I’ve been riding my Brompton for over 18 months and I must say that I don’t particularly like the handlebar grips that come as standard on it. Essentially they are just two pieces of foam glued to each end of the bar, whilst they are sufficient for small commutes, I find they become uncomfortable for anything over a couple of miles.
With my average Brompton ride being approximately 8 miles, I’ve been looking into replacing the foam grips for something that will ease the discomfort on my palms. Having researched various different options I decided to go with a pair of leather grips from Temple Cycles.
Temple Cycles are a niche producer of bespoke and traditional steel framed bicycles, each one is built to order and all have that classic retro look. In addition to the bikes they have a range of accessories that complement that classic look, the Lock-On Ergo Grips are part of their leather collection.
The grips are made from an acrylic sleeve wrapped in Italian leather, which is lovely and soft to the touch, aluminium bar ends, alloy locking clamps and stitched seams. The are available in two colours Honey (a light tan) and Chestnut (a dark brown), as you can see I went for the Chestnut.
The hardest part of fitting the grips to the Brompton was removing the standard grips. I was hoping to remove them without damaging them, but the glue was too strong and I had to resort to cutting them off.
With the foam grips removed and the glue cleaned up, it was a case of sliding the new grips onto the bar, it was a little tight, but with a twisting and pushing motion the grips slid on. I needed to move the right hand brake lever about 5mm towards the centre of the bar to make enough room for the grip to fully fit. Once on and in position you just need to tighten two allen screws on each grip, you will need a 3mm and 4mm allen key. The locking mechanism is simple, but very effective, the grips don’t slip or slide around at all.
The extra width of the Ergo grip provides that much needed support for the palm of my hand, which has increased the comfort levels dramatically for me. Previously I would nearly always wear padded gloves to ride the Brompton over longer distances, now I just love the feel of that soft leather. In fact, it makes me want to ride the Brompton more than ever.
If you are looking at replacing your standard Brompton grips or any other set of grips/bike for that matter, I can recommend these grips for style, quality, ease of fitting and more importantly comfort. So far, the only thing I can find to fault them on is that I would have preferred the 3mm allen screw the other way up, so that I could see the screw head rather than a small hole, but that is purely down to aesthetics and a mild case of OCD on my part!
The leather and design really suits the Brompton, I especially like the stitching and it seems right to install a British made grip (albeit Italian leather) on a British classic bicycle. I just need that matching Brooks saddle….