Best Bike Grips
For a cyclist, one of the most important pieces of bike gear to invest in is the grips. Not only will they significantly aid in your grip and overall comfortability, they will also need to be replaced (for some) annually. Bike grips are going to endure a lot of stress and abuse and thus, you should consider investing in a high-quality pair. Even the top models in the world will not run your bank dry, so you have that to fall back on. But, as you will soon find out, there are some critical details that you need to pay close attention to. So, without further ado, let’s begin.
- Ergon GE1
- Improved riding technique
- Vibration dampening
- ODI Rouge
- Great shock absorption
- Very comfortable
- ESI Chunky
- Designed with silicone
- Performs great in the rain
10 Best Bike Grips
On top of the optimal performance that is provided even while the grips get wet, their slim profile actually allows your grip to be loose but secure at the same time.
To ensure that the installation process goes as smooth as possible, there are included instructions that inform you of the correct positioning that needs to be present.
To increase the vibration dampening system, this has been engineered with two different rubber compounds and also a cutout in the internal skeleton.
Even though the quality control of this model is very good, there is still a bit of concern over the durability in the long run.
There is a strong variety of colors available and among them include black, blue, green, grey, white, and pink.
The GE1 Grips really do stand above the rest of the competition. While it is difficult to find a pair that will last a long time, while these last, they offer impeccable performance.
Has advanced vibration dampening
Will help promote improved riding technique
Comes in two sizes
Longevity could be an issue
In addition to the 100 percent slip-free performance that is guaranteed, the extra-large pads of proprietary compounds ensure that you have enhanced grip when you are riding.
One user explained that these were longer than the standard grips that their bike came with. But, even then, all that was needed was a bit of adjustment of the brake levers.
Not only are the proprietary compounds of rubber designed to enhance the overall grip of this model, it is also ideal for enhancing the shock absorption. In addition to this, the extra-large raise also helps.
Most user experiences point to this being a fairly durable product. One of the aspects that assist with this is the deep grooves as they help channel away dirt and debris.
While there are not a ton of color options available to select from, the black and lime green variations are visually appealing.
It really is important to know that these are going to be thicker than your average bike grips. If you know that this will not be an issue, then there is no reasoning behind not seriously considering this model.
Provides excellent shock absorption
Includes new Snap Cap end plugs
They are very comfortable
They are a little thicker than average
Even though some buyers have expressed that these can become slippery when they get wet, they are crafted of silicone. Silicone itself is a texture that delivers an optimal amount of grip.
As these are actually thicker on one side than the other, you need to ensure that you install them correctly. This is even more important as when you install them, they are not going to come off easily.
Probably the main reason the silicone craftsmanship of this product is ideal is that of the vibration dampening that the material provides. Silicone is very efficient when it comes to canceling out high-frequency vibrations.
It seems buyer’s experiences have been right down the middle here. While some claim the durability can be an issue, others report that the foam stands the test of time.
To be honest, the color options will either be a hit or miss here. While there is a strong variety, you will either appreciate or dislike the vibrancy of the colors.
What clearly stands out with this model is the silicone construction. ESI was wise to choose this as their main material because as was seen, it offers specific performance advantages.
Will perform admirably even in the rain
Designed with silicone
Offers an ideal amount of vibration dampening
They are nearly impossible to remove when installed
Again, the newly engineered soft rubber compound of the Ruffian is able to provide optimal grip. This is true even in the instance when the grips get wet.
Included with your purchase are new snap cap end plugs that can be installed when the grips are. Overall, they measure 130 millimeters so keep that in mind.
While there are no ribs that will isolate your hands from massive vibrations, the rubber engineering does a fairly suitable job of preventing pain by dampening the effect of higher frequencies.
Indeed, the main tradeoff of the softer rubber is the durability. Then again, even though the rubber will wear down quicker, it still holds up to abuse quite well.
Everyone should be able to find a color combination that is suitable for their bike. For example, there are different variations of black and other colors and also separate vibrant color choices.
ODI was willing to sacrifice the durability of these grips a bit to improve the overall comfort and grip. Heck, given their price point, you could even stock up on a bunch of them.
Designed with a narrow diamondized surface pattern
Includes new Snap Cap end plugs
It is available with a ¾ flange
The soft rubber will wear out faster
RaceFace Half Nelson
RaceFace really nailed it with the grip as their product is not too soft but also not too firm. The end result is the perfect rubber compound blend for bikers around the world.
