Interbike 2015 – WTB PadLock Grip System

by Brian Mullin on September 28, 2015

PadLoc Grips

WTB PadLoc Grip

“Comfortable Grips That Eliminate Slippage”

The new PadLock grip system from WTB utilizes a grip that has an internal wedge that then interfaces to a handlebar that has an angled cut end, eliminating any rotational slippage. The internal cut to the grips subframe allowed them to add a softer rubber compound on the outer edge, helping to provide additional comfort, especially for the sensitive ulnar nerve on the hand. Simply bolting down a grip doesn’t necessarily prevent slippage and there is a complex relationship between the bars material, its surface adhesion characteristics, and contact area. Also, carbon fiber can be damaged by over torquing a lock ring. An inner lock ring is used to prevent the grip from slipping outwards from the bars, and lower torque is used due to the inherent lower forces of any horizontal movement. The Team WTB riders were occasionally having grip slippage incidents during demanding racing use and under extreme conditions and the PadLoc system has eliminated those issues.

PadLoc Grips Specs

According to Chris Feucht, WTB’s manager of new product development “PadLoc grips rely on an angled plane at the handlebar’s end to combat movement. When viewed without a grip, the rounded end of the handlebar appears lopped off, instead sloping at roughly a 30-degree angle downward for the last inch of the handlebar’s length.  WTB then employs a hardened inner sleeve, which they refer to as the Subframe that fits directly over the handlebar, conforming to the handlebar’s profile and acting as a base skeleton for rubber attachment. Rubber then coats the Subframe, filling the void left by the handlebar’s angled end and making a rounded outer, which WTB refers to as the Wedge and is designed to provide palm comfort through a softer end that alleviates pressure. A single inboard lock ring, referred to as the Inner Lock, prevents external, horizontal movement.”

PadLoc Grips with bars

The system requires the modification of an existing handlebar or one specifically designed to accommodate them. SRAM is releasing two TRUVATIV handlebars designed for the PadLoc system, the Jerome Clementz BlackBox carbon bar, and the Boobar aluminum bar. The Jerome Clementz Signature Series Carbon Bar comes with the WTB Commander 30mm PadLoc Grip, weighs 225g and retails for $226. It uses unidirectional carbon fiber has 20mm of rise, seven degrees of back-sweep, and five degrees of upsweep and is 750mm wide. The Boobar comes with the WTB Commander 30mm PadLoc Grip, weighs 335g and retails for $111. The handlebar uses 7000 series alloy and has 20mm of rise, seven degrees of back sweep, and five degrees of upsweep and is 780mm wide.

PadLoc - Park Tool Vise

To allow existing handlebars to accept WTB PadLoc grips or to shorten existing ones, Park Tool released a PadLoc handlebar modification tool. Named the Park SGI-7, it acts as an insert for the Park SG-7.2 Adjustable Saw Guide allowing one to modify existing handlebars to accommodate PadLoc grips.

PadLoc Grips models

WTB will be offering PadLoc grips in six different versions, each featuring multiple colors and thicknesses from the oversized 33mm Clydesdale to the thin 28mm diameter Thinline.  There will also be a raised, ergonomically shaped Ace grip and a winged grip aimed at comfort and distance riding named the Wingnut.  The 30mm diameter Commander grip will also be available in a Grip Shift option.

All PadLoc grips will retail for $34.95 and be available around December, while the WTB while grip and handlebar systems should now be available from SRAM.

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