i've been meaning to post about the ergon grips that jeff hooked me up with out at big bear for the next couple of weeks, but i keep holding off because there always seems to be a ride that's bigger than the one before to test them out on. this weekend was about as big as they come, though, so it's time to post up...
in short, they work. i'd been having problems with my hands on my new stumpjumper since i built it up earlier this year. since i put the ergons on and got them set up correctly i've had no problems at all. i did have to tweak the angle a little and also made some changes to the position of my riser bar (thanks to mike for that tip), but since then they've been solid and comfortable.
overall the shape of the ergon grips give a nice big platform under the outside of your hand and let you keep a more relaxed grip on the bike, which i think, in turn leads to a more comfortable ride and less hand-issues. they're grippy enough that your hands don't slip, but i did have to switch to a pair with a slightly narrower diameter, as my hands are fairly small and i had a tough time getting a firm grip on the bars on rockier downhills.
this past weekend we hit the watershed for a 6+ hour watershed-gambrill-watershed ride. starting south from hamburg road, we rode all the way down and back up blue to gambrill, did a full (all the way down to the lower lot) yellow loop at gambrill, back through a couple of downhills off gambrill park rd to rusted bug and then across hamburg road heading north down to little canaan then picking blue up again out to sand flats and salamander then finishing up with a long ridge downhill (trail name unknown, possibily un-named) to a long fireroad climb up the three sisters.
within those 32 miles of trail and fireroad were every kind of condition you could imagine... long consistently rocky singletrack that keeps pounding your hands, steep technical rocks where you want every ounce of control, long flowy downhills where the bike becomes an extension of your body, and long steep fireroads where you just want to keep your body as relaxed as possible. through all of that i don't think i've ever had my hands and arms stay so comfortable, so these grips get my seal of approval.
on the other hand, my bike didn't make it through the ride with such flying colors... a seal blew in the stumpy's rear shock, so it looks like i'm racing my epic tonight at wakefield and taking it up to the 24 hours of killington this weekend. i had to go out an buy a set of ergons for the epic, though... going back to regular round grips just wan't in the cards.