Ergon GP1 Grips
Ergon’s GP1 grips are probably Ergon’s most popular product. Available in regular ($30) and Leichtbau (aka “lightweight” $40), these lock-on grips improve comfort and reduce hand numbness by increasing the contact area with your hand.
I know a lot of people (myself included) think, “I had grips like these when I was a kid,” but there are a few key differences between look-a-likes, past and present. Ergon holds patents on the shapes and angles of their grips, which they say is the real key to the equation. The other main difference is Ergon’s proprietary materials, which are designed to balance comfort, support and durability.
In practical use, I can say without a doubt that these grips make a difference. As a bike commuter who often uses a straight bar on a 10-mile commute, I’ve experienced a bit of hand numbing from time to time, and the GP1 grips noticeably reduce it. They’re also surprisingly durable—in that I expected them to fall apart after three to six months of abuse. I’ve used one pair for well over a year’s worth of commuting, bike polo and mountain biking, and they only show a few nicks and scratches here and there. Even the textured palm area hasn’t worn out.
Of course there are some people who will never give these a shot. For one, $30-40 for grips may be excessive for people on a budget. Another is that Ergon’s grips look more “techy” than “cool.” Of course, the same could be said about fenders, and we all know how “cool” it is to ride in the rain without them.
On a side note, I find Ergon’s package design interesting in that it allows bike shop customers to test the feel of the product without removing it from the packaging. Maybe I’m just impressed because I went to art school and would have got an ‘A’ for coming up with such a concept in class.
The GP1′s are available in lime-green or black. Other versions are available, too, including models with built-in bar ends. Visit www.ergon-bike.com for more info.