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Mountainbiking, Women & Lifestyle

Ergon GD1 Grips – Review

During a recent tester session at the Forest of Dean Ergon gave me a chance to test out their new GD1 grips.

GD1s are the newest addition to Ergon’s wide range of intelligent grips. If you ride at the ‘gravity’ end of the sport then you may already be familiar with the GE1, and you can read a review here for our thoughts. The GD1s were released in 2016, after extensive testing together with Tahnee Seagrave and Fabien Barel. The grips come in two sizes, standard and slim, and come in either black or orange (sadly not purple!).


Downhill GD1 Grips


The intelligent design of these grips does however come at a cost. The grips currently retail typically at around £26 which puts them firmly at the more expensive end of the market, with a pair of the popular ODI Lock-Ons coming in under twenty quid typically.

As with the GE1s before them the grips were easy to fit with a larger than standard single 3mm allen bolt holding them in place, which makes it harder to strip the bolt, a common problem with ODI Lock-ons. Given the unique design of Ergon’s grips these need to be fitted to the right (or left) side during installation. The GD1 also have clear markers on the barrels to make sure that you align them exactly to your liking, and given the unusual tapered design it will make a difference how you set them up. When you slide the grips onto the bars you will notice there is a slight plastic ridge which lets you know when you’ve hit the end, so that you don’t go too far and pop out the pretty end caps.


Downhill GD1 Grips


Ergon creates specially profiled and tapered grips for mountain bikers, to ensure the correct hand position to reduce stress on the hands and maximise grip. You will also need to think about whether you prefer standard to slim thickness grips. Personally I prefer thin grips, but to some extent this is dictated by my small hands.

The top part of the waffle is comfortable, precise and disperses vibrations with a tapered thickness running from 31mm at the outer edge to 29mm at the inside, this is designed to put the padding where it is needed in order to reduce hand pain. My experience to date has been relatively limited, but both Mr Betty and I have been running GD1’s on a variety of terrain including rocky downhill and long cross country trail centres, and so far it seems to have helped to reduce hand pain. In Mr Betty’s case he moved from GE1’s beforehand and was pretty happy with them already in this department. We will be sure to keep monitoring this aspect and report back on our findings after about a year or so.


Downhill GD1 Grips Ergon

Great profiling and soft waffle


I have been running the grips for the last three months now and, despite the rubber being nice and soft, I cannot see much wear and tear despite a few nasty falls in that time. Underneath the grips there is a stickier waffle type section. It allows great grip and my hands do not slide at all even when it gets wetter and steeper, in fact I find they have been fairly confidence inspiring when things turn more difficult and I would miss them riding another bike with different grips already. Every now and then when the weather in UK allows I like to attempt gloveless riding with the GD1’s, something I would not enjoy so much with my old ODI SDG grips. The texture of the grip is a great compromise between durable and comfortable, and you can ride with them all day.


Downhill GD1 Grips Ergon


The only thing I might mention is the fact that the actual grip is just under 15cm long, which might be an issue for people with smaller hands running super wide bars, causing them issues when spacing out their grips and brake levers. This may well only be a personal problem however.

These are truly the best grips I have ridden with so far. If you are looking to splash out on a good quality, well thought out upgrade for your bike then you could do worse than checking out the GD1’s.