Grips are one of those "you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone" type of bike parts. They're easy to overlook or take for granted, until you ride a friend's beater with ratty, old rubber and realize just how comfortable your own setup is. But even the best-kept grips need replacement sometimes, and in today's post we'll walk through a grip swap - so you can get your ride back to factory fresh in a jiff! Let's get twistin'!
Out with the Old
When it comes to removing your old grips, you've got options. If they're stretched and worn, you may be able to just twist them off with brute force. Note: if your grips can be twisted loosely on the bars, you're overdue for a replacement. Slippin' grips can be super dangerous on the road when you need to be confident your hands will stay exactly where you expect them to on the bars.
If elbow grease isn't enough, you can introduce some canned air to help create space between the grips and the bars, and cut down on the friction keeping everything stuck in place.
Note: The canned air works in an air-tight set-up by kind of "ballooning" the grip off of the bars, so if your grips have holes in the ends, plug those up with your thumbs while you have a friend blast the air in. And, once you've removed one side, you can just blast the compressed air in the now opened end of the bars to liberate the other grip.
And, if you can't make it work with air or effort, you can always grab a pair of scissors and cut your way out of the old pair.
Whatever you do though, don't use lube/grease/oil/WD40 or anything slippery. Sure, it'll make the grips slide off super-easily, but it's nearly impossible to clean all the residual lube off the bars and as a result your new grips will be dangerously slippy when you get them mounted.
And once your old grips are removed, we can start installing the new pair!
In with the New
Again, when installing your new grips, avoid any instructions that recommend hairspray, lube, or anything wet to help you get them slid on there. While those will certainly help your grips get on easily, you'll end up with handholds that can twist and turn in place, taking your ride from safe to sketchy in a snap.
Instead, we'll just slide the new pair on with some good old-fashioned hand-wrenchin'!
Note: If your grips are air-tight (like the Ourys we removed), you might need to sneak the canned-air in there again to facilitate the mounting process but, if your grips have a vent-hole (like the Pure Fix grips we're installing) then you should be able to get them installed more easily because you won't be fighting air "trapped in the bars".
Start on one side and just twist and shove, twist and shove, until the grip is fully mounted on the bar. Don't go so far that the grips are stretched out over the end (you don't want your bars to break through the ends of your new grips), just go until you feel metal when you "pinch" the far-side of the grips.
For bonus points, pay attention to the orientation of the logo on the grips' end. Having the logo right-side up won't make you any faster, but it will help you feel more "pro" about your swap success.
And once you've done one side, jump over the bike and repeat on the other side!
Twist and shove, twist and shove, check the logo, and then you're ready to roll!
Note: At this point it's super-tempting to poke the ends of the grips and feel them flex into the hollow bar-ends; don't do that. Poking a hole in your new grips is really sad and it'll instantly make you feel bad about poking. But, if you know you'll be unable to resist, consider putting a nickel in the end of each grip before you install them. That'll act as a solid "plug" so you can poke away and you'll never have to worry about tearing the grip on the ends of your bars!
And now you're prepared to swap your own (and the hardest part ought to be deciding on a new grip color)!
Ride happy, hang on tight, and we'll see you out there.