Review: Ergon GR2 Leichtbau Carbon Grips

When I started mountain biking 11 years ago bar ends were on just about any serious rider’s bike. I ran them on my first three bikes, and then I watched them disappear as riser bars gained popularity. It soon became an unspoken law that no mountain biker shall run bar ends on riser bars, and so they have been on the verge of Dodo status (in the states at least).

Enter the Ergon GR2 grips. These lock-on grip/bar end combos do more that just add that nice extra hand position of bar ends, they offer comfort and control. I was surprised at the increased feeling of control the extra surface area of the grip gave me—especially on longer rides. I never felt like I lacked any control or comfort before using the Ergon grips, but after going back to standard grips I found I missed the ergonomic contours of the GR2s.

The grips lock solidly to the handlebars via a single M5 bolt on the underside of each bar end. I have yet to have any throttle-grip or slipping issues with the Ergons. The relatively large clamp bolt is more difficult to strip out than a lot of the lock-on grip offerings out there—a definite plus. The grip and bar ends are independently adjustable to maximize comfort and accommodate personal preference, and the grips themselves come in small and large (tested here) sizes to cater to different hands.

Having bar ends on my bike again made me remember why I first installed them—extra hand positions and more leverage on climbs, but if you don’t like the tree-grabbing feature that sometimes comes with them, you can get the same "ergon"omic grips sans, bar ends, in several different configurations.

The only thing keeping these grips down is the price. The standard GR2 sells for about $50, but the GR2 Leichtbau Carbon version (tested here) runs a jaw-dropping $110. The carbon fiber bar end itself is the main difference between the two, but except for the added "bling" status of the carbon the weight difference between it and the magnesium version is marginal, making the standard GR2 grips a solid pick that'll leave an extra $60 in your pocket for a new chain and cables.

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