Skip to content
Home » How To Install Handlebar Grips On A Mountain Bike (16-Step Guide)

How To Install Handlebar Grips On A Mountain Bike (16-Step Guide)

How To Install Handlebar Grips On A Mountain Bike

To install handlebar grips on a mountain bike, start by gathering the necessary materials: new grips, rubbing alcohol, a knife or scissors, and either zip ties or grip glue. Remove the old grips using a screwdriver, compressed air, or by cutting them off if necessary. Next, clean the handlebar thoroughly by wiping it with rubbing alcohol to remove any dirt or residue.

Prepare the new grips by placing zip ties inside them or applying grip glue sparingly. Then, slide the new grips onto the handlebar. For zip ties, evenly tighten them to secure the grip. If using glue, quickly position and rotate the grip to ensure a snug fit before the glue sets.

Allow the grips to set if using glue, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Before riding, ensure the grips are securely in place and adjust if needed to ensure they’re properly fitted.

This process involves preparation, cleaning, installing the new grips, and testing for security before hitting the trails.

To remove the end plug of a bar, use a screwdriver to gently lift the grip. Then, spray some liquid inside the grip and twist it to loosen it. Repeat this spraying and twisting process. Next, spray the handlebar and the inside of the new grip. Finally, slide the new grip onto the handlebar.

How to Choose the Perfect Mountain Bike Grips for Your Riding Style

When it comes to optimizing your mountain biking experience, selecting the right grips tailored to your riding style is paramount. Your riding style dictates the type of grips that will best suit your needs and enhance your comfort and control on the trails.

Understanding Your Riding Style

Understanding Your Riding Style

Start by understanding how you ride. Are you someone who loves tackling aggressive downhill terrain, enjoys long cross-country trails, or prefers leisurely rides? Your style of riding significantly influences the features you should seek in mountain bike grips.

Read More: Can You Put Mountain Bike Handlebars On a Road Bike?

Factors to Consider

  1. Material and Composition: Mountain bike grips come in various materials, each with its own set of advantages. Rubber grips offer durability and shock absorption, while foam grips prioritize comfort. Silicone grips provide superior traction, especially in wet conditions.
  2. Texture and Pattern: Grips feature diverse textures and patterns that affect how they feel in your hands. Some grips have raised patterns or ergonomic designs that improve grip and reduce hand fatigue during long rides.
  3. Thickness and Size: The grip thickness varies to accommodate different hand sizes. Thicker grips offer more cushioning and may be preferable for riders seeking comfort, while thinner grips provide better feedback from the trail.
  4. Lock-On or Slide-On: Grips come in two primary installation types. Lock-on grips utilize collars to secure the grip firmly in place, preventing slippage during rides. Slide-on grips lack collars but often weigh less and offer a different riding feel.

Types of Mountain Bike Grips

  1. Ergonomic Grips: These grips are designed to conform to the natural shape of your hand, reducing numbness and fatigue, particularly on longer rides.
  2. Lock-On Grips: Featuring a clamp mechanism for easy installation and a secure fit, these grips are excellent for riders who prefer a fixed grip position.
  3. Foam Grips: Known for their lightweight properties and ability to dampen vibrations, foam grips offer a plush feel but might wear out faster than other materials.
  4. Silicone Grips: Offering excellent grip, even in damp conditions, silicone grips are durable and provide a tacky feel that many riders appreciate.

Read more:

Choosing the Right Grips

Choosing the Right Grips

For downhill riders seeking enhanced control, a thicker-diameter lock-on grip with an aggressive pattern might be the optimal choice. Cross-country riders might prefer thinner, ergonomic grips that strike a balance between comfort and responsiveness on the trail.

Remember, it’s crucial to test different grips to find what feels best for you. Visiting local bike shops or exploring demo programs can help you try out various options before making a final decision.

