Thursday, February 28, 2013

Sleepy Dog Grips


Along the road on the quest for comfy grips. Many position options for a sleepy dog to explore.

Back when I had a dog, it amused me to watch him seek out the softest spot to lay down, and then proceed to circle around and around to push the padding into just the right position for maximum comfort. This circling, nesting, fluffing the pillow, padding down the grass, denning or whatever behavior it really was came across as starting with something that was probably soft and comfortable from the beginning, then seeking perfection through persistent rearrangement. He would always leave behind a perfect dog-shaped indention when he left.

That's kind of how it is with my grips. My hands are medium-large, and smallish normal grips just seem too small. The current grips don't feel comfortable to me while commuting, so I keep looking for ways to improve them. Rather than go to the trouble of removing my brakes and shifters and taking off the old ones, though, I decided to slice open an old pair that I had and wrap them around the old ones. Enclose and secure them with three loops of stainless safety wire, and BAM! my hands are ready to start circling like a sleepy dog.

I've used stainless safety wire on grips before, though not exactly like this. Rather, I just used them to secure some Oury grips that were a bit too large to fit snugly. That worked well, and I was surprised by how compatible safety wire is with rubber grips. I thought that maybe it would just cut right through as I tightened it, which is certainly possible, but I just made sure to stop before the wire started cutting into the rubber, and it worked out. One of these days I may have to buy an official/legitimate safety wire pliers instead of the junior model I currently use.

I don't know if slicing open grips and wrapping them around others is actually a good idea, so I'm not recommending it for others to try. In this case it initially appears to have worked, but I suppose there are several things wrong with the concept or implementation. We'll see. But in the meantime, I find my hands acting like sleepy dogs now, not staying in one place, but settling briefly in one position, enjoying the squishy comfort, then moving slightly to see if a different position would be more comfortable. Of course, since I sliced the old grips open, these are sort of flat and open along the bottom, which is strange, but not necessarily bad as far as I can tell. And the triple safety wire wraps keeps them from being flappy.

My dog snored, too. I'm not sure these grips are that comfortable, but we'll see. At least they fit my hand better.

6 comments:

  1. It's always interesting to see others' ingenuity. I'm forever moving my hands around, seeking that sweet spot of comfort. I also wrap my bar ends in tape like you do.

    I wonder if defunct tubes could be sliced and used like bar tape.

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    1. I would have to re-rubberize defunct tubes before doing that. There must be a way, but I do not like the smell of them on my hands.

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  2. A couple years ago I removed the cheap stock grips on my slightly swept, slightly rised bars (22.2 mm diameter), a couple of bikes, and replaced with ergon grips. That didn't work out as far as comfort and hand positions, so I bought inexpensive grips.Cut off the ends, sliced lengthwise (like filleting a fish, sorry) and simply dropped them on the bars. Then I put on Forté Kor Bar Ends.I always wear padded cycling gloves riding those bikes and haven't had a problem with the grips being flappy or floppy or coming off.That's my hack, working for me so far.Along the way to this, I sent what, $50 or so to ergon.The wire refinement by JRA is interesting, I'll keep it mind for humid sweaty weather. Thanks. .

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    1. Thanks Don, I go back and forth with the idea of trying out ergons, will probably stay with back for now. In colder weather when I wear gloves for commuting, I have noticed increased hand comfort as well. Perhaps I should wrap my sleepy dog grips in fleece for summer softness.

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  3. On road bars, using a second roll of tape keeps the dogs (mitts, actually) happy.

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    1. Not only softer, but bigger! Two dogs with one solution!

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