Tag Archives: Oury

Stuff I Like: Oury Bicycle Grips

My bicycle’s cockpit has undergone several evolutionary cycles.  From the original equipment compact drops bar to a Salsa Cowchipper to a flat bar with bar ends to the current configuration:

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I spoke about the TOGS in a prior post.  This is about my switch to Oury grips.  Or, rather, a switch back to Oury grips since these were my go-to option back in the go-go mountain bike 1990s.

For the past couple of seasons I have ridden with Ergon GP1 grips.  I liked them well enough and felt that on rides of twenty miles or so there was an increased level of comfort.  Past the twenty mile mark my hands fell victim to the same comfort issues with other grips or bar configurations.  It was better than the discomfort I experienced with drop bars—compact or flared, it did not matter—but it was not good when I was looking to increase the mileage of my weekend rides into the fifty mile realm.

The problem, in my opinion, is that while the Ergon grips were comfortable there was a prescriptive nature to the grip where only a single position was possible for any period of time.  Once that became uncomfortable you were shit out of luck.

With the Oury grips there is no set position for your hand.  You are free to rotate around the circumference of the grip.  Combined with the TOGS you can really switch up for hand/wrist positions in a lot of ways on the fly as you ride.

The Oury grips are also a little thicker, but not fat paw thick, and squishy so a non-glove wearing rider like myself does not feel impaired.  Trust me, some of the grips out there have a texture and hardness that is akin to a rotary grinder disc.  Maybe that is just me.

This setup has been good to go on the thirty mile rides I have been knocking out during coronavirus isolation.  I am very curious to see how things play out when I aim for some fifty mile or more rides in June.  Stay tuned.

Note: I paid for these Oury grips with my own money and received nothing in compensation to recommend the product.  It is just something that I think is a good thing.

Stuff I Like: Thumb Over Grip System (TOGS)

The one bonus to the current lack of travel options is that I have been spending a lot of time in the early part of the cycling season actually on my bicycle.  If the weather is even slightly favorable I will clip in and head out for a ride.  It is just about the only thing keeping me sane right now as everyone in my house is going a little stir crazy after more than six weeks of isolation.

For the current cycling season I changed up a lot of things on my bicycle.  New wheels.  New drivetrain.  New cockpit.

Anyone familiar with my struggles over the years—compact drop bar to flared drop bar to flat bar—will not be surprised that I am trying again to find the combination that feels right.

Previously, I set my handlebars up with a carbon flat bar, Ergon grips, and stubby bar ends.  This was a cockpit very similar to my mountain bikes in the late-1990s.  I enjoyed the different hand positions afforded by bar ends and I did spend a lot of time with my hands “splayed out” to combat the dreaded numbness that comes with spending hours in the saddle.  However, it was never quite “right.”

Enter the Thumb Over Grip System (TOGS):

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It is hard to see from the image but the TOGS are a little stub that extends out from the handlebar to give you a place to rest or hook your thumb.  Doing so allows you to unwrap your hands from the grips and achieve a different grip position without sacrificing a measure of control.  Sure, you could do something similar without TOGS, but you risk your hands slipping fairly easily.  Trust me, I have had it happen.

Installation of the “flexible” version is a snap.  You do not even need to remove your grips because the TOGS can be slipped over your bars and screwed in place.  It’s a no risk installation, although with most grips being of the lock-on variety anymore I do not know how much this helps.  Reposition your controls and off you go.

After about three hundred miles of early season riding I consider myself a fan of TOGS.  As someone who does not ride with padded gloves or gloves of any sort unless it is cold outside I appreciate the multiplicity of positions I can grasp without sacrificing control.

A bonus is that by forgoing bar ends I can add a set of pogies for cold season riding and still maintain a lot of different and positions.  Remember, I dislike gloves.  Win, win baby!

NOTE: I bought the TOGS with my own money, installed them myself, and use them every ride.  I received nothing from the manufacturer to write this piece.  I am not pimping products like a B-grade influencer on Instagram.

A New Set of Wheels for My Daily Ride

Being stuck at home is the perfect time to conduct a major overhaul of my daily ride.  The Breezer Radar that I bought a couple of years ago has already been through some major changes since the day it arrived on my doorstep.

In keeping with tradition, I felt that it was time to hit the reset switch and improve some things.  This entire process was also caused by some “cabin fever shopping” during the shut-in time over the past two weeks due to COVID-19.

The single biggest change that I undertook was a new wheelset.  The stock wheelset on the Radar was fairly mediocre.  This is to be expected in an OEM wheelset on a bicycle that came with a value build component set.

I went with a wheelset from online retailer Bicycle Wheel Warehouse.  The set that I ordered was BWW Trail Pro 29er Custom Build.  My set was built with the Speed Tuned Super 6 quick release hubs, Shimano freehub for a 10 speed cassette, and DT Competition 2.0/1.8 spokes.  For a little bling, I went with blue alloy nipples:

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Yeah, it cost a little more but you only live once.  All in, with a 20% discount coupon, I paid just under $300 for the wheelset.

The tires are WTB Venture 700×40.  This tread is a little wider than the Donnelly X’Plor USH 700×35 tires that were installed on the previous wheelset.  I went with something wider and a little more aggressive in the tread department because I felt that the tread profile on the USHs was a little squirrely on the rough stuff around here.  Wanting to spend some more time on more remote routes this year led me to a more off-road focused tread pattern.

The bigger change is moving to a tubeless setup. The good people at Goldfinch Cyclery in the NewBo district of Cedar Rapids got me rolling on tubeless rubber.  Sure, I could have done it myself but I was a little intimidated to make the effort.  After more than thirty years of being used to tubes it will take a little bit of time to teach me some new tricks.  Here they are ready to roll:

You will notice that I removed the decals from Bicycle Wheel Warehouse, so now the wheelset looks like a boring old OEM wheelset.  Minus the blue nipples of course.  There are also some other changes to my bicycle that you might notice.  I will explain at a later date.

The wheelset works with quick releases as opposed to thru axles because that is what my frame can accommodate and the disc rotor mounts via the 6 bolt standard as opposed to centerlock.  A lot of people advised me to go with a centerlock hub and use an adapter, but I sort of despise adapters.  Plus, this wheelset is not going to get moved to another bicycle so choosing specifications based on its requirements alone is a safe bet.

All in—wheels, tires, sealant, cassette, skewers, rotors—the new wheelset came in at a total of 3,810 grams (1,630 grams front and 2,180 grams rear).  This compares with an all in weight—including tubes as opposed to sealant—for my old wheelset of 4,495 grams (1,750 grams front and 2,745 grams rear).  That is a ~15% decrease in rotational weight without breaking the bank or doing anything exotic.

So, for less weight I get wider tires on a wider rim without having to deal with tubes.  This might be the biggest win in a long time.

It’s going to be a hard few weeks waiting for things to dry out in eastern Iowa.  I so want to see how this revamp rolls down the trails.

 

Note: I bought these wheels with my own money and received nothing in return from any of the companies mentioned.