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.
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.
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.