Tuesday, July 27, 2010

:: Rewind: Oakley B-1B Grips ::

A little while back Oakley started a limited run re-issue of their B-1B grips. I'm embarrassed to say I've actually had my hands on a pair of these for a few weeks now, but haven't had a second to give them a good run through up till now.

Anybody who knows me knows that I've pretty much always rocked old bmx stuff on my bikes. Through the late nineties Italian track frame era, the early 2000's NJS craze, up through now, on pretty much every bike I've set up, I've slapped on a plastic bmx seat and some old school grips. I STILL have a few new Viscount Aero and Hutch Trick Top seats sitting in my closet waiting for the next project. In any case, suffice to say that I'll take the old Oakley, A'me, and ODI grips over the current crop of handles almost any day. Oury's are probably the "newest" grips i've ever put on a bike, and those still go back further than i can remember.

Oakley's B-1B reissue takes it back to a lost era. They've got a dual compound construction, with a soft, white sleeve featuring what can be best described as "octopus suckers", covering a royal blue internal grip. The stiff flange is appreciated and our hands are protected by an old school neoprene donut. on the outside end of the grip, there's a thick-walled integrated end cap to help protect against the cookie cutter effect.

The grips are shorter than what most people will be used to...they also feel a bit slimmer than normal, but honestly I'm coming off of the notoriously thick Oury's, so that might not actually be the case. What IS the case is that these tings are incredibly comfortable, and moreover, stay grippy when they're wet. I'm so used to having to put the clutch of death on the Oury's that I'd forgotten what its like to just "hold" a grip!

Unfortunately for most of us, the Oakley crew is just doing a short run of these - and only in the White/Royal scheme - so if you want a pair you'd be well advised to act now!