Muddymoles mountain biking in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

Ergon GA3 grip review – small changes, big results

Posted by Matt | October 23, 2018 | 7 comments so far

Ergon GA3 grips in blue
On the recommendation of several Moles, I thought I would switch the grips on my YT Jeffsy to the Ergon GA3.

The original grips I had on the Jeffsy were Race Face Love Handles which just didn’t work for me. They were too thin, which combined with the alloy 35mm Race Face Aeffect handlebar was just too harsh for me – after an hour and a bit I would be trying to find a comfortable spot for my hands, which is unusual for me.

For a very long time I’ve rated the ODI Cross Trainer – soft grips with plenty of grip even in the rain and if I were to recommend a round grip, these would be the ones. My experience with sore hands though pushed me toward the Ergon GA3 after Jem, Kev and Elliot all made the same suggestion.

Well, I’m glad I did. Not only do they come in colours (the blue I have works well with the rest of the bike’s colour scheme), but it turns out the Ergon GA3 works rather well too.

What makes the Ergon GA3 so good?

First of all, the Ergon GA3 follows Ergon’s famous ergonomic principals; they are not round like a normal grip but are designed to better fit the palm and provide some support.

When fitting the GA3s to my bike it took a few goes to rotate them so the small platform fitted unobtrusively into my palm. Too low, and the platform didn’t help, too high and it would dig into my hand. The single inboard clamping collar allows the grip to rotate to get it just right.

Blue Ergon GA3 grip

The rubber on the GA3 grips is also very soft, which allows the grips to soak up trail vibrations remarkably effectively. The Ergon GA3 rubber feels decently tacky, which means the soft rubber and the grip shape together allows me to hold the bars with far less force than I would normally use. And less force means less fatigue.

It also means a lot of control. On a recent trip to Afan Masts and Glyncorrwg they worked fantastically over rough terrain, the extra surface area soaking up the hits without any handslip for me. After a couple of hard days riding the last thing on my mind was the state of my hands.

Any criticisms?

The only thing I think I could be critical about are the end plugs. They really don’t want to stay put, partly because the soft rubber makes it harder to really push them into the grip but more likely because I’ve probably pushed the grips a fraction too far onto the bars. So the end caps tend to work their way out, although I’ve yet to lose them in several hundred miles. I just push them back in but could probably look at shifting the grips outboard a little!

Overall, a very strong thumbs up from me. As someone with large hands and long fingers I didn’t think they would make a big difference, but they are fantastic. I would expect them to make a difference for any rider in terms of comfort and control.

Filed under Components, Reviews in October 2018


About the author

Matt is one of the founding Molefathers of the Muddymoles, and is the designer and main administrator of the website.

Having ridden a 2007 Orange Five for many years then a 2016 YT Industries Jeffsy 29er, he now rocks a Bird Aether 9 and a Pace RC-627.

An early On-One Inbred still lurks in the back of the stable as a reminder of how things have moved on. You can even find him on road bikes - currently a 2019 Cannondale Topstone 105 SE, a much-used 2011 Specialized Secteur and very niche belt drive Trek District 1.

If you've ever wondered how we got into mountain biking and how the MuddyMoles started, well wonder no more.

There are 7 comments on ‘Ergon GA3 grip review – small changes, big results’

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  1. Elliot says:

    Ah yes, Smurf Grips!

    An important step forward in the world of Muddymole contact points but I still say these are missing the full benefit of GS, GX or GP level Ergon grips. Conveniently those other grips also include end plugs that stay in, but sadly no trendy colours.

    • Matt says:

      Colours are important Elliot! My biggest regret is the YT was only available in predominantly black (at least my hardtail – still being prepped – won’t be black!).

      I did waver over the Tango orange grips but went for Smurf blue in the end having decided co-ordination over contrast.

      Life’s about choices!

  2. KevS says:

    Having accused Jem and Elliott of being “soft lads” when they started using these grips I have to admit that I bought a pair for my Tallboy and they are extremely comfortable on longer rides.
    Mine are Orange tho’ so obviously better and faster! 🙂

  3. Related: 100% Brisker gloves review | Clothing, Reviews | Muddymoles: Mountain biking (MTB) in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

  4. Jeremy says:

    Can you tell me the exact name of the color of Ergon grips you have in blue not sure if you still have the recipe for them that would tell. I am having a hard time differentiating between the blues they offer. And not sure if they offer that color anymore.

    • Matt says:

      Lol, when I first read this I thought this was going to be easy. But loooking more closely, it seems Ergon have changed the colours. When I got these, it was simply ‘blue’. Now they sell ‘Midsummer blue’ which is a little darker than this, and ‘Nightride blue’ which is a lot darker.

      Unless you can find some old stock, I don’t think you will be able to source this exact colour. Sorry to disappoint you Jeremy!

  5. Related: Race Face Next 35 Carbon Handlebar review - Components, Reviews - Muddymoles - mountain biking in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

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