PNW Components Loam Grip Review


Review by Max Rhulen

Your contact points are very personal on a mountain bike. Everyone likes it a bit different, and it completely changes the way a bike feels. Grips may not be the most exciting component to purchase, but they come in all shapes, sizes, and colors and can instantly make a difference to your ride, so they’re worth selecting carefully. With over 1,000 five-star reviews on their website, we had to find out if the PNW Loam Grip lives up to the hype!

The Loam Grip is PNW’s first grip offering, and in true PNW style they did their due diligence in creating a purpose-built product packed full of neat features. The grip is made with a tacky “Happy Camper” rubber compound that’s formed into an ergonomic pattern to support your palms, helping to relieve any fatigue caused by trail chatter and long days in the saddle. This rubber compound is designed to offer enough “stick” and cushion to keep things comfortable and secure, without losing its shape when being squeezed hard. There are two main patterns on the grip, thin and wavy, and thick and supportive, which are tactically placed in key areas of the grip to give support under the palm and increased traction under the fingers. The patterning also increases vibration damping, as well as helping to wick water away on the classically rainy days riding the Pacific Northwest.

The patterning means the grip has a thicker diameter as you move out towards the bar end, to give more meat to grab onto when the going gets rough but allows you to choke down on the softer inboard portion of the grip when you want that more nimble, precise feeling. There is only one lock ring on the inside of the grip, which allows you to ride with your hands as far out on the bars as you’d like, with a 133.5mm length to give you plenty of real estate to work with. The Loam Grip is offered in a thin (30mm average) and thick (34mm average) version, allowing riders to tailor the grip thickness to their preferences. Both grips retail for $24 for a pair and are available in a choice of 10 colors to match your ride.


PNW Components Loam Grip Review

Right out of the gate I enjoyed the “Happy Camper Compound” on the Loam Grips. It was sticky and the perfect balance of tacky yet firm. Making up the majority of the grip, closer to the brake levers and underneath the fingers, the pattern is made up of horizontal strips that are thin and wavy, which gives the grip a comfortable, softer feeling. Moving out towards the end of the grip, the pattern turns to a firm, vertical zigzagging pattern which feels very stiff and gives the grip a thicker, more solid feeling for when the trail gets rough. This thicker, stiffer section is not the most comfortable out there, but does give a good level of feeling and control which is much appreciated.

I like to ride as wide as I can, but of course other riders like to ride a bit closer into the levers, so the single clamp design is good to see, to allow riders to place their hands in their preferred position. With extra-large hands, my preference tends towards the thicker grips in the market, but as thinner grips go the Loam Grips rank high on my list. I’d like to test the XL version to compare, as it may just be the ticket for me. They’ve withstood their fair share of abuse without flinching so far, though I’ve not managed to eat the dirt too bad, so the durability of the integrated bar ends remains to be seen. We’ve had issues with similar designs tearing prematurely in the past, so it’s something to be wary of if you regularly find yourself with your bar ends in the ground.

PNW Components Loam Grip Review

The Wolf’s Last Word

Although I tend to prefer thicker grips, I enjoyed the PNW Components Loam Grips. The Happy Camper Compound was sticky and supportive, the inner lock ring design was appreciated, and the varying pattern across the grip gives a good mix of properties across flowy or rougher sections of trail. If my large hands didn’t require abnormally fat grips, I would strongly consider the PNW Components Loam Grips, so I think I’ll have to give the XL grips a go to see if they’re even better.

Price: $24
Weight: 90 grams

Disclosure: Our team selects all of the products we review and do so with honesty and objectivity in mind. Some of the products we receive come directly from Competitive Cyclist, who also value our readers and have offered them a 15% discount (exclusions apply) on their first purchase by using LOAMWOLF15. Through this program we may also receive a small commission at no cost to you. Thanks for your support, TLW.

We Dig

Single collar design
Balanced compound
Tailored patterning

We Don’t

Not the softest
Bar end design susceptible to tearing


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