When my friend Brad first saw my Monocog Flight, with it's high bars and bar-ends he asked if I was competing in the "Comfort Cruiser" category. Damn right I am. If I'm going to be on a bike for 16 hours a day, day after day after day, I'd better be comfortable.
I recently was lucky enough to attend a two-day intensive Trek bike-fit training course given by Michael Sylvester & Dr. Mark Timmerman. While 40 years of riding have taught me a lot about fitting a bike to my body, Michael and Mark taught me more in two days about physiology, yoga, flexibility and fit than I could have ever learned on my own. One of the many wise things Michael said was "it's not a trade-off between comfort and performance. If you're comfortable, you perform better."
One company that takes takes comfortable performance seriously is Ergon. I'm thrilled to be one of Ergon USA's supported individual riders this year. I've used Ergon grips on various bikes for years and while Ergon sponsorship doesn't mean I get their stuff for free, it does mean I can get a really, really good deal on certain Ergon items.
Ergon started out making ergonomic bicycle grips a few years ago and if imitation is a form of flattery, I bet they're feeling quite flattered these days. Bontrager, PDW, WTB and I'm sure some other folks are all making grips with flattened ergonomic cross-sections now, but Ergon continues to dial in their designs. I can honestly say that the Ergon GC3 Grips I'm using now are the best grips I've ever laid my hands on.
Sure, the grip itself is great, but the big bar-end is what makes it perfect for me. I spend most of my time with my hands on the bar-ends when I'm cruising or climbing and the curve is right, the texture is right, the whole thing is right. The design lets you dial in the angle of the grip and the bar-end until it's perfect and then it bolts rock-solid into that spot. When climbing, the firm grip on the bar lets me punch the maximum power to the pedal.
In addition to all the obvious comfy hand positions the GC3s offer, I've found one more "secret" position that I use when I'm riding into the wind. I rest my forearms on the flat part of the grips and loosely hold the tips of the bar-ends. Virtual aero-bars!
I'm not the only one who raves about GC3s. As of this writing, every review on Amazon gives the GC3s five stars.
Sure, the grips aren't cheap. Even getting a deal I had to save up to get them. But now, after putting a few hundred miles on these grips, I'd buy them again, at full price, in a heartbeat.