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Editorial with Uncle Dave

The Beauty of Stupid Looking Grips

Words Dave Tolnai
Date Jul 19, 2021
Reading time

If you had to put a number on it, what percentage of the things that you do surrounding your bicycle are driven by fashion? 25%? 50%?

Oh, not me, Dave, not me! I would never succumb to the will of others to drive what I do with my bicycle. I’m a form over function guy! You say, as you head out for your ride in baggy shorts, a glorified t-shirt and a helmet with a visor that doesn’t come close to blocking your eyes from wind, sun, dirt or logic.

Spare 5 minutes and walk over to your bicycle right now and then come back and tell me that nothing on that bicycle is driven by fashion over function. Look back on our bikes from 10 years ago and wonder what the hell you were thinking and convince yourself it will be different 10 years from now. We’re in so deep we don’t even know what the truth is any more.

I get it. It’s not exactly “fashion” when we’re talking about bicycles. What I mean is that we do stuff for reasons that go against our self interest. I’m talking about how we all seem to end up riding the same stuff as the guys that are winning EWS races. We do an awful lot of things because that’s what the guys that are faster, stronger and better than us do.

It took some asshole on the Internet to pull a very thin strip of wool from my eyes. I try not to get too wound up about the comments, but sometimes somebody writes something and I can’t let it go. Sometimes it will be on some obscure forum someplace. Sometimes it will be an e-mail from a coworker. Sometimes it will be at the bottom of something that I wrote. I mean…I tend not to care too much if somebody questions something that I wrote, but I can get wound up about crimes against logic and truth. So when that guy came at me last week suggesting that one needed to commit to several years of hard physical training before spending money on basic items related to how their bicycle fit, it was a bit too much. He has since edited his comment, so don’t dig too deep into that one.

Anyhow, I promptly unfurled my heels and dug them in. Not only am I now convinced that high rise bars are the only solution, in some ill conceived version of spite, I decided to take things even further. I mean, my wrists still hurt like the bejeebus sometimes when I ride and it seemed like I should take my own advice and worry a bit (lot?) less about how aesthetically pleasing my bicycle is.

Don’t get me wrong, the Burgtec bar was a great step in the right direction to get my hands a bit higher, and the extra degree of sweep felt like a step in the right direction. But there was obviously more that I could do. So I spent a healthy amount of time walking around my house, holding on to various handlebars (there are a remarkable number of handlebars stashed around my house), moving my hands in and out and looking at the way that my wrists were impacted. As I did that, I realized that it was going to take a ridiculous amount of sweep to put my wrists at an angle that I was happy with, which suggested that I might need to look at this in a different way.

Turning to the experts at Crossfit.com, I realized that I was pretty hung up on adduction (imagine waving your hand, but only outwards), and perhaps I needed to put some thought into extension (you extend your wrist when you’re doing a pushup, for example). I also started to realize that as I worked on extension, it seemed to have an impact on adduction. It seemed like my wrist could deal with a bit of extension, or a bit of adduction, but it didn’t really like to deal with both at the same time (I really hope those Crossfit.com jackasses haven’t done me wrong with this terminology). It seemed like if I could do more about the extension, I could worry a whole lot less about adduction.

I’ve been looking at these Ergon grips for a month or two now (I’ve obviously been thinking about this for some time). This seemed like an intriguing concept, and a great way to get more support for my hands and wrists, but the somewhat steep price tag and lack of availability caused a few problems with that idea. Then I remembered that I had a completely horrible looking set of grips that came to me on a commuter a few years back, and they would be a really great way to test out this hypothesis.

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I promise you, these look worse in person

Gawd, just look at those grips! I’ve included a closer look, so that you can see just how awful these things look. Imagine putting those grips on the same bike that you just stressed out for several days on what colour cranks to purchase. Imagine Sam Hill showing up to the next EWS with those things perched on the end of his bars (I mean…he does run those handguards, so maybe?). How could you deface a perfectly reasonable bicycle with a pair of grips that look like they’ve sprouted a terminally infectious fungus? I was almost unable to go through with it, but things felt promising as I tentatively rode around my block, so I decided to see it through. It’s just one ride, I said. Nobody can see the grips when you’re riding. It’s just another reason to not stop and converse with anybody on the trailside.

