Written by: Jen Hanks
I like to be comfortable. I love to wear soft sweatshirts and I donít see the point of high heels. When I ride my bike for hours on end, I also want to be comfortable. Iíve put a lot of thought into improving my comfort on my bike. Iíve ridden endless saddles, definitely have favorite chamois, and even prefer some helmets over others. I had never really thought about improving my hand comfort; mostly because there was only one type of grip available. Round.
In 2007, I started dabbling in ultra-endurance riding/racing, my hands started to bother me more. I came back from the 2007 TransAlp with sore, blistered, and bruised hands. This is when I started hearing about Ergon grips.
Ergonomic grips. What a brilliant idea. I bought a pair of GX1s to try for 2008. The difference was amazing. The grips worked, surprisingly, just like they were advertised.
No more numb, blistered, sore hands. Plus, the platform shaped grip surface allows me to rest my hands on the grips and therefore relax my upper body, which decreases energy expenditure. This difference is especially noticeable during insanely long rides. The GX1s saved my hands for my first 10-hour solo event as well as the 2008 TransRockies. At TransRockies, though, with itís endless climbs, I thought, Ďperhaps I would like some extra hand positions.í
So, I bought a pair of GX2s. The GX2s were essentially the same platform grip as the GX1s, with carbon bar ends. I had never been a fan of bar ends, mostly because I like to shift a lot, and I canít shift when on the bar ends. But, the extra hand positions provided even more comfort and upper extremity relief. The GX2s were the perfect grips for the long steep climbs of the inaugural Breck Epic.
One of my favorite things about the Ergon grips is the ease in which they are installed. This allows me to swap my grips out easily based on course profile. I prefer to use the GX1 grips, however if I know a course has a ton of climbing I can throw on the GX2s in just a couple of minutes. The grips also clamp securely to the bar, which eliminates the potential for slippage in rainy conditions and come in size small and large.
The Ergon grips are also competitively light. The GX1s weigh in at 134 grams and the GX2s 190 grams on my gram scale (this is pretty dang close to the advertised weights on the Ergon website). I have not had an opportunity to ride the new, smaller profile GA1s, but they weighed 124 grams. For comparison, I weighed some other, non-ergonomic grips. A pair of non-ergonomic rubber grips weighed 100 grams while a pair of non-ergonomic foam grips weighed 38 grams. As for me, I will take the small weight penalty for comfortable hands and improved performance!