Whether you are touring, racing on a loaded bike, or out for a day ride, comfort and control are always something to look for in a setup. The more comfortable you are, the longer you can ride. The better control you have, the less chance you have of crashing. Riding deep into the backcountry is often about minimizing mistakes.
Conveniently, TOGS can easily be installed on most grips. Only grip shifters provide difficulty. Personally I think they work best with ESI grips. If you use the carbon-hinged system, you won’t be forced to remove your grip when installing your TOGS. Simply snap the TOG on and tighten the 2.5 mm Allen, and boom, you’re ready to grab your bike by the horns. Unfortunately, with the non-carbon colored versions you will have to remove your grip before tightening the Allen (like on the carbon version). However, once your TOGS are installed you do not need to remove them for adjustment. I found that leaving them slightly loose allows for on-the-fly adjustment should you want them slanted one way or another.
TOGS yield a great amount of increased control and are surprisingly comfortable. The first ride or two you may find you have to adjust to using them but once you get used it; you’ll feel naked without them. After my first long ride with TOGS I really noticed my hands feeling better than normal. I originally started out with them on my cross-country bike and quickly put them on my bikepacking machine as well. My first long distance trip with TOGS included plenty of long dirt road sections and singletrack between Flagstaff and the Grand Canyon on a section of the Arizona Trail. They allowed me to switch my hand position, increased my leverage when climbing, and provide an extra handle on the bars when hike-a-biking. By creating a secondary grip position they allow you to change the positioning of your hands on the handlebars, therefore reducing the levels of numbness, pressure and aching. I noticed a large increase in climbing efficiency when riding with my thumbs on the TOGS while navigating technical singletrack. One of the goals of TOGS was to replace the dangerous and out-of-style bar ends that are not common now. This option is much safer, lighter, cheaper, and more comfortable. Try them out! Like anything you’ll learn quickly if they work for you or not, but I highly recommend adding them onto your bike for your next big adventure or tour to ensure comfort and control. While the benefits may seem minimal, they are worth their low cost and low weight.
As mentioned, TOGS come in 2 models. The first is the carbon fiber hinged option (approximately 40% carbon) and the second is the non-hinged option that comes in eight color options and is manufactured from a nylon resin. Both are extremely light, weighing in at sub 20 grams a set, and are made in the United States. The carbon model is slightly more expensive, at $30, while the colored options are only $20. TOGS can likely be found at your local bike shop or online at www.togs.com.