The popularity of bar ends diminished as riser bars became
all the rage among trail riders. We slipped on a pair of 10-year-old bar ends recently, and it turns out that we miss them. We
posted our thoughts on Facebook and found that a lot of riders share the same sentiment. By far the most popular
response was from riders using the Ergon GS2 grip/bar end
combo, so we got our hands on the $99.95 Ergon GS2 Team
Ergon’s GS2 TSC grip uses a weight-reducing DirectControl Leichtbau rubber combined with a cushioned shape. The grip has three distinct areas with different
compounds and textures. The carbon model adds an independently adjustable “three-finger” bar end made from 100 percent carbon. Our grip/bar end combo weighed 3.7 ounces per
side, including all hardware. That’s a little less than Ergon’s
Field test results:
Ergon warns that the GS2 TSC is not
suitable for use on carbon fiber handlebars. They have to say
that because there is no way they can test every carbon handlebar. We called Pivot and asked if bar ends could be used on
their carbon bars. The answer was yes, but this answer does
not apply to all handlebars. You should contact the bar’s
maker before using the GS2 TSC or stick with aluminum bars.
The grips mount easily, the bar ends are adjustable to your
preference, and Ergon even stamps the part with their recommended torque setting. The only negative is that the combo
adds clutter to an already busy handlebar if you are using
remote levers for things like dropper seatposts or suspension.
The same design feature treasured by long-distance crewers (a wide grip shelf that can relieve pressure on the palm)
is a sticking point for the crewers looking for the control
that a round grip offers. There is just no way these two
extremes will find a compromise in one grip design, so
think of the GS2 TSC as a product for long-distance riders
or riders who suffer from hand numbness.
With that clarification, how does the GS2 TSC work for
the right rider? Let’s just say he will never switch back.
The GS2 TSC’s grip alone gives the rider a plethora of
hand positions. This is the best-known trick of long-distance riding: change your hand position from time to time.
The GS2 TSC offers plenty of options. Add the minute carbon bar ends and you’ve increased possible hand positions
We found that the bar ends do more than add hand posi-
tions, though. During hard efforts, like out-of-the-saddle
climbs or time-trialing down a section of dirt road, the
outer hand position seems to add horsepower to your legs.
Somehow, pulling on the bar ends seems to make your
arms an extension of your legs. It sounds far-fetched—until
you try it.
The GS2 TSC is not for every rider, but it could be a life-
saver for those with hand-numbness issues. If you like long
rides, or just want to experience bar ends, try these. If the
price scares you, the GS2 grip/bar ends may not be made
from carbon fiber, but they are only $59.95 a set, and the
weight difference is minimal (3.9 versus 3.7 ounces).