N8tive is a German bike component company and recent entrant to the mountain bike market who have taken an interesting approach with their grips. With two fairly aggressive designs in their catalogue we take a look at their Geo grip which we’ve spent many hours on riding at Punta Ala Test Center.
Dimensions : Length: 130mm Diameter: ca. 30mm
Weight : 100g
Colours: Black, grey (black locking rings)
Price: € 24,95
With a fairly standard set of dimensions and a competitive weight the main aspect to consider with the Geo grip is if the diameter suits you. The dual compound rubber is available in conservative colors : black or grey. Price wise, grips don’t vary that dramatically from brand to brand so the market is awash with different options to choose from.
An up close look at the grip’s aggressive ergonomics.
Dual lock rings ensure the Geo grips won’t slip.
On The Trail
We tested the grips in a variety of conditions; mainly on fairly aggressive trails that require the rider to hold on a bit more than usual. That’s when you really find out if you like a grip or not. The Geos pattern at first looks like it actually might be uncomfortable and weird in the hand, but looks are deceiving.
The unique form gives a very substantial feeling for the hand on the bar. Bouncing through rock gardens and heavy trail where vibrations are a significant part of the experience is the ideal location for this grip style. We found that the extra ridges gave more purchase than we have with our other favourite grips, which are more tacky to the touch.
This bought up an conundrum in our heads, should grips be tacky or soft with ridges? Both types of grips have their advantages. The Geo’s pattern is particularly good when dealing with moisture and any slippery trail substance that finds it’s way onto the bar. Your hand does not slip when wet. With rounder grips there is a tendency to be able to twist the hand more easily whereas with the Geo you can really feel the bar and your hand relative to it.
We tried riding with and without gloves, to see how they performed. If you are a no glove rider, when your hand is sweaty/wet the Geo is particularly good at remaining grippy. No gradual descent into a slippery grip as the ridges keep the performance uniform over time and dirt doesn’t stick to a tacky surface, gradually reducing adhesion.
Grips are highly personal, and one of those parts of a bike that you can never be sure of until you have tried them. What we can say with the N8tive Geo is that they are ideal for aggressive riders as their form cushions blows well and at the same time its ridged surface really locks the hand in place, thus reducing any tendency for rotating and slipping.
If you are someone who likes to avoid rotation then the Geo grips are definitely one to consider. If on the other hand you prefer a smoother tackier finish and a sticky rubber feel then these grips would probably not be for you. If your riding conditions are damp or greasy and you want to know your hands are on solidly all the time and protected well from heavy vibrations then the 30 mm diameter and ridges will keep your hand steady when you need it.
We like to test all our products properly, here we take a spill doing a glove verses no glove comparison. It wasn’t the grips that caused our fall, more like line judgement.