Submitted by Barry | August 2012
When you decide to jump into a distance mountain biking race, the best, cheapest, easiest-to-install piece of gear I can recommend to help make your ride successful is Ergon grips. Here’s why:
- While the ideal way to hold your handlebars is light and relaxed, like many of us, when I’m bombing down a descent (often way in over my head) I sometimes unconsciously death-grip my bars. My Ergons allow me to succumb to that occasional death grip without beating up my hands and wrists.
- Some folks, including my girlfriend and a few of my teammates, prefer the Ergons with the integrated bar ends, though I prefer the ones without because I fear those narrow trailside trees that have been known to jump out and grab you off your bike. Plus, I find that even without the bar ends I can place my hands on the fat end of the grips to mix-up my hand position to keep my hands fresh and light.
- Positioning is essential. One important part of enjoying your Ergons is to bring your hex wrench with you on a long training ride and continue to tweak your grips until you find the sweet spot that makes you most comfortable. Mine are currently at about a 150 degree angle (pointing slightly up toward the rear of my bike). Make sure you sufficiently tighten them so you don’t accidentally twist them on a big drop…that’s never a pleasant surprise, though don’t over-torque them so they strip.
I prefer the GP1 large model because I have big hands, though you can shave a few grams by using the GS1 instead. Come to my favorite bike shop, Spokes,Etc. on Quaker Lane in Alexandria, VA to purchase a pair or two. Give one to your buddy for a thoughtful yet inexpensive gift.
The important concept is to decide what works best for you. And because other folks prefer something, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go against the grain.