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Ergo grips causing numbness

Old 04-07-17, 09:11 PM
  #1  
Timj219
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Ergo grips causing numbness

I've always had round grips or tape on a round bar before. My new Giant Escape has grips they call "ergo" something or other that offer a broad flat top. I'm noticing whatever part of the palm I rest on the flat surface is getting numb.

I've been away from cycling for at least 15 years so this could be poor technique, poor fitness, or just age on my part but I never had any problems like this with round grips. It feels like the grips are not exactly parallel with the ground but maybe they're not meant to be.

So what do you think? Is it me or the grips? And if me, is it age/fitness or bad technique? Any suggestions welcome.
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Old 04-07-17, 09:17 PM
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Grips are like saddles in that it's more about personal preference than anything else.

Try rotating the grips to different angles, and if you can't dial them in, try a set of old style round grips. Once you have a basis of comparison you can decide what you prefer and stay with that.
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Old 04-07-17, 10:27 PM
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I never liked ergo grips, although I tried two styles/sizes. I have fairly small hands and I just don't think they hit my hands in the right places. I have narrow leather PDW Bourbon grips now which I absolutely love. Assuming the angle of your hand/wrist/fingers is comfortable, if your hands get numb is it possible you have too much weight on your hands? If not, then I'd think it is the grips are just not for you.
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Old 04-07-17, 11:53 PM
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I love the ergo grips on my comfy hybrid and need some for my mountain bike. But you do need to fiddle around with the angle to suit your hands and wrists. I adjusted mine many times the first few months until finding that just-right setting.

If yours are simple friction fit grips, not the types with locking collars, you can make adjustments easier by squirting some isopropyl alcohol between the grips and handlebar. A squeeze dropper makes it easier. Doesn't take much to loosen up the grips, and the alcohol dries quickly leaving the desired grip angle.

But if you're just resuming cycling everything in the body will need time to get reacquainted with cycling. Adjustments that feel good now -- grip angle, handlebar height and reach, saddle height and reach, etc. -- will probably need to be done again in a few weeks, a few months, etc., before finally feeling pretty much right permanently.
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Old 04-08-17, 12:49 AM
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If we're talking about Ergon Grips, I wouldn't be without them on an upright bike. They do take some messing around with.


Ergo seems to be an aftermarket hand gun grip.
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Old 04-08-17, 01:44 AM
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I believe these are Giant own brand grips. I replaced mine to be honest. They never did work out.

Just food for thought are your arms too straight? Perhaps you need to adjust your reach so you have a small kink in your elbow.
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Old 04-08-17, 02:47 AM
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You're right, king boru. I did a search and Giant does have a grip called the Ergo.
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Old 04-08-17, 04:07 AM
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How about blaming the straight bars instead of the grips.
I hate flat bars, change to more swept back.
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Old 04-08-17, 05:41 AM
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Originally Posted by trailangel View Post
How about blaming the straight bars instead of the grips.
I hate flat bars, change to more swept back.
I found a great deal on a carbon fibre flat bar. Replaced the alloy OEM one. Found that it has made a world of difference in comfort. Very compliant indeed.
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Old 04-08-17, 05:40 PM
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Originally Posted by trailangel View Post
How about blaming the straight bars instead of the grips.
I hate flat bars, change to more swept back.
If anything I'll go further forward and maybe a little lower. Maybe narrower too if cutting these bars is practical. Definitely not further back. It's early days yet but I think I see new stem or bar ends or maybe even bullhorns in my future. I should know better in a couple months.
Don't get me wrong I think the bike fits me but I think my age and lack of conditioning led me to go more relaxed and upright than I really needed to. The hybrid was probably the best choice but it will need tweaking.
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Old 04-08-17, 05:47 PM
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Thanks for the advice everyone I'm going to play with the angle of the flat surface and see what happens. Brakes & shifters will move too I guess.
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Old 04-09-17, 11:23 AM
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I had finger numbness problems on my Verve 2 hybrid, to the point that I was wearing carpal Tunnel wrist supports and the numbness was there 24/7. The best I could get with that bike was with Ergon handles, but still I'd get numb at about 25 km.

At the advise of a friend, I bought the Randonee, a drop-bar bike and have no numbness issues anymore.

The advise was, 'make sure that the crook of your elbow points toward the sky'.

You can achieve this with bar-ends on a flat bar or with drop bars.
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Old 04-09-17, 02:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Timj219 View Post
Thanks for the advice everyone I'm going to play with the angle of the flat surface and see what happens. Brakes & shifters will move too I guess.
It shouldn't be necessary to move the brake and shift levers (or twist-grip shifters on some bikes), unless you also prefer a different angle for the controls as well. The handlebar grips, brake levers, shifters, etc., should all move independently.
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Old 04-09-17, 02:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Timj219 View Post
I've always had round grips or tape on a round bar before. My new Giant Escape has grips they call "ergo"
I would suggest you forget the grips for a moment and look at the actual bars themselves. Are they identical to the bars you are used to riding with? I'm betting they are not, that they are riser bars like those that came on my Giant Toughroad and are also on my Giant talon. The Talon is a true MTB but the Toughroad is a road bike and yet they still put the very same bars on?

I found that on long rides the bars on the Toughroad were causing me the same symptoms you described. As well as rising up, the bars were a lot longer and the ends curved back. I changed them out for straight flat bars that were shorter, basically I matched them to the bars I used to ride. BTW, a lot of people here find trouble with their hands and switch their grips to those ergon ones you have, figuring that ergonomic grips will take the numbness and discomfort away. Personally I think they work well for their intended purpose but will do very little if the bars are wrong for you riding style. It's the angle your arms and wrists make with the grips that count.

As a suggestion...

Sit on the bike in your preferred riding position and clench your fists around two short tubes like bits of broomstick etc, like you were holding the bars. With your eyes closed hold them out over the bars and move them around until you feel comfortable with the position, then lower them down onto the bars. What angle do they make with the bars on there now? Are your hands over the grips? Or are your hands more inboard? This to me is Ergonomics, finding the most natural position, one where the body part feels comfortable under the stress of clenching the bar. Remember though, wide bars have a purpose, better control off-road.
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Old 04-10-17, 07:55 PM
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
It shouldn't be necessary to move the brake and shift levers (or twist-grip shifters on some bikes), unless you also prefer a different angle for the controls as well. The handlebar grips, brake levers, shifters, etc., should all move independently.
Thing is though when I rotate the grips and place my hand on the flat in its new position it changes the distance from palm to levers and the angle between palm and levers, and so requires a longer or shorter reach for the fingers at a different angle. So brakes and shifters have to move too.
I rotated the grips back over the weekend, not too much. Now instead of palms on top of the bar they are maybe 15° towards me. The move greatly reduced the numbness. The reach to the shifters is fine, not enough different to worry about. But I can feel the difference in the reach for the brake levers and I may try about rotatng them a bit closer if it still doesn't feel right in a couple days.
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Old 04-10-17, 08:10 PM
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+1 that Ergon grips are fantastic. I highly doubt that it's the grips causing your issue.

Another +10 that 90% of numbness/soreness issues can be traced back to fit problems. Make sure that your saddle to crank relationship is correct, then play with stems and bars to get your cockpit measurements right. If you are riding too stretched out or with your arms locked a significant portion of the time, your hands are going to get sore no matter what grips you use. Look at your wrists when you're riding. In your normal riding position they should be in nearly perfect neutral alignment both forward to back and side to side.

A flat bar doesn't necessarily have to be flat. Bar width, rise and sweep can make a big difference. I have Ergon GP3 grips on both my rigid MTB and my flat-bar touring mutt. On both bikes I had to play with the bar and grip positions before my hands became completely pain and tingle free. For example: on the touring I went to a shorter stem with a slight rise which allowed me to ride with my elbows slightly bent with my hands lightly on the grips without feeling like I was falling forward. I kept a fairly wide bar (I'm wide across the shoulders/chest) and changed to just a few degrees rise and sweep to put my wrists in alignment. Then the Ergon grips went on and were adjusted so that the heel of my hand barely touches the palm rest and the uprights are in a position that closely mimics riding on the hoods with my drop-bar. Zero tingling and it takes a lot of miles to make my hands tired or sore.

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Old 04-10-17, 08:46 PM
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I agree it's all about personal preference
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Old 04-10-17, 09:27 PM
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Im sure someone said this but if it happens after riding some distance small bar ends could do the trick. Just for the ability to change hand position. Ive been considering getting some on my xc/trail bike. But afraid of snagging them on something in the woods.
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Old 04-11-17, 08:32 AM
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Another +1 for ergon grips here. I use them on my mountain bikes and they helped eliminate hand/wrist fatigue for me. (When mountain biking.)

You do have to adjust them right though, then you'll spend another week adjusting them so that they are even with each other. For some reason mine always seemed to have one higher than the other for a while.
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