The importance of mountain bike grips cannot be overstated. Your riding style, preferences, and comfort levels are key factors in determining the ideal grip for an enjoyable and safe biking experience tailored precisely to your needs

Removing Old Handlebar Grips: A Step-by-Step Guide

Before installing new handlebar grips on your mountain bike, it’s crucial to remove the old ones correctly. Here’s an easy-to-follow guide

  1. Grip Removal Preparation: Get your tools ready: a utility knife, rubbing alcohol, and a flathead screwdriver or compressed air. Lay your bike on a flat surface or secure it in a bike stand for stability.
  2. Loosening the Grips: Use the flathead screwdriver or compressed air nozzle to gently pry under the edge of the grip. Work around the grip, injecting air or using the screwdriver to loosen the adhesive or grip glue.
  3. Peeling Off the Grips: Once the adhesive is loosened, slowly rotate and pull the grip toward you until it’s completely off the handlebar. Be careful not to damage the handlebar surface.
  4. Cleaning the Handlebar: Wipe off any remaining adhesive or dirt with rubbing alcohol and a clean cloth. Ensure the handlebar surface is clean and dry before installing the new grips.

Step-by-Step Guide: Installing Slip-On Handlebar Grips on a Mountain Bike

Step-by-Step Guide: Installing Slip-On Handlebar Grips on a Mountain Bike

Now that you’ve removed the old grips, here’s a straightforward guide to installing slip-on handlebar grips:

  1. Preparing the Grips: Check the compatibility of the new grips with your bike’s handlebar diameter. Apply a small amount of rubbing alcohol inside the grips to make them easier to slide.
  2. Aligning the Grips: Start by aligning the grips properly with the handlebar. Twist and apply pressure to slide the grip smoothly. Make sure the grip is evenly positioned.
  3. Securing the Grips: Let the grip settle for a moment. Check the alignment again and adjust if needed. Ensure both grips are symmetrically installed.
  4. Final Check: Test the grips to ensure they’re securely fitted and don’t move when pressure is applied. Your bike’s handlebars are now equipped with slip-on grips, ready for your next ride.

Read More: Is 20 Sag OK for Enduro Mountain Biking? Why is SAG important?

Step-by-Step Guide: Installing Lock-On Handlebar Grips on a Mountain Bike

For lock-on handlebar grips, follow these simple steps

  1. Preparing the Grips: Confirm that the lock-on grips match your bike’s handlebar diameter. Ensure the lock rings and bolts are ready for installation.
  2. Installing the Grips: Slide the grip onto the handlebar and align it. Position the lock ring at the end of the grip and tighten the bolts using an appropriate tool, often an Allen key.
  3. Adjustment and Testing: Ensure the grips are evenly aligned and securely fitted—test by applying pressure to check for any slippage. Make adjustments for a snug fit.

Installing Ergonomic Handlebar Grips: Easy Steps for Comfort

Installing Ergonomic Handlebar Grips

When installing ergonomic handlebar grips

  1. Grip Compatibility: Ensure the grips match your handlebar diameter and align them correctly before installation.
  2. Sliding On the Grips: Use a twisting motion while applying pressure to slide the grips onto the handlebars. Ensure symmetrical positioning for comfort.
  3. Final Check: Let the grips settle, then verify their alignment and comfort. Test by gripping firmly to ensure they feel comfortable and supportive.

Using Hairspray for Handlebar Grip Installation: Method and Tips

Using Hairspray for Handlebar Grip Installation

When it comes to handlebar grip installation, utilizing hairspray can simplify the process. Here’s a straightforward method and some useful pointers

  1. Preparation: Make sure your handlebars and grips are clean and dry. Shake the hairspray well before applying.
  2. Spraying Technique: Apply a moderate amount of hairspray inside the grip or on the handlebar surface. Avoid excess, as it might create a messy installation.
  3. Sliding the Grip: Act swiftly, sliding the grip onto the handlebar while the hairspray is still wet. This aids in easier positioning.
  4. Alignment and Adjustment: Once in place, align the grip correctly and make any necessary adjustments. Allow time for the hairspray to dry, securing the grip firmly.

Utilizing WD-40 for Handlebar Grip Installation: Detailed Process

Utilizing WD-40 for Handlebar Grip Installation

If you prefer WD-40 for grip installation, follow this detailed process

  1. Cleaning: Ensure your handlebars are clean and dry. Apply a small amount of WD-40 inside the grip or onto the handlebar surface.
  2. Sliding the Grip: Swiftly slide the grip onto the handlebar while the WD-40 is still wet. Its lubricating properties assist in the installation.
  3. Alignment and Settling: Properly align the grip and make adjustments as needed. Allow time for the WD-40 to evaporate, securing the grip.

