ODI F-1 Dread Lock Grip Review
Updated: Mar 5, 2020
What it is: A lock-on grip using a proprietary foam-like material from ODI.
I've had these grips on for a few months and found they provide a similar feel to other foam grips, but are not as slippery when wet, easier to install/remove, and more compliant.
The grips use a single bolt clamp for attaching to the bars:
For whatever reason, all the ODI grips I've had form surface corrosion on the bolts, which is kindof annoying, but not a huge deal given they get replaced with some frequency.
The grip is textured on one side for your fingertips:
One interesting aspect of these grips that I can't easily capture in photos is that the profile of the inner plastic portion of the grip is slightly different. In some spots, there is less plastic, which allows for more foam and better vibration damping. That means the grips are directional, which you can see with the arrow placed on the outside of the grip:
It's important to line these up properly, otherwise you won't get the full benefit of the foam and increased comfort that they come with.
The grips are approx 32mm in diameter, fairly consistently across the surface of the grip:
They are also available in various colors from ODI, but I stuck with black.
Installation is the same as any bolt on grip, push the grip from the end, align the arrow upwards, then torque the bolt to the specified torque. It may help to ensure the bar surface is clean to prevent slipping, but that's it.
I have a bag full of various grips in my garage. I have experimented with them due to my hand issues, I'm constantly trying to find something new to ease the pain in my hands and improve comfort, which these grips do really well.
I ran the ESI Extra Chunky foam grips for a while, which provided similar benefits to these, but the material that ODI uses appears more compliant and works better, along with being more grippy and easier to install/remove.
The grip that the material on the Dread Locks provides is better than any other foam grip I've tried, especially when wet. Most foam grips will get slippery when it's wet out, but the material used here is very tacky in comparison and I've not had any issues with my hands slipping off.
I did notice the single clamp failed to keep the grip in place and over time, the arrow pointing up will shift a bit. I'd much rather see two clamps here for security, but I've yet to experience catastrophic movement and I expect the bars I'm using may also be to blame.
After a few months, I did start to experience a minor bit of play in the right hand grip, where the foam bit would rock back and forth slightly. Again, a bit annoying, but I didn't really notice it while riding.
Overall, these are some of the most comfortable grips I've used. The grip is excellent and they comfort small vibrations very well. There are some durability issues (bolt corrosion, grip movement when tightened), but I don't think they are significant enough to complain about.
Other foam grips I've used wear fairly quickly, I end up replacing them once a year or so if I ride a lot, these look like they wear slightly faster, but after 3 months, they haven't worn more or less than any others I've owned:
You can see in the photo above where the foam is compressed a bit in the center and rubbed slightly, but it doesn't appear to be that significant given the amount of use they've had.
Who would I recommend this to?
Anyone looking for a comfortable foam grip that provides better grip than others and great vibration damping, but at the cost of potentially wearing a bit faster than rubber.
vs ESI Extra Chunky : I ran ESI grips for a while, the Dread Locks have similar comfort benefits without the installation/removal challenges of the ESI grips. The Dread Locks also grip better, particularly when wet.
Tacky/grippy foam compared to other foam grips
Reasonable wear life on par with other foam grips
Lock on, which is nice considering most foam grips are slide on and a pain to work with
Numerous color combinations available
Very comfortable and offer similar vibration damping to other foam grips on the market
Grip when wet is better than other foam grips
I had issues with the grips slipping at times and rotating out of direction, although infrequently and slightly
Foam material appears to absorb water and soap, which can cause them to become soapy if you wash your bike with the grips and don't clean off the residue well.
Minor play in the grip after a few months of use