WTB Commander PadLoc Grip

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WTB Commander PadLoc Grip (black-grey)
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A quality upgrade component that is simple and has lots of surprising benefits

Rating: Featured Member Review
The Good:

Simple one piece design with a protective sleeve and padded bar end combo that feels just right. If a shop tried to tell you to swap to another brand/style bar/grip combo, they'd not have a benefit to point out. Bare handed riders will love them.

The Bad:

Anyone afraid of cutting their expensive bars to mate them has no way to demo them to feel the benefits. That is a hard sell, but I argue...worth it. Only four grip pattern choices, along with SRAM's Blackbox & Boobar pre-cut bars, today Pivot introduced their own grip pattern Padloc bar & grip combo plus more are on the way.

Overall Review:

Let me preface this review by saying I was open to this concept before it ever hit the shelf and was on a waiting list to get them. I was hoping they would prevent the numbness in my hands from decades of palm parking myself in the dirt. I couldn't get them fast enough. I come from the old days of motocross, where spraying alchohol on your grips, painting them with hair spray and waiting patiently to make sure they seated, then aggressively strapping them down to the bar with grip wire pliers in hopes of the grip somehow staying planted in the rain on a 40 foot cased landing. It was a big, BIG deal!

When dual lock ring grips came along, I was both feet all in! No twisting. Who cares. After over a decade now of not having my grip abandon me on a landing, I've developed a hatred for that

Overall Review:

Let me preface this review by saying I was open to this concept before it ever hit the shelf and was on a waiting list to get them. I was hoping they would prevent the numbness in my hands from decades of palm parking myself in the dirt. I couldn't get them fast enough. I come from the old days of motocross, where spraying alchohol on your grips, painting them with hair spray and waiting patiently to make sure they seated, then aggressively strapping them down to the bar with grip wire pliers in hopes of the grip somehow staying planted in the rain on a 40 foot cased landing. It was a big, BIG deal!

When dual lock ring grips came along, I was both feet all in! No twisting. Who cares. After over a decade now of not having my grip abandon me on a landing, I've developed a hatred for that outside collar. Gone are Bar Ends, but I love moving my hands around on a long ride, including palming the ends, rotating my hands 180 degrees to the bar and various other hand positions. But that evil little metal clamp is there, ice cold, unyielding...and waiting to carve it's name in my car's paint at a moment's notice.

Next generation grips, like the Santa Cruz single lock ring grips could never persuade me that they won't shoot off and kil me, so they're NOT an option. I've guinea pigged too many bad ideas on a mountain bike.

FIrst hurdle...talking your shop into buying the $15 Park Tool adapter. @BillyGoatBikes was down so in I went. In less than 5 minutes, they made the cut, clean and precise. Simple. Easy. It was time to hit the trail.

I told WTB my riding style and the grips I've preferred in the past, the ODI Ruffian MX. They recommended the Commander pattern and they were right (spot on in bike slang). It is important to note the wedge shaped end is NOT a separate piece, but is part of the grip, no seems or gaps. Images had me thinking it clicked into the end of the grip. On the contrary, it is a single grip with a fairly firm, grippy rubber compound that does not just squish under weight. Very important as I thought it would be akin to a gel insert. WTB got it just right.

In use, here are the benefits:

1. Protection for your car's paint, the shop window, that display case, drywall. They act like a fork bump stop for walls and cars.No gouging your thigh, punching your rib AND protection for your high end handlebar. The inner sleeve is sealed so rest assured the angled cut of your bar stands no chance of coming out the end of the grip.

2. No pain or raised flange from an outer collar.

3. Protection from rotation (hard to prove or disprove), but an obvious "just in case" benefit, a primary design goal for WTB that is well executed

4. Reduced numbness and hand pain on extended rides, something you can feel. It is not a miracle cure, but they help, which is all I asked

5. They offer an excellent perch for palms up riding, long DH sessions moving your hands around the grips (many riders hover pinkies off the ends of their bars) but manage to still offer a firm and substantial grip end that doesn't squish, wiggle or stand to tear easily.

These grips check off every box for me. They got rid of the thing I began to hate about lock ons..that cold and soulless, palm eating, paint gouging outer lock ring. Then they added a firm, palm pleasing end that I've learned can be used for torqueing up a steep climb or to rest upon when spinning up big gaps of gravel.

If I can make ONE argument for these grips that would help others, it would be this. If your bike was speced with the Padloc grip OEM and your shop tried to sell you any other brand, what feature or benefit could they give to convince you to switch back to any other single or double clamp grip?
They aren't better than sliced bread, but the Padloc is an ungrade worth making.

Now that Pivot is offering a pre-cut bar/grip combo purchase retail as well as the SRAM Blackbox and Boobar bars, those not wanting to cut their bar and not be able to swap out can get on board.

Specifications

Product WTB Commander PadLoc Grip
Riding Type Cross Country, Dirt Jump / Slopestyle, Downhill, Enduro / All-Mountain, Freeride / Bike Park, Trail
Length 132mm
Material Contact Rubber, 30mm Profile
Colors Black/Green, Black/Red, Black/Grey, and Black/Magenta
Weight 0 lb 3.5 oz (100 g)
Miscellaneous Team WTB’s grip of choice. Prominent lettering lets people know you’re in charge while Contact Rubber and the PadLoc Relief eliminate movement and provide an invitingly tactile feel. Ride hard but ride happy.

* Compatible with PadLoc-Ready Bars Only
Price $34.95
More Info

​​WTB Website

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