What Do Riders Think? Seven Lock-On Grips Reviewed by Vital MTB Members 26

With dozens of grips to choose from, how do you find the best pair? Vital MTB members weigh in on some popular options.

What Do Riders Think? Seven Lock-On Grips Reviewed by Vital MTB Members

There's power in numbers, and collectively Vital MTB readers put in more trail miles and try out more products than our team of professional reviewers ever could. With over 3,000 reviews and 18,000 products in the Vital MTB Product Guide, it's a great place to find real-world opinions and compare product specs. Here are seven highly-rated lock-on grips and product impressions from riders just like you:


DEITY Knuckleduster Lock-On Grip

Rider Likes

Rider Dislikes

  • Great grip, even with sweaty mitts
  • Surprising amount of damping
  • A veritable panoply of color options
  • Durable for how soft they are
  • Very comfortable
  • Diameter is a little thick

Key Impressions

"The second set I bought specifically to go on a rigid bike. They’re that good. The three patterns do seem a bit like they’re trying to do too much in one grip, but it works really well,I’ll be replacing these with more Knuckledusters when that time comes." - Losifer

"My first impression of the grips were the feel, which was not as skinny as other grips that I had used previous. However, they felt comfortable and in riding scenarios I didn't feel that I was getting bad arm pump or fatigue. The next thing I noticed was the sheer amount of grip that I was getting with these grips, given the design it gives your hand a lot to hold on to. The exterior portion of the grip is a little soft. In scenarios where my hands come on to the bar on the outside of the grip, it doesn't feel quite as firm and doesn't provide as good of a foundation as the exterior portion of dual lock on grips." - MTBcanuck

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Shop the Deity Knuckleduster at Jenson USA, starting at $21.99


DMR Deathgrip Lock-On Grip

Rider Likes

Rider Dislikes

  • Super grippy
  • Flange option
  • Multiple thickness options
  • Loads of colors
  • Excellent comfort for long days
  • Great grip both wet and dry, with and without gloves
  • You can pretend you're Brendog. Sort of.
  • No hot spots even without gloves 
  • Flange keeps hands where you want them
  • Durability
  • Limits to the amount of abuse the built in end-caps can take

Key Impressions

"The Deathgrip combines a mushroom, diamond and waffle style grip to create a grip that is just a pleasure to hold. The only real issue is the outer edge or bar end area wears pretty fast, as this was the main contact of the grip and my hand I found that the bar end quickly began to peel away from the hard plastic core." - captainofass

"After using my initial pair in the super wet Pisgah 111k last year I have added these to my other bikes as well. Grip in the wet both with without gloves remains excellent. With the soft compound they do wear faster than some of the other options out there, but the price is very reasonable." - curry.j.3

"I had to get used to the thicker inner part of the grip. The flange is really small, so there is no problem with shifter/brake/dropper remote." - rotzaug

"The grip is outstanding in the wet and dry, with or without gloves. My hands stay very comfortable all day and I no longer experience hot spots under my middle and ring finger. Overall I'm very pleased." - ryan_daugherty

"Super grippy out of the box and gained grip as it broke in. One of the main benefits of this grip is the single lock-on clamp. This allows your hands to be on the outside of the grip without resting on a metal clamp, so hand fatigue is reduced. Definitely my go to grip from now on!" - lagocza

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Shop the DMR Deathgrip at Jenson USA, starting at $24.95


Ergon GE1 Evo Lock-On Grip

Rider Likes

Rider Dislikes

  • Precise
  • Solid hardware
  • Grippy
  • Comfortable grip angle
  • Softer compound
  • A little dorky looking 
  • Rubber end may wear
  • Takes more time to set up than traditional grips
  • May not be for everyone

Key Impressions

"The Ergon grips add a little more meat on the outside of the grip, effectively adding a little more backsweep. This evened out the pressure on my hands and straightened my wrist alignment, providing long distance comfort despite feeling much slimmer in my hand and much more responsive to input. If you're searching for maximum grip at the cost of longevity, Ergon also makes these in a Factory model with softer rubber." - JasonALap

"The texture that they have in combination with the soft durometer rubber adds tons of grip. Some people may not like the additional pistol grip ridge that they added by the index finger but this is one of my favorite features!" - millsr4

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Shop Ergon Lock-On Grips at Jenson USA, starting at $29.95


ODI Ruffian Lock-On Grip

Rider Likes

Rider Dislikes

  • Proven design
  • Nice selection of colors
  • Thin grip
  • Great feel
  • Knurled pattern gives great traction in dry or wet conditions
  • Sweet endcaps
  • Wear quicker than some other options
  • Tiny bolts that can strip easily
  • May tear up your hands a little when new

Key Impressions

"ODI Ruffian grips have been my go-to mountain bike grip for many years.The firmer feel and fine texture provides a solid contact point with the handlebars and they have enough padding for my bare hands. Although the current grips are an acceptable 130mm wide, sometimes I feel like an extra 5mm or 10mm width would lead to a roomier feel for my larger hands." - thinkbike

