ODI has been making lock-on grips since 1999 in sunny California, and over the years, they have had several collaborations with another famous Sunshine State brand, Vans. This is the latest from the pair, combining ODI’s grip know-how with Van’s famous waffle pattern, first made in the mid-’60s but came to prominence in the booming West Coast skate scene in the 70’s in an up-to-date package that wouldnt look out of place in our best mountain bike grips guide.
Design and specification
Like the rest of the ODI range, it uses its v2.1 single bolt inboard collar to attach to the bars, with a neat chequer design, another Vans signature detail. These are lighter and simpler than the original double version, and this design is used on the majority of quality grips out there. The end of the grip is a neatly molded TPE cap, which helps keep the grip's useable surface area high and protects the end of the bar from scrapes and crashes.
Previous generations of ODI Vans grips just used the waffle pattern, but the V2.1 features a few more lines and details that mimic the classic side stripe seen on the brand's shoes. There is no technical reason given for them, so presumably, it's an aesthetic choice and does keep the style in line with other grips from ODI, like the ODI Reflex grip we have reviewed previously. They use ODI’s proprietary soft compound TPE material, which has proven to be a top performer on previous grips from the brand
The Vans V2.1 comes in Blue, Grey, Red, Black, Brown, and Purple, all with separate individually colored chequer pattern locking clamps. There is only one size available, and they are 135mm long and 30.4mm in diameter.
I'm old enough to have been a fan of the first versions, so I looked forward to getting these fitted. As with other ODI grips I've tested, they are very well made with a high-quality feel. There are no loose clamps or molding defects you sometimes see on lower budget items, and the colors to me looked great, especially the brown with the original black and white chequer patterned locking clamp that perfectly matches the gum-colored soles of the famous skate brand.
I found the width of 135mm (including the clamp) and diameter of 30.4mm (measured) to be great for general trail riding, with plenty of cushioning but not so much that it mutes trail feedback too much. I go for something with more padding, like the ODI Dread Lock for XC and long-distance riding. The proprietary TPE rubber feels good, but although ODI describes it as soft, it felt more like a medium to me when compared to their own Reflex grip, which I think is down to the pattern used as it feels more like a solid grip than one with lots of texture changes.
As much as I loved the originals, I didn't get on with these quite so well. I prefer to ride without gloves most of the time, and I found these to be less grippy than I would like, getting noticeably slippier when my hands got wet from either trail conditions or sweat. With gloves, however, they worked well and showed barely any signs of wear throughout testing
Fitting was as straightforward as you'd expect for a grip with a single clamp bolt, but ensure you use a good quality Allen key to ensure you don't round the bolt head. The chequer finish is a neat touch, but I would have preferred to have the iconic black-and-white pattern used on the brown-colored versions across the range instead of the various options.
They have a rubberized closed bar end, which protects the bar and the inside of your van or wall from damage but limits your ability to fit bar-end storage items like the Lezyne tubeless tire insert kit.
The Vans V2.1 looks great and is very well made with good shock absorption properties without feeling too vague. They have lasted well throughout testing and work great if you ride in gloves. Those who prefer not to wear any would be better served looking elsewhere though.
Tech specs: ODI Vans V2.1
- Price: $32.95 / £31.99 / €32.95
- Diameter: 30.4mm
- Length: 135mm
- Weight: 120 grams
- Colors: Grey, Black, Red, Blue, Brown, and Purple.
- Details: TPE rubber compound, Alloy clamps.