Ergon GD1 Grip

Average User Rating: (Excellent) Vital Rating: (Excellent)
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Ergon GD1
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Tested: Ergon GD1 Grip

Rating: Vital Review

Review by Johan Hjord // Photos by Johan Hjord and Tal Rozow

You might know Ergon as the makers of those funky, half-flat grips that marathon riders like to use to keep their hands comfortable for very long days out. Well, the German manufacturer has also turned its attention to more conventional-looking grips, notably the GE1 that Richie Rude held onto for dear life all the way to the Enduro World Series overall title, and the downhill-oriented GD1 tested here. So, what can a little German engineering do for something as simple as a grip? Read on to find out!

Ergon GD1 Highlights

  • Intended use: Downhill, Freeride, Gravity
  • Sizes: Regular and Slim
  • Colors: Orange or Black
  • Clamp material: Aluminum
  • Grip material: Custom rubber compound
  • Weight: 121 grams (Regular size, verified, without

Review by Johan Hjord // Photos by Johan Hjord and Tal Rozow

You might know Ergon as the makers of those funky, half-flat grips that marathon riders like to use to keep their hands comfortable for very long days out. Well, the German manufacturer has also turned its attention to more conventional-looking grips, notably the GE1 that Richie Rude held onto for dear life all the way to the Enduro World Series overall title, and the downhill-oriented GD1 tested here. So, what can a little German engineering do for something as simple as a grip? Read on to find out!

Ergon GD1 Highlights

  • Intended use: Downhill, Freeride, Gravity
  • Sizes: Regular and Slim
  • Colors: Orange or Black
  • Clamp material: Aluminum
  • Grip material: Custom rubber compound
  • Weight: 121 grams (Regular size, verified, without end-caps)
  • MSRP: $34.95 USD

Initial Impressions

There’s really not all that much to a grip, is there? It just needs to be grippy and reasonably comfortable to hang onto and not slip off your handlebars, right? Ultimately, this isn’t rocket science but Ergon puts considerable thought into every last detail, and it certainly shows when you pull your new GD1's out of the box. There’s a lot going on here!

Starting from the inside, Ergon went with a single-clamp design that simplifies installation but also leaves more room towards the outside of the grip. As for the business side of the equation, Ergon developed a specific compound that is said to be soft to the touch but not mushy. The goal here was to offer both maximum comfort and control. Ergon also gave the GD1 a tapered shape and an inside flange, both of which are meant to help keep your hands where they are supposed to be, even when things get hectic.

Ergon didn’t stop there however. They looked at the different areas of the grip and developed grip patterns that correspond to the specific requirements of each zone. Notably, the pattern is rougher with bigger ridges underneath the grip, to offer your fingers maximum purchase, while the top of the grip features a smoother, more regular pattern that is meant to provide stability and comfort. The internal sleeve of the grip also features strategically placed cutaway zones to provide relief from pressure points and to further augment grip. High time to hit the trails to find out what it all adds up to then!

On The Trail

Installing a lock-on grip is not exactly difficult to do, and Ergon have helpfully indicated which grip goes on which side, and which side to keep facing up to make it even easier. There is also a small flange on the inside of the outer edge of the inner sleeve to help align the grips with the end of the handlebars. Position the grip, tighten the clamp to spec, and off you go (not forgetting to pop in that end cap before you head out). Ergon went with a 3mm hex head bolt instead of the customary 2.5mm, which sounds trivial but actually provides a nice positive feeling with the wrench – the larger bolt head is also a lot less likely to strip out should your overtorque-itis manifest itself at the wrong time.

On the trail, we immediately appreciated the amount of grip on offer, with gloves or without. The compound developed by Ergon provides a certain amount of cushion, but staying true to the claims of the brochure, it never feels mushy under the hands. The single-clamp design also proved faultless in use, even when we mounted the GD1s to a relatively slippery carbon bar.

The tapered shape actually took a bit more getting used to. It actually alters the effective angles of your handlebar, and we could certainly feel that change during the first rides. Notably, we felt a bit of pressure towards the outside of our hands in the beginning. We adjusted with time and we felt back to normal after a while.

Since the GD1 was specifically developed for gravity applications, it is not among the outright most comfortable grips we have ever tested – Ergon placed a premium on performance here and that translates to a little less cushion than some other grips, notably towards the inside where the grip tapers to a thinner profile. And what about all those different grip patterns and fancy cut-outs? They probably work as advertised, but we’d be lying if we said they make a significant difference on the trail. The GD1 works and it works well, whether every single feature was necessary to achieve that or not we’ll leave to you to decide.