Pro Tips for a Seamless Handlebar Grip Installation on Your Mountain Bike

Pro Tips for a Seamless Handlebar Grip Installation on Your Mountain Bike

Enhance your grip installation with these expert tips

  1. Warmth Aids: Slightly warm the grips using a hairdryer or warm water to make them more pliable for easier installation.
  2. Minimal Grip Glue: If using grip glue, apply sparingly to avoid messiness and excessive adhesive.
  3. Twisting Motion: Employ a twisting motion while sliding the grips onto the handlebars for even distribution of lubricant.

Steer clear of these blunders for a smoother installation

Common Mistakes to Avoid During Mountain Bike Handlebar Grip Installation

  1. Excessive Lubrication: Using too much hairspray, WD-40, or grip glue can create a messy, slippery installation.
  2. Misaligned Grips: Improper alignment can lead to discomfort while riding and impact your control.
  3. Rushing the Process: Take your time during installation to ensure a secure and accurate fit.

Replacing Worn-Out Handlebar Grips: A Quick How-To Guide

When your mountain bike grips have seen better days, it’s time for a replacement. Here’s a quick and easy guide to help you swap out worn-out handlebar grips.

  1. Grip Removal: Use a utility knife to carefully cut through the old grips. Peel them off the handlebars, ensuring not damage the handlebar surface.
  2. Cleaning the Handlebars: Remove any residue or adhesive left behind by the old grips using rubbing alcohol and a clean cloth. Ensure the handlebars are clean and dry before installing new grips.
  3. Choosing New Grips: Select grips that match your riding style and preferences regarding material, texture, and thickness. Ensure they fit your handlebar diameter.
  4. Installation: Follow the appropriate installation method—slide-on or lock-on grips—using techniques like hairspray, WD-40, or grip glue for a secure fit. Align the grips evenly and let them settle.

Maintenance Tips for Prolonging the Lifespan of Your Mountain Bike Grips

Maintenance Tips for Prolonging the Lifespan of Your Mountain Bike Grips

To extend the life of your mountain bike grips, consider these maintenance tips

  1. Regular Cleaning: Clean your grips regularly with mild soap and water to remove dirt and grime, preventing premature wear.
  2. Handlebar Protection: Consider using handlebar end plugs to prevent moisture and debris from accumulating inside the grips, increasing their durability.
  3. Avoiding Extreme Temperatures: Exposure to extreme heat or cold can damage grips. Store your bike in moderate temperatures when not in use.
  4. Rotating Grips: Periodically rotate the grips on the handlebars to distribute wear evenly and prolong their lifespan.

By following these maintenance practices, you can prolong the lifespan of your mountain bike grips, ensuring a comfortable and reliable riding experience for longer.


Maintaining your mountain bike grips is crucial for a comfortable and safe riding experience. Regular cleaning, proper installation, and timely replacement when worn out are essential to ensure your grips serve you well on your biking adventures. By following these tips and techniques, you can maintain and replace your grips effectively, enhancing your overall biking enjoyment.

Are mountain bike handlebar grips universal?

Mountain bike handlebar grips aren’t universally standard. They come in various sizes and designs, requiring compatibility checks before purchase. Grips differ in length, diameter, and fitting styles, making it essential to select grips compatible with your handlebar.
Do you glue handlebar grips? 
Depending on the type, some grips require glue for installation, particularly non-locking grips. However, lock-on grips are usually secure without glue due to built-in mechanisms.
How do you secure handlebar grips? 
Lock-on grips secure via bolts or clamps that tighten around the handlebars. Non-locking grips might need adhesive or simply rely on friction to stay in place.
How do you replace bike handlebar grips? 
To replace grips, remove the old ones using compressed air or a solvent. For installation, apply rubbing alcohol or grip glue to the handlebars, then slide on the new grips.
What size grips do I need MTB? 
MTB grips vary in diameter, typically ranging from 28mm to 35mm. Grips with larger diameters often provide more cushioning, while smaller ones offer better control. Choose a size that feels comfortable and suits your riding style.
Do MTB grips make a difference? 
Yes, MTB grips affect comfort, control, and fatigue. They impact handling, vibration absorption, and hand positioning, significantly influencing the riding experience.
How do you put grips on a bike without hairspray? 
Besides hairspray, rubbing alcohol or dedicated grip glue can lubricate and aid in slipping grips onto handlebars. These substances evaporate, leaving the grips securely in place.
Can you reuse handlebar grips? 
It’s challenging to reuse grips without damaging them. Grips tend to stretch during removal, making reinstallation less effective.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *