Update: Full review on the Ergon BC3 Cycling Pack | Click here
Ergon Bike Ergonomics sent a BC3 cycling backpack over for review this week. The BC3 is the largest out of the Ergon pack/hydration system lineup and it delivers a ton of storage space for the bike commuter on the go or weekend warrior ready to hit that epic trail ride.
A cycling backpack built to take the punishment of a TransAlp race or your day to day commute. Double the capacity of our BD2, the Flink® Link ball joint equipped BC3 features a lightweight frame and allows for natural freedom of movement for the upper body yet still provides optimal load distribution. The BC3 utilizes a high-tech, heavy-duty water proof material (water proofed on both sides), with water resistant zippers, a helmet holder, internal compartments to keep you organized and a sleeve for a hydration bladder. The BC3 can carry your gear on an overnight mountain bike trip or your office clothes and laptop on an everyday commute. Gender specific carrying systems available in two sizes
• Male / Female specific
• 25 liter
• 210 D Nylon
• Recommended up to 10 kg
A little bit more about the Backpack Motion System…
The central Flink® ball joint isolates the pack from movements of the shoulders. This creates massive freedom of movement for the upper body. The frame distributes the load over a large surface area placing the load’s centre of gravity at the waist, almost completely relieving the spine and the back muscles. Compared to a normal backpack any shoulder movements do not require your shoulder muscles to shift the entire weight of the pack. Ergon pack users experience 10 – 20% of the total load on their shoulders, perfectly balanced with even pressure distribution. This protects your back. This brilliant construction method is the reason for its comfort like no other. The backpack stays put in every situation. Undesired slipping is prevented. A huge advantage.
Optimized Ergonomics for every body size
Unbelievable but true. The fit of the majority of traditional small to medium backpacks is dictated by their capacity. Small packs are for smaller people. Large packs are for larger people. Additionally very few manufacturers account for the physical differences between men and women. The Ergon backpack geometry is developed to fit exactly to different body forms. Big and small, male and female. There are two different men’s carrying systems, and two different carrying systems for women. Each one has adjustable back length settings. It is a little thing, but you can feel the difference and it really works. Tall or short in the torso, broad shouldered or not – an Ergon backpack will fit perfectly. The prerequisite for optimum Ergonomics.
Initial Thoughts from 198
Ergon Bike Ergonomics is known throughout the cycling industry for producing products that are both functional and extremely comfortable. When I pulled the Ergon BC3 out of the box, my first thought was…wow…this is huge! This pack has a ton of storage capacity with multiple waterproof pockets. The overall constuction is high quality with an emphasis on detail. I am partial to black packs…so the overall look is pleasing to my eye.
I immediately changed the shoulder harness location to fit my 6’2″ height and tried the pack on. The overall feel of the BC3 cycling backpack reminds me a lot of my backpacking days. When you put the pack on, you feel like it is secure on your body and the weight is being transferred through your hips. This is the process that Ergon had in mind while designing their line of packs. With all of the harnessing, the pack actually stands up on its own as you can see in the pictures. I was concerned that weight was going to be an issue, but the pack (empty) does not feel heavy at all.
Some serious time in the mountains will tell if this pack can cut it…so stay tuned for more pictures and thrashing of this cycling backpack and hydration system from Ergon.
Short low quality video of the harness in motion…
Where can you buy a BC3?
For the absolute best price I could find on a BC3…click here.
Updated for 2009, Ergon’s GE1 offers enduro and downhill riders the advantages of an ergonomically designed grip which minimizes the effects of the pounding that your hands and forearms take in these disciplines. Featuring an updated slimmer aluminum clamp, the grip’s sculpted shape better distributes the load away from the nerves entering your hand. It may not look revolutionary, but the effect is noticeable. Available in two sizes, and three colors.
Chad’s Review of the Ergon GE1 Grips
Ergon GE-1 Grip, size Large
Each grip has a one pinch bolt clamp that slides on to the outside of the grip. Slide the grip/clamp assembly on to the bar, set the desired position and torque to 6 Nm.