"Switched from the ODI Rogue to the Ruffian for more feeling, which the Ruffian definitely offers. An issue I have is with the head size and strength of the lock-on ring bolts. While I know these need to be small and light it is really easy to strip these out." - awol12

"Don't last very long but they are incredible while they do, you can just buy the grip after you have the lock rings." - Uncoiled

"The smallest of the ODI family, the Ruffian have stood the test of time and could be considered the standard bike grip against which others are judged. I personally like a bit thicker grip (but not too thick) so I go with the Ruffian MX. If the smaller size is your thing, you just can't go wrong with the classic." - SaddleRags

"I like these, but I find them a bit too thin and narrow so I wouldn't buy them again but I do like the tacky, grippy surface." - ZMC888

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Shop the ODI Ruffian at Jenson USA, starting at $19.90


Race Face Love Handle Lock-On Grip

Rider Likes

Rider Dislikes

  • Good ergonomic design
  • High quality rubber
  • Well thought out patterns
  • Dual locking rings with durable bolts
  • Grippy
  • Lots of trail feedback
  • Questioning durability of parts of the grips
  • A bit unforgiving

Key Impressions

"Over the palm of the hand, they have a simple ridged design that changes half way around the grip to a thinner and much grippier mini-diamond shape. The tapered profile fits well within my hand and I love knowing exactly where my hands are while riding even the most challenging sections of the trail; something very difficult to be able to do with a flat grip. The grip of the Love Handles works well for those who ride with and without gloves. The silicone that covers the locking rings isn't actually attached to the locking rings themselves though. They hover over them which means there is a large amount of padding that is just floating on the outside of the grips." - dirtworks911

"The shape of the grip, wider in the middle, narrower on the outer edges, makes for a very comfortable grip and your hand is always in the right spot. I usually go through about 3-4 pairs of grips per season. These lasted me at least twice as long before I felt like they might need replacing. The only negative I can think of (and it depends on preference only) is that they are quite narrow and you do feel a bit more of the trail. I personally enjoy this, but I know some people enjoy a thicker, softer grip to deaden some of that trail chatter." - NMK183

Read More

Shop the Race Face Love Handle at Jenson USA, starting at $21.25


Renthal Lock-On Grip

Rider Likes

Rider Dislikes

  • More durable than you think
  • Great damping properties
  • Matches Renthal bars
  • Outside collar can wear early
  • Not textured enough for gloveless riding
  • Limited color options

Key Impressions

"I got the black Ultra Tacky compound, half expecting them to last about two months before falling apart. However, I've been proved wrong. The grips are now coming on to a year of use and they are no were near as worn as you would expect. I would easily guess they have another year of use in them maybe more. The best thing about the grips is that because they are so soft, they have fantastic damping properties. I noticed in the months after fitting the grips that my forearms were becoming less fatigued on the same descents without changing anything on my suspension or tyre pressure." - caluml92

"I personally ride gloveless and with my hand right over the end of the bars and for me I just didn't get on with this grip. As soon as your hands get a bit sweaty, it feels almost completely smooth. I've ridden other dual locking grips and noticed the outside collar digging in but not to this extent. As the compound is so soft there is quite a lot of squish to the grip area, this created the feeling of quite a sharp edge on the inside of the outside collar. It dug into my hand really badly and I just couldn't use these grips." - captainofass

Read More

Shop the Renthal Lock-On at Jenson USA, starting at $24.95


Sensus Swayze Lock-On Grip

Rider Likes

Rider Dislikes

  • Wears well
  • Feel great
  • Lots of color choices
  • Super comfortable
  • Compatible with ODI end caps
  • Colored grips show dirt fast
  • Weak end caps (Sensus push style)
  • Flange can impact shifter but a quick cut and all is well

Key Impressions

"The Swayze is a good looking grip and you have to love the Sensus style. Haven't had any issues with hand fatigue or losing grip in all shorts of different conditions. I have used other grips from ODI and Diety with flanges and had had no issues, but with the Swayzes I have contact with the up shifting paddle. The Sensus bar end caps are also a weak point. They easily bend out and get dirt packed between the cap and the lock ring." - awol12

"These are my current go-to grip. I ride without gloves trail riding and I've had zero issues with comfort or slipping. Long days of pedaling and have not experienced anything negative with regards to callouses or rubbing. Bonus that they come in a number of colors and can customize on their site with grip and lock ring colors. The flange is large and can rub against or get in the way of your shifter, but a quick snip and you are on your way." - danielhfranks

Read More

Shop the Sensus Swayze at Jenson USA, starting at $25.00


Love your grips? Know how they could be improved? Help out your fellow MTBer by writing a review. The top Vital reviewer each month earns a $100 Jenson USA gift card.

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