If you could spend an extra $10-20 on your bike and make every ride more comfortable, would you? I bet you would, and Ergon’s grips are one product that I found can do exactly that. This summer I got to try both the enduro-focused GE1 Evo Factory and the gravity-specific GD1 Factory grips.
After riding these grips for several months I can say the ergonomic shape of their enduro grip is very comfortable, and the sheer grippyness of their downhill model grabbed my attention! In sum, Ergon has produced some well designed grips that are worth the few extra bucks they’ll cost you.
GE1 Evo Factory enduro grips:
Since early April, I’ve had the GE1 Evo Factory enduro grips installed on my trail bike. The first thing I liked about them is that their ergonomic profile is much more noticeable to the hand than it is to the eye. These grips will not look goofy on your prized bicycle!
Ergon’s ergonomic grips have orientation guides printed on their inner collars, with a suggested starting point provided. I started with mine as suggested, then slightly tweaked them forward until they felt right.
The GE1 Evo’s do feel a bit thicker than the average round grip, but bear in mind I was testing the regular type; there is a slim version available. Their 135mm length is generous enough that I had to nudge my brake levers a few mm’s inwards to accommodate these grips.
The grips’ ergonomic shape offers a broad contact patch, and I felt my weight was distributed across my palms much better than it is on a typical round grip. These grips were specifically designed for wide handlebars, and I think that consideration contributes to their wide contact area.
I liked the softness of the Evo’s rubber, and how Ergon made sure the grips remain comfortable to hold all the way to their outer ends. These grips are billed as ‘slip-proof’, but in the rain my gloves would slide around on them a bit. Overall the rubber is pretty grippy, but I wouldn’t call it ground breaking for wet conditions. Ergon says the GE1 Evos encourage your elbows into the correct downhilling position… these grips didn’t change my riding stance, but they did feel very comfortable in it!
In the early season, I get occasional numbness in my hands after a good climb. While these grips didn’t eliminate the numbness every time, I did find they noticeably reduced it. I would suggest anyone who has problems with numb hands should give the GE1 Evos a try.
After a whole season, my grips are hardly showing any wear at all so you should get decent mileage out of them. The GE1 Evo Factory grips come in Frozen Orange or Stealth Black, and MSRP is $39.95 USD.
GD1 Factory downhill grips:
After testing the GD1 Factory grips on my DH bike this summer, I’ll say they impressed me in the simplest way – They’re extremely grippy! The pattern under your fingertips provides an amazing amount of grab. The way Ergon raised every other row of the rectangular knobs provides a very tactile feel, while their flattened tops keep them from feeling pointy or uncomfortable.
The top of the grips’ textures are fairly shallow and flat, so they feel smooth on your palms. As an ex-BMX kid, I didn’t mind the small flanges on the GD1’s. I never had any issues reaching my thumb around it while shifting gears.
The DH grips feature a tapered shape that provides more cushion for the outsides of the hands and slims down on the insides (the Regular type I tested is 30-32mm in diameter). They maintain a round profile end-to-end.
Like the enduro model, the GD1 Factory grips come with position indicator collars. Again they were easy to set up based on Ergon’s suggested start point, and since they are round I simply aligned the GD1’s grip pattern to where my hand should sit on it.
I took a pair of ESI’s chunky foam grips off to test the GD1’s, and expected to miss the foam’s softness. While the rubber Ergon grips are firmer, I found their undersides’ grippy texture meant I didn’t have to squeeze them as tightly. The foam grips do absorb trail vibrations better, but on the other hand (pun intended!) barely having to squeeze the GD1’s saved my arms some effort.
I didn’t get a ton of rides on these grips, but they should last a while since mine still look brand new. The GD1 downhill grips are available in Regular and Slim types. Color choices are Frozen Orange or Stealth Black, and they sell for $34.95.