How To Change Mountain Bike Handlebar Grips- Simple Steps

Handlebar Grips are crucial bike accessories, particularly for mountain bikes, ensuring comfortable rides without wrist strain. In this guide, we will show you how to change the bike grips, the correct way!

Mountain Biking is amazing, there are thrills, there are fun moments, and overall it is just exhilarating. From the perfect mountain bike to the accessories, your choice will matter so you have to be careful with that. It does not actually matter if you use road bikes or mountain bikes, you will spend a lot of time changing these components from time to time so best be ready!

Mountain Bike Grips or just handlebar grips are one of the most important accessories, they make sure that the rider has a smooth and comfortable trip without their wrists ever straining. This form of sport is so adventurous and dangerous at the same time that you need to be fully prepared before the ride.

Make sure that the mountain bike handlebars are working as they should and the grips are also in prime condition before a ride, changing those grips from time to time is also recommended and that is the main reason for this guide.

In this guide, we will be showing you how to install/change mountain bike handlebar grips. Other sorts of useful information will also be shared so keep tuned. Let’s get started!

What Are The Tools Required

In order to carefully remove the handlebar grips and install the new grips, you will be needing these tools. Some of the tools are optional so be mindful of that.

  • Mountain Bike Spray
  • Long and Thin Screwdriver
  • New Grips
  • Non-Residual Agent
  • Allen Key
  • Allen Wrench 

How to Install The Slip-On Grips

Installing the Slip-On grips is easy, you just have to follow the steps mentioned. 

Step 1- Remove The Bar End Plug 

In the first step, you have to remove the bar end plug. These bar end plugs are very important as they secure the handlebar grips and keep the moisture out, this way the handlebars become rust-proof. They have to be removed properly so that the new grips can be installed.

Step 2- Place The Screwdriver Under Handlebar Grip

Here, the screwdriver has to be edged under the handlebar grip. If you want things to go smoothly and without any kind of problems then we suggest that you use the flat-headed screwdriver, just make sure that it is long enough. The screwdriver needs to be inserted between the grip and the handlebar. Once you have done that, just create a gap between the two.

Step 3- Create A Gap

Now that you have created a gap between the grip and the handlebar, spray the inside of it. You can also use rubbing alcohol here, just make sure that everything is fully cleaned. If you can’t find a spray then use an air compressor.

Step 4- Remove The Grip 

Now you have to twist the grip and remove it. Some people make the mistake of just pulling the grip, this requires a lot of friction, so don’t forget to twist.

Step 5- Spray The Grip 

After you are done twisting the grip, you need to spray the inside again, but make sure that the spray reaches the inside of the grip, even if you have to apply the lubricant. This whole process will make the grip easier to slide off, without any problems.

Step 6- Remove The Grip

Twist again and keep on spraying. You need to be doing that continuously, so the grip just comes off without any kind of problems.

Step 7- Spray The Handlebar 

Now that you have removed the old grip, you need to spray the handlebar, a non-residual agent is recommended. The lubricant will make sure that the handlebar does not have any kind of residue from the old grip, it also makes sure that a new grip will be installed without any kind of excessive friction.

Step 8- Install The Grips

Once the handlebar is fully lubricated and clean, it is time to slide on the grips. You have to install these grips before the spray dies away, otherwise, the process will be difficult.

Step 9- Let Them Set

The new bike grip needs to be set now, don’t move it, don’t touch it, just let it sit there. 

Step 10- Re-Attach The Bar End Plugs

Now that everything is done, just attach the bar end plugs again. Repeat the same whole process with the other side of the handlebar grip. Remember, the installation process isn’t hard, just remove the slip-on grips carefully.

Fixing Handlebar Grip On Bicycle

How to Install The Lock-on Grips 

Installing the lock-on grips is also easy, the same as the slip-on grips, just follow the steps mentioned.

Step 1- Loosen The Collar Lock 

If you have a lock-on grip installed then you need to loosen the collar lock in order to replace it. You will need an Allen Key to loosen the grip’s collar lock, it is very easy.

Step 2- Remove The Grip

Now that you have loosened the collar locks of the old grip, they should come off very easily. These grips tend to come off easily as compared to the slip-on grips, you just need to have the right tools with you.

Step 4- Install The New Grips

It is time to install the new lock-on grips. Just slide the new grips in, sometimes these new grips can feel a little tight or loose, you can fix that by loosening or tightening the collar locks. Do test them out after installing. You can also use the expansion plug system here.

Step 5- Tighten The Locks 

You are almost there! Just use the fallen wrench to tighten the locks again and check that everything is set. Enjoy your new grips!

When is The Best Time to Change The Grips?

Mountain Bike Handlebar Grips

When we talk about mountain bike handlebars, they come in various diameters, shapes, and even sizes. The grips are on a whole other level though but they also come in different diameters, you can also choose between soft and hard compounds, which is completely up to the user’s preferences.

 A mountain bike rider should have complete knowledge about their bike, including the accessories like handlebar grips. Knowing when to install new ones is going to be one of the differences between a professional and a casual rider, plus it makes a lot of difference while riding.

If by some chance the handlebar grip wears out then it could lead to a lot of problems, your hands could slip without a warning and that could lead to severe accidents. 

The existing grip on your bike may be prone to wear and tear so you have to be careful about that. 

