WTB “GTO” Grips: Quick Review

Editor’s Note: Captain Bob, a local riding buddy of mine, has been using the WTB GTO grips on his bikes for awhile now. Here’s his report.

The WTB GTO grips on Captain Bob's rig.

The WTB GTO grips on Captain Bob's rig.

Quite some time ago we got our hands on a pair of the new WTB GTO clamp on grips.  Well, I have been using them ever since.  It totals about five months of actual riding.  They didn’t see much winter use, but did get a good work over during the summer, fall, and this spring.  I have had them mounted to my single speed bike most of the time.  The compound is a really soft grippy rubber.  My first impression was that they might be too soft as they started to wear quickly, but the wearing out seemed to slow quite a bit.  I am a glove wearing fella but did head out a few times without them and was impressed with the tackyness of the GTO’s.  This should satisfy the bare handed folks.  Mounting them does take a bit longer than some grips, but that’s okay with me.  There are two bolts that hold them tight.  Each 4mm allen bolt has a 3mm allen nut.  When tightening them it usually requires putting the allen wrenches on both ends.  Good new is that the plastic clamps are very strong.  I have overtightened them a few times, so much that the clamp completely closed together but it never broke.  The plastic is flexible enough to not crack yet strong enough to not cause them to slip.   
 
With the amount of grip you get with the GTO’s it does allow you to not hold such a tight grip on the bar which for me helps keep my entire upper body looser so I can ride longer.  I did have them mounted up to my geared bike for a bit.  I ran into some clearance issues with my first generation Shimano 9sp Rapid Fire shifters.  The downshift paddle would hit the grip clamp which would not allow the downshift.  I could have moved the shifters in or out on the bar but that would have required an almost 10mm distance and that put the shifters in a not so comfy spot for me.  There was the option of twisting the grips around so the bolt part of the clamps were out of the way but then I could feel the bolts through my gloves.  I think that the newer crop of shifters would clear the clamps with no problems but that assumption has not been tested.
 

So, in the end I came to the conclusion that I really like the WTB GTO grips.  I normally have numbness after long rides on round grips, but there was much less of that with the GTO’s.  If I wasn’t riding other bikes as often as I do I believe they would wear out faster but for the low MSRP of about $20 you can always just buy another pair.  WTB’s website states that they are 33mm ( I measured 35mm)  in diameter which makes them their largest diameter grip available.  To me they feel like a medium thickness grip when compared to other brands. 
 
Captain Bob

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