WTB has today revealed a new grip design, dubbed ‘Padloc’, that will rely on the handlebar having an angled end to stop rotation.
Chris Feucht, WTB’s manager of new product development, explains: "In order to prevent grip slippage, you have to look closely at where the rotation is occurring. Purely bolting a grip down is not going to solve the problem, you have to think about how they [grips] slide and then work on that specific contact area to prevent movement from occurring.
“Creating an angled plane on the handlebar’s end that counters forward movement solves this issue. The best part is, this also adds real estate for extra rubber, which makes PadLoc grips remarkably forgiving and comfortable. It’s funny that such an aggressive design is so easy on the hands."
When viewed without a grip, the rounded end of the handlebar appears lopped off, instead sloping at roughly a 30 degree angle downward for the last inch of the handlebar’s length. WTB then employs a hardened inner sleeve, which they refer to as the Subframe that fits directly over the handlebar, conforming to the handlebar’s profile and acting as a base skeleton for rubber attachment. Rubber then coats the Subframe, filling the void left from the handlebar’s angled end and making a rounded outer, which WTB refers to as the Wedge and is designed to provide palm comfort through a softer end that alleviates pressure. A single inboard lock ring, referred to as the Inner Lock, prevents external, horizontal movement.
WTB PadLoc grips require either modification of an existing handlebar or one specifically designed to accommodate them.
To allow existing handlebars to accept WTB PadLoc grips, Park Tool released a PadLoc handlebar modification tool. Named the Park SGI-7, it acts as an insert for the Park SG-7.2 Adjustable Saw Guide allowing shop employees to modify existing handlebars to accommodate PadLoc grips.
WTB will be offering PadLoc grips in six different profiles, each featuring multiple color ways and spanning from an oversized 33mm offering, named the Clydesdale, down to a 28mm diameter option aptly named the Thinline. There will also be a raised, ergonomically shaped Ace grip and a winged grip aimed at comfort and distance riding named the Wingnut. The 30mm diameter Commander grip will also be available in a Grip Shift option. All PadLoc grips will retail for $34.95 USD and have a projected mid-December availability from WTB while grip/handlebar combinations will begin shipping from SRAM in September 2015.
To view the system in the flesh, head to booth B4/105.