Things were fine on the climb up. A bit weird, as it’s strange to have a bunch more material under your hand. I didn’t seem to make all that much of a difference, but looking back, it did. I tend to spend a large chunk of my time climbing with my hands, or at the very least my thumbs, looped over the top of my bars. Looking back on this tendency, I realize it was as much about straightening my wrists out as anything. I definitely found less need to do so.

I decided to drop in to a very dry and dusty Ladies Only to test things out. Lesson #1 on bulbous grips is that your grip now has a giant lever attached to it and you need to lock that shit down. So after a quick stop, a re-adjustment, and a soiled pants check, we were off.

Simply put, I rode the fucking tires off (you know, for me). Overall, I felt like I had more arm strength, which led to more confidence and more speed. I felt like I was steering with more precision. I felt like rough and jarring multi-hit sections were less of an issue, and I realized that I had subconsciously been approaching certain sections a bit tentatively. The worse things got, the more of a difference I felt. Some of this took place on sections that I previously thought that I was going fast on! Honestly, it was transformative. Forget tire inserts. Forget 38mm stanchions. Forget high rise bars. I raised my wrists by a few cm and gave my hands a bit of support and it transformed the way that I ride my bicycle.

Ride two was a 55km loop on the Sunshine Coast and it was more of the same. Climbing felt great. Downhill, I felt in total control and had no hesitation charging it down unknown trails, even scrambling to make a ferry after 8 hours in the saddle. I finished the day with no hand or wrist pain and zero blisters. It was marvelous.

I’m not suggesting that the same thing will happen to you. However, if you suffer from wrist pain, hand pain, or are sometimes referred to as “pencil neck”, it might be worth a shot. I feel like a lot of people out there are searching for answers on sweep and width and height, and I think this is just one more variable that could be thrown into that equation. For me, the stupid looking grips stay on. I hope to find something a bit more appropriate in the near future. I mean, Jesus Christ, look at those things? I’m not going anywhere near a raincloud with those things. You could probably cut that bulbous monstrosity in half and get most of the same impact. Throw some texture on there and some decent clamps and call it a day. So, this is a bit of a callout, really. Send me your stupid looking grips! I promise to not call them stupid looking in future articles. I’m looking at you Specialized! And Bontrager (gawd…Bontrager has a lot of options)! And you Ergon! SQLab goes nuts with these things! Stick those things in the mail and I’m going to spread the gospel. Hopefully I can normalize these things and feel a bit better 6 months from now when I show up at the trailhead.

Sorry,

Uncle Dave


Uncle Dave’s Music Club

One thing that I feel we have lost in the transition to digital music formats is the pre ’95 discographies of the local band. Now, it’s way easier for anybody with a microphone to record something that doesn’t sound terrible, but it used to be a huge deal for a small local band to put out a few hundred copies of a 4 song cassette. There is no way the majority of these cassettes have made the transition to digital.

Every once in a while I do a quick search to see if I can find a copy of some of my childhood favourites. Sineater is usually the first on that list. And I found it! I mean, doing a Google search every 3-5 years isn’t exactly a tonne of effort, but it still feels like a sense of accomplishment. This is two of the songs from the tape that I remember, so I still have to track down the other two. I think this is the best band to ever come out of Kamloops. Perhaps that isn’t the highest bar to clear, but it is something.

Bonus – This was the show in early 90’s Kamloops. There's probably a group somewhere out there on the Internet that is still talking about this. Sineater opening for the Smalls and Green Day. Yikes! That's a time machine level show, right there.

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Comments

Kelownakona
+10 tdc_worm Tjaard Breeuwer IslandLife Andy Eunson Pete Roggeman Metacomet JVP DylanZ91 cxfahrer Todd Hellinga
Kelownakona  - July 19, 2021, 12:52 a.m.

