ODI Reflex grip review – a 5 star offering from the original lock-on brand
With over 40 years of experience, ODI has been in the grip game for a long time in both bike and moto and was the first brand to launch the now standard lock-on grip back in 1999. Lock-on grips use a small Allen key fitting to bolt to your bars to ensure slip-free performance. As far as the best MTB grips go, bolt-on grips are now almost taken for granted, but the original ODI version was a true game-changer.
The brand's latest product combines the best parts of a wide catalog of grips to create the Reflex. Like all ODI products, they are manufactured in its California HQ using high-quality medical-grade proprietary rubber mixes to make the ideal grip. ODI also has solid eco credentials, all the packaging is made using recycled plastic from the production process, and the longer-lasting high-grade elastomers used in the grip themselves last much longer, which helps keep down the amount that ends in landfill.
Design and specification
The key aim with the Reflex is comfort, which ODI sets out to achieve with three different areas of the grip, all using its proprietary grip compound to offer superior damping properties and longevity.
The main upper part of the grip uses a raised section that sits under your hands which ODI refers to as reactive padding. The lower section incorporates a wider ribbed area designed to help improve grip and lessen arm pump, which can be caused when you hold on too tightly to the bars. Lastly, a waffle section closest to the brake lever is reminiscent of an eighties BMX grip.
The idea is that it can offer the best of both worlds, plenty of cushioning and trail-taming comfort but without the grip feeling too big or too soft, which can inhibit some trail feedback through the bars. I find that too large a grip can lead to discomfort in my fingers, especially on prolonged technical descents, but this is a personal preference.
ODI uses a single bolt collar to attach to the bars. This increases the usable grip space and leaves the bar with a nice soft end instead of a standard plastic or alloy bar end plug – ideal for preventing damage to van or garage walls when transporting or storing your bike.
The grips come in Black, Medium Blue, Gray, Army Green, Orange, Purple, Pink, Tan, and Red in two different sizes – the standard version at 33.5mm in diameter and the XL at 34.5mm. Both are 135mm in length.
I was keen to get these on my bike, as I thought they looked to offer a similar layout to my go-to, the DMR Deathgrip, which also uses a softer ribbed section close to the bar combined with a firmer section, and I was not disappointed. I had the standard 33.5mm diameter version on test in a fetching orange hue.
The waffle section closest to the brake lever is just the right size and offers a good compromise of having just enough squish without being vague feeling – as a full waffle grip can sometimes feel. The padded top section was firm and comfortable, and for me felt like it made a difference to the amount of arm pump I was getting. They also have a ribbed section on the underside which is said to offer more control on steeper descents. This isn't something I noticed particularly, but it could be beneficial on super-wet rides.
Installation was as straightforward as you'd expect for a grip with a single clamp bolt, although make sure you use a good quality Allen key to ensure you don't round the bolt head. There is also a small L and R on the end of each grip to ensure you have them set up correctly.
I was very impressed with the ODI Reflex grips. They worked for me and improved the comfort of my trail bike, and they also have lived up to the claims of longevity, which is a tricky balance to get right. They are on the expensive side for a grip, but they are a quality item and offer genuine performance benefits for a fraction of the cost of other components. The fact they come in a wide range of colors and the brand's use of recycled packaging materials only add to their appeal.
Tech specs: ODI Reflex grip
Price: $30.95 / £27.99 / €32.95
Diameter: Standard 33.5mm and XL 34.5mm
Weight: 109 grams
Colors: Black, Medium Blue, Gray, Army Green, Orange, Purple, Pink, Tan, and Red
Details: Medical grade rubber, alloy clamps