Editor’s Note : We’ve got a pair of transcontinental test pilots teaming up for a review of the new Wolftooth Components line of Silicone grips. Andy is from Michigan and comes to the review process as an experienced Silicone Grip user, while Jeff had never ridden silicone grips before now. Jeff lives and rides in Wales. It’s like a two for one deal.
Review From Andy Amstutz
I have been using silicone grips for 5 years on my fat bike and plus bikes, all the while, thoroughly enjoying the comfort they bring, ease of installation, durability, and style. When the opportunity came up to give another brand a try, I jumped in headfirst. Uncle Gomez hooked both myself and Jeff “Summittoppler” Price with two pairs of silicone grips from accessory specialists Wolf Tooth, who recently acquired the grip product line from RedMonkey Sports. Wolf Tooth now has five new grips in multiple colors and sizes from which to choose.
- Razer Grip: 5mm foam wall thickness (30mm installed diameter), available in 10 colors, lightweight, ‘ideal for riders who enjoy sensitive bike handling’
- Karv Grip: 6.5mm foam wall thickness (32mm installed diameter), available in 10 colors, ‘thicker foam makes it perfect for long rides’
- Karv Cam Grip: 6.5mm foam wall thickness (32mm installed diameter), available in two colors, two facets formed into grip allow riders to choose an ergonomic position that best supports hand position and riding style
- Fat Paw Grip: 9.5mm foam wall thickness (36mm installed diameter) is ‘the thickest silicone foam grip on the market, available in 10 colors, ideal for riders with large or gloved hands’
- Fat Paw Cam Grip: 9.5mm foam wall thickness (36mm installed diameter), available in two colors, two facets formed into grip allows a choice of ergonomic position that best supports hand position and riding style
Jeff and I each received a pair of the Karv Grips and the Karv Cam Grips. Upon summer riding trips to Duluth, Copper Harbor, and Marquette, I’ve come away with some opinions of both.
Installation for the Karv Grips (round) was slick. Rubbing alcohol has always done the trick for me. Clean the bar, pour some inside the grip and slide it on…set it and forget it. Install of the Karv Cam Grip required some thought though.
Wolf Tooth suggests three different possible positions for the cam depending on rider preference. Here’s the thing though, once the cam is set in place (either out, down or in), it’s not an enjoyable task to rotate them into a different position. I originally installed the cam in the down position thinking that would be most comfortable only to discover that it was not. So back to the garage, I went with an old spoke, gently and carefully sliding it between the bar and grip so I could pour some rubbing alcohol in there to allow rotation of the grip to the, hopefully, more comfortable position. The cam creates two thinner sections (they call them facets) of the grip so one has to be very careful not to poke through the grip with the spoke. If you don’t have an air compressor handy, I don’t know if there is a better way to rotate silicone grips. Anywho, I positioned the cam to the out position and found grip nirvana. With the cam in the out position, the palm of the hand has more cushion while the finger and thumb wrap-around is ergonomically friendly. One might have to play around with cam position but once you find the correct spot, your hands will love you. I actually liked the Karv Cam Grips more than the old fashioned round Karv Grips due to the ergonomics.
During the testing period, I had one small crash which took a nic out of the interface where the facet meets the round portion of the grip most likely due to it being the thinner portion of the grip. Maybe something to debate: ergonomic friendly silicone grips are more susceptible to tearing? Other than a potential durability issue with the Karv Cam grips, both styles stayed in place (no throttling), provided tacky grip (I’m a sweater too), were comfortable and fostered cockpit control. If you’re a fan on silicone grips Wolf Tooth probably has a style and color that will suit your needs. I know I’m a fan.
Review from Jeff Price – Summittoppler
Wolf Tooth silicone grips landed in Wales from Fat-Bike.com HQ for a couple of months of testing. On both my Salsa’s I have stayed with the standard grips that came with the bikes so when the opportunity came along to try something new, I thought why not? Grips are grips, right?
Beginning with the installation I found that after a good clean of the bars following the removal of previous said grips, it was all down to following the simple instructions on the Wolf Tooth packaging. I did find it pretty tough to get both sets on the bars, which did take some time. However I suppose if they are tough to install then they’ll be tough to remove or even move and that is correct, they haven’t moved a millimetre. When installing the Karv Cam grips it was a struggle to keep the shape uniform on the bars whilst twisting them into place. The instructions on the Cam grips shows that they can be fitted in any of 3 positions which is just as well due to the difficulty of installation. However, just ensure both sides are the same!
I used the Cam grips on the bouncy Bucksaw and the Karv on the Mukluk. During the test period, I ensured I didn’t wear gloves on the rides as I wanted to get a ‘feel’ of the grips. To be honest I didn’t notice the difference between the two I tested but this could be down to two different types of bikes, one full suss and one fully rigid.
After wearing gloves on most of my rides I was expecting some aching in the hands but I didn’t have any, win, win!
From dry hot sweaty days to mountain summits filled with moisture in the mist, I had total grip in both pairs. There was no slipping on the grips and the grips did exactly what grips do, GRIP! They have also stayed in place on the bars perfectly, grippyliscious! (new word).
The Wolf Tooth grips have certainly opened my eyes away from the standard grips that are supplied on my bikes and these are available in many colours!
Wolf Tooth grips have certainly got a thumbs up from me.
For more information about Wolftooth Components visit – https://www.wolftoothcomponents.com/