How to change Handlebar Grips on a mountain bike

Author: Alex Bristol

Last Update:

One of the most important mountain bike accessories are handlebar grips. These ones allow you to ride comfortably without straining your wrists. They also provide a non-slip surface if your handlebars are a bit slippery. Due to this, they give you better control when riding.  However, their installation can be a bit challenging because they come in different types. To make your work easier, this guide will take you n the steps you should follow when removing and installing the grips on mountain bike handlebars.

Getting started

Whether you are using flat or upright handlebars on your mountain bike, you must ensure that they do not move when riding. After using the grips after sometimes, they tend to expand or become loose. However, you can use adhesives to bond the grips on the bar.  What you need to know is that grips are not durable which means that time will come when you will need to replace them.

 The two types of handlebar grips are non-slip and lock on grips. Lock-on grips feature a locking collar which keeps them secure until they wear out.

How to remove grips

You need to get rid of any bar and plugs before you remove the grips. You can use a screwdriver to remove them. Some of them feature an expansion plug system. Use an appropriate wrench to loosen and remove the plugs.

How to remove slip-on grips

  • Using an air compressor and other accessories, you can create an air gap at the point where the bar gets into contact with the grip. Remove the grip by twisting it.
  • You can also use a tool to open one side of the grip and rub or spray alcohol inside. This acts as a lubricant and will allow you to remove them easily.
  • Apart from the above methods, you can use a blade or scissors to cut the grip. However, you should never do this if you are using carbon fiber handlebars.

How to remove lock on grips

You can do this by simply loosening the bolts connecting the grip to the bar.

How to install the grips

Use a non-residual cleaning agent to clean the bar. This will ensure that the bar is free from any oils and contaminants.

  • When fitting slip on grips, it can be a bit challenging to place them on the bar if they are very tight. You can use the following steps.
  • Blow air between the grip and the bar. You can also spray a lubricant like alcohol inside the grip. After this, you can now slide the grip on the bar. However, you should not ride the bike until all the alcohol has evaporated.
  • If you are installing lock-on grips, you can just slide them on the bar and place the grips where you would like them to be.
  • After you have installed the grips, you can now install the end plugs of the bar.


Installing mountain bike handlebar grips may seem to be an easy task but it can be very challenging especially if you are doing it for the first time. With this guide, we hope that now you can easily install them without involving an expert.


1.mtb-grip-guide – Post by Red Bull

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