Ergon GA1 grips. An ergonomically shaped all mountain grip designed in Germany with ergonomics put at the forefront of the design.
Five points of contact. When you ride your bike, your body has five points of contact with your bike (two grips, two pedals and your saddle). Your grips then make up 40% of the contact and input that your body has with your bike and arguably it is the most important point of contact you have with your bike.Full review inside
,For the most part people don't really put enough thought into their grip selection. Most grips on the market today are basically round tubes of rubber on either end of your handlebars with a texture of some sort for additional grip. There are lock-on grips and soft rubber grips and multi-colored grips galore to choose from. You can even get scented grips to attract the ladies.What's the deal with the Ergon GA1 grip then?
To put it simply, it is made to fit the natural shape of your hand. Ergon
, the company takes part of its name from the word ergonomics. Put simply, ergonomics is a discipline that better enables the human body to interact with its environment and can therefore optimize a system's performance. It comes down to how everything fits together and how each part of the system interacts with one another. Ergon produce grips and backpacks for mountain biking and every product is engineered with ergonomics at the forefront. A significant amount of thought and scientific testing goes into each product they produce.
What does all this ergo mumbo jumbo mean to you as a rider?
Ergon GA1 grips
Increased comfort and increased performance due to reduced hand fatigue: aka less hand and arm pump on long rides.How do these grips offer this performance enhancement?
It all comes down to the shape of the grip. As I mentioned earlier, most other grips are simple round tubes of rubber. The Ergon grips are sculpted tubes of rubber that are shaped to fit the palm of your hand to increase comfort and reduce fatigue by having direct surface contact with your hand as it naturally grips your bars. When you grip a normal handle grip that has a continuous diameter, your hand has to collapse in on itself to get you whole palm to touch the rubber of the grip. This collapsing of the palm puts stress on your hand, weakens the grip and can irritate the ulnar nerve that leads from your hand and continues up your arm . The sculpted shape of the Egron GA1 prevents the collapsing of the palm and makes continuous contact with the palm in a more comfortable natural manner.
The photo below shows how a riders hand has a natural concave shape to it when a handle grip is grabbed. The photo of the GA1 grip shows how the grip matches the natural curve of a rider's hand.
Natural curve of the hand
Curve of the GA1 grip
Due to the specifics of the grip design these grips are to be installed as per the instructions provided by Ergon, so as to perform as expected. They are left and right specific (embossed on the grips) and are to be rotated to a certain position on the bars (embossed on the grips). The forged aluminum clamp secures the grips as well as any grip I have ever used and it even has a specific torque installation recommendation written on the clamp. All the necessary details for us anal techy types.
Embossing and torque spec
Once I had the grips installed as per spec, I took hold of the grips and immediately noticed how well they fit my hand. They were really quite comfortable. I have run Sunline, ODI, Sefas, Oury, Yeti and Lizard Skins grips over the past 6 years. My favorites have been ODI Ruffians. I have short fingers and a wide palm and they just seem to be the ones I come back to with the greatest success. When I tried these Ergon GA1 grips they were the baseline of what to compare to. The cool thing about the GA1's is that due to the shape and the continuous palm contact, you don't have to grip the bars as tight with your fingers to have contact with your grips. Because you don't need to use additional pressure to cave your palm, you can grip a slight bit looser but still have a good firm grip on the handlebar. I noticed this within a minute of riding my first downhill trail.
GA1 grip is marketed as an all-mountain grip but this in no way means that it can't be used for DH or other types of riding. The performance advantages that the grip offers would be a benefit to anyone on a flat bar type bike. Most of the time when I climb, I don't grip my bars very tightly but on the downhills I like to have a good grip on the bars. To me this is where these grips showed just how good they are compared to most other grips out there. From time to time I like to go on what some call epic rides. Those 3+ hour rides in the saddle where the constant jarring on the body takes its toll. In the past I would often get numb hands due to my hand position on the bars. With these GA1 grips, my hand numbness was non existent.
I liked most things about the Ergon GA1 grips. The comfortable grip they offer makes them a stand out for me. The attention to detail in the instructions, packaging and quality of the grips is outstanding. Apart from the white rubber becoming a little brown due to dirt, they haven't shown any signs of accelerated wear and the forged aluminum clamps have held up well to spills and encounters with trees due to my wide bars and tree bashing ways. I've had over 20 rides on them with some nasty wet west coast weather and not once have they rotated or have my hands slipped off the grips.
The colors the grips are offered in are black and grey with a black clamp, green and black with a black clamp and white with a green clamp.
Three colorways offered
Egron GA1 weight
The thing I would suggest for improvement is more sizes. Personally I would like to see a slightly smaller sized grip. The grips currently come in two sizes: small and large. I had small, but would really like to see a range of small, medium and large and I would make the small a touch smaller in diameter so as to cater to those with smaller hands than mine. Make the current small the medium and keep the large. In fact, after my first ride on the grips, I had cramps in my hands after riding with the grips. I was ready to toss them, however I read about cramps after the initial ride with these grips due to the unfamiliar shape. After 2 rides my hands were fine and the cramps were gone. It's just like getting a new pair of shoes that offer proper arch support: you need to give them a chance. I suspect that had I had a smaller grip to begin with I would not have had any cramps at all. The second thing I would like improved is the weight of the grips. Nowadays people count the grams and often one component is chosen over the other simply due to weight and not performance. I would hate for grips like these to be ignored due to their slightly higher weight.
I honestly approached these grips with an open mind. I gave them a shot against my tried and true grips of the past. I liked them, I liked them a lot and I can honestly say that a lot of riders could benefit from these grips. They offer a performance advantage that other grips don't, especially for extended rides. I know that they will not be for everybody, but if your riding involves a lot of saddle time, then these grips may just offer you some additional comfort and control for those long pounding rides.
GA1 grips put to good use