Indicators That Lead to a Change

Once your grips start shifting on the handlebars or when you feel that they don’t feel the same like they have lost their tackiness, that is when you should replace them. Although this is where the hard part comes in, replacing them won’t be that easy.

There is also no point in repairing old grips, just make it easy on yourself and get a new grip instead.

Where Caution is Required

Installing the handlebar grips might seem like an easy procedure, but it is not, technique and caution are required here. There is a dedicated method for removing the grips and if you are not careful then you might end up damaging the handlebars.

The best to install the new grip is by removing all the traces of the previous grip, they should be completely gone. When all the traces have been removed then clean the handlebar thoroughly with a non-residual agent-this ensures that there is sticky residual or oil left there.

Make sure that the handlebars are fully clean before installing the new grips.

Related: Best Bike Handle Grips

The Different Types of Mountain Bike Handlebar Grips

There are mainly two types of mountain bike handlebar grips, you can choose between them according to your preferences. These grips are installed to add the extra cushion feeling for the rider’s hands and they also reduce the impact of bike excursions.

  • Slip-on Grips
  • Lock-on Grips 

Slip-on Grips

MTB Slip-on Grips
MTB Slip-on Grips

Let’s start with the slip-on grips first, they are also known as push-on grips. These are very soft grips and are completely pliable. These Slip-On Grips are made from either silicone or rubber, installing and removing them is very easy and hassle-free.

These grips have a smaller diameter as compared to the other types of grips, this is because of a tighter fit. Push-On grips do not slip that easily which extends the comfort of the rider. Slip-On grips are cheaper and lighter and don’t require any kind of tools for either the installation or the removal process.

These types of grips are also not adjustable, you have to calculate the diameter correctly and get the proper grips for yourself. Installing them with a lubricant is easy, otherwise, the whole process could become nasty.


  • Cheaper Option
  • Lightweight
  • Comfort Is Amazing


  • Needs Lubricant For Installation
  • Pushing Onto The Handlebars Is Difficult

Lock-on Grips

Lock on Grips
Lock on Grips

* Check the locking collar around the inside end of the grip

The Lock-On type of bike grip has a collar-locking mechanism that keeps the grip attached to the handlebar. The collars furthermore have clamps that are either attached to one end or both ends of the grip, this way it never slips. 

These lock-ons grips don’t need to be pushed onto the handlebar, just position them on the handlebar and then secure them by tightening the ring which is there. You will need an Allen Wrench to tighten them, no kind of lubricant is required like the Push-On grips.

As you might have guessed, the lock-on grips are more expensive than the other option, that is because of the metal rings. 


  • Installation Process Is Very Easy
  • Amazing Quality


  • Allen Wrench Required For Installation
  • Heavier Weight


What Is A Slip On Grip?

A slip-on grip will easily slip on and off of your handlebars. This type of grip does not require any kind of adhesive, instead, they are made of a rubber material that fits over the handlebars perfectly.

Are Mountain Bike Handlebar Grips Universal?

No, mountain bike handlebar grips are no longer universal. Carefully assess different grips and their diameters before choosing one. Select the one that will provide you with more comfort.

Can I Reuse My Old Grips Or Do I Need To Buy New Ones?

It is possible to reuse your old grips but it is not recommended to do so. Old grips become worn out with the passage of time and fail to provide an adequate grip on the handlebars. This can be dangerous when you are going downhill. That is why it is always better to buy a new pair of grips.

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Mountain Bikes are amazing but the accessories are what give them that unbeatable feeling. Handlebar Grips are there to make sure that the rider feels completely comfortable and confident while riding. We discussed the different types of MTB Grips alongside their various advantages and disadvantages.

Installing a mountain bike grip is also easy, you just got to have the right tools by your side, after all, preparation is the key. We hope that after going through this guide, you can easily install the grips by yourself without any kind of problems. If you have any problems then please reach out to us in the comments! Happy Riding!

This article was crafted by Rhodes Perry, Editor-in-Chief, a seasoned expert, bringing 16 years of experience and knowledge about all types of bikes. Our goal is to provide you with accurate, reliable, and valuable insights to help you make informed decisions and enhance your biking experience.

Should you have any questions or require further clarification on the topic, please feel free to connect with our expert author Rhodes Perry by leaving a comment below. We value your engagement and are here to assist you.

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Rhodes Perry

Rhodes Perry

Rhodes is a writer, social justice advocate, and passionate cyclist. He primarily spends his time in the saddle commuting or riding multi-day, self-supported tours, and volunteers time wrenching at his local bike coop.


2 thoughts on “How To Change Mountain Bike Handlebar Grips- Simple Steps”

  1. I have read instructions on how to install rubber handlebar grips to replace ones that have worn out after a long time of use with just four easy steps: First, remove the old rubber grips. then clean the WD-40 rod, you should use soap and water to remove the dust and residue on it. The next step is to wrap some plastic fasteners on the bike; they will create some friction to mount the bike grips and keep them in place. and finally, the hardest thing to do is push the New Grip onto the bar. Twist the handle as you press on the handlebars, aligning it with the contours of the bike. Be patient as you attach the handlebars to the bike little by little.

  2. Once you know how to install rubber handlebar grips, it’s easy to stay comfortable while steering your bike. They even make your bike look nice and new.


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