Things That Could Be Improved

There is not a lot more we could ask for in a gravity-oriented grip, nor do we have any real gripes to report. The tapered shape is a bit of a departure from the norm, and while it does change the effective angle of your handlebars, it is not at all drastic and we got used to it quickly. We could nitpick that orange color which certainly won’t match every bike build out there, but then that’s exactly why there’s also a traditional black version available. At $35 USD direct from Ergon, the GD1 is priced at a slight premium compared to many other grips in the same category, but at this level of expenditure, that’s not considered a real problem, especially since durability is good and the performance is there to justify the price tag.

Long Term Durability

We’ve had these going for 3 months now, and they show no signs of early wear at all – quite to the contrary, they seem to be holding up very well. They have also not shown any signs of slippage or any other structural issues, they still feel every bit as solid as they did on day one.

What’s The Bottom Line?

Ergon puts a lot of effort into their grip designs, and the GD1 is no exception. Developed specifically for the more aggressive riding disciplines, it offers great levels of grip in all conditions. It is not the outright most comfortable grip we ever tried, but the unique tapered shape works well once you get used to it, and the specific rubber compound does exactly what it says on the box. Whether or not the GD1 is actually overly complicated or even “over-engineered” is hard to say, but what we can state at this point is that we are in no hurry to remove it from our bike.

More information at: www.ergon-bike.com.


About The Reviewer

Johan Hjord loves bikes, which strangely doesn’t make him any better at riding them. After many years spent practicing falling off cliffs with his snowboard, he took up mountain biking in 2005. Ever since, he’s mostly been riding bikes with too much suspension travel to cover up his many flaws as a rider. His 200-pound body weight coupled with unique skill for poor line choice and clumsy landings make him an expert on durability - if parts survive Johan, they’re pretty much okay for anybody. Johan rides flat pedals with a riding style that he describes as "none" (when in actuality he rips!). Having found most trail features to be not to his liking, Johan uses much of his spare time building his own. Johan’s other accomplishments include surviving this far and helping keep the Vital Media Machine’s stoke dial firmly on 11.


Great Grippiness Ergon!

Rating: Featured Member Review
The Good:

Low profile Good grip! (sticky) Comfortable grip pattern Inner flange really helps with hand placement when things get rough and rowdy.

The Bad:

Wears quickly Limited color options Expensive

Overall Review:

Ergon's GD1 grip is a great choice for riders looking for a comfortable and sticky low profile grip. The GD1 is billed as a DH or freeride grip; however, I've found it to be my favorite grip for all types of riding.

The lower profile model fits my hand better than Ergon's more ergonomically designed grips. The single lock ring design provides more usable grip surface compared to double lock ring grips. The inner flange really helps with hand placement without interfering with shifter or dropper post use. The grip's pattern and rubber density really help with control while limiting hand fatigue. Unfortunately, the GD1, like other Ergon grips, wears pretty quickly.

Overall this is a great grip; however, I'd like to see some more color options and for it to be more competitively priced.

Overall Review:

Ergon's GD1 grip is a great choice for riders looking for a comfortable and sticky low profile grip. The GD1 is billed as a DH or freeride grip; however, I've found it to be my favorite grip for all types of riding.

The lower profile model fits my hand better than Ergon's more ergonomically designed grips. The single lock ring design provides more usable grip surface compared to double lock ring grips. The inner flange really helps with hand placement without interfering with shifter or dropper post use. The grip's pattern and rubber density really help with control while limiting hand fatigue. Unfortunately, the GD1, like other Ergon grips, wears pretty quickly. 

Overall this is a great grip; however, I'd like to see some more color options and for it to be more competitively priced.

Specifications

Product Ergon GD1 Grip
Riding Type Dirt Jump / Slopestyle, Downhill, Freeride / Bike Park, Trail
Length 144mm overall length, 120mm usable area
Material GravityControl Rubber
Colors Black
Weight 0 lb 4.9 oz (140 g)
Miscellaneous Aluminium CNC machined clamp
Conical grip shape
Thinnest Point: 30mm, Thickest Point: 32mm
Tapered grip shape—more external damping, slimmer inner diameter
Top: Anti-slip zone profile
Bottom: Minimum gripping force needed when pulled
High-tensile inner clamp made of aluminum
Inner stop improves orientation while gripping
Interchangeable end plugs
Price $29.95
More Info

​www.ergon-bike.com

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