On a trip to upper Michigan one summer I saw a bike, on a rack, on a car with bar-tape on the bar-ends and thought: "clever." I gave it a try, and ever since I've added bar-tape on the bar-ends of the Ergon grips. I've even tried some on the inboard, cylindrical portion (this is nice for grip, and soaking sweat, but moves too much in off-road riding - at least with my taping technique).
|(Ergon GR2 shown)|
I fell in love with the bar-tape for a couple of reasons:
- It's comfortable, soaks up vibrations
- It's grippy without gloves - I don't like to wear gloves, but I sweat a lot. (my other secret is hockey-tape - I use it on the brake lever ends to ensure a good grip with rain, mud, sweat)
About a year ago, I over-tightened, and broke, the clamp bolt (holding the grip on the bar) on one of the grips. I hadn't been using all of the length of the GC3 grip, so I switched to the GR2 grip.
These are the grips I raced with this spring. Towards the end of the race, I was definitely feeling the tingle.
So, for about 3 years, Ergon grips with taped bar-ends seemed about perfect. That was until I built the S.U.B. (Sport Utility Bike), which has foam-tap wrapped bull-horn bars. In spite of having no Ergon-style palm rest, I find the bars more comfortable on a long ride. With a race coming up that will be twice as long as the one this spring, one of the things I worry about most is "comfort" (not the luxury kind, but the basic necessity kind) after 2 hours of riding.
I decided to try to see if I can improve the "comfort" or "time-to-tingle" of my handle-bar configuration. I ordered a set of Ritchey WCS Ergo bar ends (Ebay, $17).
I removed the wrapped Ergon grips, and installed the bar-end grips, and wrapped them in bar tape (first I applied strips of tape to the top of the bar - all the way around to the bar end).
So far, I've only taken a quick spin, but it feels good. I get one more hand-position with this configuration:
- On the bars.
- On the bar-ends
- (New) Both - fingers on the bar ends, palms on the bars (with outer palm in that corner)
Update 10/27/2011 (3 months)
I notice a few hits on this, so an update is due. Due to some health problems, I didn't ride in my 3-4 hour race in August (the true test for these). I have put several hundred miles on the bike, including one 3 hour ride, and one 2 hour ride - most of my daily training rides are 45 minutes to one hour.
Overall, I like them. I like them better than the Ergon grips, with the ends. I love the bar-end position - this is where I hold for most riding. Initially the lack of the Ergon's palm platform made my wrists get sore - I think I had become dependent on them and probably a bit weak in the wrist (shut up). Also, initially, the diameter felt small (a road bar is 23.8 mm diameter, and my mountain bike is 22.2 mm - I think that 1.6 mm makes a difference). On a hilly trail ride, I find the tape slipping or a little loose (I think it would have been best to first wrap the bars in hockey/grip tape, then bar-tape).
Update: 1/25/2015 (3.5 years)
Haven't given these much thought for over 3 years. I've changed the handlebars (and therefore re-wrapped), and the frame, but have kept this form of grip. Recently, I've been demo'ing full suspension bikes, which means I'm holding onto something other than my familiar wrapped bars. I will definitely be removing whatever grips come with my new bike, and wrapping on a couple of layers of bar tape. When my hands get sweaty they're slipping on the grips. I never had that problem with the wrapped bars. I also miss the bar ends - I really don't wrench on them when climbing, but I use them to give my hands a break on the flat sections.