Disagree completely with the quip about helmet peak/visor

ANY peak when mountain biking is preferable no matter how small.Once you have done a ride in a pisspot style / no peak helmet in heavy rain with a headwind you'll realise how peaks/visors definitely fall into the functional category. And helps to keep goggles clear.

Also pretty useful for head-butt clearing low branches on wooded trails. Without getting a face-full or scratching your glasses/goggles.

Reply

pete@nsmb.com
0
Pete Roggeman  - July 19, 2021, 11:43 a.m.

Recently I had a moment where the sun was crushing my eyes (it was riding West on 24th towards lonsdale) and then I realized (a bit stupidly) that I have a visor, it was just tilted up too high. Nudged it with my fist and wham-o, no more sun. Still, that was the first time in years I used a visor for that purpose (but on the shore we're rarely in direct sunlight).

Head butting branches, though, for sure I find them useful. Riding at night? Definitely a hindrance to a head-mounted light's beam.

Reply

otagoboy
+3 fartymarty Tjaard Breeuwer Pete Roggeman
otagoboy  - July 19, 2021, 3:57 a.m.

I have been using Ergon GP1 and GS1 ergonomic grips for 20 years, and bugger the weird looks and rude comments I get. Great for injured/ older wrists and thumbs though I was using them when I was young too. These have been on an Ibis Mojo, Yeti ASR5C, Spot singlespeed, Yeti SB5C, Ventana el Conquistador de Montagnes full-Suspension tandem, and my current ZERODE Katipo enduro and Specialized Stumpjumper 2021. And they are always screwed onto a well-swept bar; Protaper 20/20 (20 degrees back sweep), SQLabs 16 degree, and my new favourite the Whiskyparts Milhouse 16 degree sweep 825mm width 75mm riser ( slammed on the head tube to maximise reach). The Milhouse has been a revelation on the Zerode; seems to make front end grip so much better though I have cut them down to 780mm. 

I have never found these ergonomic grips to be an issue on any trail, no matter how steep and rooty/rocky, in contrast to all the anecdotal comments that you can’t use them on “technical trails”. In fact the added support they give to the outer part of your hand is great on the rough stuff and I never suffer the dreaded arm pump as I’m not gripping skinny little round grips for dear life. These things are definitely not just for family cycle paths, commuting and rail trails. 

I think the Ergon/SQLab grips are hugely under appreciated as are swept back bars. Don’t knock them till you try them. But be prepared for lots of negativity at the trail head

Reply

Vikb
+5 fartymarty mamath7 Tjaard Breeuwer Pete Roggeman DylanZ91
Vik Banerjee  - July 19, 2021, 5:15 a.m.

My grip fleet [everyone has  grip fleet right?] features a wide variety of Ergon grips. The less techy the riding the bigger they are and having a bunch of option is great to try out when dialing in a bike. I've also got a bunch of high rise bars in the parts bin and full fenders on just about all my bikes. People can say what they want about my bikes. I don't care as long as I am comfortable I'm happy. :-)

Reply

TheCrimp
+3 Andrew Major cole128 Vik Banerjee
OscarN  - July 19, 2021, 2:58 p.m.

I have a lot of grips...but I would say it is less of a fleet and more of a scrapyard :D

Reply

Vikb
+2 Whitesell1041 Andrew Major
Vik Banerjee  - July 20, 2021, 6:16 a.m.

I toss any worn out grips, but I have a habit of buying grips that look interesting and throwing them in a box. So when it comes time for new grips I have quite a few to try! Cheaper than a cocaine habit. ;-)

Reply

stewart-spooner
+2 fartymarty Pete Roggeman
Stewart Spooner  - July 19, 2021, 5:33 a.m.

