Let’s get it out there right off the bat, we’ve never liked Ergon grips or their goofy looks and they did not pay us to write this review. Although after we rave about how awesome they are you may think we have been. So, now that we’ve established that we are unpayed non-Ergon fans who have now been converted, let’s learn about the most technically advanced grips we’ve ever ridden, the GE1 Evo Factory grips in Moss with Oil-Slick rings.
THE LAB Available in several colors and in either a regular or slim diameter, even getting on Ergon’s website to select your grip is complex. First they ask for your application purpose, glove side, how severely you suffer from hand/arm pump and how much you ride. As I was researching I found myself saying, “Just let me see the grips!” I played along with the quiz however and much to my surprise, the grips it led me to are in fact, the grips I’m reviewing here. Weird.
Chances are if you’ve seen an Ergon grip in the wild, or been to their website, it won’t surprise you to learn that they’re a 100% German designed and engineered brand with sports scientists, physicians and engineers on staff. To say that Ergon Grips puts some energy into the ergonomics of their products is an understatement.
The GE1 Evo grips don’t have the crazy winged appearance some of their larger grips have, although the closer you look the more you’ll see. Advanced level riders know that body position on the bike is important, and a proper arm bend and wrist angle will allow you get into a strong attack position. Because of that, Ergon designed the grip surface to be slightly angled (8 degrees) to help the grip match your hand’s natural shape against a bar with a backswept angle. This allows for a more direct wrist angle, which Ergon claims reduces fatigue, joint and nerve pain and also gives a stronger grip.
By having a grip that more naturally captures the hand, riders don’t need to hold the grip quite as hard, which reduces fatigue and increases your ability to ride harder for longer. Ergon claims that it’s not only the multi-faceted shape and angle of the grip but also the specific texture that goes against gripping forces to prevent hand rotation. It sounds like lots of marketing, we know, but strangely, once we were riding, it all made sense.
While the looks of the outside of the grip seem busy enough, the inner core construction packs plenty more technology. The grip wall varies in thickness within the core to provide a tuned damping feel. The goal is do add cushion to the areas of high frequency impacts and vibrations like the outer end.
THE DIRT There isn’t a ton else we can say about the grips after discussing all the tech and design features. Ultimately, no matter how much technology, marketing or matching colors a brand has to offer, grips are highly subjective pieces of equipment.
As for the couple of testers that we put on these grips, they have been pleasantly surprised. The multi-dimensional shape fits nicely in the palm and the asymmetrical shaping didn’t seem unnatural in any way. In fact, when we got on other grips, they almost seemed basic, and unrefined after having such a tuned grip.
The Wolf’s Last Word
Vibration damping, ergonomics, fit and grip are all standout features of the Ergon GE1 grip. The extended outer edge reduced palm discomfort and gave us a nice squishy placed to park our hand without having a giant foamy grip to numb the trail. It’s hard to find a grip that relieves some hand and finger fatigue without feeling like you’re holding onto a giant squirmy sleeve. The GE1 grips have a nice, fanned texture pattern and the blocks have raised back edges to prevent grip slip and reduce the amount of energy you need to exert to hold on. They stayed in place no matter how hard we yanked on our 50lb eMTB and they kept our handling sharp and precise no matter how many feet we were descending. We may need to send Ergon an email to get a few more colors to match the rest of our test bikes.
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