Imprint Bicycle Grips take on the shape of the rider's hands
By Ben Coxworth
January 2, 2014
If you've ever been thundering along on your mountain bike and suddenly had one of your hands slip off the handlebar, you'll know just how "unsettling" it can be. The guys at UK-based TMR Designs certainly know, which is why they developed Imprint Bicycle Grips. Utilizing a proprietary material, they can be custom-molded to the size and shape of each of your hands.
Depending on the model chosen, each grip consists of either a polymer or aluminum sleeve covered in the material, with a locking ring at one end and an end cap at the other.
Users start by putting the grip in hot (near-boiling) water, to loosen up the molding material. They then quickly dip it in cold water to cool off the metal components, then squeeze it in their hand to mold it. Next they return it to the cold water to set it, mount it on their handlebar, then finish by peeling off its mesh wrap – this leaves behind a grippy diamond-pattern surface texture.
The process can be repeated multiple times, if users want to change the shape of their grips.
According to the designers, not only should the increased contact area allow users to maintain a more secure hold of their bars, but the grips should also allow for more hand comfort by minimizing unyielding pressure points. That reduced pressure should additionally let the grips last longer, as they will wear out more evenly.
Along with mountain bikes, Imprint Bicycle Grips are intended for use on any type of bicycle with a straight handlebar. Funds are now being raised for their commercial production, on Kickstarter. A pledge of £21 (around US$35) will get you a pair of the polymer grips, while £30 ($50) will get you the aluminum version – when and if they're ready to go. The molding process is demonstrated in the pitch video below.
Potential buyers might also be interested in Ugli Gripz.