In addition to ergonomics, Ergon is strongly committed to health and sustainability. Handlebar grips, with their direct contact to the skin, have to be made with materials that are completely harmless to the health of the rider. Therefore a certification by an independent institute is a necessity for us.
The material research and the resulting safety of the grip compounds used in Ergon products is extremely important to us. UV radiation, as well as hand perspiration, creams or oils, detergents, temperature fluctuations and friction, make thermoplastics age faster. For this reason we’ve expended much effort over the past two years, not only to guarantee the appropriate durability and best quality standards, but also to meet the highest purity standards.
Our challenge was to find a material that meets our technical and environmental requirements. More than 50 compounds were tested in close cooperation with a German TPE manufacturer (TPE = Thermoplastic Elastomers) and in the end we found a compound for our handlebar grips that meets our requirements and is “Made in Germany.”
The advantage of this in-house development is clear: The materials produced for Ergon are well above the industry standard for bicycle grips in terms of durability, UV-stability and pollutant tested safety.
As mentioned above, the extremely high UV stability differentiates our material from the competitors. In addition, we don’t manufacture with undesirable substances such as "harmful softeners". Instead, we use high-quality medicinal white oils, which are pollutant free and skin friendly. Due to this high level of safety, medicinal white oils can even be used in food production. All raw materials used by Ergon comply with EU Regulation (EU) No.10 / 2011 (food contact) as well as EU Directive 2009/48 / EC (Safety of Toys). This is certified by TÜV-Saar with an SGS-seal of approval for pollutant tested safety. The test is implemented by the Fresenius Institute every year and illustrates how important purity and environmental compatibility is to Ergon.
The SGS-TÜV-Saar-"Pollutant-Tested"-Symbol – The background
With the SGS TÜV Saar "Pollutant Tested" symbol, you show your customers that your product meets all legal and customary product safety requirements with regard to harmful substances. The selection of the test parameters is both significantly dependent on the materials, as well as the type of use of these materials. For example, materials that are in direct skin contact for longer periods of time are subject to special requirements.
Grip rubber made in Germany.
Scientifically tested and certified – contains no harmful substances.
The examination of your bike grips takes into account the requirements of national and EU-wide legislation and market requirements. These include e.g. Requirements of the EU Chemicals Regulation REACh, the POP-Regulation as well as the German Chemicals Ban Regulation. Furthermore, we are investigating the presence of substances that, although not regulated by law, are considered to be commercially available in the German market. These include, in addition to heavy metals such as cadmium, lead, but also nickel - which is regarded as a contact allergen - and substances that are classified as either (environmental or reproductive) toxic, carcinogenic or mutagenic. The certification is valid for one year.
In addition to these demanding certification standards, we’ve also developed our own criteria for long-term tests – which reflect a useful product lifespan of about four years under all relevant weather conditions. Only after passing all of these tests, will a compound be released for product series production. All Ergon grips destined for the retail market pass the certifications described above - including the BioKork models.
In this regard we would like to remind you of our BioKork grips: The BioKork series combines well-known Ergon comfort with a high degree of sustainability and environmental compatibility. The cork used comes from organic cultivation in Portugal and meets strict ecological guidelines. Not only is it naturally anti-bacterial and anti-allergic and therefore particularly skin-friendly, the cork has very strong cushioning properties, is very light and also has a extremely pleasant feel. It should also be mentioned that the GC1 from the BioKork series was also certified with the VSF all-ride honor for "Best Ergonomics 2016-2019", as well as our BioLeder grips with the VSF all-ride honor for "Best Tactile 2016-2019". For this we’ve already published a corresponding article.
We always strive to improve and increase our products and manufacturing standards. During the search for improvement and alternative solutions, our GreenLab initiative was born as an incentive to sustainably support the area of development at Ergon through the three pillars - ergonomics, performance and ecology. This benefits our products as well as our customers. Since 2010, Ergon has received numerous awards, including the German Packaging Award, which distinguishes both constructive design, graphic design quality and the characteristics of the materials used. All components of the packaging are fully recyclable and the colors are ecologically tested printing inks based on soybean oil.