However, you have to look at how sushi is made—in a long cylindrical fashion before it is sliced to the familiar medallion shape we all love to eat.
While the sushi is still in its cylindrical shape, we should note that it is usually flat on one end = perhaps to stop it from rolling away… I have no idea.
Anyhow, cycling ergonomics expert Sean Madsen—I’ll bet you didn’t know such a job existed—says that bicycle handlebar grips work better if they're flat on top (like the bottom of a roll of sushi before it is sliced).
Madsen also points out that if the grips are narrow at the top, and have “wings”, it is even better.
So… that’ why Madsen designed these new mountain bike grips, called sushi grips because of the manner in which a sushi cone is held.
Hunh… so it has nothing to so with a pre-sliced sushi roll? Fawk… I really should read the whole thing first… BUT, if I did, then how could I share the ’surprise’ with you.
Anyhow, the new Sushi Grip provides the rider with greater control of your bike, especially in rough, technical terrain and improves your ability to dive into corners. These grips also help reduce hand numbness, aches, and forearm fatigue.
According to Madsen, when we grasp something in our hand, most of the force comes from our ring and pinky fingers, acting in opposition to the thumb. Additionally, the muscles in those two fingers are able to exert the most force when the hand is almost closed into a fist.
With that in mind, Sushi Grips are narrower at the ends – where those fingers sit – than the handlebar itself. This means that the grips extend out from the bars 65 mm per side, so users will either have to cut their bars down, or just go with a wider ride.
The wing on the outside of the grip that allows you to press more weight on the inside hand through corners. This makes the bike lean farther, tightening the turning radius without slowing down.
Because of the angled grip surface on the underside, it allows greater use of your ring and pinky fingers, resulting in more control in technical sections of the trail. By using more fingers to hold on to the bike, it means less forearm and hand fatigue, and an overall lighter touch on the bars.
The third design feature is the platform on the top of the grip. This allows pressure to be shifted away from the nerves in the wrist, which typically cause numbness. This platform supports the hand on the pads at the base of the thumb and fingers, moving pressure out of the crease of the palm. On rough terrain the impact of a round grip into the crease of the palm is the cause of sore, achy hands. Finally, this platform is much smaller than other "ergonomic" grips, providing just enough support without interfering with your control of your bike.
The Sushi Grip is smaller than the the current handlebar diameters in use today. This obstacle was overcome by designing the grip to extend past the end of the handlebar. In fact, the design extends 65mm past the end of the handlebar on each side.
With this design consideration, due care was taken to ensure the grips would be strong and withstand the most abusive riding. The material selected for the base structure is a reinforced nylon, capable of handling the works; from rock gardens to big drops and jumps. The soft sections of the grip, where texture and feel is important, will be a rubber-like compound that can handle several seasons of use.
Okay… this isn’t a blog about mountain bike grips, and anything else I write here is just going to be me stealing everything from a website.
But just in case you are one of those people whop hates to travel from one site to a possible sketchy one… or maybe you still have dial-up and it takes forever to load, here’s some advice on how to best use the Sushi Grip when riding your mountain bike…. which truthfully, I have never done. I used to ride a bike. I rode it darn near everyday while I lived my three+years in Japan… assuming I didn’t use it while sick, or on vacation.
Madsen is currently raising production funds for the grips, on Kickstarter. A pledge of US$40 will get you a set of Sushi Grips, assuming all goes according to plan. If you'd prefer them to already be mounted on an aluminum or carbon handlebar, higher pledges will get you that.
Go check out the product over at www.sushigrips.com.