What are the best mountain bike grips? Wil’s tested a bunch over the years, and here he’s put together five of his favourite lock-on grips. Over to Wil!
German brand Ergon may be best known for its popular flared grip design, though it also offers ‘normal’ grips too, including the GD1 series (gravity), the GA series (All Mountain), and these; the GE1 series (enduro).
Originally launched back in 2013, the GE1 was designed in conjunction with all-round downhill and enduro shredder, Fabian Barel. During the development process, Ergon conducted motion analysis of its EWS team riders to determine what hand positions they favoured, and how this would change from climbing to descending.
The result was what Ergon claimed to be the first ergonomic grip designed specifically for wide bars.
Ergon GE1 EVO Factory Grip Specs
- Diameter: 29-33mm
- Total length: 135mm
- Grip area length: 118-121mm
- Single locking clamp w/3mm hex screw
- Colours: Orange or Black
- Confirmed weight: 98g
- RRP: £34.99 / $55 AUD
On The Trail
The GE1 EVO on test here is an update to that original design, with a more heavily textured surface that’s improved all-condition traction. It’s also now available in a standard compound, or the softer ‘Factory’ compound I’ve been using, and you can get both regular or slim sizes.
Amongst present company, these are easily the most expensive grips on test. They’re probably the most over-engineered too, with carbon-friendly, wide-profile forged alloy clamps, integrated plastic end caps and a rubber coating that changes thickness throughout the body of the grip to maximise damping where possible.
They’re also asymmetric, so there’s a left and right specific grip. Ergon has kindly laser etched “UP” into alloy collars, along with some guidelines to help you fine-tune the rotation.
One set up correctly, the GE1 EVO grips help to support an elbows-out riding style, while encouraging you to run your hands right to the edge of the bars. The thicker flared ends put more rubber under your outer palm for comfort, while adding up to 10mm to your effective bar width.
This has proven really useful with certain test bikes that have turned up with bars a little narrower than I’d like. The Canyon Neuron CF is a recent example, whereby the GE1s pushed the stock 760mm bar width out to 775mm, all without actually having to change the bars.
Now I will admit that I was already a fan of the existing GE1 grips, but this new EVO Factory version takes that up a notch with even better traction and vibration damping. I can happily ride with these all day long without gloves, with little concern for hand strain.
The discreetly ergonomic profile is also responsible for the light touch required on the GE1s, though it does mean you only have one (very good) hand position. There’s a slightly pointed leading edge that sits on the inside knuckle of your forefinger, which helps guide your hands where they need to be. I found this useful for encouraging me into a more aggressive riding position, by simply rotating the grips forward slightly.
An expensive, but highly engineered set of grips that are best suited to wide bars and an elbows-out riding position. The new EVO Factory version is grippier and better damped than the original, making these a fantastic option for a broader range of riders – from XC through to enduro.
|GE1 EVO Factory Slim
|Extra (UK) / BikeBox (AUS)
|£34.99 / $55 AUD
|by Wil Barrett for 6 months