Grips provide comfort and control. Having the right grips is important for your safety and comfort on the bike

Like all bike things, grips are no exception, when it comes to range. There are many variables like price, diameter, length, grip surface, ease of installation, the shape, the colour that can all influence your decision on what to use. What is the right grip for you? Understand the features of bike grips so you can get a grip that matches your riding.

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Grip Shape

The variation in shape of grips occurs when they are designed to provide increased comfort. The grip has a wing to provide support for your hand and wirist to be more in an ergonomic position. This can be important if spending time on your bike or you suffer from arm elbow, neck and back discomfort

Choose the correct chamois

Winged shape grip

Choose the correct chamois

Standard shape grip

Grip Sizes

Adult grips are usually 130 to 140mm long with a diameter range between 27 – 35mm.

Small 27-30mm

Medium 30-32mm

Large 33-35mm

Getting the right size grip is usually about matching up your hand size to a length and diameter so that the grip will fit the natural shape of your hand.  So it’s better for people with smaller hands – women – to get a shorter length and small diameter.

There are other things that influence this fit.  The most obvious is whether you wear gloves or not and how well padded the gloves are.  Also some people have a preference for feel through their hands so will sacrifice a padded feel – bigger diameter – for a slim grip.

What are grips made of

The surface your hand comes into contact with on grips is generally made out of some type of rubber, foam, gel or leather.  A popular choice is Kraton which is a type of rubber silicon.  The problem that grip manufacturers have is that they need to make a lightweight, comfortable surface for you to grip but they can’t use materials with hard compounds (durable) otherwise the grip will have no vibration dampening.  This will quickly lead to hand fatigue.  So grips are made from softer compounds.  The advantages of Silicon, for example, is that it makes a great non slip surface which is perfect for a grip.

Be aware that having a large diameter soft grip surface made from foam, that may initially feel really comfortable for your hands, can lead to fatigue problems.  If you have to grip your handlebars tightly to feel like you’ve got a proper hold on them your grips are not working how they should.  This also applies to a surface that you feel like your hands are slipping off – which can happen as grips wear down or get wet.

Grip Technology

Most of the design that goes into making a grip is concentrated around ergonomics and what promotes the best possible position for your hand.  Changing diameters down the length of the grip ending with a wing is a popular way to help alleviate any problems with compression of nerves.  Grips can be shaped in a way that will help you to maintain a relaxed but firm hold.  For more on this important subject see How to Grip your Handlebars 

The other most noticeable design feature is the surface pattern of the grip.  Raised, ridged, waffle designs are used over the grip surface to help with a secure hold where different parts of your hand come into contact with the grip.  So it can be really important when attaching your grip to your handlebar to have it positioned left or right and with the patterns in the correct place.

Lock on versus Slip on Grips

Beneath the rubber outer of Lock On grips is an inner alloy or plastic liner that is screwed onto the handlebar. Locking your grips on in this manner is a really easy way to get grips on and off.  Lock on grips provide a secure surface to hold that is unlikely to move when force is applied.  This makes these grips a really popular choice for mountain biking.  See How to Attach a Lock On Grip

Slide on grips will have a smaller diameter so are often what teenagers and kids have on their bikes.

Push on grip

Lock on grip

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