I was riding slower and less than I wanted due to chronic wrist pain and hand fatigue, but moving to the GP1s (for over 10 years now) was an instant and long term solution. It felt weird on downhills for a few rides, but now using anything else (including the mini-wing versions) feels unsupportive and harsh.  I see lots of them around here (including the local bike shop owner) and have never felt judged, but fashion isn’t as much a priority as it seems to be for you City folk.😏

Reply

fartymarty
+8 Cr4w Pete Roggeman khai Kerry Williams Andrew Major DadStillRides Tremeer023 bingobus
fartymarty  - July 19, 2021, 5:35 a.m.

Damn you Uncle Dave - now I need to get rid of all the push on / glue on / wire on ultra tacky grips that Mr Major has coerced me into buying and try something fugly enough to match my ultra long rear Mudhugger....

Joking aside thanks for trying these and please do report back.  I've just gone back to Renthal ultra tacky bolt on grips and am getting wrist issues again after being on Renthal pushons for a few years.  Convenience isn't always better.

Edit- I think NSMB readers are more on the function side of the sliding scale than the majority.

Reply

kos
+3 mrbrett Kerry Williams Whitesell1041
Kos  - July 19, 2021, 6:17 a.m.

"as you head out for your ride in baggy shorts, a glorified t-shirt and a helmet with a visor that doesn’t come close to blocking your eyes from wind, sun, dirt or logic"

Nailed it!

Next Up: The Resurgence of Bar Ends! :-)

Reply

Tjaardbreeuwer
+1 Paul Stuart
Tjaard Breeuwer  - July 19, 2021, 6:38 a.m.

Actually, I was going to put in a plug for “bar-ins”: bar ends mounted inboard of your grips and controls.

Bar-ins on wide mtb bars:

Don’t catch on branches

Provide a position similar to a road bike position:

  • Roughly shoulder width, to reduce strain on shoulder blades
  • Slightly longer than your mtb position, for more comfort on long flats or climbs, especially useful if your saddle is fairly far forward
  • A neutral wrist/elbow/shoulder position. Imagine a handshaking position for your arm.
  • A completely different position. No matter how good the position, the human body does best when changing it up regularly.

I use a pair of old, stubby, carbon Specialized S-Works bar ends. SQ-Lab makes some dedicated ones, but I actually find them less than ideal, due to extensive shaping at the top creating ridges. If you do try them, try flipping them upside down. Your grip curves down, but the Inner bar-ends curve up in stock configuration.

So my suggestion is to go dig in your ‘old parts’ bin, or even go dumpster diving for some Huffy’s that had bar ends installed, and give it a shot.

https://www.leelikesbikes.com/bar-ins-the-new-bar-ends.html *

*Note that the mtb bar width = push up width mentioned on that page, is no longer supported by Lee or others, since you need pulling just as much as pushing on your mtb bar.

Reply

velocipedestrian
0
Velocipedestrian  - July 23, 2021, 10:53 p.m.

I've been contemplating 'bar ins' the ones on my radar are called Togs, but I haven't bitten the bullet yet.

Reply

cooperquinn
0
Cooper Quinn  - July 19, 2021, 9:37 p.m.

Reply

cooperquinn
0
Cooper Quinn  - July 19, 2021, 9:37 p.m.

Reply

cxfahrer
0
cxfahrer  - July 19, 2021, 11:13 p.m.

Those winged grips come with integrated barends too. Ergon I think.

Reply

vincentaedwards
+1 Tjaard Breeuwer
Vincent Edwards  - July 19, 2021, 6:47 a.m.

I’ve played around with a number of options over the years- Ergon GA3, GE1, and GD1 / SQ Labs 711 R / plus some more standard options like sant Cruz and lizard skin grips. Of those, the Ergon GD1 (now GFR1)  were my favorites. 

But, things really improved for me when I tried the Chromag Wax push on grips. The extra cushion, sticky rubber, and width to move my hands in/out on the bars feels great. On long descents, these things provide a lot more comfort and control. 

It’s been a long time since I’ve tried anything with a shape as dramatic as a GP1. The benefits I’m getting from the Wax grips track with your experience in the Ergon. I’m running ibis lo-if carbon bars - low rise with 9/5 sweep/rise. 

