[Tested] N8tive Rock Handle Bar Grips

[Tested] N8tive Rock Handle Bar Grips

31/07/2015
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31/07/2015

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We have been putting a lot of hours on the bike recently in the good weather and are now back to our second set of N8tive grips we have had on test. Rock grips are N8tive’s answer for more aggressive riders. N8tive are aiming at having something for every type of rider.  We’ve spent many more hours riding the Rock grip since testing their Geo grip a month or so ago.

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Specifications

Dimensions : Length: 130mm Diameter: ca. 30mm
Bolts: 3mm
Weight : 100g
Colours: Black, grey (black locking rings)
Price: € 24,95

Like their Geo grips, the Rock have a fairly standard set of dimensions. The weight is again competitive and the diameter is ideal for our hand size and ride style. The grips are a dual compound rubber in conservative colors: black or grey, that should match any bike set-up. Price wise, the grips are comparable to other brands on the market.

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The grip form is aggressive and will resist dirt build up well, including wet muddy gloves.

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In our experience of removing and installing grips which we do frequently, the 3mm bolt head is the king in our opinion. We have lost count how many 2.5mm bolts we have rounded off. As over time grip bolts can seize, so getting them off normally means throwing them away as you had to beat the grip off the bar. A 3mm bolt in our experience reduces that problem significantly.

On The Trail

We tested the grips  on fairly aggressive trails that require the rider to hold on tight.  At first site, the grip looks uncomfortable, but the soft dual compound rubber is actually fairly forgiving. With the tooth like form to the grip, bar feel with gloves is very secure. The form in our opinion is right for the diameter of the grip/intended use and your hands will resist rotation on the grip.

We liked as well, that the rings at the end were slightly protruding above the grip surface. It meant without looking we could feel where our hands were on the bar, as we nudged the ends. Hands rarely stay in one place on a bar, and the rider continually making micro adjustments is normal, thus knowing instinctively by touch alone where your hands are located is ideal.

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The Rock grip also has a micro bump surface formed into the high points of the grip, so if you are riding with bare hands or wet gloves, the grip at no point feels slippery or smooth to the touch. We definitely felt the Rock grip was confidence inspiring. It’s when your tired, dirty/wet and in techy terrain that its easy for a hand to slip off. These grips feel like they won’t let that happen.

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One of the ultimate control grips we have tried.

Conclusion

As we tested the Rock grip, essentially straight after their Geo versions, we had a good idea of how they would compare. We felt with the Rock grip that micro vibrations are not dealt with as well as with their Geo grip. N8tive Rock grips because they are more aggressive,  give a superior feeling of control through the front end of the bike, especially when in technical and rough trails.  If you are on a long tiring technical descent a pair of these will definitely help keep you on the right lines. The down side to the extra control is their micro vibration cushioning characteristics are slightly reduced compared to their Geo grip and the grip can be harder on your hands, so not ideal for trail touring.

If you’re riding conditions are intermediate and you want to know your hands are on the bar comfortably and firmly the Geo grip is ideal. If you want something that goes a bit further again in the control department, especially if it’s damp or greasy then the N8tive Rock will up the ante at the expense of a bit more fatigue. Ideal then for Enduro racing and faster riders who are looking for optimum control on hard trails at speed.

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We tested on Rock-oh in Punta Ala the same place we tried their Geo grips.

N8tive
Test Location: Punta Ala Trail Center

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