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  1. #1
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    Foam grips the best option for bare handed rider?

    Any of you guys prefer to ride glove-less?

    I been looking for a new pair of grips have narrowed it down between either an ODI Ruffian,
    some sort of Lizard Skin pattern, or possibly an Ergon model although I am not sure how comfortable I'd be going dh with the paddle style, flat grips. Love them on the road though...

    What patterns have you bare handed riders had luck with? I am leaning towards the ruffians but maybe I'll put my name on the lock ring of a pair of lizard skins

  2. #2
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    If you aren't wearing gloves, and it gets wet at all, i.e. sweat, foam grips are horrible. That is my experience with them.
    I'm a mountain bike guide in South West Utah

  3. #3
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    I think a better question is what kind of dirt is best for landing on without gloves.

    Only took a couple spills for me to realize that no discomfort riding was greater than the damage of shredding my hands.

    YMMV.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by swingset View Post
    I think a better question is what kind of dirt is best for landing on without gloves.

    Only took a couple spills for me to realize that no discomfort riding was greater than the damage of shredding my hands.

    YMMV.

    Yes.
    To this point, I will also add the following.

    "should I get full finger gloves, or half finger?"
    "well, that depends, do you want to keep the skin on your full finger, or just half your finger when you crash?"

    I cannot stand to ride without gloves anymore. I feel "naked" without them. I put them on with my helmet and consider them to be a part of my safety gear.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iridethedirt View Post
    Yes.
    To this point, I will also add the following.

    "should I get full finger gloves, or half finger?"
    "well, that depends, do you want to keep the skin on your full finger, or just half your finger when you crash?"

    I cannot stand to ride without gloves anymore. I feel "naked" without them. I put them on with my helmet and consider them to be a part of my safety gear.
    Been doing it for years and never had a problem.. I think I fear asphalt more than dirt.

    Foam grips were more for an attention grabber

  6. #6
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    Gloves make it much easier to go back to work after your overdid it on the trail...

    Full fingered padded gloves FTW!

  7. #7
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    Just never been a fan of gloves and I've bought some nice ones.

    That's why I am wondering if anyone knows of any "bare-hand" specific tread patterns.

    I really liked my Lizard Skin Moab's but they are getting pretty bare and overly smooth; I did find them a little thick though so i might go with something thinner.. Maybe personal preference is the only criteria that matters in this department?

    I can't be the only person who prefers gloveless? I know they look super - cool but come on, you'll get a tan line!!

  8. #8
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    I rode dirt bikes (motorcycles) as a kid on up through my early twentys with out gloves. I didn't start wearing gloves until I was in my thirty's and bought a new MX bike and "all" the gear. Then is when I realized how foolish I was in my younger days. As I took up MTBing I bought all the gear with gloves. But I opted for half finger for that more sensitive touch with shifting and brakes. I have full finger for cold day's but rarely ever need them in So Cal. I have had plenty of crashes in 12 years of riding and never an issue with just the half finger. And while we are talking gloves I highly reccomend using ones with gel inserts in the pads of your palm area. I use Pearl Izumi gel lites. I have both half and full finger models. They make a huge difference in a comfortable ride.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grk224 View Post
    I can't be the only person who prefers gloveless?
    In this thread you are so, get some gloves and thank us all later.
    Yip yip yip nope nope nope

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grk224 View Post
    I know they look super - cool but come on, you'll get a tan line!!


    Yeah but scar tissue just never tans right.

  11. #11
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    Cork/foam grips are easy on bare hands.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grk224 View Post
    Just never been a fan of gloves and I've bought some nice ones.

    That's why I am wondering if anyone knows of any "bare-hand" specific tread patterns.

    I really liked my Lizard Skin Moab's but they are getting pretty bare and overly smooth; I did find them a little thick though so i might go with something thinner.. Maybe personal preference is the only criteria that matters in this department?

