Grips are one of the most important contact points on your bike and finding the right pair can take a lifetime. But what if your grips were made specifically for you? An American start up may have the answer.
Formy is the result of two years of research by Sky Van Iderstine, a senior student of mechanical engineering at Virginia Tech, and it has launched on Kickstarter this morning. The process is easy, send him the length of your middle finger and the width of your palm and he will 3-D print the perfect grip for your handsize then send it straight to your door.
Apparently hands vary greatly in size but not in shape. These two measurements are enough to create a 2-D model of your hand around which the grip can be made. Having a grip that contours to your hand will supposedly help maintain your hand position and better distribute pressure across your hand, making for a more comfortable and precise ride.
Of course, Formys are a bit different to conventional grips you are used to. The grips are made from a flexible plastic lattice that is reportedly more durable than traditional grip rubber while still reducing pressure on contact points. It may not be the stickiest substance but your hands are effectively locked in place by the mould of the grip anyway, think of it a bit like a clipless pedal compared to the grippiness of a flat.
Sky said: “I can talk about them all day, but there’s nothing like trying a pair. Until I actually tried Formy’s first prototype, I was skeptical of the idea that custom grips could actually make a difference, but that’s the proof of the pudding.”
The Formy grips are set to retail at $69 (£53) but if you head over to the Kickstarter page there’s a load of discounts available for Early Birds. Initial rider feedback is good and two Olympic XC riders have been using the grips too.
They remind us of the TMR Imprint grips that were successfully crowdfunded in 2014. We really liked the TMRs and noticed that the lack of pressure points helped to remove arm pump. Hopefully we can get a set of Formys in soon to see how they compare.