Review and Photos by Michael Lindsay
Wandering the pro pits is always interesting, especially when you spot the small tricks that the factory mechanics do to their rider's bikes. One thing that's quite common, is to find grip tape along spars of the frame. Some riders love the extra traction that can be found by doing this. But it can be a bit of a pain to replicate, since cutting out the perfect-sized piece of grip tape is time consuming and takes practice, even with a good template. Now there's a solution, Nihilo Concepts has produced a grip tape kit that is made to fit individual brands and models.
Nihilo Concepts Factory Frame Grip Tape features:
- Available in black, grey, and OEM colors.
- Cut to match each individual advertised model.
- MSRP $15.95-18.95.
The Nihilo's frame grip tape comes on a simple sheet of backing paper, such as a set of graphics would. You simply peel and and place them on the frame. Each piece is cut to match the corresponding side of the frame, and typically runs from right above the footpeg to the third of half-way point up the spars of the frame.
The grip tape is available in black and grey for all models, and the OEM color to match that brand. If you're a Husqvarna or KTM guy, the grip tape offers more than just extra grip, but can also protect your colored frame from wear, as well. Also, if you meet a minimum order amount, you can have them customized with a personal logo.
On the Track
As you can guess, the idea of this product is to give you more confidence on the bike by giving you better control over the bike. Depending on how you ride, the extra grip may not be immediately noticeable. In my case, it becomes the most apparent when standing up in the attack position, such as standing on the balls of your feet while charging into jump faces. Here it can help you keep your forward stance without as much effort. Also, I find more confidence in keeping proper body positioning under heavy braking.
The grip tape takes a lot of abuse. It's attached to the frame and rubs directly against your boots, so something has to give. In this case, it's the grip tape. Depending on how you grip your bike, the life of the grip tape can vary. Unless your feet are always off the pegs, they will wear out.
The Last Word
Nihilo Concept offers up a simple but unique product that you otherwise would spend a lot of valuable time replicating. The Factory Frame Grip Tape does exactly what it's supposed to, improve your control and grip on the bike. Also in the case of KTMs and Husqvarnas, it can protect the finish on the frame. But it still faces a huge downside, it won't last. Depending on how aggressively you hug the bike with your legs, that time can be extremely short. In short, it's a great product if it solves your needs, but will always require replacement.
Vital MX Rating
Check out NihiloConcepts.com to find out if the Factory Frame Grip Tape is available for your bike.