In the spectrum of signature parts, the assignment of a signature grip should probably be reserved for only the most loyal of team riders. To your average BMX consumer, grips don't seem like the most difficult thing to produce, and they aren't even close to the most expensive part you could buy, but it's a far more complicated process than one would guess. There's a lot that goes on between the first CAD drawing to the final production sample, and it might take months of testing and analyzing to figure out the desired durometer and thickness. Additionally, while your average grip retails in the $12 range, it actually costs thousands of dollars to create the grip mold & produce the first few batches, so it might take months, or even years, for a brand to recoup their costs. So, if you're a new pro and you've been anointed with a pair of signature grips, take it as a sign of faith from your sponsor that you'll be around for a minute.
ODI is one of the most respected grip manufacturers in the bicycle industry, and with in-house production at their California headquarters, producing a new grip for a team rider becomes slightly less complicated. But when Drew Bezanson joined the team last year, all he got was a signature colorway. You would think that an international superstar badass like Drew, with such great resources at his disposal, would demand a signature design from the get go, but why bother when your sponsor already makes the best BMX grip ever made? Let's be honest – out of all the grips on the market, how many do you see with the familiar ribbed pattern of the famous ODI Longnecks? Sure, some might have a thicker center, and some might have ribs that are patterned differently, and it's more than likely that you'll find logo conspicuously placed in an attempt to distract you from the truth – but in the end, they're all just biting the original. "Drew B. Red" is meant to match a ruby red bike that Drew was riding, and the clever play on words is at least more original than merely calling it a "signature colorway". The Drew B. Red ODI Soft Longnecks are available now for $10.95 wherever ODI grips are sold, which is almost every bike shop in existence. If you want to buy them direct, or check out more of ODI's offerings, head on over to www.odigrips.com today.