the grips rubber.
And there you have it. As a rule of thumb, I generally wire my grips at either end and once in the middle. Job done! Each grip should take around 10 minutes from gluing to wiring and I think a small price to pay for a unique and well deserved set up.
I can only recommend giving non lock-on grips a go as I’m certainly converted and I’m sure if you gave it a go, you might well discover what your bike’s been missing? They’re quite satisfying to fit too and perfect for anyone who likes being more in touch with their bike and the trail while adhering to the rustic charm of grips that don’t have metal and plastic at either end. Going down this route also opens up a plethora of rad grips to choose from that before, you’d never considered. Odi, Renthal, DMR and any number of the sick BMX brands out there make a whole host of rad grips in varying compounds, patterns and crazy colours. Follow these steps and your good to shred!