If you are the type of cyclist who likes to make their road bike ride as comfortable and personalized as possible, Shape My Grips (SMG) might be for you! In a nutshell, SMG offers grips for the top bar and the drops of your road bike. Instead of gripping a flat bar or drop, you get to nestle your fingers into ergonomic grips with slots for your fingers, making for a more comfortable, secure ride. And you can further customize them with an Exacto knife!
SMG (Shape My Grip) is one of those products that makes you think, “Why didn’t I think of that?” It seems simple, but it’s actually very clever. The idea is to improve your existing road bike with grips that make them more comfortable – not only in the drops, but even on the bar top. Developer Lee Diallo figured that his cycling experience would be more comfortable if his fingers were supported in both positions. So he made two products to achieve that!
Two products: one for the bar top and one for the drops
The drop (curve) product gives you a more secure grip, so you can spend more time with your hands in the drops. And because the grip is also ergonomic, it helps you to be comfortable spending a lot of time in the drops. Once I set my bike up with them, I got Mrs. Average Joe Cyclist (Maggie) to try them out, and her response was: “OMG – this feels WONDERFUL!”
How to install Shape My Grips
The grips are shipped with double-sided tape to attach them with. The instructions in the box explain that you must apply bar tape over top. This video shows you how to install them.
Both products are designed to dampen vibration, which can lead to fatigue, as well as wrist, elbow, and shoulder problems. I often experience tennis elbow induced by cycling, so I was especially interested in this aspect. I have not used these for long enough to know whether they will make a difference. However, they offer a very natural fit, and are super comfortable, so I am optimistic! They also offer hope for those who experience hand numbness during long rides.
Customize your grips!
I talked with Lee Diallo, who explained that the grips are designed to be ergonomic straight out of the box. I can attest to that. However, it goes further. Lee showed me how one can use an Exacto knife to cut away at the grips if one prefers more space to wiggle one’s fingers. This makes these grips customizable, which I really like, as we don’t all have the same size fingers. As Lee says:
“Each of my designs creates a customized bar like no other on the market. Don’t buy new handlebars, consider Shape My Grip!”
Pep up your old handlebars – How to apply handlebar tape to make your handlebars look new again!
SMG’s website and FAQ include a lot of advice about an essential part of their installation process – how to apply handlebar tape. Of course, installing Shape My Grips will include applying new tape, and it really is a fun way to make your bike look new and fresh for the upcoming season. And it’s a whole lot cheaper than buying a new bike, or even buying new handlebars.
Bottom Line on Shape My Grips
I was very happy to add two pairs of Shape My Grips to my already highly customized Specialized Tricross (reviewed here). They add an additional level of personality and comfort to the bike, which I am hoping I will get to really enjoy this summer.
Find out more about Shape My Grips
You can buy either the bar top grips or the curve grips, but I highly recommend both. The price is very reasonable. SMG is a new company looking for distributors. In the meantime, check out their web site for more information and to buy yourself a pair or two!
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