    I can't be the only person who prefers gloveless? I know they look super - cool but come on, you'll get a tan line!!
    I think the lizard skins northshore are pretty cool, never used them though. I have ODI rougues which are big and fat which I love but theyre uncomfortable to ride gloveless with. For you I would really reccomend ESI chunkys, theyre nice and soft as well as not really having a pattern thats gonna annoy you gloveless. I know what you mean on tan lines though, theyre annoying as f but I just cant go gloveless

  13. #13
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    All I can say is that if you've ever wiped out while riding gloveless and tore up the palm of your hand...you'll never EVER ride gloveless again. Dealing with a badly scraped up hand for a couple weeks til it heals sucks, trust me, I found out the hard way,

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    Quote Originally Posted by ltk1144 View Post
    I think the lizard skins northshore are pretty cool, never used them though. I have ODI rougues which are big and fat which I love but theyre uncomfortable to ride gloveless with. For you I would really reccomend ESI chunkys, theyre nice and soft as well as not really having a pattern thats gonna annoy you gloveless. I know what you mean on tan lines though, theyre annoying as f but I just cant go gloveless
    Tan lines! Man you have been riding too much.

    Hey OP why not go with half finger gloves? Best of both worlds.
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    I definitely agree there can be a "difference" in ride comfort with the right gloves but I dont think they can be a substitue for proper bike sizing and fit nor can they compensate for a lack there of.

    IMO if your bike was uncomfortable, and you buy gloves and it becomes comfortable the fix is either wholly a mental one or a temporary band-aid for a bigger problem. If the former, a solution is a solution and I'm all for solving problems, if the latter, good luck filling up that money hole with your dollar bills.

    As a personal rule, if I don't feel safe I slow down; I can't afford to get hurt so I don't push things.

    Yes, yes accidents happen but may as well go out in a foam suit or plastic bubble if your that concerned.

    Just an opinion Still waiting on a proper suggestion!

  16. #16
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    ODI's

  17. #17
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    I often ride gloveless and enjoy Odi Rogue
    Round and round we go

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    I would be interested in cork but assumed they would be slippery.. not the case?

    I have torn up my hands pretty good many times over the years; scar tissue doesnt tan but it is tougher the next time you go down!

    I am noticing a strong "your either an idiot or very new to the game" attitude for preferring bare hands.

    Cant guarantee I am not an idiot...

    I had the North Shores a few years ago and really liked them. I was just trying to explore other brands besides Lizard Skin but I have really been impressed with them over the years.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE, View Post
    Tan lines! Man you have been riding too much.

    Hey OP why not go with half finger gloves? Best of both worlds.
    Half fingers are amazing. I dont see any protection reason to go full finger unless your gonna need knuckle protection ones. There are so many downsides to full finger and I think its crazy that anyone could crash enough to actually feel the need for them.

    O yea, in AZ tan lines will always haunt you. And the thing about tan lines vs scars? O yea, tan lines are way worse haha

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ricko View Post
    All I can say is that if you've ever wiped out while riding gloveless and tore up the palm of your hand...you'll never EVER ride gloveless again. Dealing with a badly scraped up hand for a couple weeks til it heals sucks, trust me, I found out the hard way,
    Are you a Doctor?
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grk224 View Post
    I would be interested in cork but assumed they would be slippery.. not the case?

    I have torn up my hands pretty good many times over the years; scar tissue doesnt tan but it is tougher the next time you go down!

    I am noticing a strong "your either an idiot or very new to the game" attitude for preferring bare hands.

    Cant guarantee I am not an idiot...

    I had the North Shores a few years ago and really liked them. I was just trying to explore other brands besides Lizard Skin but I have really been impressed with them over the years.
    As I said in one of my posts I rode dirt bikes (motorcycles) for a number of years without gloves. In those day's I found OUREY made the best grip. They have a very pliable and sticky rubber compound. I am not sure if they make MTB grips or if they are even still around. But it's worth checking out.
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  22. #22
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    I also prefer to ride sans gloves whenever possible and I have had good luck w/ ESI silicone grips. To quote Zapata Espinoza (not something I do regularly) - "dress to ride, not to crash".

