I will be the first to admit that I am no longer a spring chicken. A lifetime of skateboarding, riding (rigid) mountain bikes, and computer use have taken their toll on my hands and wrists. I never gave it much thought, however, until I relocated to Colorado in early 2001. It took exactly one off-road ride in the 38th state for me to understand exactly why they’re called the rocky mountains.
Determined to improve my bike’s comfort, I did what any self-respecting bike geek would do–I replaced good components with better ones (which included more than a dozen pairs of grips). While my bike–and wallet–got lighter, my hands/wrists still hurt. Desperate for relief, I decided to try some odd-looking touring grips from Ergon of Germany. And guess what, my hands immediately felt better with the new grips. From then on, if my bikes sported flat or riser bars, you’d find them equipped with Ergon grips.
A couple of years ago I made the switch to Jeff Jones’ Loop handlebar. The bars’ unique design and increased sweep (45°) proved more comfortable than conventional MTB handlebars yet performed better than drop bars in technical, off-road terrain. Eventually I equipped all of my personal bikes with Jones-like handlebars. There was only one catch, though, the new bars didn’t mesh well with my beloved GP1 grips. It turns out that Ergon had already solved that problem. Ergon’s GC1 grips–based on the company’s GP1 design–feature a different angle which places the wrist at the proper angle on upright, swept-back bars.
A note about sizing… Most of Ergon’s grips are offered in multiple sizes (diameters). Although I typically wear large (9-10) gloves, I prefer the small size when available. I’ve ridden the company’s small and large size grips, and the latter are better suited to riders with extremely large hands (XL-XXL).