Be wary, the cheap hardware has been alluded to by some buyers. Due to this, the grips may still end up being a little loose even after they are clamped down.
Due to the slim profile and spot-on pattern of these grips, they feel terrific. Plus, the move to a single inboard locking system actually increases the comfort even further.
Thanks to the engineering of the rubber compound, which is not too soft, it will not wear out within a few months. It could definitely fill the void for a year-round grip.
The best way to sum up the color options of this model is to state that they come in a rainbow of colors. That is, nearly every major color is covered.
RaceFace deserves a lot of acclaim for their design here. But, that praise aside, there are some legitimate issues that could end up being the deciding factors for you.
Designed with a single inboard locking system
Has topographic moisture channels
Sports an ideal amount of tackiness
The plastic ends caps have been criticized
Grips may still be loose after installation
For enhanced grip, DMR integrated a combination of knurl and waffle patterns. Also, the entire design is meant to be ergonomic which also increases the grip.
There have been a few buyers who have alluded to the fact that these can go on tight. As such, you may need to exert some force to install them all the way.
First off, this is an ergonomic grip and what that means is it is outfitted with the human hand in mind. Also, the mushroom pattern on the flange side enhances the overall comfort.
What is nice is the knurl pattern that is integrated into these grips provides superb all-weather protection. Even still, though, the longevity has been brought into question from some buyers.
While this specific model comes in orange, there are other color options available from DMR including yellow, blue, red, black, and gum.
It really is easy to marvel at this collaboration and all things considered, DMR hit the nail on the head. Any bike owner would be proud to install this on their ride, let’s just say that.
Comes in a multitude of different colors
There is no need for an outer lock ring
The inner grip area is flanged
They will wear out pretty quickly
The tackiness of these grips is right on the money because they are tacky enough to prevent your hands from slipping in the rain but not so much to feel like your hands are glued down.
Even though you may need to adjust them a bit after they are installed, the clamp that is provided makes it easy to install them.
To allow for greater dampening, these grips actually vary in internal thickness. In addition, the rubber compound engineered into the GA2’s is very soft.
Due to the softness of the rubber, the durability takes a bit of a hit here. It may get roughed up by simple falls and may not be suitable for rougher rides.
Even if you are not a fan of any of the vibrant color options that are available, with there being quite a few, you can stick with the traditional black.
Ergon could have addressed a few issues with their GA2 Grips and they could have ascended higher on this list. As it sits, though, they are great bike grips with some flaws.
Designed with an inboard clamp
Engineered with a soft rubber compound
There are plenty of color options to choose from
The ends will cause your bike to slide on a slick surface
They will not be comfortable in all riding stances
Lizard Skins Lock-On
Everything seems to be fine; until the grips are exposed to moisture. Whether it is via the rain or your hands sweating, things can get slippery when you try to hold on to them.
If these do not fit on your current handlebars then you are truly an unlucky soul. Due to the fact that they are lock-on grips, they will fit 99.9 percent of all handlebars.
This product is more on the firmer side of the spectrum than softer. That said, the lock-on design is going to eliminate any unwanted movement which will maximize the comfortability in the long run.
Lizard Skins ensures their consumers that they only used the highest quality materials and processes when developing their product. Only time will tell, though.
For the benefit of the consumer base, there is a terrific blend of color options to choose from. There are some vibrant colors and also some subtle options.
Everything is included for installation and you would be hard-pressed to find a bike that is not compatible. But, they are one of the firmer models on this list, so keep that in mind.
They will fit around 99.9 percent of all handlebars
Includes are the clamps, grips, plugs and screws
Made using the highest quality materials
When wet, they will get slippery
Will be firmer than some will desire
Thanks to the integration of skidproof TPR rubber, the grip you are provided will be optimal for hours on end.
These grips are ideal for 7/8-inch and one-inch handlebars for the left and right, respectively. Overall, this will account for a wide range of bike brands.
Overall, the provided grip ensures optimal comfort and shock-resistance. That said, one buyer put an emphasis on the fact that these were harder than they were accustomed to.
Rest assured that only high-quality rubber was used in the manufacturing process of these grips. Thus, they are both low-temperature-resistant and corrosion-resistant.
One buyer reported that the color they received was not as bright as the photos indicated. All in all, the available color options are solid.
Let’s just be brutally honest here; some riders will not tolerate grips that are this firm. Of course, if you look at it with a different pair of lenses, the durability is also fantastic.
