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Easton Lock-On Grips: Reviewed

Thick or Thin, in Six Colours

Words by Kaz Yamamura. Photos by Kaz Yamamura.
November 7th, 2013

Grips haven’t changed much in the past few years, but looking at the details of Easton’s lock-on grips we see some new ideas. With almost every component manufacturer producing lock-on grips for mountain bikes, consumer options are endless. It’s one thing to slap your logo on an off-the-shelf set, but it takes a bit more energy to create a new design. The basic aspects of lock-on grips – plastic sleeves and metal bar clamps – are present in Easton’s Lock-On grips; it’s in the details where we see changes to the norm, including specific left and right grips, two sizes, and a neat integrated clamp and end cap.

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Easton’s Lock-On grips have relatively large flanges which, while covered in rubber, will keep your hand between the goal posts whether you like it or not.

Most people would buy a pair of grips (or perhaps they came with a bike), find that they like them and never buy a different set again. Until a few months ago, I opted for a same route, running the same brand-name grips over and over again because they just worked for me. I recently graduated from that school of thought; after seeing these grips on the shelf of virtually every local bike shop I found the Easton Lock-Ons clamped to my test rig and have attempted to shred them to bits over the past few months.

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The grips’ lock rings clamp around the plastic sleeve, protecting carbon bars from damage.

As Morgan Taylor pointed out about bars, grips are also entirely up to personal choice. Everyone has their own favourites based on feel, comfort, effectiveness, and of course, looks. Our test set is black and the smaller of two available thicknesses (Easton has 6 colours for you to choose from, and gives you a choice of 30mm or 33mm diameter). Opting for the smaller diameter, the soft polyurethane grip material felt comfortable under my small hands.

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Easton’s texture is three-dimentional: the lettering is wedge-shaped to provide more grip in one direction – thus, the grips are meant to be run on a specific side.

The aluminum clamps and integrated bar end caps do not directly clamp onto the bars; instead, they clamp down onto plastic tabs, which then clamp onto the bars. Easton claims this is safer for carbon bars, but it is worth noting that they’re not the only company with this feature. The Easton name adorns the underside of the grip in the shape of fins, and as a result, there are specific left and right grips. At first I questioned the durability of these relatively small “knobs”, but they’ve stayed intact.

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The top half of the grip is relatively smooth, while the bottom half is more pliable and grippy.

While the integrated aluminum bar end caps do a great job of protecting your bars, the transition from grip to larger diameter clamp is abrupt. To minimize discomfort here, the grip material itself extends over the clamp providing some cushion for your hands. Riders who like to hang their hands over the ends of the bar may take issue with this, as the end caps do bulge out from the grip itself (of course there is less of a bulge on the thicker 33mm version). I did not have a problem with the design in use, but of course this is a matter of personal preference.

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The Easton Lock-On grips have provent reliable and durable over the test period. Give them a feel at your local shop.

Overall, the grips fared well over the test period, retaining their original shape and feel while showing minimal signs of wear. Personally, I would have loved the addition of bright pink streamers to the bar ends, but these grips performed well even without them.


Do you have a grip preference? Thick or thin? Flanges or no?

  • slyfink

    I’ve been running them since July. I like them. comfy and grippy and so far they’ve proven durable. It’s also worth noting that if you have a stack into thick goopy mud, they somehow seem oblivious to it and grip is still great. They only time I’ve had issues is when I managed to get Stans on my glove when fixing a blowout, and that was like lubricant on these grips. Washing the glove solved the issue though.

  • Oldfart

    I went for the fatter ones in an attempt to alleviate numb fingers. It worked for me so I bought another pair for the other bike. They don’t feel fat anymore which they did initially. I don’t really notice them at all which I think means they are very good.

  • GladePlayboy

    These are very good grips… next to the Renthal Kevlar lock-ons some of the best I have tried.

  • pedalhound

    These are on my list for my next grips.

  • PUNKY

    I was 50/50 between these and the Chromag Palmskin grips. Might have went Easton had this come out a day or two earlier. Not sure how I’d like the bulge though. Currently run LS Peatys on all my bikes, Ruffians make my hands go numb as I find I grip the bar too tight as I’ve had my hands blow off the bar before. Interested in this grip, Chromag Squarewave and the Renthal Lock-on…

    I think I may have gear issues now:)

  • morgman

    The grip material is really nice on these, and that I quite enjoy. The integrated bar end cap is also good. I do prefer thin grips, though, and the abrupt transition isn’t ideal. I’m not really an ends-of-the-bars rider, but being stuck between the goal posts I actually notice. My favourite grips this year have been the thin version of the Specialized Sip grip.