I’m a BMX geek. Straight up! I think about BMX nearly every spare moment and nearly all my friends are BMXers. While the sport evolves I like to keep my finger on the pulse, always checking out new products that make us go faster, further and for longer and some that just look better.
The Alienation Team grips may not contribute to speed but ultimately could help with your performance and here’s how. To be a contender a BMXer needs an edge on their competition, sure they need to be fit, strong and have some skills to back it up, but anything that might give them a little bit extra on the opposition could make the difference between finishing first or further back in the field.
To me confidence is a factor that’s vital but never considered. If you are more confident than the other 7 people with you on the gate chances are you are going to get to the line before them. Don’t get me wrong, you can’t buy confidence, it doesn’t come in a can, and it certainly doesn’t come in a set of handle grips. It comes from a lot of hard work and many hours getting everything right, your body, your bike and when it all works, your mind too. That’s when it all comes together, and you will know it when it happens. Confidence is king.
Do you find yourself on the gate focusing on the job at hand, your snap, or are you worrying, wondering if your back wheel is going to move. Maybe you are worried about having enough tyre pressure for the first corner or possibly your grips aren’t comfortable (or worse, they are moving) and it’s just down right distracting.
While marketing might tell you that a complete bike off the showroom floor is the perfect bike for you, no two people are the same, so why should you settle for the same bar size, crank size, stem length and grip as everyone else? You need to find what’s right for you.
Grips are something that I always look at very closely. I want something that has a large outer diameter and fills my large hand, it needs to be soft but not spongy and it must never slip. So far I am very happy with the Alienation Backlash grips, but I am open to alternatives.
One thing I noticed straight away about the Alienation Team grips is that they come in more traditional colours, something that’s a bit different from what Alienation offer with their Backlash and Ratchet grips. For the Team grips the colours are Black, Blue, Red, and White. Also the grip is a little wider, measuring at 148mm in width, and the outer diameter of the grip is a little smaller than that Ratchet and Backlash.
Rather than waste a perfectly good set of grips on my own bike I put some on “Superstar” Levi Barnett’s bike. Levi isn’t a racer, but the boy can ride a bike, he has made the top 16 at our BSX before. First off he tried the grips with gloves as new grips are generally a little hard on the hands. It wasn’t long before he realised the Team grips were fairly soft right from the get go. So he started to ride around without gloves on (kiddies this is not an endorsement of riding on BMX tracks without gloves, it’s just part of our review process, you should always ride safe and wear protective gear.) Levi found the grips very soft and comfortable and not once did he have problems with slipping from sweat, the textured surface is a big reason behind this.
During the riding session Levi managed to push the bike a little hard a couple of times coming down, although nothing too serious. This highlighted two things for me. The AN Plastic Plugs that come with the grips now are ace, because they stayed in place and protected Levi from any potentially serious injury (often bar plugs look a whole lot better than they function and can go walkabout when you are crashing and need them most). The other thing is the material the grips are made from is extremely durable and aside from a little dirt didn’t show any signs of damage or wear for that matter.
So would I be confident using the Alienation Team grips? You betcha! I tried them briefly and although they aren’t as big as the Backlash or Ratchet grips they are still extremely comfortable to ride with, and fine with big hands, in fact when I need to replace my own grips I plan to give the Team grips a good run.
You may have noticed the Team grips aren’t lock ons. Some may see this as a disadvantage. I like the idea personally. There’s nothing more annoying than the slight movement you get from most lock on grips that some people just put up with. And I have found that Alienation’s grips are very cheap, so if you experience your grips slipping it’s time to replace them and you won’t break the bank doing it.
- Inspired by Mike Fede
- Smaller 28.5 O.D. for a thin feel
- Dual texture grip w/knurling on inside flange
- AN Plastic Plug included
Material: Super Soft Pruven Kraton Single Density Rubber
Colors: Black, Blue, Red, White
So what’s the verdict? As you can see from the photo above it’s thumbs up from Levi and it’s thumbs up from me. I love Alienation products and the Team grips are just another reason why.
|Value for money:||5/5|
- The Team grips are comfortable and will hold up to regular abuse and are cheap enough to replace at the first sign of stretching or damage
- The Alienation Team grip is a feather weight
- A nice confortable grip that would suit just about any hand
- The Team grips come in colours that should keep just about everyone happy, and they great
For more information on Alienation and their products check out www.alienationbmx.com
Alienation is distributed throughout Australia by Elite Cycle Imports (www.eciimports.com)
Reviewed by Levi Barnett & Shane Jenkins/bmxultra.com September 6, 2012