Words and photos by Fat.
Taking off old grips and putting new grips on your bike is about as basic as you can get when it comes to bike maintenance. However, there are a few tips and tricks that can help you do the job quicker so you can get back out there riding again. Here’s a few of our favorite ways to get’r done…
There are about a million and a half (give or take) ways to install grips on a bike, so if you have your own method that you like, that’s fine. Hell, your way may even work better for some people than ours, so go ahead and post it in the comments below. With that said, here’s how we do it.
Some things you may or may not need, all of which will be explained throughout the steps below: Bike with old grips, can of WD-40, box cutter, 4-6 zip ties, screw driver, new grips, and pliers.
If you don't need to keep your old grips, the quickest and easiest way to get off the worn out rubber is to simply slice it with a knife. (Do we really have to put in a "do this at your own risk and be careful" warning? Okay, well we just did...)
If for some reason you want to keep the old grips, shove a flat head screwdriver in between the grip and the handlebar. Then put a few drops of liquid in there. You could use WD-40, water, or even your own spit. You probably do not want to use something like Kool-aid or soda because the sugar may make the grip stick even more. The liquid will loosen the grip from the bar and it'll slide right off after a wee bit of twisting and wiggling.
Before putting on your new grips, wipe your bars down with a clean rag. You don't want any liquid, dust, or dirt on the bars when you put the new grips on. Those things will cause your grips to slip more and may give you what we call "throttle grip."
Now here's where things get a little unusual and we show you our tricks of the trade… Put some zip ties in your grip. We used five. The butt end should be to the outside of your grip.
Spread the zip ties around the end of your bars, separating them from one another. Go ahead and give your grip a good push and it should go on the bar fairly easily. Why does it go on easily? The zip ties prevent the soft rubber of your grips from making contact with your bars, so they slide on approximately eleven times easier than normal.
Push your grip all the way on the bar so the end is flush with the edge of the bar. Unless you like the streamers-on-a-girl's-bike-at-Walmart look, you'll want to go ahead and pull the zip ties out now.
You may be able to get them out by hand, but if not, a pair of pliers should do the trick. Pull those puppies out one at a time and your grip should stay in place and be snug on the bar.
I use plastic bar ends and highly recommend them. If you crash and your bars are uncapped, there's a damn good chance the end of your handlebar can puncture you like a cookie cutter, leaving you with a core sample of your innards. I choose plastic because metal bar ends can get sharp after they've been scraped up and can be lethal. I should know—I got stitches in my groin after a metal bar end sliced me open.
Now you've got your grip on your bar, it's tight and isn't slipping around, and your bar is capped. You, my friend...are ready to shred. Yeeee haw!
Some other ways to get grips onto bars are:
– Using an air compressor with a narrow tip to blast the grip onto the bar. This is popular in bike shops where air compressors are common.
– Spraying a small amount of hair spray in the grip and quickly putting it on the bar. The liquid makes it slide on easily. Then when it dries, the hairspray helps the grip stick better so you never get throttle grip.
– Using ultra-sonic brain waves to telepathically command the grip to jump onto the grip. For this you have to be pro though with at least seven sponsors.