Everyday MTB

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ESI Chunky Grips Installation and First Impressions

I’ve always had the impression that twist-on type grips were only for weight-weeny xc riders who ride bikes that I would be afraid to snap in half. However, my friend recently showed up to the trails with a set of ESI grips on his new Trek Fuel 140mm travel trail bike. I was curious. After giving them the parking lot test I was convinced enough to pick up a pair to put on my trail bike.


One concern many people have with twist on grips is actually getting them properly installed on the handlebars. ESI recommends using rubbing alcohol as lubricant to ease installation. This actually worked like a charm. After installing the somewhat chintzy looking barend plugs the grips twisted on with ease. You can watch the full installation and my thoughts below.

Initial Riding Impression

I was replacing the stock specialized lock-on grips on my stumpjumper that seemed to have almost no cushion and transferred every vibration up into my arms. The ESI grips have much more damping. They are also bigger in diameter and more naturally fit my hands.

As far as grippiness goes, they are tacky. Instead of using a visible texture to grip your hands the ESI Chunkies are made out of a “sticky” silicone. I never felt like I was going to slip a hand while riding. That same stickiness on the inside of the grips means that so far, these grips have had no problems with rotating under force even when I have been riding in damp conditions.

One added benefit of the greater amount of material in these grips is that they are considerably warmer that most lock-on grips in cold weather. This has proved helpful as the weather has turned colder here in Wisconsin.

To sum up my initial impressions, I am impressed so far.

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Matt Stenson

I'm a mountain biker currently residing in Montrose, Colorado. I love riding bikes with my family and friends, race casually and am plain crazy about bikes.

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