I bought a pair of Ergon GP1 mountain bike grips after attending a Carmichael Training Systems Leadville camp in August of this year.
During the camp, we rode most of the Leadville 100 mountain bike course, split up over a period of two days.
On the very first day, my hands were cramping up on the descents at the end of the day, and we only rode about 40 miles. I was concerned that during the Leadville 100 race, I would almost certainly have more cramping problems and/or really sore hands with the stock grips that came on my 2012 Stumperjumper Carbon Comp 29er.
I first saw a pair of the grips in the bike shop in Leadville, while attending the camp. And then I saw them mentioned again in one of the Leadville pre-race emails, by Dave Weins. He is sponsored by Ergon, and he evidently uses the other model grips that have built in bar ends.
I was not interested in the version with bar ends, but I did really like the shape of the Ergon grips in general. With the almost paddle-like shape, they looked like they would give a much larger area of support for my hands.
Although everyone tells you not to make any last minute changes to your bike before Leadville, I bought a pair of the GP1 grips just 10 days before the race, only giving myself a few days to adjust to them.
The grips are very easy to install, with only an allen wrench. The only caveat to this is that the grips mention a very specific Newton Meter (nM) setting for how tight you should tighten them when you install.
I own a terrific Topeak adjustable torque wrench, because I have a carbon road bike and carbon cyclocross bike. So it was fortunately just a matter of setting the torque wrench when I put on the grips. If you don’t have a torque wrench, you’ll want to borrow one, or have the grips installed at your local bike shop so that you don’t over-torque and ruin them (or your bars).
The instructions are very clear for the steps of the installation. Basically, you just slide them on and tighten them down. Pretty simple.
One thing you will probably want to adjust when you install them is how you want them angled. The instructions cover the best approach for the angle to avoid wrist strain. Unlike a round grip where it doesn’t matter, you can really make these grips uncomfortable if you tilt them too high or too low.
I followed the guidelines in the instructions, and then tweaked them by a few millimeters over the course of riding with them for two or three days.
So how did they work on my 11 hour and 42 minute Leadville ride? Terrific! I had no hand cramps, and no hand pain to speak of.
I recommend Ergon grips with complete confidence and no reservations.