Thanks for sharing your findings, and questioning the status quo!

Reply

Flatted-again
+3 Poz Brad Sedola DadStillRides
Flatted-again  - July 19, 2021, 6:47 a.m.

Given that “gravel bike thread” is trending one the home page, I feel justified in posting these stupid looking grips: https://redshiftsports.com/products/cruise-control-drop-bar-grips

Reply

Poz
+1 Brad Sedola
Poz  - July 19, 2021, 9:55 a.m.

They look stupid but I may give those a go. I have a serious struggle with wrist pain and numbness on my gravel bike. 

I’ve tried lots of different fit techniques and parts. But it comes down to a prior work related injury. At the point of willing to throw money at snake oil.

Reply

brad-sedola
+1 Poz
Brad Sedola  - July 19, 2021, 2:45 p.m.

Give it a try. I went all in on these for my gravel bike and appreciate them every ride. The install is a bit of a process, but mine haven't moved since I put them on. The top grips are fantastic. The drop grips are nice and comfy, but I use them maybe 5% of every ride. They are too far back to be able to have a finger on the brake. I sprained both wrists and fractured a radial head last August and have been having nothing but wrist pain whichever bike I ride. Flat bars were out of the question till around February. How I got a gravel bike purchase approved by the CFO was due to the fact the drop bars have so much variety for hand positions.

Reply

bingobus
0
bingobus  - July 23, 2021, 9:45 a.m.

Oh god, I was just about to post some dumb sarcastic question about Ergons on drop bars as that's the only time I get discomfort and you go and post this.

Reply

Tjaardbreeuwer
+1 Whitesell1041
Tjaard Breeuwer  - July 19, 2021, 6:48 a.m.

I have not liked the big Ergon grips for MTB riding, due to the rigid wing creating a push the wrong way when descending, and a lack of ‘give’ over rough terrain. Your article  is a good reason to try them out again.

I have been happy with the Ergon and Specialized versions with the smaller, softer wing, like the GA3 you were searching for.  I do not think they do very much for the wrist, but they do help spread pressure over the hand.

Note that the generation Specialized grip that is linked, has a concave surface on the wing, designed to interface with the padded center of their Grail glove. Without this glove, it feels far less supportive and natural. Older version did not have this, they were lightly convex in both axes.

Reply

davetolnai
0
Dave Tolnai  - July 20, 2021, 7:10 a.m.

This is like DRM for grips. I had no idea they did things like that.

Reply

rigidjunkie
+2 Dan Conant JVP
Allen Lloyd  - July 19, 2021, 7:47 a.m.

I have learned that my wrists do their best when I run a fat grip with a riser with nice sweep.  My most comfortable combo is a Deity fat squishy on a Jones bar, but I have not been able to bring myself to try that on the full suspension bike.

Reply

davetolnai
+6 Grif AJ Barlas Tjaard Breeuwer Velocipedestrian Todd Hellinga bingobus
Dave Tolnai  - July 19, 2021, 8:16 a.m.

This morning, I woke up and thought about all the things I wanted to change on this article and hoped it wasn't posted. But alas, it was.

This was the point I wanted to drive home a bit more strongly.  These grips are a pretty good solution, for me.  It's not going to be for everybody (but it might be for some).  The process of experimentation is what I was hoping to push.  Try different things and don't worry too much about what it looks like.

I think you need to try this on the full suspension bike.

Reply

craw
+3 AJ Barlas DadStillRides Whitesell1041
Cr4w  - July 19, 2021, 8:28 a.m.

I tried some bulky ergonomic grips like those once. I loved them. Even though I basically took them off a city bike. The issue I had with them was that they required me to mostly be in the same position all the time to ensure that the flap your palm rests on is at the correct angle. So on a city bike that kind of makes sense. But on a mountain bike on the shore where you're constantly shifting around, standing, leaning back, etc, I found them tricky to get on with as I was rarely in the sweet spot. 

