PRODUCT TEST: Renthal Traction Grips

Grip It and Rip It


Renthal has been building grips for both bikes and motorcycles for many years, and every one we’ve tested has yielded great results. We bolted a pair of their new Traction grips to one of our test bikes to see if they could deliver on the promise of even better control.

Tech Info: The Traction grip uses the same rubber compounds and lock-on collar technology as Renthal’s other grips but offers a traction pattern designed to reduce movement, increase control and give better grip in wet and muddy conditions. The grips are available in four different compounds—from ultra tacky to medium firm. Our test grips were the Kevlar compound, which is designed to be soft and comfortable yet also durable. Our test grips weighed 110 grams and sell for $33 at the Renthal online store or at your local bike shop.

On the Trail: We’ve had success with several Renthal grips in the past, including the Kevlar compound tested here. The grips are on the firm side, with a thin diameter that most of our testers liked immediately. If you prefer a softer grip, the ultra-tacky version has you covered.

The Traction pattern is what sets these grips apart. The grips have ridges that run the length of the grip to “lock” your hands in place and give you better control. The ridges are directional, which means they resist movement backward more than they do forward. This keeps your hands confidently in place when pulling hard up on the bar yet still allows your hands to move slightly forward to avoid too much discomfort from jarring bumps. You will feel those ridges, even through your gloves; however, the extra control is certainly worth the comfort trade-off for aggressive riders or those who ride in muddy conditions regularly. As a bonus, the pattern works to channel mud and water off the grip, making it even more attractive to foul-weather diehards.

The construction of the Traction grip is slightly different from others, with collars that are molded into the grip and not removable. Renthal claims this creates a more secure connection to the bar, one that won’t develop play over time. These grips stayed in place perfectly during the months we tested them, with zero play in the collars.

The Traction grips are among the best grips we’ve tested for anyone who’s had problems with slipping. The compounds are dialed, the grip diameter is perfect and the Traction pattern makes the rider feel practically locked onto the grips. These grips are all business. They are not as comfortable as the simpler grip patterns Renthal offers, but the Traction grip delivers on its promise to give the rider more control.

• Awesome traction on the bar
• Great for wet or muddy riding conditions
• Molded-in collars never develop play

• Traction ridges are too harsh for some riders’ hands