Ergon did what their name implies when they designed the shape of the GE-1; the diameter mid-grip is slightly larger than the inner and outer diameters. Unlike the rest of the Ergon grip line, the GE-1’s do not have a support platform or built-in bar ends. Instead they have a unique flanged clamp shape as well as a raised lip on the inboard side of the grip. The clamp shape of the GE-1’s looks odd at first glance; it has a flange protruding from the clamp that rests against the outside of your pinkie finger. The surface of the grip consists of four different textures, stickiness and densities located in the necessary areas for optimal padding and grip. There is a defined spot intended for the outer portion of the palm so this should be considered when installing the grips.
I have large hands and prefer a larger diameter grip. The size large GE-1’s fit my hands well. The sculpted shape of the grip follows the contours of the center of your palm providing a noticeable improvement in feel and seems to spread the weight more evenly across the grip. A soft density rubber is used where the outside of the palm and bulk of the weight contact the grip. A tacky rubber that is slightly firmer than the palm area is used underneath the grip at the fingers. The rubber compound set up and texturized surface provide a solid grip and decent shock absorbing qualities.
Flanges on the clamp assembly that rest against the outside of the pinkie finger introduce a unique feel to the bike’s bars. Having these stops on the outside of the grip adds security to the feel of the bars in choppy terrain or even wet conditions. Additionally, Ergon molds flanges into the rubber of the upper side of the grip’s inboard edge. See pic. This flange forms a stop on the inboard side of the grip as well, adding to the secure feel.
Ergon GE1 Grip Durability
I have put about 6 months of use on two pair of G1-1’s. Neither pair shows significant wear on the surface of the rubber but one pair has given me problems in the clamp assembly area. I am pretty sure that the problem is my own fault but it does demonstrate the need to be very mindful when you are setting up the grip and tightening the clamp. The grips are essentially three parts: the grip, a ring and the clamp. The metal ring plays a role in the clamp and plastic grip-edge interface. It is important to make sure that this ring and the grip’s edge are properly situated and aligned when you tighten the clamp. Otherwise the grip will ever so slightly slip on the bar even though the collar is tight and does not move. I torqued the clamps on both sets of grips to 6Nm’s and the collars have not slipped.
Overall, I was pleased enough with my first set of GE-1’s on my Heckler that I bought another pair for my Bullit. The shape, feel and “stops” on the grip improved the feel of my cockpit. Ergon also makes a smaller diameter sized GE-1 for smaller hands. I recommend these grips due to the enhanced feel they provide but would like to again point out the need to properly set up the grip/metal ring/clamp interface when torquing the clamps to assure a secure installation. When installed correctly and torqued to at least 6Nm, the clamps do not slip and the grips remain firmly in place. I believe though that a clamp/grip interface that does not involve the added metal ring would be a welcome improvement to this design.
Price wise, these grips could be considered by many to be a bit expensive, especially since they do not have the support platform or built-in bar ends as do the other grips in the Ergon line. I share this belief but in light of the fact that they feel pretty darn good and seem like they will last a while, I’m pleased with my purchase.
Speaking of price, one can’t help but wonder if Ergon could slightly drop the price point on their grip line and be a bit less wasteful if they would reduce the amount of packaging material. The “point of purchase packaging” that Ergon uses is a little bit excessive in my opinion. They use an extravagant packaging system that displays one grip on a tube that protrudes from a plastic case that houses the installation paperwork. The plastic case/ tubular grip holder rig is even mounted with two metal screws to the cardboard component that holds the other grip and hardware. See pic. While it does look nice and gives the buyer a chance to feel the grip, it just seems wasteful to use all that material.
On a side note: I use grip-shift on my Bullit. Yeah, everyone has their opinions on Grip-shift and some hate it but I like it. Less crap to break and hit my knees on and it shifts damn fast. My only gripe with Grip-shift is the reduced width of the bolt-on grips designed to be used with Grip-shift. I have tried to use full sized bolt-on grips but they are a bit too long. I needed a bolt-on grip that was between the length of a full sized and a Grip-shift specific grip. Once I got my first pair of Ergons, it dawned on me that the single clamp design would allow me to cut the grip’s width at the non-clamp side to use with my Grip-shift set up. Finally that excess packaging Ergon uses made sense to me: it creates the perfect jig to hold the grip while I cut 1 ¼” off of grip on a band saw. The trimmed up GE-1’s work great with my Grip-shift set up. It gives you more grip than shift for a more secure feel. It is worth noting that modifying/trimming the grips most likely voids the warranty but I doubt anything will go wrong with these grips assuming the installation is done properly.
