Words by: Reamonn Ryan
I’ve said it in multiple articles but Grips are one of the most important parts of your bike. Aside from your pedals, the grips are your main contact point with your bike and essentially are your main point of control over the bike. Choosing a grip that fits your preferences and riding style is important for riders looking to expand their skills and performance. Riding a grip that doesn’t fit you can often hold you back. Ergon and PNW have been in the grip game for a good while now and looking at our sales, they seem to be a popular choice among our customers so let’s dig into what makes these companies so popular among the MTB community.
Ergon has been making grips for years and we have seen them on a handful of different bikes and even on top of EWS podiums. With their extensive engineering and dedication to creating the most top performing grips, it makes sense that the GE1 would be a top choice for so many of our customers.
The GE1 features a classic MTB design in my opinion when you look at the overall tread design. They feature a very shallow tread depth which helps the grips longevity. The overall construction of the grip is very unique to most other grips on the market though. The GE1 has a tapered outer diameter that helps put your arms and elbows in the proper rotation to increase your performance though corners.
There is no denying the fact that Ergon might come off as a little nerdy with their science, but in my eyes, that is a good thing. We need companies like Ergon helping to expand the efficiency of our bikes to help those riders looking to perform at their best.
PNW Released the Loam Grip and it instantly kicked off as a hot commodity. We couldn’t keep them in stock for weeks at a time because people wanted to try out this new grip from the young company. But why? PNW is known for producing quality Dropper Seatposts for a few years and hoping into the Grip game may have come as a surprise to some. I like to think that the classic concept of telling your friends about a product you are stoked on helped the Loam Grip blow up. Having ridden the Loam Grip for a few weeks, I can definitely see the hype around it.
The Loam Grip features a very comfortable design that reminds a lot of some of my favorite BMX grips from years ago. The deep tread design creates more cushion for you palm to help with those bigger hits and to help absorb more vibration coming from the bike as you ride over chattery stuff. Not to mention the extra grip you experience holding on to more material that can wrap around your fingers. Aside from the tread design, the slight flange towards the collar helps keep your palm exactly where you want it when things get a little wet or you crank a table a little too far.
My favorite feature with the Loam Grips would have to be the diameter of the grips. Much like the Ergon GE1 Grips discussed above, the Loam grips to feature a slightly narrower outer diameter as you move closer and closer to the collar. This helps keep your elbows up and helps with handling through corners. It also helps keep your body position in a good spot to power through rough section like rock gardens and big drops.
“This is a hard decision. Right now, I have been running the Ergon GE1 a lot more and that might be because of the availability given the current status of stock throughout the industry but I have grown very fond of the GE1 grips and am on my second set but I am a really big fan of the PNW Loam Grips and this might be because of my background in BMX and the years I spent on mushroom styled grips. I guess my conclusion would have to be circumstantial. If I were an avid racer or Strava Warrior, I would probably go with Ergon’s GE1 Grip but if I were spending most of my time just having fun, jibbing around. I would rather rock the PNW Loam Grips.” - Reamonn
This article was written / authored by Reamonn Ryan. Reamonn has worked in the bicycle industry for 6 years now and currently runs our Instagram account along with testing products, editing video content, and writing blogs like this one you just read. Reamonn was a die hard BMX kid for over 10 years and once he started at Worldwide Cyclery made the switch to mountain bikes where he can send stuff better than most guys at the shop. If you like any of our Instagram posts or have gotten any responses from your DM's it was most likely from Reamonn, so give him a thanks. As with all of our employees, Reamonn is a key part of making Worldwide Cyclery the "Best Damn Bike Shop in the World".