Words By: Colin Reed
I love grips. They’re the perfect expression of yourself on a bike. You can choose grips based on how they perform and how they look. The PNW Loam Grips are a perfect combination of performance and style. From the engineered compounds to the snazzy patterns to the sweet colors they’re offered in, the Loam Grips are a great place to start your search for the grips that best fit you and your style.
PNW’s take on these grips was geared a little more towards the downhill/enduro crowd, so don’t expect any kind of mega weight-weenie savings or super-duper ultra-low-profile aerodynamics baloney. Instead, you can expect grips that grip well (really well, actually) and provide excellent comfort. PNW created a real winner with the Loam Grip and to celebrate how good they are, they’ve added a handful (get it?) of rad colors to the family.
New colors are nice and all, but really you should be paying attention to how your hands feel instead of choosing grips based solely on looks. The Loam Grip’s compound was dubbed the “happy camper” because PNW knew they found the right balance between tackiness and durability, which is a tough decision to make. Sometimes you want grips that feel like glue, but that comes at the cost of needing to replace your grips way too often. Swing too far the other way and you’ll have grips that last forever but feel like holding on to wet salami. PNW’s “happy camper” compound is juuuuuust right. It feels great in your hand and won’t make you need to replace them every other ride.
How about ergonomics? That’s always a tough one for grips because it’s such a personal preference. Thankfully the human hand is relatively the same from person to person, so PNW added some features that most people will enjoy. The Loam Grip is tapered from the outside to the inside, which follows the contours of your meaty paws. This allows the part of your hand that grabs the hardest to naturally fall into the most secure part of the grip. Then, there the pattern, which does more than just look cool. The horizontal strips near the inside play two roles. The first is that it gives you lots of grip when rotating your hand about the grip, which you probably do a lot more of than you realize. The second is that it feels like a nice, memory foam mattress under the part of your hand that usually experiences the most trail feedback. This keeps your hands from feeling like they’re holding a jackhammer on those long, rough tracks. The mountain looking pattern toward the outside of the grip is there to provide a landing pad for your palm. It gives plenty of support without being too gummy and gushy or too hard and dense...again, it’s the “happy camper” compound. And finally, there’s an inner flange to keep your hand from sliding too far inward during whatever wonky maneuvering you’re asking your bike to do.
PNW’s grips are great, plain, and simple. And like I said earlier, they’re celebrating their success with some sweet new colors. In addition to Orange, Red, Black, Teal, and Grey, PNW is introducing Dune (khaki), Fruit Snacks (purple), Pacific Blue (do I need to tell you this one?), and Moto Green. I highly recommend you check these grips out, especially since you can snag a pair for $19 bucks, which definitely won’t break the bank. We love them and I’m willing to bet you a pair of grips that you’ll love them, too.