Either way I'm glad more people are asking these questions and doing some outside-the-box thinking about how to get their bikes to work better. I wonder how many articles it will take for the bike industry to realize we're all very different?

Reply

roil
+2 Tjaard Breeuwer DadStillRides
roil  - July 19, 2021, 8:33 a.m.

What about proper bar width?! So important for your entire upper body, not just your wrists. 

I was running bars that were too wide and putting excess strain on my shoulders + gave me arm pump. I cut the bars down to a width similar to what I would use for rowing, elbows behind my wrists so I could better engage my lats to stabilize my body. 

My next bike upgrade is definitely SQLab backsweep 12 and their 711 grips that are hand size specific.

Reply

wishiwereriding
0
John Keiffer  - July 19, 2021, 12:26 p.m.

I have only a single ride in on my new SQLab 12* bars and 10mm longer stem. I liked it a lot, but again the sample size is super limited. I'm using some Ergon GE1 grips until I dial in how I want my bars rotated (they may already be fine), and then I have a new pair of medium SQLab 711 push on grips to try. Looking forward to tying them out!

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craw
0
Cr4w  - July 19, 2021, 3:02 p.m.

I'm 6'6" and am on a SQLab 30x with 12' sweep. It was the sweep I was after and the fact that they're only 780 wide was incidental but I'm totally fine on them. Neither here nor there, which is a step from previous when I tried 820s.

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DadStillRides
0
DadStillRides  - July 19, 2021, 9:38 p.m.

Yeah, that's what I thought when looking at those sq labs images. Do my wrists angle like that? No, their bars must be too wide. Are wide bars even still fashionable?..

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davetolnai
0
Dave Tolnai  - July 20, 2021, 7:12 a.m.

Yes, bar width plays into this, for sure.  That's been talked about a lot already, though.  As well, it was my experiments in bar width that got me to this point.  I'm at about 780mm on most of my bars and I was thinking about going a bit narrower, but the impact that had on my wrist angle seemed fairly minimal.

Reply

IslandLife
+4 Dogl0rd Tjaard Breeuwer Larrabee DadStillRides
IslandLife  - July 19, 2021, 8:48 a.m.

Ha, nice try Dave... but I'm not falling for it!

Good one though... trying to see how many of us idiots will show up at the trailhead next weekend with fugly commuter grips is seriously hilarious.  Even posting this on a Monday so that we have lots of time to scour our local Canadian Tire for the biggest and worst looking grips we can find... **slow clap**

Reply

Hollytron
+2 Tjaard Breeuwer Larrabee
Hollytron  - July 19, 2021, 10:55 a.m.

Ha! When the article is trolling the comments. I just got into the push on grips with wire due to Andrew.

Reply

KirkSa
0
Kirk Saunders  - July 19, 2021, 9:12 a.m.

Oh yeah, aesthetics absolutely matter to me.  I love mountain bikes as much as I love mountain biking.  I was swayed a long time ago by Grant Petersen’s sentiments, such as quotes like, “Think of bicycles as rideable art that can just about save the world.”  But he also convinced me that suspension stems such as the Allsop were a better solution than suspension forks, so… yeah, not exactly rational.  

That said, contacts points are crucial.  I run and love the less-ugly SQlab 711 but still get some hand numbness on longer climbs.  I am trying to steel myself to get a 16 degree sweep bar, but am still running my fashionable RF Next ‘cause it is light and cost a bunch of money.

Reply

Jghansen
+1 Dave Tolnai
James Hansen  - July 19, 2021, 9:13 a.m.

I have been using Ergon GA3 grips for three years, love them. Less fatigue. Don't care about what people say, they can suck it.

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kcy4130
+3 ackshunW Larrabee Pete Roggeman
kcy4130  - July 19, 2021, 11:24 a.m.

Another good thing about having stupid looking grips is that on group rides with new people everyone sees your grips and greatly lowers their expectations of your riding skill. Then, they'll be pleasantly surprised when you turn out to be marginally adequate at descending!

