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  1. #1
    AKA Pat McGroin
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    RIGID riders: What bars, grips for comfort? Hands are getting beat up!

    So, I did a longish 35 mi. ride on my rigid ss yesterday and the heel of my hand is pretty tender! Been happy with Ergon marathon grips with short bar ends, forget their model number, but they have minimal padding just hard rubber and rely on the shape to dissipate the shock. The area trails have some decent root sections which are a blast to attack and carry speed through, and there are some small stream beds that you slam down into and immediately hit the bank on the other side. These also have a high rock content, so the hard hits are getting to my hands.
    What's a really compliant bar and or grip? I already have a carbon fork on the front, just want to avoid putting a lock out fork on the bike and add weight. Also prefer the sharp steering I get with the rigid.
    Help!

  2. #2
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    Oury for life.

  3. #3
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    I like Ourys too. Have them on my FS, but I'm running Renthal Kevlar grips on a Atomlab Pimplite high rise bar on the El Mar SS. I do switch back and forth between rigid and suspension. I put way more miles on the ss, too. The Renthals take a little time to break in, but after are softer and grippier.

  4. #4
    Birdman aka JMJ
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    Oury grips all around, with 26" low rise carbon bars (Easton or Forte, 25.4mm clamp diameter). I have a ti fork on my rigid SS, so that helps too.

    JMJ
    Last edited by Birdman; 2 Weeks Ago at 07:10 AM.

  5. #5
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    Specialized Contour Locking grips. They have a two part rubber. The area where the heel of your hand is is very soft. I also like that they are wider and you can rest your hands wide open.

    I tried the Ergon grips and these are much softer. You can't lose for $20 set either.
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  6. #6
    WillWorkForTrail
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    I run the large Ergon grips on a Giant carbon bar I picked up on closeout. Ultimately, even that with a decent steel fork wasn't enough to keep the age and milage on my elbows from pushing me into a suspension fork, but the Ergon grip/carbon bar combination worked really well for me in terms of my hands. Their large grips fit my hands well, I can relax when I'm hold on them without them rattling around in my hand and beating my hands up for no good reason.

  7. #7
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    ODI Rogue grips on everything.

    Bars vary but all still aluminum. I've found that it isn't the type of bar, but rather the width of the bar and length of the stem to get my wrists in the right angle/position. That said, a good carbon bar should hopefully give some vibration dampening and larger grips should help to relieve any death grip. I found that my problem was hand/wrist position and a vice grip when using smaller grips. I have not liked Ergons, just couldn't get used to the size of the grip.

    Also, Togs could help to relieve some hand issues as another alternative.
    I don't know why,... it's just MUSS easier to pedal than the other ones.

  8. #8
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    Bigger tyres, lower psi solves a lot of those issues.
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  9. #9
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    28" Ti Luv Handle bar, ESI Chunky Grips and a 2.5" WTB Breakout tire up front at ~19 psi do the trick.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken C View Post
    28" Ti Luv Handle bar, ESI Chunky Grips and a 2.5" WTB Breakout tire up front at ~19 psi do the trick.
    What he said.

    I have been riding rigid ss for 10 years and nothing beats a quality titanium bar with ESI chunky grips. Black sheep and Seven cycles handlebars have been the most flexy and best for me at absorbing the hits for my 45 year old wrists and palms. But, I also would recommend Jones or the Groovy cycles Ti luv handles.

    Thomson and Salsa Ti bars are stiff and don't provide enough sweep for my liking for single speed duty. Try riding a friend's bike who has one of the above bars and or grips or after a group ride and get a feel for what you may like.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mariop View Post
    What he said.

    Try riding a friend's bike who has one of the above bars and or grips or after a group ride and get a feel for what you may like.
    Yeah, because that's an easy one to find. Everyone is riding Ti bars, much less Jones or Groovy.

    Btw, round grips will never offer the support of a contoured grip. If the OP has hand discomfort/pain, he needs something other than round grips that tend to be narrow in diameter.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zerort View Post
    ...he needs something other than round grips that tend to be narrow in diameter.
    Ourys are anything but narrow.

  13. #13
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    IMHOMO, it's a lot more than just grips and bars.

