Ergon GP3, or The Ultimate Bike Grip (Hand Position Tutorial)

Prairie Dog

Well-Known Member
I recently slapped a set of small Ergon GP2s on my vintage Trek that replaced some old school aluminum bar ends. Yes, I have tiny girlish hands. Pleased with the smallish ends and the handles have a pleasant ergonomic feel to them. I actually use bar ends as leverage when cranking up out of the saddle.

That being said, the SQLab handles themselves look pretty sweet but will leave it at that.
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Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
I settled on these specialized countour grips
These rest in peace in my garbage box (came with my Vado) :) To each their own.

One of my e-bikes is equipped with Ergon GP5 (the five finger version). Some e-bikers here like them. These are "too much of a grip" to me but I'm not replacing them.

To anyone offended: Please read the first sentence of the OP... Noticing the smiley.
 
Great work, as always Stefan. Excellent description of how best to use the "horns" on Ergon grips.

@McCorby, Stefan's title, declaring the Ergons "the ultimate" without looking at any other grip, almost invites challenge from anyone else that prefers something else. I have ergons with horns on my Delight and SR Labs 702 on my Allant. I get the merits of both and could not say if one or the other is the ultimate. Both are excellent. They each have their virtues. I really like the cork compound version of the Ergons, the look and the feel of them is outstanding.

SQ also makes bar ends to combine with their or anyone's grip to provide an alternate hand position.

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Those are 'inner' bar ends, and that's the style SQL has decided to run with. Ergon does the more traditional outer bar ends.

I have the ergon gp5's on my Rize X (the giant ones). I like them well enough, and the bar end itself is quite nice, solid, and comfortable, BUT I don't like the main grip quite as much as the 'anatomical' contoured style like the SQL. I find I get a few more miles on the contoured grips before any numbness starts, and the shape feels more 'locked-in' to me. I actually quite like the stock Velo VLG contoured grips, and I find them quite comfortable, but they lack a bar end. While Velo does make a bar end model, it's one-piece at a fixed angle, so that's out for me.


I suspect I will put the SQL 702 Trekking on my newer RX Pro, along with a set of inner bar ends to try that out for my occasional commutes to work (20+km each way). The other reason I want to try the inner bar ends, is that I think I can still do a little mild braking from that position easier than with the outer bar ends. Either way, the Rize bikes come with a generous 3 finger brake lever and a wide ~700mm bar, so moving them inboard an inch will still let me two-finger brake the way I like. If you already have stubby brake levers or narrower bars, it may not be quite as easy to fit everything on the bar.
 

FlatSix911

Well-Known Member
In the self-styled way, I acclaim the Ergon GP3 the best bike grips ever made! :) Some tips will follow:

Proper Setup

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First of all, the GP3 come in two sizes. Buy the Large variety only in case you have really large hands. The Ergons might be too wide to fit your gadget-crammed handlebars, and it is also better not to change the brake lever position. If you still see the yellow interior of the grip after you have slid it fully onto the handlebar, you need to shorten the grip. Use a very sharp knife to shorten the grip -- and be cautious to not cut your fingers! (You have been warned) :) No yellow part should be visible with the properly slid grip. The wrist supports should point slightly upwards. Add the bar-ends. The angle is your choice, with 30-45 degrees being the most reasonable. Tighten the screw at 5 Nm. Again: No yellow part should be visible inside!

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The "normal" or "safety" hand position. Use it while riding with traffic or on crowded bike or multiple-use paths.

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Modern e-MTBs sport the "1-finger" brake levers; modern commuter e-bikes have the "2-finger" brake levers. Never place more fingers than necessary on the lever. While riding in a crowded area, rest your finger(s) on brake levers in a relaxed way; you don't want to make your fingers tired but you might want to brake rather fast.



