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How do I Choose the Best Bicycle Grip?

Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari

The best bicycle grip depends on the bike it will be mounted on and the type of riding you will be doing with your bicycle. Any grip you choose should fit snugly on the bar and should not roll, twist, or move in any other way while riding. A moving grip is dangerous and can cause a crash, so be sure whatever grip you choose is mounted correctly on the bar and secured in place. Most grips will slide onto the bar and sit in place naturally, while others may need a tacky spray such as hairspray to keep them in place. Choose your bicycle grip based on comfort, cushion, and material.

A good bicycle grip will be made of a cushion material such as rubber or silicone. Silicone is usually a better choice than rubber because the silicone will not break down and become sticky in the heat. Some rubber grips can become soft and sticky in hot weather and direct sunlight, leaving a sticky mess on your hands as you ride. Rubber grips are good, however, at providing cushion, and the price on rubber bicycle grip sets are often the cheapest.

Woman posing
Woman posing

Comfort is key when choosing your bicycle grip. Try out several kinds, and keep in mind that thicker is not always better. The thicker and more cushioned the grip is, the more your hand will flex while riding, meaning your hand may fatigue quickly. A grip does not need to be extremely thick to be comfortable; it should simply provide enough cushion and support to absorb some shock from the bicycle. Be sure your bicycle grip set does not in any way interfere with the brake levers or shifters. Some grips come with a flange or lip on them, so be careful to either remove this lip or choose a different grip.

A good alternative to a bicycle grip set — especially on road bikes — is grip tape. Grip tape is cork ribbon that is wrapped onto the bar to provide comfort and cushion. Some grip tapes now come with a gel material inside it to provide extra comfort. Grip tape is about the same price as a set of bicycle grips but it is more versatile. It can be wrapped on any style or shape of handlebar, and it can be wrapped around the clamp of brake levers and shifters, which makes it an ideal choice for road bike bars.

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