Reply

tashi
0
tashi  - July 19, 2021, 12:28 p.m.

I've dealt with various pain related handlebar setup and have found some really nice options:

IME 11 degree bars are super nice for almost any style mountain bikin' and 17 degrees is too much for aggressive riding; I buy Salsa Salt Flats.  Available in the 800mm width I like, two grades of aluminum or carbon, and available everywhere I really like these bars.  I'm paranoid about broken front end stuff so I just buy the aluminum ones almost annually and cycle them down the bike collection.  They've ended up on a lot of bikes and this consistency has also helped with my cockpit related body issues.

Stupid looking grips come in a wide variety of stupid looking.  I like a bit more stupid for more XC/road (less dynamic) riding and less stupid for more dynamic riding.  The Specialized Contour XC's are really nice for an XC option, Pro makes some that have a VERY small wing and come in two diameters, including a 30mm for folks that like "thin" grips like me.

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flattire2
+1 bushtrucker
Brian Tuulos  - July 19, 2021, 12:59 p.m.

Seems nobody ever discusses handlebar UPsweep, only backsweep.  I've switched to 10+ deg upsweep bars and love them.

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craw
0
Cr4w  - July 19, 2021, 3:03 p.m.

Who makes a bar with 10'+ upsweep?

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flattire2
0
Brian Tuulos  - July 20, 2021, 1:04 p.m.

My bad, remembered it wrong.  6 degrees of upsweep.  Still more than most bars at 3-5 deg upsweep

https://www.chainreactioncycles.com/brand-x-carbon-riser-bar/rp-prod193202

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roma258
0
Roman S  - July 22, 2021, 8:30 a.m.

I got these bars in 38mm rise and combined with ergon gs1 grips they worked wonders for my wrist pain. Great, comfy bars, would recommend especially for the price.

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tashi
0
tashi  - July 19, 2021, 3:58 p.m.

They’re the same thing for flat bars, don’t some of the manufacturers list it for riser bars?

Reply

wishiwereriding
+1 Tjaard Breeuwer
John Keiffer  - July 19, 2021, 12:29 p.m.

In the past I have ridden several versions of the winged Ergon grips. I found them to be very comfortable on flats and uphills, but I felt that on the downhills my hands would sometimes feel like they were getting bucked forward. Maybe I could have rotated them back a bit, but then they might not have felt right on the flats/uphills anymore. Anyone else have this kind of experience?

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Tjaardbreeuwer
0
Tjaard Breeuwer  - July 19, 2021, 5:42 p.m.

Yes, I have.

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Enurjetik
0
Enurjetik  - July 19, 2021, 6:16 p.m.

Yup, I've had that exact experience.  In fact, I gave up on the wings after suffering from what felt like thumb tendonitis for about a month after a ride in an extremely rocky, rooty area where it seemed like my thumbs had to be hooked hard the entire ride to keep my grip.  But I think part of the problem there was that the GA3s had not yet come out with a larger size.  The original size of the GA3s always felt like I was trying to grip a pencil.

I went on my first ride over the weekend with the SQ 711 lock-ons in the largest size.  They're girthy, and feel like the first grips that actually fit my hands.   I love the squish and the thickness, but the flat ends still aren't close to the comfort of winged grips.  I had to rock the GA3s a couple of weeks ago when they were the only thing in the parts bin after finishing a new bike build.  It reminded me how much more comfortable the wings are than anything else in non-technical terrain, and also how much I hate the narrowness of the original GA3 width.  I'll keep playing around with the 711s for now.  It feels like they can get to a much better place with just some tweaking to their orientation.

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syncro
+1 DadStillRides
Mark  - July 19, 2021, 6:20 p.m.

Dealing with wrist, elbow and to a lesser degree shoulder pain involves considering a bunch of factors. For starters when is the pain happening - climbing or descending? Your body position on the bike is dramatically different for each one, and fixing one may cause problems with the other. 

