Review & Photos by Cole Gregg
As a predominately gloveless rider my grip selection is extremely important. In general, all contact points on the bike (grips, pedals and seat) should be tailored to your comfort. Brands do a good job at sourcing components to build their complete bikes to fit a wide variety of users, but everyone has a personal preference, some more picky than others (me).
DMR Bikes paired up with Brendon Fairclough to develop a grip that suited his needs. What they came up with is a very well rounded and versatile grip. The grip itself features only one locking ring on the inside thanks to a tapered core. This design allows for a more seamless look and feel to the grip without a hard piece of metal on the outside of the grip for those riders that ride on the fine edge of the grip. Be aware these do take a little more elbow grease to get seated. We suggest a rubber mallet or something firm you can use to hammer the end of the grip, so it is properly seated.
There are 3 different patterns on this grip, the main section is made up of small dimples while the underside of the grip has a waffled section. On the inside or brake side of the grip there is Knurling to add more comfort on the highest-pressure area of the grip. This unique combination wicks sweat and provides plenty of grip in the toughest of conditions.
For 2021 the Deathgrip comes in 13 different color variations allowing you total control over the matching to your other components. There are also two width options, the standard version comes in at 29.8mm while the thicker version lands at 31.3. The thicker version is great for riders with large hands or just prefer that style. Even with my XL sized hands I go for the standard version. On top of all the color options you also have the option to choose between flanged and flangeless models.
Lastly there is a “Race” edition which is DMR’s softest compound for maximum grip. I have always gone for the race version, so my review is based on the performance of this version.
As I mentioned in the opening section, I am riding gloveless most of the time, this is something I have always done and will continue to do for the foreseeable future. Being gloveless requires a grip that not only helps keep sweaty hands at bay but also enough padding to make up for what you lose with gloves.
I have had very few times where grip was an issue and that was in complete downpour where any grip would struggle. Day in and day out I can rely on these grips for both comfort and overall grip. I am a big fan of the waffle on the underside as well as the Knurling on the inside. I recently picked up my first pair of flanged Deathgrip, since they were released, I have always used flangeless as that is what my LBS stocked. I tend to ride on the inside of the grip, with that said I never really had any issues with the flangeless model but have found that I really like the feedback I get from the flange when I am positioned on the grips.
Since I always opt for the Race Edition, I cannot speak to the longevity of the standard option, but I can squeeze a season of riding out of the race versions. If I am riding allot of bike park, they wear out faster, but the price vs use balance is great in my opinion. I generally am going through two pair a year sometimes.
For me I have only found one downside and that is the rubber bar end. While these do hold up well to crashes it is one of the first things that always wears out for me, and that is taken on data from around 10 pairs. If you set your bike on its side frequently in the parking lot or on gravel this is going to be something you will find as well. It should not steer you away from picking these grips up, but it is something to be aware of.
If you are looking for a tacky all-around great grip, I highly recommend your next set being the DMR Deathgrip, go for the Race edition for maximum grip! While not everyone on the staff seemed to agree with my opinion, I’m very pleased. As with anything though, personal preference plays a huge roll in contact points. Based on how hard they are to find though, it seems like I’m not the only one trying to ride like Brendog.