The basic premise behind the padle shaped grip is pretty simple. A larger contact area spreads the pressure over more of the palm which should reduce fatigue and increase comfort, particularly over long hours in the saddle. They’ve been a stalwart of the endurance MTB scene for a while but for the most part have have failed to really make an impression on the general trail riding scene. [private]
There are definitely some positives; the bar ends, for example, were excellent. They are a very comfortable shape, just the right size and the anti-slip inserts add to the security and comfort. They made climbing a breeze and provided a good alternative hand position on the flats.
The main issue we found was with the shape of the grip and getting used to a different hand position. Because of the way the paddle juts out towards you it puts more emphasis on your thumb to do the holding as the rest of the palm and fingers are more on top of the grip, rather than around it (as per normal grips). Not really a problem for most riding but was noticeable when pointed down really steep trails. If not for the friction between grip and glove your hand could easily slip off if you lost that last bit of thumb grip. We had a couple of hairy moments trying to bomb a descent and wouldn’t recommend these grips for your downhill rig, or more aggressive riding.
At over 200g they wouldn’t be considered light either, especially compared to a set of foamies you could grab for $25. Its hard to see this being a true discriminator though. If they work for you then they’ll be worth any increase in weight.
We know that there are some riders who swear by their Ergons and if they work as advertised for you then its hard to see how they could be found wanting. [/private]