For wrists in particular, that graphic showing wrist position on the bar shows what we ideally want - neutral wrists. Both in adduction/abduction (in/out) and in flexion/extension (up/down). So things like bar width, height, sweep and reach all need to be considered. The position of your controls plays a factor as well. A while back Andrew had some great articles on bar sweep and the effects of changing them. 

My advice is to start with finding the riding position that works best for the majority of the riding you do or like to do the most. Then see if other aspects are affected and try making small tweaks to eliminate discomfort. You might find that fixing wrist discomfort on climbs can be eliminated or alleviated simply by adjusting your hand position on the bars while climbing. 

Start by making notes of the what's going when you feel pain - type of riding, terrain, etc, and  consider how your hand/wrist position differs from the ideal neutral under those conditions. A new bar or stem may be in order or it could be as simple as adding a riser under your stem. Whatever the case, take some time to analyze what's actually going on before just blindly throwing money at the situation.

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davetolnai
+2 Andy Eunson Mark
Dave Tolnai  - July 20, 2021, 7:14 a.m.

Totally agree.  Just like not everybody needs a super wide or a narrow bar and not everybody needs a 50mm rise handlebar.  The point is that this is something that might work for certain people and it's worth a shot in experimentation.

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syncro
0
Mark  - July 20, 2021, 10:42 a.m.

Oh for sure. I'm not saying it might not work, just that people should start with knowing what the problem is and what's causing it before looking for a solution. I'm coming at this from a sport science perspective.

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DadStillRides
0
DadStillRides  - July 19, 2021, 9:52 p.m.

I used a pair of gp1s on both my commuter/cross bike and mtb for a couple weeks several years ago when I had a broken pinky and couldn't bend it around a normal grip. They worked great for this purpose. Like others, I wasn't a fan of how often the grip wasn't situated at the perfect angle during points in a ride and immediately switched them off for a normal grip once all my digits were working properly. On the other hand (pun intended), my wife has had these or similar on her mtbs over the last 7 or 8 years and loves them.

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davetolnai
0
Dave Tolnai  - July 20, 2021, 7:16 a.m.

A few people have talked about this.  It hasn't been a problem for me.  I spent a bit of time trying to get the exact position that I was happy with, and once it was there, it has been pretty comfortable, just about everywhere.  It makes a lot of sense that this wouldn't be the case for everybody.  I think a smaller wing would probably reduce this somewhat, as there would be less material to get in the way.

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fartymarty
0
fartymarty  - July 27, 2021, 1:17 a.m.

I managed to pick up a pair of GP1s cheap so I thought I would give them a go.  After a few short gloveless rides I'm still not sure.  They seem fine on the flat less tech trails but not so when it gets tech.

I'm coming off Renthal ultratacky pushons and Renthal ultratacky boltons.  Favs are the pushons - super thin and super grippy.

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Ripbro
0
Ripbro  - July 20, 2021, 5:21 p.m.

Using Lee’s RAD system really helped me dial in the fit of my bike. Watch the video here to figure out your RAD number. Combine that with Lee’s formula for bar width, and I have a setup that I really like. He also has a video on bar sweep. It won’t be for everyone (it can’t be) but those three videos really helped me to dial in the fit on my bike. Plus these measurements are transferable when you switch frames. Highly recommend.

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Spacelizard
0
Spacelizard  - July 22, 2021, 10:11 a.m.

I have dyupitrins in both hands. The only grips that don't rub my hands raw are the silicon grips from ESI or wolfstooth.  They do look dumb.

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JSW07
0
JSW07  - July 25, 2021, 9:50 a.m.

This is a topic I have never understood until I bought a bike that came with carbon bars, let's just say it's a game changer for me. The one thing that STILL makes no sense is the conversation about "upsweep" and "backsweep". The reason I don't understand is that it would seem that 98% of bars out there have a 5 degree up sweep and an 8 degrees back sweep and to break away from this you need to dig around the internet to find some "boutique" or brand that no body has ever heard of (exception to Rental Fatbar with a 7 degree back sweep). So, why is this such a hot topic with so little for options out there?

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