Renthal

Kevlar

Compound

Grips

Duration of test: July 2011 - present

Cost: £12

Options: Non kevlar in soft, medium, hard compounds

Spec: 135mm length, single ply, yellow



Overview


Pro:

Comfort

Feel

Grip


Fail:

Colour

Cost



Overall

Products are often advertised with claims and promises that they fail to live up to. Although Renthal have built a credible reputation in the motor sports world, they have only recently entered the bicycle market with a range of grips, chainrings, sprockets, handlebars and stems. Here is what Renthal have to say about their Kevlar offering:


“The most advanced grip available.


Renthal has developed a special reinforced grip made with increased wear resistance. The grip has all the properties you would expect from a Renthal grip but with the life extending properties of KEVLAR® brand resin.


The base material contains millions of randomly aligned KEVLAR® brand resin particles. As the grip is used more particles are exposed, so the number of particles at the grip surface increases.


The result is revolutionary with the softest material we have ever produced which lasts three times longer than our current soft material.”


As Renthal are currently the only company to make grips with this wonder material, I wanted to find out if it actually made any difference. I should add here that I am rarely satisfied with grips. After years of trying out various brands and models, I was still searching for a grip I could settle with.


The first thing I noticed was how thin they are; narrower than any others I have tried. This results in an incredibly responsive and precise feel which I enjoyed from the the beginning. The grips compound initially felt hard, but after several weeks of regular riding they softened up and became increasingly tacky.


As I ride without gloves a big issue for me is sweaty hands, so one of the main factors I judge a grip against is how they perform under these conditions. I was impressed by how well the Kevlar compound provided grip even in the heat, so they score top marks in that area.


I don’t wear down grips fast. After six months of frequent use the only noticeable wear is where my thumbs hold the bar, where about half the material has worn through. If Renthal’s claim that the Kevlar compound lasts three times longer than their soft material is true, than the extra couple of pounds for this version is definitely a worthwhile investment. The soft compound is kind to hands, and I have suffered from fewer calluses than with anything else.


There are negative points. The main issue is the colour. If they came in black or grey than I think more people would run them, especially BMX riders. Another drawback for some is the lack of a lock-on version, and that they are not as wide as some other BMX offerings. Finally, the price tag is comparatively high. While they do cost more than other non lock-on grips, the higher price is justified as in my view, they out perform other grips on the market. Renthal are on to a winner with this compound.


If you can live with the colour you won’t be disappointed.

Review date: Dec 2011