    Rigid (most of the time) since 2004. Long rides (think 24 hour solo racing, multi-day stage races, hundies, etc).

    My thought out opinion on the things that make riding rigid tolerable or at least less painful.

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    Also a fan of TOGS now.

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    And for what it's worth, I recently sold the sweet Step Cast 100mm fork I bought last year. I had intended to use it when I felt like speed mattered or I wanted a break from the rigid (and when not wanting to ride my 120mm travel SS which is built up for Pisgah). I just prefer the rigid too much for pretty much the same reason you stated.
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  14. #14
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    I'll second ourys.....i have tendanitus and arthritis in both my hands. I have tried every one of ergons models over the past 2 years and the ourys are by far the softest and most comfortable grip.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by teamdicky View Post
    IMHOMO, it's a lot more than just grips and bars...
    As an erstwhile 24 hour racer I agree with teamdicky. It's well worth reading his links there.

    As teamdicky says, the important thing is riding position, and mine is set up for taking impacts primarily through my feet. That's a more vertical position than the ideal mtb xc racer - but those guys are athletes, as fit as any olympian so their bodies and reactions are way better for the job than the average mtb rider.

    But it's also a good idea to reduce the impact at source, hence my earlier recommendation for bigger tyres and lower pressures.

    For my hands I've found that a substantial sweep back on the bars is a big help, but what suits one may not another. For me it's a nearly parallel hand position so I can ride with "loose" hands. That can be achieved with either a big sweepback, drop bars, or bar ends. It's worth a try but bear in mind the handlebar to stem relationship so you may need a longer/shorter stem depending on your handlebar.

    I'm not really convinced by gel on the bars. It certainly is more comfortable initially, but I am suspicious of it after using a gel saddle - initial comfort, but it seems to spread the pain universally over all surfaces, whereas with a hard saddle you can always shift slightly and get relief. For example I can ride my 1960s road bike long distances without discomfort despite its bars being taped with thin cotton tape and there's no padding whatsover.

    If you have everything right and still getting pain in your hands/wrists, then maybe it isn't the actual impacts, but high frequency vibration of the bars.

    Back when I used to ride vibrating British motorbikes, the oldtimer recommendation of a small bit of lead weight at the end of the bars did a lot to reduce or damp high frequency vibrations. It won't appeal to weight weenies, but it may be worth a try as a last resort.
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  16. #16
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    a plus sized tire will make more difference than anything and you get the bonus of way more cornering confidence; it is not light but neither is a suspension fork.

  17. #17
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    Ginger or Mary Ann?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Blue Sky View Post
    [...] the heel of my hand is pretty tender! Been happy with Ergon marathon grips with short bar ends, forget their model number, but they have minimal padding just hard rubber and rely on the shape to dissipate the shock.
    So is the basic dilemma this:

    Choice 1: Go with an ergo grip design for more palm support (spreads load), but it requires a lock-on design, which means less diameter being utilized for "give" plus grips must be made of a firmer material to maintain its shape.

    Choice 2: A cushy slip-on like Oury or ESI with max diameter (but w/o causing muscle fatigue on longer rides). Downside: they're still round (although some/all ESIs are actually oval...).

    Two ideas: PadLoc grips would seem to address your tender heels. How about Ergo grips + gloves with more palm padding? A cushy ergo doesn't seem possible, but you *can* get more padded gloves.

    Me? I always come back to ESI on a rigid SS. Sooo comfy, plus the roundish bolt-free shape has benefits: my hand grip is not constricted when standing up over the bars (hands rotate freely with body), and better when moving my hands slightly inboard (whether thumb under or over bar). I won't even use TOGS b/c I find them constrictive (and don't find they help much, anyway).

    Bar? Carbon, uncut, non-DH, dialed sweep.
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  18. #18
    jl
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  19. #19
    no batteries required
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    Ti bars and ESI grips.
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  20. #20
    One Gear
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    I've always rode on Oury grips. 2 years ago my hands were sore after a ride. Traded out my soft leather palm gloves for a pair with padding. Made a big difference. Almost put a shock on before the gloves.

    Good luck

  21. #21
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    Race Face Next Carbon bar and ESI Chunkys.

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