Way back in the misty yonder days of 2021, Bikerumor’s coverage of Eurobike 2021 included a blurb about Personomic — a scrappy little startup with dreams of bringing personalized 3D-printed grips to the masses.
Fast forward two years, and the German company made good on its vision. A successful Kickstarter campaign led to 1,000 pre-orders from over 30 countries, and now the grips are available on demand from Personomic’s website. The secret sauce is their material choice, combined with the individual fit made possible by Personomic’s proprietary smartphone-scanning technology.
The design is now getting more eyeballs — a 94,000-person German survey ranked Persomic at the top of the list in terms of bike grips. On top of that, the company just struck a deal with sizable German cycling wholesaler Paul Lange & Co. (a major Shimano distributor throughout Central Europe), meaning riders in Germany can now order Personomic products directly from their local bike shop.
That range could also soon include a whole other category of customized cycling touchpoint products — Schulz and his co-founders told us expansion into the saddle market is right around the corner.
Here’s how Personomic’s technology works. Place your hand on a sheet of computer paper and snap a photo. Send that photo to Personomic as a part of the ordering process — where you can also choose from five grip and locking ring colors, as well as your preferred texture pattern.
The company uses the paper as a reference point and creates a “digital twin” of your hand — an actual 3D model. Personomic then uses this digital twin to print a plastic mold of your personalized grip, then fills in that mold with silicon. When the silicon is set, employees remove the mold, package your grips, and stick them in the mail.
A window into the molding process. This photo was taken at the Eurobike 2021 convention. Photo c. BikeRumor!
Personomic claims its use of silicon over rubber or plastic results in grips that are hard-wearing, vibration-dampening, and non-sticky. Pair that with a grip that perfectly matches your hand, and you’ve got a seemingly winning combo.
“The whole idea behind using 3D printing is that a custom bike grip will fit each cyclist’s hands perfectly, which will lead to better distribution of pressure across the hands. This prevents widespread issues such as numb fingers when cycling,” Personomic co-founder Andreas Schulz explained to BikeRumor by email.
Now, it aims to resolve other common pain points for cyclists.
“Although currently we only sell bike grips, we are a 3D-printing start-up at heart,” Schulz said. “We are currently also developing a custom bike saddle that is adapted to the individual cyclist and want to become the go-to cycling brand for customized, ergonomic bike accessories.”
Customization and the potential comforts therein do come with a price: a pair of Personomic grips start at around $97 MSRP, and shipping outside the EU costs another $4.