Fresh in to Dirt HQ is this cockpit set-up from Production PrivÉe. A bar, stem, and new innovative grips from this small, specialist and very focused brand.
Words: Sean White Photos: Callum Philpott
Production Privée was born from the meeting of two friends (David and Damien), who’d been working for several years in the MTB industry and they set out with the intention of perfecting products that wouldn’t make the commercial cut amidst a bigger firm. Production Privée (PP) specialise in hardtail frames and a range of cockpit and components that have their own stamp of well considered design and detailing. They both love 60s and 70s car racing and this is reflected in touches throughout their product range from the colours of the Shan 917 hardtail through to the pattern of the new CR35 grips and the stripes on their R2R stem – a touch of style that adds to the brand’s appeal.
PP have Cedric Gracia among their ranks too, he’s been riding and developing their bar, stem and grip design since the beginning of the company in 2011, and still does to this date. David and Damien don’t rush products to the market and the end result is a tight range of designs that hit the spot for us here at Dirt. Niche stuff for core riders.
Production Privée have created the first handlebar grips offering back sweep and up sweep adjustment of your handlebar position thanks to a patented offset design. A true innovation or a gimmick? This setting range allows the rider to adjust the bike’s fit according to their preferences or riding style – a fine tune to a well dialled cockpit for those seeking perfection.
The grip shape, specially engineered to give the best traction, comfort, control and support as possible, has been inspired by the one of the best and most titled pre-slick Formula 1 tires ever, the Dunlop CR65. The soft 30a base durometer rubber compound also comes from a motor sport background and has been worked on extensively for feel, grip and wear. There are softer grips out there such as the DMR Deathgrip which goes as low as a 20a compound, but even these are offered in a harder rubber option for more durability.
The basics of the CR35 are simple: Take a single collar lock-on grip and add a twist – The upward and backwards sweep of a handlebar can make a potential difference to many elements of a bike and how it handles – one degree positive or negative back or upward sweep change can adjust weight balance, increase hand fatigue, or simply just change a rider’s cockpit set up from comfy to ugly. With this grip and its offset inner sleeve, a quick loosen and twist will change the effective sweep of the bar and there are clear markings on the locking collar designating the various options. PP suggest you experiment with this when out on the trail to see the what the different positions offer.
Dimensions are good, not far off the Specialized Sip XL grips (one of our picks in the 2016 Dirt 100), and are left and right specific. An external diameter of 33mm (compared to the 32mm Sip XL) gives enough cushioning when combined with the softer compound rubber. We’ve not had them out in wet conditions yet (though it looks like we’re about too…) but PP’s extensive testing should mean grips that works well year round and are designed to work well with and without gloves. Even with a single locking collar, we’ve not experienced any twisting on the bars.