Ergon BT OrthoCell Handlebar Pads: Getting Rolling

Ergon BT OrthoCell Handlebar Pads: Getting Rolling – by Guitar Ted

Shot of the Ergon BT OrthoCell Handlebar Pad Set, BT Gravel Tape, and packaging on a table.
Ergon’s OrthoCell Handleebar Pad Set and BT Gravel tape.

In the quest to reduce vibration induced rider fatigue, we have in for test and review the new Ergon BT OrthoCell handlebar pads. These are not your usual ‘under-the’bar-tape’ pads. I’ll get around to why that is, but first, let’s take a closer look at what we have here.

What It Is: The BT OrthoCell pad set is a familiar concept with a different take on some of the finer details. It is a product designed to be placed between the tape and handle bars on a drop bar bike. The material that the BT OrthoCell pads is made from is where things diverge from your typical under-the-bar-tape products.

Instead of gel, or elastomeric type materials, Ergon went with an orthopedic, high density foam. This material is there to help reduce vibrations and provide comfort for rider’s hands. Ergon has the following to say on the webpage for the OrthoCell Handlebar Pad Set:

The pad material is the same orthopedic foam used in Ergon’s AllRoad Saddle.

More damping, better pressure distribution. The pads are made of orthopedic high-performance foam which significantly increase comfort on road bike handlebars. The high-end German-made OrthoCell® material relieves the hands and wrists in every grip position and reduces discomfort.

Ergon BT OrthoCell Pad Set kits are available for $29.95 USD and come with two pads for the inner hook portion of the bar and two pads for the ramps/tops section of drop bars. The pads stick on with an adhesive. It is also notable that Ergon is using the OrthoCell foam in their new AllRoad saddles, one of which we reviewed here.

Ergon also sent along a new roll of the BT Gravel handlebar Tape which we reviewed earlier in the year. This tape will go over the BT OrthoCell Handlebar Pad Set and we will give you all the good and bad of the product after I have had some time with it. This may not be until Spring, as we are entering the depths of Winter here in the Mid-West. For now though…

So Far… The OrthoCell Handlebar Pad Set takes an old idea and updates it with the OrthoCell orthopedic foam which worked very well in the AllRoad Saddle to damp out vibrations. If, in combination with the BT Gravel handlebar Tape, this pad set does anything close to the things the orthopedic foam did in the saddle, this should prove out to be a positive thing for gravel travel. That’s the expectation here, at any rate.

In the Quick Review upcoming, I will cover installation, first ride impressions, and hopefully a bit of a take after many miles with the pad set to see if my expectations are met or no. Stay tuned….

Note: Ergon sent Riding Gravel the OrthoCell Handlebar Pad Set at no charge for test and review. We are not being paid, nor bribed for this review and we will always strive to give our honest thoughts and views throughout.


Author: Guitar Ted

Guitar Ted hails from Iowa. Home of over 70,000 miles of gravel and back roads. An inaugural member of the Gravel Cycling Hall of Fame and Co-creator of Trans Iowa in late 2004- Guitar Ted has been at the forefront of the growth of gravel events and riding since then. Creator of Gravel Grinder News in 2008, he produced the premier calendar of gravel and back road events. GT joined forces with Riding Gravel in late 2014.

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