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The "steering-wheel" or "trail" hand position. That's what makes the Ergons so great. You delicately rest your three fingers on the bar-end, while your thumb and little finger ensure a proper hold. You steer your e-bike as you were operating your car's steering wheel. That hand position is proper for very long rides and ensures the best control over the bike even in very rough terrain. The benefits:
  • The hand doesn't get tired or numb (people with carpal tunnel syndrome will be delighted)
  • You exercise the perfect control over your bike, especially with wide handlebars
  • In rough terrain, you just tighten your grip a little bit for even better steering control
  • During "washboard" sections of gravel roads, ease the hand-grip. The bar-end will travel vertically among your fingers, providing rapid-vibration protection to your hands -- especially, owners of rigid-fork e-bikes will be happy!
I just want to tell you that I ride over 90% my long trips in the "trail" hand position. Specifically, uphill ride is extremely easy with that hand position. Note: You can move your hands to the "safety" position instantly, as the bar-ends are small.

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The "Easy Rider" hand position. Use on a very long ride in safe environment when you are really tired. Rest your wrist and thumb on the wrist-support. The part of the palm near to the little finger shall rest where the bar-end-plug is normally located.

Falling with Your Bike

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There are two survival techniques, shall your bike fall:
  1. Jump off the bike as graciously as Bambi would do it :) and let the bike fall between your legs (It requires a long practice);
  2. Provided you're wearing the helmet, move your hands instantly to the "safety position" and just fall together with your e-bike. Your hands shall be on the grips and your feet shall stay planted on the pedals! Your head will probably hit the ground but it's protected. You might get some bruises. But your limbs won't get broken and the hands won't be damaged, as the latter are protected by the GP3 bar-end. Trust me: I know the best how to fall with the bike. The stains of sun-molten asphalt on my Trance E+ right-hand GP3 bar-end are the proof. The grip and my helmet took the most of the impact. And I have fallen with my bikes many times before I mastered the (1) technique :D
Ride safely!
Stefan, good tutorial... thanks for posting. ;) I use Ergon, SQL, and other grips depending on the application.

Here are a few diagrams that will help to further explain the proper alignment of the hands and grips when riding.


Ergon grips 2.JPG


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Grip angle.JPG
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percymon

Active Member
Many thanks for the thread Stefan - if nothing else it highlights to some readers that there may be solutions readily available to help their riding enjoyment, and to educate them in correct grip sizing, alignment and alternative hand positions.

Certainly on my old analog FS MTB moving from the supplied round grips to some Ergon GP1 type grips helped with the numbness/pins n needles i sometimes suffered - it didnt cure it fully but they certainly helped ( and a shorter stem helped equally as much in the end too).

As to who's grips are better - well everyone is different and everyone has an opinion.

I'd also add that there are quite a few clone/fake grips out there, so be wary of where you buy from - if somewhere online is 40%+ cheaper than most other outlets there's probably a reason.
 

percymon

Active Member
And just one question - does anyone have experience with the cork Ergons as opposed to the rubber versions ? I'm interested to see whether they are more energy absorbing, warmer on the hands in winter, better for grip in hot weather etc etc
 

Alaskan

Well-Known Member
Yeah, using the word 'ultimate' seems pretty pretentious to me. Im curious how he knows what I need.

And just one question - does anyone have experience with the cork Ergons as opposed to the rubber versions ? I'm interested to see whether they are more energy absorbing, warmer on the hands in winter, better for grip in hot weather etc etc
I prefer the cork grips for their superior grip as well as their look. I don't think they are any more energy absorbent or warmer but they as definitely more "sticky" due to their uneven surface. They also clean up quite easily with a scrub brush, hot water and dish soap.
 

rdowns

Well-Known Member
Those are 'inner' bar ends, and that's the style SQL has decided to run with. Ergon does the more traditional outer bar ends.
Thank you for the explanations. I haven't had bar ends in a long time. I had them on my first "nice" bike. It was what started my love of riding. I had almost forgotten about them.
 

linklemming

Well-Known Member
These rest in peace in my garbage box (came with my Vado) :) To each their own.

One of my e-bikes is equipped with Ergon GP5 (the five finger version). Some e-bikers here like them. These are "too much of a grip" to me but I'm not replacing them.

To anyone offended: Please read the first sentence of the OP... Noticing the smiley.
They are probably not the XLarge grips. There is HUGE difference in comfort. I bought a smaller size and hated them. How would you know the Ergons you have are the ultimate without trying this....just saying

Perhaps we should swap trash cans, sounds like we have opposite tastes, which is the whole reason I am being confrontational in your 'best of', 'ultimate threads'. There is not such thing. Why not just start a 'Lets discuss grips' thread and go from there. In this thread, you could discuss what grips you have tried (for context as to what you are comparing them to...I tried 10 pair) and what grips you now use (and why).

