Even wearing gloves, the pressure on the heel of the hand from ﬂat bars can compress the ulnar and/or median nerves, leading to tingling or numbness in the ﬁngers and thumbs. The problem is compounded – if you don’t have bar ends – because the ﬂat bar ﬁxes your hands in that one position.
Ergon grips alleviate the problem not with gel padding but by ﬂaring the end of the grip to give a wide platform to rest the heel of your hand on. There’s also some ﬂex in this ‘wing’ section to prevent bumps and road buzz from battering your palms.
Obviously, adding an extra bit of grip adds weight too. Most of the Ergon range is pretty chunky, but these GX1 grips are meant for racers. The wing section is pared down, the rubber is thin, and the aluminium clamp that binds the grip to your bars is minimalist. At 134g a pair, they’re only 10-25g heavier than other lock-on grips.
They’re intended for podium-chasing cross-country mountain bikes, but are equally suited to ﬂat bar road bikes or stripped-down urban mountain bikes. In fact they’re even better on tarmac, where tyre pressures are a lot higher and there’s no suspension fork up front to absorb any sudden hits or soak up the constant vibration.
If you’re not so bothered about shaving grams from your bike, the GP1 grip is £10 cheaper, and there are others with integral bar ends or designed for use with twist-grip gear controls.