Installation is a breeze
Designed with TPR rubber
They are corrosion-resistant
Are harder than some bikers will tolerate
The pictures may be a bit misleading in regard to the color
To improve the traction and grip you are provided, the top portion is comprised of a textured pattern.
It is worth noting that these grips could end up being too long for your handlebars, as some buyers have expressed. If so, you may have to move the cables on your handlebars.
On longer rides, you may begin to feel numbness in your hands. However, the extra gel later and large palm area add comfort and vibration dampening.
Even though some consumers have questioned the long-lasting nature of this product, it is made of a Kraton compound for durability.
No matter what style of bike you have, the gray and black appeal of these grips should match the décor. Truthfully, who does not like the combination of gray and black?
There is a reason why these just barely cracked this list. Now, they did make it so no matter what, you at least know that they have redeeming qualities.
Has an ideal black and gray appeal
The top is textured for improved grip
Integrates an extra gel layer for comfort
Could be too long for some bikes
They are quite firm
Criteria Used For Evaluation
Their Performance and Grip
For a bike, the handlebars are one of the most important elements. So, it is only natural that the bike grips you choose will be just as important. Ask yourself this, what exactly are these grips designed to do? Without a doubt, outside of improving the overall ride, they are designed to provide you with enhanced grip and control. As such, it only seems fitting to begin this section by addressing the literal grip that these products deliver. Now, there are several different variations out there and each of them can differ when it comes to texture and grip.
For example, you have lock-on grips which are increasingly becoming the standard on most MTB bikes. But, there are also traditional models that are nothing more than rubber sleeves. With these, they can sometimes be troublesome when they get wet (whether via rain or sweat from your hands). Along the same line, some manufacturers will engineer their product with an ultra-tacky rubber compound to provide enhanced traction.
Ease of Installation
One of the reasons why it is so easy to invest in new bike grips is because most of them will fit onto your current handlebars. Now, it can’t be guaranteed that you will never find a pair that does not fit properly. Still, though, most push-on and lock-on models will work for a wide range of bicycles. Speaking of which, these two different types of grips do function differently. It is important to understand the distinction between them; so, let’s dive deeper into this.
Starting with push-on models, these are comprised of all rubber and typically use either compressed air or a liquid adhesive for installation. Of course, the easiest way to install them is to apply either hairspray or spray paint inside and then insert them over the handlebar. As for lock-on grips, these will slide easily onto your handlebars as they have a hard plastic core with a molded rubber grip. When on, they are held in place with clamping lock rings to keep them secure.
Everyone in the world can agree on this simple fact. No one enjoys being uncomfortable. If you do, then you are probably a masochist. But, 99.9 percent of the population will probably feel this way and thus, comfortability comes to the forefront. In addition to their grip, this is probably the second most vital characteristic to assess. But, personal preference can also come into play in this sense. Not all grips will be engineered in the same manner; with some being thicker, thinner, firmer, and softer than others.
But, the type you prefer is entirely up to you. With thicker and firmer grips, the theory is that the foam’s grip will be maintained more efficiently and deliver a more secure hold. Then again, a softer exterior can be more comfortable for riders to hold. Additionally, you want to look for models that offer vibration dampening and those that are ergonomic. The former will help minimize body fatigue while the latter will feel more natural when holding onto.
Their Long-Lasting Nature
It seems to be the million dollar question for new bikers and that is how long the grips will actually last. When you take into consideration how they are used and what they are comprised of, they are going to wear down over time. There is just no way to get around this. But, that does not mean that each pair will last the exact same time, as that would be practically impossible. It also depends on how rough you are with them. If you enjoy vigorous riding on bumpy and pot-hole infested trails and roads or simply pay no mind to the grips, they may not last as long as you desire.
Ironically, though, some bikers will replace them when they do not even need to be replaced. Sometimes, bikers will simply get tired of their current grips and look to invest in new ones. Let’s just say that if you notice the knurling coming off or notice general wear and tear, it may be time for new ones. Given their forgiving price, most of the time, you could simply buy them in bulk, anyway.
The Color Options Available
Even if you refuse to admit it to yourself, you probably chose the current bike you have due (somewhat) to its appeal. Yes, other factors, such as the performance and the quality of the components, probably played a more pivotal role. Still, it is not outlandish to assume that you bought yourself a bike that you admire looking at. As such, do you really want to install new grips on them that completely contradict the current color scheme?
