12 hour race -grips for Hardtail

Hey guys,

Race isn’t until next May but I need grips now. The last event I did was 7 hours and it took months for my wrists to heal( technical course). I’m on a salsa Timberjack. Curious what grips you guys like for dampening and support. I mentioned the hardtail because I figured it would be more important given the technical nature of the course. I was looking at the Ergon grips with the tiny wing but want to make sure I have some dampening too.

Curious what you hardtail guys have found that helps

I use ESI’s on pretty much all my bikes. I’ve found that carbon bars make a way bigger difference on the general abuse on my hands take.

It has been a while since I have used ergon grips, but they were nice for longer events.

I should say, right now I am running Wolftooth Karv grips, not ESI, basically the same thing. I need the smaller diameter grips however, I have small hands…


I used ergon with the wing flares on the end in the past, thought it was good for my hands but then realized it kind of hammers on the palm and prevents holding the bar properly. Myself and several friends use ESI grips, they’re pretty common now, many people use them. I’m using the extra chunky 32mm diameter currently but that’s personal preference, I think the 32mm is a bit big on diameter sacrificing control a little bit. But I don’t do long events, the large diameter is probably good for long events, they do feel comfy.


I’d try larger grips and playing with your wrist angle. There’s those SQLab inner bar ends, bar ends in generals, or Togs if it’s a flatter course.


I’ll have to check out those ESI grips. The carbon bar is something I’ve never thought about honestly. Not sure it will happen between now and then but a great option.

Those inner bar ends looking
Pretty cool. This trail system might be a little sketchy with those. Having my hands anywhere else but near the brakes might not be ideal for this course

I used to use ESIs but they are really slippy in the mud (UK). I now use a OneUp bar and the OneUp lock on grips and they were absolutely fine for a 24hour Everesting I did a few weeks ago.

So I cruise over to OneUps page and see they have a handlebar,stem bundle that includes grips…

I guess that escalated quickly

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Sorry dude…!

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ESI XC (extra chunky). I’ve used them for 5 years on my MTB. They’ve been great on MTB races (100+ miles) 8-11 hours.


Revgrips? I’d love to try them, pretty spendy though.

I use ODI Rogues. They are spongy soft and have a big diameter, which provides a large surface area for different hand positions (hands flat on bars and hands on side of bars i.e. same position as if you had bar ends.)

They are smooth, not a rough grippy texture, which prevents skin abrasion, but gloves are a must because they are too slippery with bare hands and sweat.

I’ll check out the rogues. I have the ruffian currently and would like something bigger. I get carpal-Ly sometimes. They look like they are a bit wider which is nice

+1 for the ESI chunky foam grips. Super comfortable!

I have used the Ruffians as well. Too rough (rough like sandpaper) for me and the skin on my palms would get tender.

When switching between Rogues and Ruffians (small to big diameter), I feel like I can notice the change in effective height of the handlebar. I suppose you could remove a headset spacer, though I just got used to it.

Since you already have the Ruffians, you can buy the grips only and re-use the lock rings to save a little money.

I would definitely make sure the bike fit is spot on and try some different bars. Bars vary by rise and sweep which affects the angles your wrists are at. Also, make sure you dial in the angle of your brake levers which can also affect wrist stress.

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Good point. I’m planning on doing a fit with myvelofit since I already have a subscription. Not sure it will advise on the specifics of the handlebar but I’ll see what it does. I don’t have a ton of experience with manipulating the handlebars on mtb. They have been set that way since I bought the bike.

ESI only made it two rides for me. I hated them to the point I cut them off and went back to a proper patterned rubber grip. I felt like they were really slippery whether in two different pairs of gloves or bare handed. They seemed downright dangerous to ride on. Happily back to the Pivot padlock grips.

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