Not aimed at you directly but a self proclaimed expert is usually not anything close.
 

linklemming

Well-Known Member
for me thsoe shaped grips hurt my carpel tunnel because pressure on my palm causes it.
I found something similar with grips that had more pronounced wings. I also found that the more pronounced a wing(larger size/harder), the more it it caused my wrists to cant inward (which might be want you want). The most extreme example of this was my CCX stock grips. They initially felt comfortable but would cause intense ulnar nerve issues (ring and little finger) that were felt hours after riding (known as cycling palsy).

Carpal Tunnel is related to the median nerve.

Since I tried many different handlebars and grips this summer, lets go thru a process of calibrating a baseline setup. Since the word ultimate is already taken, lets call this the 'supreme' method. I will insert a smiley here to absolve me ;)

I would initially setup the rotation(clocking) of the handlebars first by eye. As it turns out, this was never what I ended up with in the end. I had a set of thin round grips and would adjust the bars to get even pressure on my hands. Just by rotating the bars, I could go from median nerve pain to ulnar nerve pain. You might also have to adjust shift/brake levers depending on how you ride. I almost always have two fingers resting on the brakes so I always adjust the levers.

Once I got that dialed in I would start playing with grips. I would take many sets on a ride and change them out. I wont go into all the details but the specialized countour grips I ended up was always my favorite. I liked these because the XLARGE grips were alot thicker and thus the grip was softer. This applied to the wings as well. They were just supportive enough for me without compromising hand positions by being too large and had a little give which seemed to distribute the weight more evenly. I had some medium grips which were likely what stefan had on his Vado and they were much harder and just too small for my hands.

The final solution "for me" was to clock the bars such that I had a very slight median pain and then rotate the grips to even out the weight distribution. This took several rides to dial in.

Also note that gloves are designed differently. Perhaps we can be enlightened on the ultimate gloveo_O
 
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FlatSix911

Well-Known Member
I recently slapped a set of small Ergon GP2s on my vintage Trek that replaced some old school aluminum bar ends. Yes, I have tiny girlish hands. Pleased with the smallish ends and the handles have a pleasant ergonomic feel to them. I actually use bar ends as leverage when cranking up out of the saddle.

That being said, the SQLab handles themselves look pretty sweet but will leave it at that.
View attachment 69356
Nice to see another Trek Antelope owner with a classic CroMoly frame. I like the updates and mods including the GP2s! ;)

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Prairie Dog

Well-Known Member
Thanks. It's actually a 970 (MY1989), slightly altered of course. I believe '93 was the last year of the steel lugged Treks including several iterations of the Antelope. I've had my eye on the GP2s with the two finger ends for a while and must say that they don't disappoint. So much more of a natural feel and positioning than the alloy ends and foam grips that were on the bike before.

BTW, a shout out to Stefan for that enlightening explanation.
 

Ebiker01

Well-Known Member
Cool! You like your SQL products. Why don’t you start a thread on them instead of derailing this one?

If you had followed this thread you could have seen that what started as a note of my own observation about SQL , has developed into having many of my other answers about this brand based on adițional questions and misleading statements by ebr members.

I don't need to start a thread about a high end brand that most have no clue about. You can google it yourself if you want to learn.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
I've had my eye on the GP2s with the two finger ends for a while and must say that they don't disappoint.
I have to praise Ergon Bike for the Grip and Saddle Selectors they built into their https://www.ergonbike.com/en/index.html website. These are nice marketing tools but indeed make the selection easier when you intend to go for their products.

For instance, I am not the biggest fan of Ergon saddles but the saddle is something absolutely personal for anyone. With Grips, the selector helps a lot, especially when you need to determine the proper grip size.

Ergon Grip Selector

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These answers led to the GP3. For long touring, the Selector might come up with GP5. For yet other answers it might be GS3, etc.

It gives you quite good selection of the best grip for you, and alternative choices are shown, too.
 
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