Aaron Gwin, currently number one in the downhill world, is the most recognizable name in mountain bike racing. Last year was a roller-coaster season for Gwin, with highs and lows that ultimately led to him taking his fifth overall win of the World Cup series. Throughout his career, Gwin has helped design several components and accessories to suit his needs as a racer. The AG2 signature grip is his latest creation aimed at winning races. We put these grips to the test in hopes of setting personal records.
ODI and Gwin worked closely to revamp his original AG signature grip for a more modern finish. The AG-2 has a 3.5-millimeter-larger diameter than the previous grip for a more comfortable position and better leverage. Gwin opted to have the AG-2 with a total length of 135 millimeters. ODI uses a knurled pat- tern throughout the whole surface to provide a comfortable base for hand position and grip. This knurled pattern does use a softer compound to prevent an overly harsh feel on riders’ hands. Along with the knurled pattern are thin ribs on the underside of the grip to provide more leverage.
The ends of the grip taper out to give riders a more ergonomic place to rest their palms and provide added confidence when descending. ODI rein-forced the ends with aluminum and plastic for a more durable finish and to provide some protection in the event of a crash or impact. This grip was designed specifically for downhill use, but does have a versa-tile-enough feel and design to work well for general trail riding. The AG-2 is available in six different color options for $35 a pair. odigrips.com
On the trail:
Our test riders initially were surprised at how comfortable and soft the AG-2 grips felt, especially with the knurled grip pattern. The grip diameter also added to the comfortable ergonomic feel for most of our test riders. On steep technical descents, the combination of the knurled pattern and ribs provided plenty of traction for our test riders, with none of them having issues with losing their hand position. The ends of the grips taper up a bit and created good leverage points with the ends of the handlebar when cornering or leaning. While the knurled pattern is one of the more comfortable we have tested, it is still a touch harsh when wearing thinner gloves. But even so, it didn’t chew up the palms of our gloves the way other grips with this pattern have in the past.
The AG-2 is a comfortable grip that hits the mark regarding ergonomics and a soft finish that still provides good traction. These grips probably won’t make you as fast as Aaron Gwin, but you can at least look like him while your hands ride comfortably on the trail.
- Soft compound
- Comfortable design
- Larger 3-millimeter bolts on clamps are easy to use
- Good bar-end protection
• Harsh feel with thin gloves
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