Ergon GE1 Enduro Grip
OK. Breathe deep, think about the move. No problem, it’s only dirt. Hit the lip, wait to clear it, pull up the bars, clamp the top tube with my knees, let go…
The motions go through our heads over and over. We practice on the ground with baby no-handers as we bunny hop over curbs. We sit on the roll-in above the dirt jump and over think it. The anxiety we started down the hill with, eases as we pedal furiously towards the impending wall of a jump. The motions we practiced in our heads happen in a successive arc of body and bike up and over our big dirt jump. Just before the apex, the time is right and we clap our hands behind our back -- a suicide no hander.
Luckily, we’re riding with Ergon GE1 Enduro grips. When the time comes to get our hands back to the bars before we touch down on the landing transition, the connection is made just a bit easier by the contoured shape of the Ergon grips. Ergon is known for their strange, yet comfortable line of mountain bike handlebar grips. Most of their models are more oriented for the cross country set, but the Ergon GE1 Enduro grips are targeted directly towards the aggressive trail/freeride market.
The Ergon GE1 Enduro grips are the slimmest in the Ergon lineup. The engineers at Ergon wanted to create a grip with some subtle anatomical shaping that would still suit aggressive riders. As riding becomes more technical, then the need to move the hand around on the bars becomes more important. As mountain biking borders on trials and freestyle, our needs for a comfortable grip that’s easy to negotiate become harder to meet.
Sure any round grip may do, but the Ergon GE1 is super comfortable in normal riding conditions. The GE1 has a partial flange on the inboard side of the grip, reminiscent of the grips we used to ride on our BMX bikes when we were kids. The Ergon design limits the flange to fit the area between the first (proximal) knuckles on our pointer fingers and our thumb. The rubber flange, combined with the small extension of the aluminum clamp on the outboard side of the grip provide some touchy-feely “bumpers” to keep our hands located somewhere in the middle of the grip where they should be. As we practice our no-handers, the Ergon grips provide great reference points and a cushy pad for our wrists as we land our jumps.
We’ve also been trying to learn how to do proper table tops lately. One of the keys to this trick necessitates being able to roll the grip through one of our hands as we push the bar across our belly. As stated before, the Ergon GE1 Grips have a subtle anatomical shape, but it doesn’t impede this torsional movement through our hands. If anything, the subtle shape of the high friction kraton palm pad brings us back to a neutral position on the grip.
We found the GE1 grips to be easy to install. However, we noticed the diameter of Ergon Grips was a shade on the small side -- we found them to fit the bar tighter than most lock-on style grips that use inboard and outboard clamps. We can only speculate that the engineers at Ergon have created closer tolerances for their grips due to the use of a single clamp. A review on MTBR.com stated that the reviewer had to use a rubber mallet to tap his Ergon grips into place. So far we’ve not had any installation problems that couldn’t be overcome with a little muscle. We've found that they are more sensitive to any size irregularities with the handlebars due to the close tolerances of the inner diameter.
We like the shape for standard cross country riding as well. If the unique shape of the other Ergon grip models freaks you out, perhaps the Enduro GE1 would be a good choice to freshen up your current bike or to compliment a new build. We tested the large size. The large GE1 grips are great for folks with bigger hands, who like to run their brake levers in on the bar a bit. For anyone with small hands, or those who prefer a narrow handlebar setup, the small GE1 grips would be better. They do not offer these grips in a short version to work with twist shifters.
The Ergon GE1 Enduro grips may be the coolest model that they offer. Sure, it doesn’t really address the ulnar nerve relief issue that the other Ergon models aim for, but it does have a great shape. It’s comfortable, perhaps more so than a standard round grip. The shape of the pattern on the surface of the grips provides more than enough gription, without being too irregular and/or rough for bare handed riding. The long version of the GE1 weighed about 180 grams, so they aren’t too heavy. The clamp at the end of the grip also serves to protect the end of expensive carbon fiber handlebars from impact damage with unfriendly, rocky trails. They're contoured, comfortable, and tough -- exactly what we'd expect from an Enduro grip.