Review: TMR Imprints Custom Mouldable Cycling Grips
March 22nd, 2017
March 22nd, 2017
Anna is a jack-of-all-bikes, and has been riding and racing in a myriad of genres for over seven years; from World Cup level cross-country, to grass roots coaching kids on the road.
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Specializing in grips, and grips only, TMR Designs have been experimenting like crazy trying to come up with the perfect grips. They wanted a grip that released pressure points and even cure arm fatigue on off-road rides. Their solution was to patent a grippy material that could be heated up, moulded to your hands, then cooled to solidify into a perfect hand-shaped grip custom to you. In theory, it should be the ultimate in ergonomic grip technology, but does it work in practice? The moulding process is pretty simple, especially if you're brewing a cup of tea at the same time. Simply pour some boiling water in a tall container, pop them in to soften up, then dip them in some colder water for a second (so not to burn yourself when you hold them), and then grab hold firmly! I used a recover shaker bottle as my container, and I made sure the provided netting (pictured in purple) over hung atone end so that I could pick them up out of the water without burning my fingers. Once they've cooled down, they're ready to go. And if you're not happy with them, feel free to repeat the process as often as you like. Fitting the grips is easy peasy, as they are made with a full metal sleeve that just slips on and tightens to the handlebar. I'd recommend taking out an allen key on your first ride, as you'll almost certainly need to move them into the right position for your wrist alignment, but that's no different to any ergonomic grip on the market. The end-plug isn't lock-on, but it pops in firmly, and I do like having the tarty choice of colour combinations in both the metal and the rubber.
The Imprints certainly live up to the promise of better control thanks to the maximum contact with your hands. I should imagine that the hard compound of the rubber also adds to this feeling of direct feedback from your ride, however; the firmness can be a little too much on rough terrain, especially when hitting off-road trails hard and fast. That being said, not everyone wants soft grips, and I know plenty of good riders who opt for "kevlar" firm grips for that added control. It should also be noted that I have the Mk1 versions, and Imprints have since brought out the Mk2 with a slightly softer compound. Worth a shot, if control is more important to you than Fairy soft hands.