Behind the Thumb Tack

The Thumb Tack grip: Designed by Chase Gouin

We’ve received some questions here and there about what makes the Flatware Thumb Tack grip flatland-specific. While there certainly isn’t anything about it that would hold you back from using it in other genres of BMX, the design and thought process behind it is what lends it to be most suitable for Flatland. To help explain it further, Chase Gouin wrote up a detailed analysis of the grip:

My Flatware grips have a thick and sturdy inner flange. Many Flatlanders may find themselves extending and pressing their thumb against the flange on certain leaned tricks for the purpose of wrist stabilizing/support when angling their body better in relation to the trick. Traditional flimsy flanges do not offer support, but a grip with no flange at all is not good for this either. The overall length of the grip and the length of the inner flange are based on an average sized adult hand and thumb so that when the side of the palm of the hand is leaned over on the bar end, the thumb should extend approximately to the middle of the inner flange. The outer flange (near bar end) is flared up a bit to offer some cushion to the side palm of the hand. The two flanges can also serve the purpose of generally keeping the hand between the two, making for more consistent hand positioning in some cases.

As for the main body grip design, i stayed with the traditional ring pattern, as this has worked well for myself and many Riders over the years. We attempted to achieve a hard enough compound and durometer so the Rider has a firm hold, (as opposed to flexy or mushy) but not too hard, so that it still has a grippy or “tacky” feel. The wall thickness of the main body is not excessively thick or thin. The thick inner flange will wear down evenly when the bars scrape the ground, unlike ripping apart like traditional flanges. The grip can be rotated if the flange wears down, so that it continues to protect the levers. Brakeless riders may also like the inner flange in the case that they don’t have grip rings (replacing levers) to protect the bars when they scrape/slam the ground. The total length of this grip is about 130-132 mm. The design of my grip is such that it is not intended to be cut shorter.

Thumb press support flange plus tacky feel equals the name Thumb Tack.