Fifty Plus (50+) - Ergon bar ends..
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11-16-11, 10:00 AM
Anyone of "us" older bicyclists have any experience using Ergon handlebar ends?
When doing sustained touring using drop bars, I am now getting tingling and eventually numbness (as the tour progresses) on the first 2 fingers of both hands :notamused:
After touring ends the tingling/numbness recedes and eventually disappears.
A FT member suggested that I look at Ergon bar ends as that is what he uses on his "straight" handlebars. The Ergons are expensive, but that is irrelevant if they prevent/reduce the tingling/numbness. Extra tape and gloves are going to be used too.
Thanks in advance :thumb:
11-16-11, 10:07 AM
I get tingling and numbness on the first two fingers of my left hand because I have cervical spine stenosis (resulting from arthritis in my neck). I minimized it by physical therapy and then doing the exercises religiously. It has made a greater difference than any changes I made to my bikes.
I have two bikes, a drop bar and a flat bar. I have Ergon grips on the flat bar bike and like them a lot. I don't even wear gloves on that bike for most riding. They are quality grips. However, before I did PT for my neck even with the Ergon grips I would have problems develop with numbness about 20 miles into a ride. I also put aero bars on that bike to help me with changes in position which would help neck pain and numb hand. So for me it wasn't a cure. But I wouldn't give them up because they are so comfortable. Now after PT I dropped the aerobars and am riding both bikes fairly comfortably and can do 50 miles on either bike with no issues.
I guess what I am saying is that it might depend on why your hands are tingling or numb. The grips might help a lot if it is a carpal tunnel issue, but if it is a pinching nerve elsewhere they may not help much.
11-16-11, 10:19 AM
I will see a neurologist to check out any other issues such as a nerve being pinched. I want to deal with this issue now as I'll start practicing soon with short trips on my new bike and by late June I'll be travelling in outback southern Australia. Thanks for the "heads up" and feedback on the grips
11-16-11, 11:26 AM
No idea if they will help your numbness but, if I went from my drop bars back to straight bars I would definitely get Ergon grips. I installed them on my old straight bar bike and found them much better than standard grips. YMMV.
I found that Ergon grips on carbon flat bars helped when I was riding a hybrid.
But, hand numbness/discomfort is a non-issue for recumbent bikes. Keep that in mind if you are unable to resolve your issues.
11-16-11, 08:08 PM
My friend just added them to his Stumpjumper and likes them. I might try them also after having held the bar with them in the shop.
11-16-11, 08:56 PM
I've had and used the Ergon grips with carbon bar ends. They're about $120 retail at places like Jenson in California. I think they're great. And mine's been used so much that they're starting to wear out.
I'm seeing some of you talking about the Ergon grips, while others are talking about the bar ends. There's a difference, though you can have both with the $120 set.
11-16-11, 09:05 PM
+1 Ergon grips and Ergon bar-ends. Couldn't ride nasty flat bars without numbness but for these well-designed Ergon components.
11-16-11, 09:16 PM
They are a godsend.....no more numb hands
I have the grips and the bar-ends on my Fisher, and I like them a lot. The only thing that bothers me occasionally is the relatively small size (length) of the bar-ends. They sometimes feel a little insecure in my grasp.
11-17-11, 04:40 AM
FFIW, I ordered a set of GC3 grips from Amazon overseas and I'll get them sometimes in December. They will be used on my next Australian tour next June-August, so won't really know if they prevent/attenuate the progress of finger tingling/numbness. Thanks for the info. However, a visit to the neurologist is still planned as well
11-17-11, 08:48 AM
I've got a set on my mountain bike and they are fantastic!
11-17-11, 08:50 AM
I had some hand numbness on my previous bike - a Nashbar tourer (from 1992 - not the new one.) I did a couple of tweaks that helped a lot. I raised the bars so they were almost level with my saddle, and I rotated the bars so that there was a flat platform on top, flowing right into the brake hoods - much more comfortable. My numbness went away.
