I’ve been lucky enough to get my hands on a pair of BARTOP and CURVE grips from Shape My Grip and here are my first impressions. I will be performing a long term review, so be sure to check back if you’re interested.
Note: I’m awful at applying bar tape. Sorry perfectionists!
Installing the grips is very easy (coming from someone who is awful at DIY and anything requiring manual labour). The box contains easy to follow instructions and there is also an installation video on the Shape My Grip website for you to follow (see below).
It is recommended that you use a stretchable bar tape for covering the grips. I opted for Cinelli Cork, which is one of the 9 bar tapes that are recommended by Shape My Grip (click here). I did struggle a little bit when covering the grips, but that’s my inability to properly install bar tape as opposed to it necessarily being difficult.
Below is how my bars look with the grips installed on one side. You can clearly see that something is under the bar tape, but that’s to be expected and certainly cannot be considered a negative. I opted for Cinelli Cork bar tape, as I have I’ve used it in the past and it is one that is recommended by Shape My Grip.
As soon as you touch the grips you can tell they’re made to last and have enough flex in them to dampen vibrations. I took them for a short ride along a bumpy road after installation and there was a remarkable reduction in vibrations. I honestly believe these have made as much of a difference to the comfort of my ride as moving from 23mm to 25mm tyres.
In addition to the above, the ergonomic styling of the grips provided me with extra control when trying to navigate around the larger bumps and potholes. Before installing the grips, I would typically ride along the same road (as I tested these on) with a loose grip of my top bar so the vibrations weren’t too much for my hands, but that would make navigating the larger bumps and potholes troublesome.
I am now able to ride in the drops with a firm grip of my bars without worrying about the same level of vibrations and lack of control as before. What does this mean? Well, I got a PR on Strava for the bumpy road as a by-product of better control and less vibrations is more speed!
I am yet to use these in the rain, but they will no doubt make me feel more confident in my grip of the bars due to the ergonomic styling (in a similar fashion to how it has done for riding on bumpy roads).
On face value, they are not cheap at $24.95 per pair. That means if you’re going to buy both the BARTOP and CURVE grips, you’ll have to spend just under $50. However, now that I’ve used them, I honestly think they’re worth the price. They’re also built to last and can be taken off and re-installed with some more double-sided sticky take. This means that they could, in theory, outlive your current bike.
I have installed these on my commuter, which means I will be spending roughly 8 hours a week riding my bike and I know already that these are going to make my rides much more enjoyable.
- Price (When Purchased): $24.95 per pair (buy online)
Shape My Grip are currently delivered from the USA but the company is currently seeking international distributors.
Do you have these or similar grips? I’d love to know your thoughts, so please leave your comments below…