The Deity Knuckleduster grip is the grip of choice for the one of a kind World Cup shredder, Sam Blenkinsop. Grips are a very personal component on your bike and can sometimes be the very first part you change when getting a new bike. We think Deity is a pretty rad company and so we had our guy Max Morgan write up a review on the Deity Knuckleduster grips that he rides on all of his Santa Cruz bikes. To learn more about the man behind Deity Components, listen to Vital MTB's Inside The Line Podcast with Eric Davies!
Deity has developed their own rubber compound they call TRC rubber that is designed to balance grip and durability. The Knuckleduster uses one clamp on the inside of the handlebar, locking the grip down with a 3mm allen key. The grip uses a tapered internal plastic sleeve so that you have to tap the grip on to the handlebar for a tight fit. Deity has their own approach to a traditional half waffle grip with the Knuckleduster. The half waffle drops seamlessly into the bottom of the grip. The v channel ribs on top of the grip are designed to reduce vibration coming up the bike through your hands.
Right now, I have the Knuckleduster grips on every single one of my bikes. I raced all of the World Cup season on the Knuckledusters mounted up on my Santa Cruz V10. I've gone through all different styles and sizes of grips over the last few years, and right now I have on the Knuckleduster.
The bike is outfitted with Fox suspension front and rear, a Fox 40 Grip 2 up front and a Fox DHX2 coil shock in the back. This V10 is finished off with Industry Nine Grade 300 wheels, Maxxis DHR II DH casing tubeless tires, and Flat Tire Defender Foam Inserts.
Here's the first installation tip. To fully and properly install the Knuckleduster grip due to the tapered inner sleeve...make certain to whack the end of the grip 3 times with the palm of your hand until the grip fully seats onto the handlebar. You will feel when the grip slides on all the way to the end of the handlebar. The tapered inner plastic sleeve is what makes this grip unique and what makes the single clamp work. Compared to other grips like the ODI Elite Pro, the inner plastic sleeve on the Knuckleduster is a lot thinner and much more compliant. That combined with the tapered design and the single locking clamp gives you a grip that holds on to the handlebar the more you squeeze it, and a system that doesn't develop any play over time.
It's nice to see that the single clamp on the Knuckleduster takes a 3mm allen key to lock it down. Using 3mm compared to 2.5mm hardware, you don't have to worry as much about stripping out bolt heads when tightening down the grip clamp. You will find the same thing on the latest ODI grips and is a nice feature on the Deity Knuckleduster.
When I first mounted up the Knuckleduster, the shape of the grip fits nicely in your palm. Because there isn't a lock clamp on the outside of the grip, you can slide your hands all the way to the outside of the handlebars!
Because of the tapered inner sleeve, the Knuckledusters never developed any play or slop like some of the other grips I've used in the past. That tapered sleeve secures the grip quite a lot even without the single lock-on clamp.
I tend to slide my hands all the way out to the outside of the grip. With only one lock-on clamp, there is a seamless transition through the end of grip for comfort. Unlike other grips with a half waffle design where the waffle itself is outboard from the grip, the Knuckleduster uses a recessed waffle pattern and eliminates any hotspots in your hands that would come up over long rides.
The only negative I've found with the Knuckleduster is the rubber compound. Yes the rubber compound is grippy and yes the rubber compound is very durable. But in super wet conditions, the rubber compound on the grip feels a bit slippery. The shape and design of the grip with the half waffle and the v channel of ribs totally saves its performance in those conditions! I definitely still give the Knuckleduster a passing grade in wet conditions.
Out of all the contact points on the bike, the grips could be argued as the most important on the bike. Everyone prefers a specific feel with their grips and everyone's hands are different. With that in mind, not one particular set of grips is going to work for everyone. The outer diameter of the Knuckleduster measures 32mm, the half waffle gives you ample grip, and the ribs on top of the grip remove some trail vibration all without creating any hotspots in your hands. After riding plenty of different styles of the grips over the years, the Knuckledusters feel to be just a touch on the bigger side of average. If that sounds like you, then these just might be your dream grip! If you prefer a smaller diameter grip, check out the Deity Waypoint grip.
Max Morgan is 26 years old, and lives in Brevard, North Carolina. Max grew up in Atlanta, Georgia and started racing downhill at the age of 15. He has now been racing professionally for the last 8 years, competing in the UCI World Cup series and U.S. Pro GRT series. To learn more about Max, check out Max's rider spotlight here!