On Friday, I received my package from out west. The content of this large box contained everything needed to build the Ellsworth Evolve (Ellsworth’s 4″ full suspension 29er frame) for a long term review. To my surprise, I opened the box at T2 Bikes and inside was a bright pink Evolve! The bike looks great and I am more than happy to promote breast cancer awareness. You can instantly see the ribbon on the top tube that tells you that this color is special.
For those of you that don’t already know, here is the story.
Starting in 2007, Ellsworth started offering their entire line in a no-upcharge pink as a part of their Project Pink program. Through this program, Ellsworth donates $50.00 per pink frame purchase to breast and ovarian cancer research and clinical trials. Dave Wisenteiner’s, the Vice President of Ellsworth, has had is life drastically affected by these two cancers and he had this to say about Project Pink (taken from this MTBR.com article):
While Pink marketing projects seem to be everywhere right now, this one started for me five years ago as I watched my wife’s mom die over what was the worst year of our lives. She had ovarian cancer which is the deadliest of the women’s cancers because it is usually detected so late. This was followed with her ’Grandmothers death only six months later from the very same thing. In that same time period I had two very close friends somehow pull out of stage 3+ breast cancer, mostly thanks to clinical trials. The two things I wanted to accomplish with this project were to specifically fund research and clinical trials rather than awareness, and second, I wanted the contribution to be substantial. So many companies in the US have jumped on “cause marketing” and their contribution is almost an afterthought. We are a small company so our direct impact is small but the ripple effect is becoming huge.
The pink frame is beautiful and the ano is perfect. Once I built the complete bike up, I knew it was unlike any other bike I had ridden. This pink really set it off.
Pretty and Strong
As a part of the build package (listed below), there was a Chris King pink headset. Like Ellsworth, Chris King also donates a proportion of the proceeds from every pink headset or hub sale to breast cancer research. The special edition top cap reads “Pretty and Strong 2008″.
In 2004, Chris King Precision Components launched a limited edition series of pink headsets and hubs in an effort to raise awareness for breast cancer research and to raise funds for the local Susan G. Komen Foundation affiliate here in Portland. That first limited edition series of Pretty and Strong was a success and led to the return of the program in 2005 with an expanded line-up of products while still limited to just 4 months availability. Based on the success and positive feedback we received, we are pleased to announce that the Pretty and Strong program has been extended to a Special Edition Series available year-round. As of September 1, 2006, Chris King has added Pretty and Strong pink to its standard list of available colors.
We will continue to donate a portion of the sale of any Pretty and Strong item to the Oregon and SW Washington Affiliate of the Susan G. Komen Foundation. On behalf of all of our customers and supporters, we are proud to make known our honor of receiving a 2006 award for Outstanding Support from the Foundation. For 2007 and beyond, we have expanded the Pretty and Strong line-up along with new partners.
With a higher axle center and larger bottom bracket drop, the Evolve maintains Ellsworth’s legendary suspension dynamic and overall handling. All geometry and suspension function have been designed from the ground up to garnish the fast rolling, high stability of the 29 inch wheel, without the ill handling commonly associated with the 29 inch wheel bikes.
The bike is very well built. The pink ano came out beautifully and there are small touches throughout the frame that scream boutique. From the machining of the rocker arms to the headbadge, you can tell that each part is carefully planned. Overall, the build kit was better than expected with parts that I use on a regular basis. There is no better shifting in mountain biking than SRAM. The X.9 groupo is the quite killer with performance that is on par with X.0 at a fraction of the cost. The X.0 rear derailleur received some changes for ’08 that greatly increased the reliability of the cage. Everything else is pretty much middle to top of the line. I will be interested to see how the wheels hold up under my riding though.
The only problem I have had with this bike so far is bringing home a beautiful pink bike that is not for my fiancee!
