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PNW Components Loam Grip

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Average User Rating: (Excellent)
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1 member review

Excellent grips but could be a bit cushier

Rating: Featured Member Review
The Good:
-Comfortable and durable rubber
-Good wet grip and general support
-Lock ons that stay put
-Many colors available
-The grips wrap the bar's ends, no need for end caps
-Well priced
The Bad:
-Could filter out a bit more feedback
Overall Review:

Grips are a very personal thing, and it feels like the choice of what grip to run depends of one's mindset and bike setup at a given time. At one point I liked thin grips, and now I am more into thicker grips. Maybe that's because I am now running a 35mm bar since my hands didn't grow recently. I have different grips on all of my bikes, and I feel like each one suits one bike or the other for its intended purpose. For my commuter/road bike, I'm running comfy push-on grips to reduce the high pressure tires' road vibrations. No need for lock-ons on this one since I never swap grips or controls, and the absence of plastic underneath the grip helps with having a softer feel.

On my 160mm travel MTB though, lock-ons are mandatory because I like to swap things from time to time, and I don't want to glue push-ons on my handlebar. Last summer, I reviewed the Deity Knuckleduster grips which I loved very much. Building a new bike this spring, I wanted to try new grips as well just so that all my contact points would be new. Riding a newly built bike with old grips doesn't get the new bike day excitement as high as with new grips!

The PNW Loam grips seemed like the perfect combination of everything. I chose black, but there are many colors to choose from for those who like color matching. Most of those colors match specific bikes very well, like Pivot's "desert" color, Yet's turquoise, or FOX's factory orange for example. I quickly get tired of color-matched parts myself, so the black option is always my preferred choice.

PNW's Loam grips in black.

Grip pattern

Their grip pattern was very well thought-out and each "zone" has a purpose. I really like the super comfy "thin strips" zone closer to the brake levers, and the fact that it's a bit wavy feels like it adds a bit of support compared to other "mushroom" textured grips. Maybe the lines are a bit shallower or slightly wider than the competitor's, so this might also add to the well supported feel. This "zone" is really perfect and feels comfortable without being too "mushy". Good thing that it almost covers the whole grip except for the mountain lines zone. The wider mountain pattern isn't as forgiving but gives a good hold of the bars on the outside-most position. There are 2 wider lines around where your index sits on the bar, which then go all around the "mountain zone". Those lines are intended to give the grips a better pressure support, but while it feels really well supported, this might add some pressure where it should be as forgiving as the rest. I feel like a firmer or tighter-pattern grip underside (where the tip of your fingers end up) gives good traction and control while a comfier top helps with vibrations. The Loam grips are kind of the opposite but I haven't tried rotating them 180 degrees to see how different it would feel.

Compared to

This could seem like trying to find a flaw where this would be an advantage, but riding those grips all summer with the same fork, stem, bars and gloves as last season, something seemed a bit harsher than it was. I've tried rotating the grips a bit, played with my brake lever's angle, bar sweep position, but the feeling was always there. About 3/4 into the summer, I decided to install my Deity Knuckleduster grips from last year to see if I could feel a difference. I felt more comfortable right away and the little numbness or discomfort I was previously feeling with the Loam grips was gone. The Deitys have a 1mm bigger diameter (31mm Loam. vs 32mm Knuckleduster) and their pattern consists of smaller lines which makes the top of the grip more forgiving.

That doesn't mean that the PNW are uncomfortable grips, but maybe they're more suited to people who prefer this kind of pattern or more "blocky" pattern grips. I'm no grip designer, but if it was me, I'd divide the firmest part into more smaller lines so the transition between one zone to another would be more subtle (like on the Deity Knuckledusters). But I'm splitting hairs here. Some people love Oury or TLD Rogue grips and I don't, so it's good to have that many options to choose now.

Conclusion

I enjoyed those grips quite a bit, but I feel like small design tweaks could maybe make them feel even better for me. All the reviews and user ratings I've seen of the Loam grips suggest that there isn't much to improve and they're right. There's something for everyone now and there is a really good chance that the PWN Loam grips would suit you well if you like mushroom patterns with a bit more support. Durability has been good, and while they're wearing faster than the Deitys, they will be good for at least another season, which is more than reasonable. I'll be using them on my fat bike for riding on snow and they should be perfect for that application. PNW's first grips are great and I can't wait to see what they will come up with for their next version.

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Specifications
Product PNW Components Loam Grip
Riding Type Cross Country, Dirt Jump / Slopestyle, Downhill, Enduro / All-Mountain, Freeride / Bike Park, Trail, Other
Length 133.5mm (30mm diameter)
Material Happy Camper Compound – A 25A durometer blend that’s soft enough to absorb vibration, yet firm enough to keep its shape under pressure. Striking a balance between ultra soft materials that wear too quickly and a harder compound with no tactile benefits.
Colors Safety Orange, Black Out, Seafoam Teal, Cement Gray, Really Red, Fruit Snacks, Moto Green, Desert Dune, Pacific Blue
Weight 0 lb 3.2 oz (90 g)
Miscellaneous The Loam Grip features two contrasting patterns playing an important ergonomic role. Thin strips run horizontally across the grip’s surface for enhanced traction and supple feel, while the thicker mountain pattern helps support the pad of your hand. Beefing up this outer zone combats compound deterioration, ensures the grip is absorbing more vibration, sheds water on rainy days, and provides needed structure to support the additional body weight pressing down on this area.

Lifetime warranty
Price $19
More Info

www.pnwcomponents.com

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