Ergon Bike Grips


Full disclosure: The writer of this review, a member of the YogaSlackers team, has received equipment from Ergon for use in competitive adventure races. YogaSlackers receives no monetary support from the company.

Pat was my bike-shop sugar daddy. I was his mountain-bike-racing guinea pig. The relationship was great: He’d give me good deals, and I’d test and ride the amazing — and sometimes strange — mountain bikes he’d concoct from spare parts found around the shop.

One time, the feature he was most excited about on a new bike was the grips. “I couldn’t get you a deal on these,” he said. “But they are only 100 bucks and well worth it.” I nearly choked.

I’ve been mountain biking and racing since before bikes had shocks. It takes me a bit to warm up to the new ideas in the industry. But the Ergon GX2 Leichtbau Carbon grips, which cost $85 to $110 at various websites, are a different story.

Ergon Grip.jpg

GX2 Leichtbau Team Edition grip

As Pat promised, the grips added actual performance attributes to my bike. Sleek and comfortable, the grips are designed to give the rider more hand contact with the bike, which increases control. The ergonomic shape also minimizes pressure on the ulnar nerve and keeps the hand from going numb.

It took a bit of time to get the grips set up in the optimum position. But the adjustment is easy to make with any bike multi-tool, and by halfway through my first ride I’d dialed it in. I loved the extra grip surface, and the integrated bar-ends were nice for climbing. The grips felt secure and never spun.

Other Ergon grips — mostly the cheaper, slightly heavier, but equally comfortable models in the GC2 line, which start at around $30 per pair — have since been on all of my bikes. I have tested them through racing, touring (including a 1,080-mile trip this past summer), and while training.

Ergon Grip 2.jpg

Ergon GC2 grip

I’d started to take them for granted. Last month, I flew to the Abu Dhabi Adventure Challenge, a race where the organizers provide the bikes. In my haste, I forgot my grips and ended up crossing the vast desert with the stock Cannondale grips. By 20 miles in, my hands were numb and my wrists tweaked. I adjusted my grip every few seconds, and finally I gave up.

Pain and suffering accompanied the rest of my ride. The only solace I had was the fact that my teammate Daniel had actually brought his all the way to the Middle East with him, and then opted not to take the two minutes to put them on, saying “how much difference can they actually make?”

You never know what you are missing till they are gone. Bottom line, Ergon grips are the best bike accessory to come out in a long time. With a variety of models and price points, it’s easy to find an Ergon grip that fits your style and budget.

—Jason Magness is a founder of the YogaSlackers.

Posted by Trey Jackson - 12/31/2009 03:37 PM

Great article. Many of the gear junkie articles read like press releases and seem more like simple advertisements than real reviews.

This one had real content and a real voice. Please keep it up.

Posted by Editor - 12/31/2009 05:13 PM

Thanks. . . kind of? Check out these other “non-press-release”-y columns we’ve posted as of late:

> Review: Roclite 288 GTX

> Ibex Hooded Indie

> Outlier OG Pant

> Injinji Compression Toe Socks

Posted by Scott - 01/05/2010 12:52 PM

I agree with trey. Maybe you guys should start doing a gear suggestion article. People can email you a question like: “What pants, jacket and other accessories would you recomend for winter commuting by bicycle”. or you could just continue giving praise to almost every item introduced to an already saturated market.

Posted by Cinghiale - 01/05/2010 02:44 PM

If this review seems press release-ish, well, it should. The reviewer is part of Yogaslackers. If you click the link to their site, you’ll find Ergon listed as one of their sponsors.

Stephen, I enjoy your site, but this review should be taken down immediately.

Posted by gordon - 01/05/2010 03:15 PM

Interesting thread, especially since I do PR for outdoor companies. I can enthusiatically refute the criticisms from those above though, and so can you if you click on this GJ review:

I happen to remember that one because it dealt with a client. But Stephen was just calling it like he saw it, which is his job, which he does very well. Many of the reviews on GJ are positive. Some are not. Some, like the one above, are negative. But I’ve found all the GJ reviewers to be credible and living the life, for lack of a better term.

Posted by Yair - 01/05/2010 10:37 PM

I’ve been using the GP1 Leichtbau and GC 2 for the past couple of years – they are excellent and make a BIG difference- especially on long rough terrain XC rides. I should also mention the excellent packs they make especially the BC3 (with Flink/unique pivot system) and finally – NO-I am not associated with Ergon beyond using their gear

Posted by jesse - 01/06/2010 02:25 PM

I used to have an issue with my ulnar nerve getting pinched causing numbness in my fingers. Not being able to feel your brake levers or pull with normal strength makes for a scary downhill. A friend turned me on to the Ergon GP1 grips a couple years ago. Once you get the angle dialed in, they work perfectly – no numbness, even on multi-hour rides. I recommend them to friends all the time.

Posted by Jason Magness - 01/07/2010 12:46 AM

To Cinghiale (and others):
Thank you for your comment, as it brings to light a very important issue, which in retrospect I perhaps should have foreseen. Team YogaSlackers has received Ergon grips for use in our racing and expeditions during the years of 2008/2009. As the review states, I was first introduced to the product in 2006, and over the next two years I bought four pair for my various bikes. I approached Ergon in 2008, asking if they would supply the team with grips for an upcoming race in Canada. They did. In 2009, they helped support a charity bike tour we did in Colorado. I would not endorse a product for money in a review. I cannot expect those who don’t know me to take that comment at face value, but those are what my values are. Thanks for the comments.

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