So it has been a while since I’ve browsed this forum…and yes a few things have stayed the same and a few things have changed.
I have been intriqued by the Steve Wallis’s deathgrip handle but can’t seem to find the thread that discusses its ‘birth’. Can someone please enlighten me as to how the deathgrip came into being? Can it be used with a stock KH seat? And how are people liking this new space age seat accessory?
The handle is a carbonfiber, monodextrous (is that a word?), ultra-strong handle made for trials and muni, but mostly muni. It’s like a reeder, in that it’s meant for one hand. They are extremely comfortable. I’ve had one on my 17lb muni for about 4 months now, and it’s the best muni handle I’ve tried, said after using miyata, multiple KH, and various custom handles. I have raked the handle across hundreds of feet of sharp rocks, and the resin has worn smoothly, so there are no worries about the carbonfiber cracking or being fragile.
The handle was initially made, from what I understand, as an alternative to the Reeder handle for muni. Scott wanted an ultra comfortable, stiff, low profile, but light handle for his muni. Being a composite fabricator, he designed one to be made with carbon fiber. The handles are currently in what I believe to be their second permutation, the first having a slightly thicker grip. Both versions are extremely comfortable, and the difference is subtle. The only quarrel I have is that the handle gets slippery when I grip it with bare, sweaty hands. I wear gloves though, so this isn’t a problem.
His name, just so you know, is Scott Wallis. The standard of quality he sets is amazing. When you order a seatbase or handle, it is perfect, no blems, no mods neccessary, just perfect.
I believe the handle will fit a stock KH seat, they do have the holes (mine has holes for both a miyata and KH bolt pattern).
I have no affiliation with Scott, and have no stock in his company… just a very satisfied customer.
I can gloat a little bit here because I was at Wallis Design yesterday discussing buildout details (getting my first Coker) with Dave Stockton and Scott Wallis. The relevant part of this is that Scott basically walked me through the entire seat building process from “this here’s a seat post” all the way up to “and here is how I keep the saddle cover in place” Being a nosey semi-technical dude I was quite interested in how it was all going together. BTW, I’ll be getting the V-Grip version.
I can’t really speak to the usage of the handle yet but I’ll tell you what, he has a very professional and well outfitted shop and while you’re chatting with him you realize that his wheels are always turning when it comes to figuring out better ways to do something. The build process is professional, very well thought through, and of course, time consuming since they are not mass-produced.
Now I have asked them both to let me photo-document the birth of my Coker at various stages of the build without giving out any trade secrets. Hopefully that will happen and people will get a chance to peek behind the curtain and see these two wizards work their magic in their natural environment. I consider myself quite lucky to have started unicycling only to find out that I live down the street (quite literally) from both Dave and Scott.
The Deathgrip and V-Grip are not to be compared with the bumpers and handles found on standard uni’s.
(and no, they did not give me a discount because I posted this )
Erin, thanks for your interest in my handles, and thank you Bevan and Trapper for your kind words. I have explained a little below, and I put some quick price and compatibility info on the lame web page at :http://www.wallisdesign.com/HANDLEpics.html
The DeathGrip handle came about because I wanted a handle that I could pull really hard on for climbing, without the discomfort and flex of stock handles. I wanted to have a grip that allowed wrapping my thumb around to my forefinger, but without the weight and projection of a tubular handle like a Reeder. I also wanted it to look cool. I created the ergo shape that was comfortable to me by sculpting in clay, then going through several revisions of casting and reshaping. I had already done the materials and process testing that would allow me to mold the handle and know that it would take the abuse of muni.
While I intended the grip for muni and trials, it turned out that several of the top distance riders in our community really liked the DG handle for climbing with their 36” unis. The V-Grip then came about from the need for a second hand position for distance riding. It provides the same comfortable angle as the primary DG grip for the other hand, and also provides several alternate hand position combinations which can be helpful on long rides. And, it makes it easy both to lift your weight slightly off the saddle, or to hold yourself to the back of the saddle, both providing some relief during long non-stops.
I am sorry that it is not easier to get info on my products, but I am not yet able to fill the demand and I stay quite backlogged. I am spending a lot of time upgrading my “production” if you can call it that. But another large chunk of my time goes to making improvements on my products and designing the next ones. There is a lot coming up, but it takes time to design, prototype, test, and produce. A real web site with prices and info will be coming along. Thanks to everyone for being patient.
I also can gloat a little bit about the DG handle. I started riding Muni about 6 months ago and have had the good fortune of learning to ride with the DG from the beginning. I do not see how there could possibly be a better and more ergo handle out there. This thing fits your hand perfectly! TOUGH, my DG has been through hell and back it still looks and feels great. When it comes to quality his attention to detail is phenomenal. If you ever see a Muni on the trail with the DG handle, I urge you to give it a try, you’ll love it!
I’ve been using the DeathGrip for 15 months for both Muni and Coker and have been using the V-Grip for Touing/Distance for almost 6 months. We have about 4 of the DeathGrip handles on various cycles and they are fantastic. They’ve taken some big hits on rock on Muni rides and also work great for Cokering. I think there were four of us on the Alps tour using these (two with V-Grips) - not a single complaint. Scott has singlehandedly pushed the state of the art of unicycle seats quite a bit higher than it was. And especially for distance riding, the seat is a really really important component.
I bought one used several months ago and have been very satisfied with it in every way. I use it for trials, and it is better then the whatever the second best trials handle may be by a noticeable amount in every characteristic that defines a handle. It is extremely light, stiff, strong and durable.
Those handles are really nice, I think I’ve tried them a few times.
But I was wondering, after tons of unicycle falling, and the handle hitting the ground, doesn’t the CF handle eventually get scuffs and cracks, and the shards go into your hands?
Seems like a great hanld though, and I loved the way the feel though.
My post, as well as a few others have addressed this issue. No, not at all. It does get worn some, but the carbon fiber doesn’t do the whole shard thing. I’ve seen this happen on bicycle bar ends, but the handle didn’t do this under the same conditions.
I am overwhelmed by all your help in bringing me up to speed on this aspect of unicycling. And Scott, thanks so much for taking the time to reply to this thread!
So it sounds like many of you are finding this handle to be not only excellent for MUni applications but also for distance riding. It is clear in looking at the set ups that are being riden on the Laos trip that quite a few riders have actually switched from their more extensive tubular steel handles to the DG. Is that because the DG is just that much of an improvement over your previous long distance riding set ups or is it that the Laos trip has different riding requirments than some of the other long distance uni tours and hence the DG makes more sense for that application?