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Choosing the right mountain bike grips

January 14, 2021

Welcome to the 3rd article about contact points - grips.

Lets discuss:

  • lock-on or not
  • thin or fat
  • rough or smooth
  • shorter or longer
  • grips as accent colour

Lock-on or not

In todays time - there is really no point of buying grips without the locking collar. That is, unless you decide to go with grips like ESI silicone grips. They are super light and comfortable. So if you are building weight-weenie xc whippet - go for it.

ESI gripsESI grips

In order to install them, put some Isopropyl alcohol inside the grips and on the handlebar. Slide them on. Wait for it to dry. After that they should stick. In order to remove then - push something that will not damage your handlebar between handlebar and the grips, squeeze some alcohol/water inside and slide them out.

Or, just select one of many lock-on variation. Usually having the locking collar only on one side - is more then enough. And with the likes of ODI grips, when they wore out you can purchase only the rubbery part and reuse the collars - saving the money and the planet.

Installation is dead simple - loose the collar bolt and slide them on. Tighten the collar bolt. And this is it.

Ergon gripsErgon grips

My favorite is lock-on grip would be ergonomic Ergon GA2.

Thin or fat

Depends on personal preference and on the size of the hands. Try in the shop which one feels better. The fat one might provide better insulation from the trail chatter, but also some don't like this feeling of isolation from the trail chatter. Eh, people ... go figure them out ...

Rough or smooth

If you ride with gloves go for more rough ones - they will be less slippery. Sticky compound will stick to your hands better - but will also wear out faster.

Shorter or longer

Most of them is of standard length of 120mm. The shorter one of 90mm are for use with twist/grip shifters or RockShox twist lock. You can find them as combined pair: one long, one short, or now, less common as 2 short one in a pair.

Grips as accent colour

Often used to bring some colour to the world and match with accent colours of the headset or seat collar or pedals. Why not?

Red grips as accent colourRed grips as accent colour