Have any of you guys had any experience with the Evolve or 29er FS rigs?
The GP1 series of grips offer maximum comfort and the best possible pressure distribution. They are specially cut for a small to middle sized hand (Size S: 6.5 / 8.5 – particularly good for female hands), as well as for middle to larger sized hands (Size L: 8.5 – 10.5). They feature a forged aluminum clamp for fast and secure installation. The support platform is individually incrementally adjustable for the correct hand angle by simply turning the grip.
Installation is as easy as any other lock-on, slide on the grip and tighten the bolt. The only issue that takes any time is figuring out the most comfortable angle for your riding and making sure that both grips are even. With normal grips, this is not an issue because they are circular.
These grips are heavy due to the extra material (170g per pair according to JensonUSA on the smalls and over 200g for the larges). If you are a weight weenie looking to shed those precious grams, these are probably not the grips for you. I have heard from endurance racers that they find the added benefits during longer riding a big enough trade off for the weight.
Averaging around 35.00 per pair (25.00 if you look hard), these are some of the most expensive grips you can put on a bike from a mainstream retailer.
First Impressions on the Ergon GP1 Grips
At first, it really took some time to get used to the Ergon GP1’s. For such a long time, riders have gotten used to regular grips for all of their riding needs. The Ergon’s are much different than anything else on the market. Finding that “sweet spot” on the bikes was a little bit more difficult than I had planned on, but once they were set…they felt great.
My hands are relatively large and I found even the smalls to be a little big. I like to be able to grip all the way around the bars with my index and middle finger in technical riding situations. The large sized grips really hindered my ability to do this. So for me, the “better for women” size worked out the best. I have found this to be true for almost all of the men with any experience with Ergon’s. (For reference: My hands have a 9” spread)
On The Bike with the Ergon GP1 Grips
According to Ergon, these grips are supposed to prevent soreness and numbness in the hands and fingers by providing optimal pressure distribution on the palm. I do not have chronic problems in these areas but I did find the grips to be very comfortable on long climbs. I was able to rest my upper body weight on the bulk of the grips and this helped in loosening my grip on the bars. I found that my hands were not as tired at the end of long climbs as compared to regular grips.
On the descents, I have two opinions. On the Moots Mooto-X 29er, the grips felt great when gravity takes over. I still had complete control over the front end and I felt more stable on the bars. When I switched the the Mojo, things changed a little bit. In more downhill/freeride situations, I really missed being able to grip all the way around the bars in multiple positions. This left me feeling uneasy on drops and jumps that I normally feel at home on.
One other critique…The one bolt clamping mechanism makes installation a breeze, but I did find that the bolt can loosen easily causing the grips to move on the bar. A simple tightening of the bolt with the multi-tool rectified the issue quickly, so it was more of a little annoyance than a deal breaker.
Durability of the Ergon GP1 Grips
Even through all of the testing, the grips still look brand new (with some added dirt). This makes me believe that the grips are going to last a pretty long time. Some other brands soft compounds tend to wear out pretty quickly, but the Ergon’s look like they are going to be around for a long time. This helps with the price of the grips if you know you aren’t going to have to buy another set for a long time.
I can see exactly why endurance racers love these grips. They work out great on the long haul. It is my opinion that these grips are best suited for rigids, hard tails and short travel full suspension bikes. They will relieve your hands in long mileage rides and help with numbness and soreness in the palm area. If you are looking for a set of grips that are going to be comfortable over long rides and you aren’t worried about weight, look no farther than the GP1′s. I would try out a set before you purchase to make sure you are ok with the size, but it is my guess that the smalls are going to work for most riders.
If you are an all mountain/freeride/downhill rider, you are probably going to want to stick with a conventional grip. A personal favorite of mine is the Oury lock-ons, but Ergon also has a new GE1 that may work out better for more aggressive, technical riding situations.
Ergon is also the only grip company, that I can think of, that is truly involved with their riders. There have been multiple test sessions held at our local trail heads by Ergon employees. They install the grips on your bike for testing and answer questions as you go along. As the bike industry becomes more competitive, this is a huge plus in my book. I really like “hands on” manufacturers.