Sunday, July 13, 2014

Presenting the B&P Worst Product of the Year Award

How, my reader(s) may ask, can I present a Worst Product of the Year Award when it's only halfway through the year? I can do this because I have found a product so bad, so foul, so hopeless at its simple task, that I am both confident and hopeful that I won't find a worse product in the remainder of the year.

Yes, I'm talking about Oury grips:

I made a small splurge on these grips with my last big Universal Cycles order in order to get something clean and new for my first carbon bike build. Normally, I buy whatever generic grips Performance has for $6-8, and they work fine. These were almost twice as much, $13, but all the punters seem to like them on mtbr, seemed to rave about them actually, so I clicked them into my cart.

I always install my $6 grips with rubbing alcohol, and typically they are ready to ride in just an hour or two, if not less. This technique has worked well for me, pretty much without exception, for the last two decades. When I installed the Ourys using this method, they were a bit slick, but not worryingly so. I was able to take my new build up and down the block to make sure everything worked OK.

Last weekend, I took the Razzo for my initial ride at Alum Creek. Shortly after entering the woods, whatever residual seal the rubbing alcohol had left gave up, and both grips started rotating freely. On the next hard left hand corner, my right hand shot free, still firmly holding the grip, but no longer in the neighborhood of the handlebar. I stopped, removed the grips, resisted the urge to fling them into the lake, and finished the remaining 5.8 (of 6) miles like this:

Here's a tip for Oury users: when you have to ride without grips, take off your gloves as well. Otherwise, they're too slippery on the bar.

By the way, this is why you haven't read anything more about the Razzo--I simply haven't been able to give it a decent shake down ride. To keep you from guessing, here's what it looks like:

All right, so maybe rubbing alcohol isn't the hot ticket for Ourys. When I got home later than morning, I borrowed some of my wife's hairspray and applied that to the grips and bar. This is the usual way that is recommended to install grips for a slip free installation.

Later they day, they rotated easily on the bars.

Same thing the next day. And the next.

Around Wednesday, I took it for a quick ride up the street, but was still able to easily pull the grips off the bar. I supposed I could use my can of 3M spray adhesive to install the grip, but that would complicate any future plans I have to quickly convert this bike between single speed and 1x9 operation.

With five (now six) flat bar bikes in my fleet, I'm rapidly running out of grips in my parts stash. I took my Cross Check spare parts bike off the hook, pulled the Forte grips off that, and in five minutes had a perfect, secure grip installation:

After my last trial with the Ourys, Henry picked them up off the driveway, where I had flung them in disgust, and found a better use for them:

Yep, they are now pretend hand grenades. At least they're not completely useless.


  1. That's too bad about your grips. I think you got a "Monday" pair. I've got a set of Oury's that were stuck on so tight, I had a hard time getting them off with an air compressor. Now they're on an different handlebar and just as tight as before. Installed with only rubbing alcohol both times. I really like them. But grips are like handlebars or saddles, you know, completely personal. I don't think you're the first, nor the last, to pass on Oury's.

    1. John,

      It's not a personal judgment, it's that these POS grips just didn't work AT ALL.

      I actually kind of liked them during their brief engagement with the bar...

  2. Try sanding most of the black slippery coating off the bars under the grip.

    Also, put a nickel in the end of grip (or use bar plugs), to protect against cookie cutter perforation in case of dropping.

    1. I've never had a single issue, or taken any special care, on any of the dozens of other grips I've tried. These were the first I had to resort to hairspray on.


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