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I'm learning to jump my mountain bike.

I've noticed that when jumping, if I "death-grip" the handlebar, my hands can actually twist around the handlebar. This happens in both the ascending movement, and after impact when finishing the jump.

Such twisting feels sketchy so I'm inclined to avoid a death-grip.

But the alternative, namely placing the index fingers over the brake levers, while it gives me a better grip with no twisting, has the obvious danger of accidentally braking the bike as I land the jump. I don't deliberately brake the bike on landing, but it's easy to have that reflex.

So I was thinking, why not get a grip that is non-cylindrical? I've seen a few such models. They seem to be marketed as "ergonomic" grips.

An example would be the GP series from Ergon.

Is it a good idea to get non-cylindrical grip for jumping? Should I get a better technique instead?

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    Nicer grips are bolt on so they don’t twist
    – Andrew
    Mar 6 at 17:01
  • It's not the grips themselves that are twisting, but my hands/arms
    – deprecated
    Mar 6 at 17:57
  • Have you seen the curved/winged handlebar grips? Can't answer if they're better for jumping, but they do exist. 149466913.v2.pressablecdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/… Some are more subtle than others.
    – Criggie
    Mar 6 at 21:26
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    @Criggie The OP said “are <x> good for jumps?” and you appear to have commented with “have you ever seen <x>?” On a closer look, the lower two grips in your image are the exact brand referenced by the OP.
    – RLH
    Mar 7 at 3:32
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    I spend a lot of time on jumps, I always ride with one finger covering each brake to maximise control, and i would not recommend non cylindrical grips as they will change how you hold the handlebar. As others have recommended a good pair of lock on grips with a well designed pattern would probably be best (my favorite are DMR deathgrips) Mar 25 at 22:13
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With good grips, your hands should stay pretty much planted in place. Since grips are relatively cheap (you can get a decent pair of lock-ons for $7). It is not recommended to "death grip" your handlebars when mountain biking as it increases the amount of shock that goes into your wrists, rather you should hold them with enough force that you are still holding on but loose enough that you can turn them slightly to absorb shock. One thing that may help as well is to make sure that your thumbs are on the underside of the grip, not parallel with the rest of your fingers.

As for non-cylindrical grips, that is probably not the solution. You will notice that most professionals use cylindrical grips, because non-cylindrical grips change the way you are connected to the bike, your posture, and in general negatively impact your control on rough terrain, especially jumps.

As a final word, if you are having trouble keeping your hands in one place, check to see if your grips are good enough (you may want to swap them out with some higher quality ones). In general, wearing gloves can improve grip but many people do not wear them so it is not a necessity.

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