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Ergon GA1 Bicycle Handlebar Grip

Last summer I put Ergon GC3 Handlebar Grips on one of my mountain bikes and Ergon GC2 Race Grips on the other. Both of these handlebar grips have bar-ends and offer a wide platform for your palms to prevent numbness and tingling in your hands on long rides. I really like both of these products and a few weeks ago I had a pair of Ergon GC2 grips put on my new Surly Necromancer Pug before it left the bike shop.

While I love both the GC2 and GC3, the bar-ends on those grips make it impossible to use my Bar Mitts (something I need for winter cycling). So, in preparation for winter riding, I put a pair of Ergon GA1 Bicycle Handlebar Grips on the mountain bike I use for riding on ice (it has steel studded tires).

Ergon GA1 Bicycle Handlebar Grips

Ergon GA1 Bicycle Handlebar Grips

Ergon GA1 Bicycle Handlebar Grips replace the stock grips that came with your bike and give you a comfortable ride, even when the terrain has you holding on for dear life. They are ergonomically designed to prevent numbness and they work incredibly well.

These grips attach to your handlebars with a forged aluminum clamp. The only tool you need to install these grips is a 5mm hex wrench and the installation should take you less than five minutes. The package these grips come in has a small German flag in the upper right-hand corner with the phrase “German innovation” next to it. Products like this remind why I have always appreciated German engineering!

These grips come in two sizes (Small and Large). The only difference between them is in the diameter of the grip. Most men are going to need the large grip and most women will need the small grip. Ergon GA1 Bicycle Handlebar Grips retail for $35 a pair and you should be able to find them at your local bike shop.

 
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Posted by on January 13, 2012 in Bicycle Repair, Product Reviews

 

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Ergon GC2 Race Grip

A few weeks ago I published a review of the Ergon GC3 Comfort Bicycle Handlebar Grip. I loved that Ergon grip so much I decided to purchase another one of their products, the Ergon GC2 Race Grip, for one of my old mountain bikes. The Ergon GC2 is very similar to the Ergon GC3, but there are a few differences.

Ergon GC2 Race Grip

Ergon GC2 Race Grip

Both of these handlebar grips offer a wide platform for your hands and they both do an awesome job of preventing numbness and tingling in your hands on long rides. Ergon’s Website suggests that the GC3 grip is suitable for touring and traveling, while the GC2 is best suited mountain biking and touring. Doesn’t that just make it plain as mud?

The biggest difference between these to Ergon grips is the size of the bar ends. The Ergon GC3 has the largest bar ends I’ve ever seen on a mountain bike, while the Ergon GC2 has possibly the shortest bar ends you will ever find. I’ve found the longer grips of the GC3 are great for really long rides since they offer at least four different hand positions and the bar end can be used when you are climbing while out of the saddle. The shorter grips of the GC2 really only offer two hand positions and the bar ends are not suitable to holding on to while standing out of the saddle.

Both of these grips are extremely well made and can be installed in just a couple of minutes with a 5mm hex wrench. The list price on the Ergon GC2 is $43.00, which is about $20 cheaper than the Ergon GC3. Whichever Ergon grip you choose I am sure you will be happy. I don’t ever plan on riding a mountain bike again without an Ergon grip!

 

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Ergon GC3 Comfort Bicycle Handlebar Grips

Friday night I installed a pair of Ergon GC3 Handlebar Grips on my Gary Fisher Big Sur mountain bike. It took about two minutes to remove my old handlebar grips and about five minutes to install the Ergon GC3 Handlebar Grips. A quick 24 mile ride in the rain on Saturday morning revealed all I needed to know about these grips—they are fantastic!

Ergon GC3 Ergonomic Bicycle Grip

Ergon GC3 Ergonomic Bicycle Grip

Since I live in Illinois I don’t really have any mountains to climb, but I do have access to some great off-road bike trails. Sometimes after a long ride on one of my mountain bikes my fingers would be numb and my forearms a bit sore because of my old handlebar grips. Regular handlebar grips offer a small platform for your palms to rest on, but the Ergon GC3 Handlebar Grips offer 40% larger platform for your hands. In addition to the larger grip platform the Ergon grips include a great set of bar ends that can be independently adjusted. The Ergon GC3 Handlebar Grips will offer you several different hand positions, but I found standard position so comfortable that I really didn’t need the others.

The only tool you need to install these grips is a 5mm hex wrench, and this grip is not suitable for carbon fiber handlebars. The package these grips come in has a small German flag in the upper right-hand corner with the phrase “German innovation” next to it. Products like this remind why I have always appreciated German engineering!

Are these grips worth the $58 I paid for them? In my opinion the answer is yes. If your average ride is just to the corner ice cream shop there is no reason to buy them. However, if you put a lot of miles on your bike I think they are a good investment.

 

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CygoLite ExpiliOn 250 LED Bike Light

Riding off-road trails at night is a blast! I started night-riding several years when the Chicago area was experiencing an unusually hot summer and riding after sundown seemed like the only way I was going to get my miles without suffering heat stroke.

During my first few years of riding at night I purchased several underpowered headlights and I never really felt safe because I was outrunning my light, i.e., my headlights did not throw a beam of light far enough down the trail for me to safely ride at the speed I was traveling. It was like driving your car at 90 MPH down a foggy country road using only your parking lights. That all changed last summer when I purchased a CygoLite ExpiliON 250.

CygoLite ExpiliOn 250

The ExpiliOn 250 is one-piece compact unit that throws out 250 lumens of intense LED light and fits on either your handlebar or helmet (it comes with mounts for both). Since it weights a mere 130 grams you will probably never even notice it if you wear it on your helmet. Using the high beam I was able to get nearly three and a half hours of light out of it (CygoLite only claims a 3 hour battery life). It is powered by a quick release Li-Ion battery and it recharges in about 5 hours. How good is it? After my first ride with an ExpiliOn 250 on my helmet I ordered a second one for my handlebars!

This light has six different settings (High, Mid, Low, Daylight Flashing, Walking and SOS). The flash setting is very interesting—it sends out a quick pulse of light, pauses, then sends out two more pulses in rapid succession. This flash setting really grabs the attention of oncoming traffic. During the winter months in the Upper Midwest the sun never gets very high in the sky so our few hours of sunlight are accompanied by long shadows, but the sad fact is that most of our days are rather cloudy anyway. Riding with the ExpiliOn 250 in flash mode allowed cars to see me a long way off. I was having cars stop me at least once or twice a week to thank me for using the light. Some motorists claimed they saw me over mile away which gave them plenty of time to avoid a head-on collision.

Now the best part: I’ve had to call CygoLite’s customer service twice and I have been extremely happy with them. My first ExpiliOn 250 had a small problem (it was probably my fault) and when I called customer service they insisted that I return the unit for a new one—no questions asked. The guy on the phone made an interesting comment. He said, “We are really trying to protect the CygoLite name and we can’t afford to have dissatisfied customers.” WOW! It is wonderful to deal with a company that is trying to build a reputation instead of resting on one.

The CygoLite ExpiliOn 250 has a list price of $140.00, but I was able to buy mine for around $110.00 from Amazon.com.

 

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