If you’re not familiar with Ergon, you should be. Their grips and saddles are some of the most universally comfortable across all disciplines  of riding. Since that’s their primary focus, it really shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. But, every time I try one of their bits, I seem to add it to my list of “must have” items. This time, the new Ergon GA3 grips fall into that category.

Ergon GA3 Grips Features:

  • GravityControl rubber compound
  • Textures aim to require less gripping forces
  • Mini wing prevents carpal tunnel pressure and pain
  • Single, aluminum clamp
  • Separate bar end plug
  • 115 grams (pair, stated)
  • Available in small and large (tested)
  • MSRP: $29.95
Ergon GA3 Grips Review

Soft, grippy rubber reduces chatter.

That little wing goes a long way

When the Trek Supercaliber 9.8 arrived for testing 3 months ago, it was immediately apparent that it deserved a grip makeover. The ultralight, ESI foam grips are admittedly not my favorite and are decidedly un-ergonomic — both qualities that earned them a razor blade removal before a single ride. I installed the Ergon GE1 Evo Factory grips for a few weeks until the new Ergon GA3’s arrived, then I never looked back.

The GA3 is an optimized version of the popular GP1 line that’s been built for improved bar feel and agility on demanding terrain. While the GP1 offers the ultimate in hand comfort, that 55mm platform does tend to get in the way when terrain requires fast response times. So, the new Ergon GA3 is only 45mm and delivers a lighter, nimbler grip for technical terrain, while still providing proper wrist and hand support.

Ergon GA3 Grips Review on the Trail

Comfort and control with the Ergon GA3.

As I’ve gotten older, proper fit and hand position has become even more important. I notice immediate discomfort when riding with lesser grips and have found the most luck with Ergon’s grip lineup. And, the GA3 has added a new element to Ergon’s offering.

On long, sustained descents, the GA3’s are heaven sent. They pretty much eliminate hand fatigue while still affording confident handling. I can dance around on the grips as needed to leverage the bike around corners and through rock gardens or drops. I can also easily brake and shift without any hindrance.

Ergon GA3 Grips Review

The mini wing is 45mm deep and provides just the right platform for comfort.

With this design, Ergon wasn’t able to maintain the built-in end caps found on other models, and do use separate end plugs. I prefer a single piece design, but once set in place, it’s not an issue. Pulling those end plugs out, if needed, can be a bother though. As with all Ergon grips, the GA3’s feature a solid, aluminum clamp with a 3mm hex bolt (larger than most grips use) that allows proper clamping force with little chance for stripping it. Just follow the torque specs and don’t go beyond the necessary 3nm.

To aid in setup, there are markings on the top of the alloy clamp. They come in handy when doing fine tuning and allow you to see the grip position in comparison with the opposite side. During my initial setup, I fiddled with the rotation just slightly until I found the proper position for my needs.

The Good

  • Extra dose of comfort for tired hands
  • Soft rubber improves grip feel
  • Clamp holds everything in place
  • Excellent for anyone suffering wrist pain or carpal tunnel issues

The Bad

  • Bar end plugs are separate pieces

The Bottom Line: Ergon GA3 Grips

With so many of us spending more and more time on the computer, hand comfort is of even greater importance. All the chatter and impacts from mountain biking could take its toll on our daily lives, so opting for a set of Ergon GA3 grips might allow many riders to continue enjoying mountain biking without wrist and hand discomfort. They install easily and remain solidly in place with soft, durable rubber. Definitely a must for aging riders or anyone wanting to keep their hands and wrists happy.

Buy Now: Available at CompetitiveCyclist.com

About Author

A native of the Pacific Northwest, Jason quickly developed a love for the outdoors and a thing for mountains. That infatuation continues as he founded this site in 1999 -- sharing his love of road biking, mountain biking, trail running and skiing. That passion is channeled into every article or gear review he writes. Utah's Wasatch Mountains are his playground.

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