On my new tourer, an LHT, and on my "fast bike" - a Specialized Allez - I kept the same arrangement. The flat place on the bars behind the hoods, flowing into the hoods, makes the biggest difference. I also found a stem that raises the bars so that their almost as high as my saddle. Again, no hand numbness on either bike. I also put some gel pads under the bar tape on top. I think it helps.
I have a 29er I bought for a tour on the Great Divide last summer. Since it was for a longer tour I wanted to be as comfortable as possible for day-after-day, long rides. I put Ergon barends on the flat mountain bike bars. I bought the biggest ones. They were VERY comfortable. The only thing I don't like about them is that the barends are attached to the grips so you can't rotate them independently. There is a large, flat, section of the grip that bulges out to provide a really nice place for your palms. However, if I rotated them so they felt perfect for my palms, I also rotated the barends to where I didn't want them. I had to settle on a compromise between the two. It would be nice if you could set the angles independently.
11-17-11, 10:53 AM
Ergons by themselves are not that expensive at all, you can get longer bar ends from another source, check Amazon.
11-17-11, 02:00 PM
FWIW, I've used Ergons (grips) exclusively since they first became available ... 05 or 06 (can't remember)?
In any event ... for me, at least, they have proven very effective. YMMV.
Positioned correctly, they address both carpal tunnel and ulnar neuropathy issues (the two forms of what used to be called 'cyclist's palsy') when cycling with flat bars. They help with any disposition to carpal tunnel symptoms by working against any tendency to 'drop your wrist', and to ulnar nerve problems by dispersing pressure on the palm over a wide area (as well as by damping vibration).
I use the standard ones (can't remember the number) with separate bar-ends. The latter help as well, by permitting (a la tops-to-hoods on drop bars) rotation of the wrist for variation and variation in torso angle. Have had no issues with hand pain/numbness whatsoever, on rides of any distance, since adopting these grips. Oh, and I'm old (60) and arthritic!
11-17-11, 06:44 PM
They are a godsend.....no more numb hands
..... The only thing that bothers me occasionally is the relatively small size (length) of the bar-ends. They sometimes feel a little insecure in my grasp.
There are three sizes of bar-ends available in two metals.
11-18-11, 08:36 AM
You know what... something else I do that's worth mentioning: As I've aged several years, my body's changed. And I have to assume my body's going to continue aging. Anyway, I've changed my riding from off-road mountain bike riding on trails and rough gravel with rocks, to a lot of paved or surfaced roads and trails. And I'm riding in a more upright stance, because my arms, wrists, elbows and shoulders just can't take the weight of my upper body anymore. I switched out stems and bars for risers with a higher positioning for my hands. And my Ergon grips are working very well with my changing stance. Maybe one or two of you are aging as well...
11-18-11, 11:48 AM
+1 for Ergon's on my MTB and +1 for rotating my road bike handlebars to make a nice flat top surface that flows right into the hoods.
Both of the above have helped me immensely.
I've also noticed that sometimes when my hands go numb it's from gripping my handlebar way too tight. Meaning I need to relax and enjoy the ride and BREATH baby BREATH!
11-18-11, 12:48 PM
I'd never used Ergons but they came as standard equipment on the DaHon folding bike I bought for commuting to and from work. I like them a lot and agree that gloves are a lot less necessary with Ergons. Very comfortable; an excellent design really.
Rick / OCRR
11-18-11, 01:47 PM
Ergon GC3 offer an integrated grip and bar end. I have a set on my Brompton.
the 1 bolt adjustment for both, end and grip makes it easy to turn
the long bar ends out of the way to fold down the bars as usual.
Shorter bar ends could stay in one place.
11-21-11, 12:57 AM
The GC3 grips showed up today, overseas here where I am right now. They look like they just slip onto the bars.
Because they are supposed to be oriented at an "appropriate angle" to provide support for the hand, I wonder how the angle is "fixed". The allen screw at the end seems to only adjust the bar. How do you keep the grip (and thus the bar-end) from moving "forward or backward" on the handlebar?
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