Lots of attention is given to saddles and pedals, but what about the bar grips? This is the third contact point between you and the mountain bike. I really did not pay much attention to this and always just took the stock grips provided with the bike.
That is, until I kept noticing that my hands were starting to hurt. The cheap and cheerful plastic had a very fine but very hard textured surface and even through my regular cycling gloves, it started to make my hands sore even after a one-hour ride.
I did a lot of research and came to the realisation that the material that is used is just as important as what gloves you wear. You probably don’t realise it, but you actually pull a lot on the handlebars as you climb, and then when you descend, particularly if it’s a steep and tricky single trail, you’re leaning hard on those bar grips. Vibration dampening becomes important too.
I recommend upgrading to something that is a bit more ‘squishy’ and vibration absorbent. The Rogue Lock On Grips (sometimes called ODI Rogue Lock on Grips) are terrific.
I made a little video here to show you what I mean by ‘squishy’. They look great too. As it can be difficult to assess size of hands, mine are average; these aren’t for massive hands. Just normal.
The installation is very easy. You need a small allen key to undo the bolt on the end (or maybe both ends) of your existing grips. Then you slip these on having affixed the ends on each side and tighten up. If you have a torque wrench, torque to about 3 NM. If you don’t have one, tighten gently. The grips fit most modern mountain bike handlebars.
I provide some quick links to Amazon (DE) and (EN) respectively. Meanwhile, if you do change to these, tell me how you get on in the comments below.