As one of, if not the biggest player in endurance mountain biking grips, Ergon hasn’t quite had the same success in the “technical” department. Sure, they have offered their GA1 (now the GA1 Evo), but that grip has failed to find the cult like acceptance of the GP series. The GE1 looks to change that. Working closely with 3 time downhill World Champion and Enduro star Fabian Barel, Ergon has created a new grip that feels like it could be a winner.
The GE1 is another product that is specifically designed for Enduro – what does that mean? Find the answer to that plus new saddles, and road seatposts after the break.
When Ergon thinks of enduro, they see wide handlebars that riders grip at the very end while keeping elbows out and bent while descending. Really this applies to aggressive mountain biking in general, but does ring true with the enduro race scene. One of the areas the GA1 lost points with aggressive riders (including yours truly) was that the fairly large clamp was situated at the end of the grip. On the new GE1, the new forged and CNCed aluminum clamp has been moved to the inside of the grip and the entire structure has been revised to fit the angle of your arms in attack position. Due to this design the grips are directional and right and left specific. The Ergon grip line receives new German rubber compounds to be softer which you can really feel. The GE1 is a dual compound grip, that uses strategically placed cutouts in the inner plastic clamping sleeve for an impressively soft lock on grip.
The GE1 will be offered in Black/grey, Grey/white, Red, and blue and will sit alongside the GA1 Evo in the Technical grip category. We’re excited for this one.
What good are new Enduro grips if you don’t have an Enduro saddle to match? Again, what makes an Enduro saddle? Well, it needs to accommodate rapid position changes and varying seat heights due to dropper posts – all while not catching on your baggy Enduro shorts. They haven’t gone to Enduro skinsuits yet, have they?
So the new SME3 is shorter, wider, and offers more padding than a typical mountain bike saddle and is fairly flat which is good for sliding off the back. The SME is also available in the SME Pro and SME Pro Carbon with CroMo, TiNox, and carbon rails respectively (260g, 225g, and 190g). Each saddle will be offered in two widths and will retail for $89-200.
If you’re gonna have an Enduro specific saddle, a Cyclocross specific saddle shouldn’t be far behind, which is exactly what you find in the new SRX3. This time Ergon drew on the experience of Wolfram Kurschat, a professional cyclocross and mountain bike racer, to create a flatter saddle that you would find on a road bike again for ease of movement. There is a slight kick at the back of the saddle to push against when going hard, but softer edges and more padding make mounts and dismounts comfortable as they can be. Again offered in three models, the SRX3, SRX3 Pro, and SRX3 Pro Carbon with the same rails as the Enduro saddles which come in at 260g, 225g, and 195g. The SRX is only offered in one width, and will retail for $89-200.
When Ergon introduced the CF3 Pro Carbon seatpost last year, it gained a lot of press due to its leaf spring suspension design. Sale of the seatpost had been delayed due to safety testing, the but post is cleared for take off and should be available in a week or two. The post uses essentially two flat carbon fiber springs that work in opposition when you hit a large enough bump. This post is designed for the road, so while it may look like the perfect post for your hard tail mountain bike, you’ve been warned.
New for this year for both sides of the pond, is the CF3 Pro Carbon Setback post which is a 25 or 13mm setback version of the original. The set back can be changed by flipping the clamp head, or you can purchase an adapter head for use with oval carbon rails. Both posts also have a new emery material on the sides of the post around the split to keep it from slipping in your seat tube. Both models will retail for $299.
Apparently for 2014, there is a new UCI rule for Enduro that every athlete must have some type of spine protection. That was apparently a bit of a mix up. There are races in Europe that require back protection, and the Ergon 2014 catalog states that it is “TüV/GS tested and certified for UCI Enduro Races,” but there is apparently no upcoming UCI rules about back protection. Sorry for the confusion. So, to give riders equipment that will comply with the regulation the BA3 EVO pack has been updated to include a compartment for a back protector, while keeping all of the previous features including the hydration pack slot. Just what back protector? Why the new BP100 of course. Designed to fit into the BA3 series packs, the UCI certified spine protection weighs only 144g and slips easily into the pack.
Other news for Ergon packs is that for 2014 all packs will be offered with or without an Ergon BH300 3 liter hydration bladder made by Hydrapak.
In addition to a number of design updates and new grips, the GS1 will now be offered in a twist shifter size. Offered in dual or single twist shift packages, the GS1 Twist grips will include an extra grip ring to dial in your grip width.