The short answer is no and why else do you think manufacturers engineer their models in different colors and combinations? It is not to satisfy them, let’s just say that. Plus, most buyers will not find it enduring if their bike grips are overly vibrant to the point where they become the central focus of the bike. If you have a bike with a subtle color scheme, you will probably prefer a bike grip with a subtle color palette. It is not rocket science, ladies and gentlemen.
Q: What Size Should Be Bought?
Everything that has been documented has been hinting at a central core thought. This is that no matter which model you buy, it really all comes down to your personal preference. While some bike grips will be better received than others, it still only matters what you desire. The same concept can be applied to the size. There really is no right or wrong answer here as some riders will prefer thicker grips while others will prefer thinner.
In addition, what you are accustomed too can also play a pivotal role. Some people really do not like change and if you are one of those people, stick with what brought you to the dance.
Q: What Are Some Advantages of a Shock Absorbing Grip?
While this was briefly alluded to earlier, this deserves a closer look. As anyone who has ever ridden on a bike knows, there can be bumps and jolts along the way. This is especially true if you enjoy trail riding or riding on dirt roads. When you begin to vibrate on your bike, the first body part that feels it is your hands as they are essentially the steering wheel. Thus, there needs to be a way for the bike to absorb some of this vibration to put less stress on your hands and subsequently your upper body.
Well, this is where shock absorption or vibration dampening technology comes into play. With the grips absorbing a brunt of the vibrations, your overall body will not fatigue as quickly. In addition, your hands will not begin to feel numb as a result of the sheer amount of absorbed vibration.
Q: Can They Easily Be Removed?
This really depends on the type of bike grip that you are talking about. Take for example ESI’s grips that made an appearance on this list. Even though it is claimed that they can easily be removed, some buyers have claimed the contrary. With this type, you could attempt to use compressed air to remove them or take a screwdriver and slide it underneath to gain access to apply a lubricant such as rubbing alcohol.
With other types, such as lock-on grips, you may be able to find an easy-out kit at your local hardware store. If not, you could always buy a special kit online or attempt to do it yourself without breaking them.
Q: Could They Still Be Used if They are Too Long?
So, what happens if you do invest in a new model and they happen to be too long for your handlebars? Well, you still may be okay and here is why. Provided the fact it is a lock-on grip, it will be secured by the inner clamp and the end that is protruding on the end will simply just be there. Now, besides possibly being a little uncomfortable if your hand rests on the end of the handlebar, there could be another concern.
Without the support on the ends, when the bike falls, the handlebars may actually end up receiving damage. All in all, the grips really should fit flush with your handlebars. But, they could still be considered usable if you want to talk in technicalities.
Q: How Do You Keep Them in Place?
This is yet another common issue that consumers will have with their bike grips. Even if you have them installed correctly, they may be sliding around when you ride. Clearly, this can quickly become a nuisance and leave you scratching your head as to how you can prevent it. Well, perhaps you could try some of these methods that various other buyers have recommended.
For starters, remove them from your bike and clean the inside of them with rubbing alcohol. From there, apply some cheap hairspray inside of them and place them back on your handlebars. Allow them at least two to three hours to dry. If this does not work, go to your local bike shop and invest in some grip adhesives. While it may make it a pain to remove them later, the goal is to prevent them from slipping.
Q: How Do You Clean Rubber Grips?
In addition to the rubbing alcohol that was previously alluded to, you can also perform a deep cleaning. Now, it should be mentioned that this may or may not be necessary. It really depends on how dirty the grips are and if you feel like removing them (although you can probably get away with leaving them on). Before you begin, you will need to create a mixing solution. To do so, fill up a bucket with warm water and add in a touch of dish soap (it does not take that much).
Stir this solution thoroughly until you begin to see bubbles and foam form. With this solution, go ahead and grab a cloth and dip it inside. Then, simply take that cloth and begin cleaning the grips. All you are really looking to do is remove some of the dirt and grime that is inside. Once you are satisfied with the results, simply allow the rubber to air dry. But, try to avoid doing so in direct sunlight.
Raise your hand if you feel that you will be leaving here today with more buying confidence than you had before. The hope is that a majority of your hands are raised as that means you were able to allow this information to soak in. Thankfully, the good news is the process of finding the right bike grip is not one that is overly convoluted. In fact, a lot of your personal preference can be implemented and that is always enjoyable.