  23. #23
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    +1 on esi chunkys.

    One of the lightest grips on the planet, and waaaay more comfortable than foam.

    Theyre really good, especially gloveless!

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ricko View Post
    All I can say is that if you've ever wiped out while riding gloveless and tore up the palm of your hand...you'll never EVER ride gloveless again. Dealing with a badly scraped up hand for a couple weeks til it heals sucks, trust me, I found out the hard way,
    I've done this.

    I had to go back to the campus clinic on a couple of successive days to get all the grit out. There's actually a little still in there. Even with cool local anesthetic paste all over the wound, it still hurt like crazy.

    I figure if I wear a helmet for a high-consequence but relatively unlikely possibility, I'm going to wear gloves for something that's a lot more likely, even if it's not nearly as bad.
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ricko View Post
    All I can say is that if you've ever wiped out while riding gloveless and tore up the palm of your hand...you'll never EVER ride gloveless again. Dealing with a badly scraped up hand for a couple weeks til it heals sucks, trust me, I found out the hard way,
    I never shredded my hand riding gloveless when I first started out. One day my friend behind me was crossing a small stream and I hear a loud SMACK! I look back and he had blood all over his palm with some nice exposed flesh. I never rode gloveless again. Better him than me! I have full and fingerless and I wear them on how I'm feelig that day.

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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grk224 View Post
    I would be interested in cork but assumed they would be slippery.. not the case?

    I have torn up my hands pretty good many times over the years; scar tissue doesnt tan but it is tougher the next time you go down!

    I am noticing a strong "your either an idiot or very new to the game" attitude for preferring bare hands.

    Cant guarantee I am not an idiot...

    I had the North Shores a few years ago and really liked them. I was just trying to explore other brands besides Lizard Skin but I have really been impressed with them over the years.
    This attitude reminds me of the guy who, last year told me "I don't need a helmet, I've got a bone helmet! (knocks on head) it's worked fine for all my crashing so far!"

    If you insist... ESI grips seem to be a good gloveless choice. They also happen to be the lightest grips around. Good luck!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Iridethedirt View Post
    This attitude reminds me of the guy who, last year told me "I don't need a helmet, I've got a bone helmet! (knocks on head) it's worked fine for all my crashing so far!"

    If you insist... ESI grips seem to be a good gloveless choice. They also happen to be the lightest grips around. Good luck!
    Big difference between a helmet and gloves.. People have been riding without gloves for years and years - people who ride without helmets probably don't last very long .

    I am not some cavalier no gloves or die loony.. If I was on some technical, sharp rocky surfaces like in other parts of the country, I might equip myself appropriately - But for the bike I need new grips for and the type of riding I plan on doing with it, I prefer to optimize for bare hands if possible.

    Are ESI online only? I dont think I've ever seen them in the shops...

  28. #28
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    Esi

    Suprised only one person so far has mentioned ESI. Light, comfy, cheap, don't slip.

    On the other hand. As many have mentioned. Gloves help dampen trail discomforts. More importantly, they protect your hands when you crash.

    Would you rather have a motorcycle accident on asphalt with full leathers on, or shorts?

  29. #29
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    Dimension Cork MTB grips. Glue 'em on, they last me a good year. I find the Oury's blocky texture uncomfortable and the ESI's are not firm enough for me.
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  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by bsieb View Post
    Dimension Cork MTB grips. Glue 'em on, they last me a good year. I find the Oury's blocky texture uncomfortable and the ESI's are not firm enough for me.
    They look a little slippery? for $6 bucks I might order a pair for the hell of it.. Thats my concern with ESI's as well - that the silicone will be too squishy, but it seems like it is almost a "non-slip" type coating? Is that true?


    "Would you rather have a motorcycle accident on asphalt with full leathers on, or shorts?"

    Umm, neither?

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grk224 View Post
    They look a little slippery? for $6 bucks I might order a pair for the hell of it.. Thats my concern with ESI's as well - that the silicone will be too squishy, but it seems like it is almost a "non-slip" type coating? Is that true?


    "Would you rather have a motorcycle accident on asphalt with full leathers on, or shorts?"

    Umm, neither?
    The ESI grips are really grippy but I can feel the bar through them at times. This is what I run...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Foam grips the best option for bare handed rider?-grip.jpg  

    Last edited by bsieb; 04-04-2012 at 08:36 AM.
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    from years of bmx experience with no gloves myself and several of my friends all agree:
    ODI Longnecks. still can get slippery, but they're the best grips we've come across.
    bmx grips are nice anyways, as they're longer than typical mtb grips, allowing you to choose how much grip area you wish to have. I like a whole bunch of grip area, so I leave mine full length. flanges on or off depending on how I feel.Longneck ST BMX Grips

  33. #33
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    I gotta go with the same as above on riding gloveless, I have very thick calloused hands from a lifetime of labor oriented jobs and lemme tell ya, I dont like picking rocks out of my hands.
    To me wearing gloves is like any safety gear, I almost feel naked without em.

  34. #34
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    I ride bareback with ODI Rouges and ESI Chunky's, both are great and neither slip when wet.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grk224 View Post
    Just never been a fan of gloves and I've bought some nice ones.

    That's why I am wondering if anyone knows of any "bare-hand" specific tread patterns.

    I really liked my Lizard Skin Moab's but they are getting pretty bare and overly smooth; I did find them a little thick though so i might go with something thinner.. Maybe personal preference is the only criteria that matters in this department?

    I can't be the only person who prefers gloveless? I know they look super - cool but come on, you'll get a tan line!!
    I ride gloveless. I have odi longnecks with flanges on all my bikes except my cyclocross bike. I ride that one gloveless too!

  36. #36
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    For those of ya'll who believe "gloves" take away the feel, consider kangaroo skin palms, half the thickness of cow hide and gives you an almost naked feel, not sure if they make em for cycle gloves but I have a set for the Motorbike and WOO WEEE they are like paper.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blurr View Post
    For those of ya'll who believe "gloves" take away the feel, consider kangaroo skin palms, half the thickness of cow hide and gives you an almost naked feel, not sure if they make em for cycle gloves but I have a set for the Motorbike and WOO WEEE they are like paper.

    HIRZL - BIKE Home

    You had me at kangaroo skin Anyone ever tried the above? Doesnt look they have a US based store for Bike products yet.

  38. #38
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    I've had some of the worst palm rash crashing in some really tame stuff but that was back in the 80's when I also rode without a helmet. Only took a few crashes to realize gloves are a decent idea. Now I would feel wrong if I rode without gloves or a helmet. I use fingerless gloves, can't remember a time when it was more than palms that got trashed.
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  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blurr View Post
    For those of ya'll who believe "gloves" take away the feel, consider kangaroo skin palms, half the thickness of cow hide and gives you an almost naked feel, not sure if they make em for cycle gloves but I have a set for the Motorbike and WOO WEEE they are like paper.
    Soggy leather is a turn off but thin is good. A simple thin synthetic glove devoid of velcro, elastic, and plastic sh*t stitched all over it in sizes to fit a full fisted man's hand would be cool. Unlikely in this age of namby pamby city slicker fashion designer gear boi cr*p made by sunglasses companies.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bsieb View Post
    Soggy leather is a turn off but thin is good. A simple thin synthetic glove devoid of velcro, elastic, and plastic sh*t stitched all over it in sizes to fit a full fisted man's hand would be cool. Unlikely in this age of namby pamby city slicker fashion designer gear boi cr*p made by sunglasses companies.
    You should check out the Hirzl link I posted above; they really look sharp.. No frills, just black and white. $50 bucks seems like a lot though..

    I hate flashy equipment myself. It either says 'Look at me, Look at Me!" or "Steal Me, Steal Me!" depending on the neighborhood your rollin in.

  41. #41
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    Regardless of my opinion about riding gloveless, I second looking into BMX grips. The Animal Edwin grips are so damn comfy it should be illegal. I ride my BMX gloveless for now and those are the grips I have on my bars.
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  42. #42
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    So here is a link to OUREY the ones I talked about earlier. Very playable sticky rubber compound. I used them in MX gloveless for many years. And they make mtb grips as well. Check it out here ...Oury Grip USA, Inc
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  43. #43
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    Since the niche for bashing barehanded is already pretty full, let me go back to the OP and bash Ergon grips. In my experience (Ergon GS2c), the wing interferes with a good grip whenever you leave the comfy top-of-the-bars cruising position, which is to say a lot of the time when on dirt. Behind the bars, front end extended kind of body position and the wing is between you and your grips. Didn't care for it.

    Favorite glove: Fox 360 - thin palm, very lightweight/airy top, full finger. Used to wear Fox Pawtectors (favorite glove from MX) but the thicker palm and rubber armor on top was overkill.

    Edit: for barehand grip feedback, try the DH/FR forum.
    Last edited by Snfoilhat; 04-03-2012 at 03:42 PM. Reason: inspired to helpfulness

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grk224 View Post
    Big difference between a helmet and gloves.. People have been riding without gloves for years and years - people who ride without helmets probably don't last very long .

    I am not some cavalier no gloves or die loony.. If I was on some technical, sharp rocky surfaces like in other parts of the country, I might equip myself appropriately - But for the bike I need new grips for and the type of riding I plan on doing with it, I prefer to optimize for bare hands if possible.

    Are ESI online only? I dont think I've ever seen them in the shops...

    My LBS Carries the ESI grips. Someone in this thread mentioned "feeling the bars through them". I've heard this from others who've run them as well. The ESI long rocks are also a good pick.

    You are very right, helmet and gloves are different... And sans gloves is certainly less unwise than sans helmet... However, crashing and being fine except for a wound bad enough to make gripping the bars so painful you can't ride for a week or so is the difference in wearing gloves or not. It's certainly a preference several others like yourself have expressed... But I will always urge the use of gloves and a helmet as minimal safety gear.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE, View Post
    Are you a Doctor?
    I don't need to be a doctor or even play one on MTBR to know that scraping up your hands is NO FUN. A one time crash experience is all the education I needed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Iridethedirt View Post
    However, crashing and being fine except for a wound bad enough to make gripping the bars so painful you can't ride for a week or so is the difference in wearing gloves or not. It's certainly a preference several others like yourself have expressed... But I will always urge the use of gloves and a helmet as minimal safety gear.
    I'll drink to that!

    Now that I've seen these Hirzl Kangaroo skin gloves, I may have to look into a pair




  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snfoilhat View Post
    Since the niche for bashing barehanded is already pretty full, let me go back to the OP and bash Ergon grips. In my experience (Ergon GS2c), the wing interferes with a good grip whenever you leave the comfy top-of-the-bars cruising position, which is to say a lot of the time when on dirt. Behind the bars, front end extended kind of body position and the wing is between you and your grips. Didn't care for it.

    Favorite glove: Fox 360 - thin palm, very lightweight/airy top, full finger. Used to wear Fox Pawtectors (favorite glove from MX) but the thicker palm and rubber armor on top was overkill.

    Edit: for barehand grip feedback, try the DH/FR forum.
    Those ergon grips are just plain dumb unless you're rolling on a bike path on a hybrid lol. Nobody serious about riding mountain bikes would use those dumb things.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ilikebmx999 View Post
    Those ergon grips are just plain dumb unless you're rolling on a bike path on a hybrid lol. Nobody serious about riding mountain bikes would use those dumb things.
    Have a buddy that swears by them, if you happen to be at the Leadville 100 this year you can tell him hes not serious, maybe you can catch him when he pits or somethingg

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ilikebmx999 View Post
    Those ergon grips are just plain dumb unless you're rolling on a bike path on a hybrid lol. Nobody serious about riding mountain bikes would use those dumb things.


    Puhleez. Consider this an invitation to come ride and tell me I'm not serious, don't forget to bring your oxygen tank.
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