Urban Velo

Ergon GP1 Grips

ergon gp1

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.

ergon gp1 packagingIn 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.

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8 Comments

  1. Ghost RiderJuly 22, 2009 at 12:35 pm

    +1 on Ergons…they really work!

    In humid environments, the textured grip areas collect a lot of grime and mildew, but it scrubs off easily enough. I’ve worn some of the texture off in the 1000 miles or so since I put on the grips, but they’re still comfortable.

    Visually, the package is awesome — so stylish! But I still worry about the recycleability of all that plastic (and waste in general).

  2. Rob ProuseJuly 22, 2009 at 1:51 pm

    For rides of less than about five hours the Ergon grips work great and are comfortable. Longer than that though and I have found them to cause the loss of feeling in the two outside fingers of my hands for several months. Same thing happened to my wife. I think it is because they put pressure on the heel of your hand pinching the nerve there. Normal grips put pressure higher up in the palm.

    They are also slightly heavier and fairly expensive. If you are a normal weekend rider, they might be great for you, but if you do 8 or 24 hour solo rides or plan on touring, don’t spend the money.

  3. DwainedibblyJuly 23, 2009 at 3:09 am

    They’re perfect for a city bike because for most rides around town you can skip the gloves.

    I have the same reservations about the plastic in the packaging.

  4. Christian R. ConradAugust 12, 2009 at 4:22 am

    Rob P: I think you may be doing something wrong, then, since as I understand it the whole idea behind the shape — the reason they use the name “Ergon”, as in “ergonomic”, you know? — is that they’re supposed to *support* more of your palm, so as to pinch the nerves *less* than “normal” grips do.

    Maybe you should consider adjusting the angle of the grips, or something.

    HTH! :-)

  5. bradleySeptember 16, 2009 at 8:28 pm

    I had a pair of the GP-1L grips (it should be noted that they come in S for Small and L for Large) installed and it was the best $29 I’ve ever spent. I no longer have my palms go numb and there is a subtle feeling that the bars vibrate less. Like Christian has noted, I had to try a few angles starting with flat before I found the sweet spot of about a 20-degree rise. This all depends on personal preference and bike/rider geometry. Highly recommended.

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