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As a member of the 2011 Ergon Commuter Team, I am in a somewhat unique position to be able to test some of Ergon’s products in real-world bike commuting conditions. As you may recall, we have reviewed some of Ergon’s products before, and I’ve been a user of their GP1 grips since the birth of my Xtracycle a couple years ago.

The first product I got my hands on was the GP1 “BioKork” grip set, part of Ergon’s Performance Comfort Series of grips:

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From Ergon USA’s site:

The GP1 BioKork uses 40% cork, sourced from sustainable forests in Portugal which is certified for its ecologically sound production. This ecological theme is continued throughout the rest of the grip.

The inner core is plastic reinforced using natural fibre, which make up 40% of its mass. In place of mineral oil, the gel in the palm section of the grip is vegetable oil based.

The clamp can also be 100% recycled. It is all a result of Ergon’s “GreenLab” initiative.

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The barend plugs are natural-fiber reinforced plastic, too. Nice! Even better, the folks at Ergon have listened to the complaints about their packaging — what used to be an abomination of unrecycleable plastic display packaging is now made from recycled/recycleable cardboard. Bravo, Ergon…that GreenLab initiative is good stuff!

Time to replace my weatherbeaten old GP1s…they served me well, but they were way past their prime. 2+ years in the Florida elements ate them alive:

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Installation is a breeze. The GP1s slip right on and are held in place by a simple aluminum clamp torqued to a max of 5nm. They don’t slip or throttle once the clamps are snugged down, and no additional glue or lube is needed to get them on/keep them on.

The new grips feel the same — same size and shape as the old GP1s, and are supremely comfortable. This is purely a perception, but the cork material “feels” a bit warmer than the old grips. Perhaps that is because it has been cold and rainy in my new home of Dayton, Ohio. Got to say also that the new BioKork grips add a certain elegance to my otherwise mongrel of an Xtra:

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The GP1 grips come in both small and large sizes. I have giant hands and really long fingers, so the large size suits me better. Oh, did I mention how comfortable ergonomic grips are? If you play with the angle until they feel right, they are pretty amazing. Chalk up another win for Ergon!

To check out more of Ergon’s product offerings, take a swing over to their website. And, stay tuned for more product sneak peaks and reviews in the coming months.

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