I’ve been running Ergon grips ever since they first introduced the winged GX1 and its curvier predecessor. I’ve also run the rounder, thicker GA1 and GA2, which provide a solid grip but feel a bit too firm for all-day adventures.
Most recently, the standard GE1 enduro grips have been my hand rests of choice. I’ve been riding the same pair for more than a year, but for kicks, I slapped on the newer Slim version before a recent ride.
Here’s how they compare, along with a run down of why the GE1 is my favorite mountain bike grip…
What sets the GE1 apart is the angled outer edge, which extends the handlebar width by about a centimeter per side. That may not seem like much, but it makes a massive difference. I’m running Thomson’s carbon riser mountain bike handlebars on two of my bikes. One has these grips on, and another has another brand’s ergonomic grips that place the lock ring on the outer edge. The difference in feel and control is massive, with the Ergon GE1 the clear winner by adding a lot more useable real estate.
Ergon claims the shape and design puts you in a more natural, elbows-out riding position, and that held true. It’s a very comfortable position that also allows for aggressive riding.
Zach covered the grip’s construction and materials in his review of the standard GE1, check that for all the details. The quick of it is this: An alloy lock ring uses a large 3mm allen bolt to clamp the grip to the bar, with marks to help you get both sides’ positions synced. It uses dual density natural rubber to remain soft, but it’s also durable.
My original pair, which you’ll see below in blue, has taken plenty of abuse (side swiping trees, wrecks, leaning against the ground like shown above…sometimes at speed), but show hardly any wear. The plastic end cap prevents abrasions from ripping up the rubber, which absolutely helps extend the grips’ longevity.
The difference between the original (blue) and the slim (white) is only a few millimeters – about 4mm at the inside…
…and 2 or 3 mm at the outer edge, but it’s enough to be noticeable. Ergon pitches them for smaller hands or those who want a more direct feel on the bike. I found another benefit in winter riding: Those big, thick winter gloves fit better and maintain appropriate fat finger clearance when braking with a single digit. The improved dexterity with winter gloves definitely made me feel more aggressive and comfortable.
Overall, Ergon’s grips have stood the test of time. Not all of their shapes will work for everyone, but the GE1’s design is very well thought out and they’ve made several of our testers’ hands very happy.