November 04, 2015

ESI Grips Long Term Review - 4 Years of Use

ESI chunky grips

ESI has been one of our team's long time sponsors.  All of our team riders use their grips, and for good reason.  ESI uses surgical grade silicon to make the most comfy grips.  They provide vibration dampening, creating less hand fatigue and allowing you to get a more secure grip on the handlebar.  All this gives you more control, making you ride better.

Unlike other grips I've used, the ESI grips don't rotate on the bars, don't give your fingers some weird colors and are grippy in either dry or wet conditions.

As recommended by ESI, if you want to get the best durability out of your grips, get a good bar-end plug.  The grips are so soft and comfortable, they can tear on the end if you crash and lay the bike down.  The Hope bar plug has worked really well:

The downside with the Hope bar plugs is that, while they work really well, they do weigh more.  If you're being tight on weight, the plastic ones that come stock with the ESI grips work well too but can pop out pretty easy and don't offer as much protection.

All that being said I've have ridden for years with grips that have been partially torn without them getting any worse. An easy fix if you do tear the end of the grip is to use a razor blade to cut off the end with the tear.

Good news is even after your grips are worn out/ have a tear and you want to replace them they can be re-purposed. I have used mine as a bumper under the legs of my trainer to keep it in place on the floor.

I've also used tape or zip ties to attach the old grips to the center part of the handlebar for a comfy place to rest my forarms/ elbows or getting in a TT position on road sections. I know several pros who do this, especially for 100 mile NUE races that often have road sections where aerodynamics are key.

I used these grips for over 2 year before cutting them off my handlebar with a box cutter and re-purposing them as tt pads. They are still soft and still getting use 4 years later.

Here are the options...
I've not tried this type yet, but from what I hear amongst friends, they are extremely comfortable.

The yellow grips pictured above -- this is my favorite style.  They fit my hands really well

The green grips that I re-purposed and have gotten 4 years of use out of them

I have used the Racer's Edge (the thinnest version) and the Chunky but haven't had the opportunity to use the Extra Chunky yet. I like big soft grips so Extra Chunky is what I will buy next time I need some ESI grips.

Frankly, I don't like riding a bike that doesn't have ESI grips on them.  Other style grips tear up my hands, or rotate on the bar when they get wet, or have lock-rings that feel odd under my thin gloves.
Color options for Racers Edge and Chunky. The Extra Chunky is only available in black.
Chunky grip set weighs 45 grams

- Mike

May 18, 2015

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