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I just spent the last 10 minutes trying to put a new set of grips on to my mountain bike handlebars..

The old ones came off fairly agreeably and I've got the new ones 80-90% of the way on, however, at this point my hands are both stinging from the aggressive twisting and pushing - I have tried gloves, but I feel it's best left till my hands don't hurt anymore.

Is there a tried and tested way of doing this? Or is there a knack to this that I am missing?

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Related: Glued grip has rotated, won't rotate back –  Neil Fein Mar 28 '12 at 18:21
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Every bike mechanic, shade tree and pro, has his own unique and secret way, from air to soap to hairspray to WD40. –  Daniel R Hicks Mar 28 '12 at 20:41
    
(It should be noted that there is available (though I don't know from where) a grip glue, used for exercise equipment. Costs something $75 for about 16 oz of the stuff, according to the repair guy at my gym, but a little goes a long way.) –  Daniel R Hicks Mar 28 '12 at 23:49
    
There's a similar product for motocross grips with is significantly less expensive. Slidy when it's wet and glue when it's dry. Check a motorcycle store if you have one near. –  Jon McAuliffe Mar 29 '12 at 8:08
    
Thanks for the tips, I didn't have any of your suggestions so I pulled out my eucalyptus oil and gave that a try. It worked great, better when I left the end plug in place to hold the oil inside the grip. –  user11211 May 10 at 7:53

8 Answers 8

up vote 7 down vote accepted

Spit.

Im not kidding. Saliva is a great lubricant that will dry with little residue, and depending on any sugars in your system, could be a little tacky. I have done this for years.

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Certainly seems like a cheap solution. –  Wezly Mar 29 '12 at 14:42
    
Worked like a charm, thanks. –  Wezly Mar 29 '12 at 15:21
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I agree it is not the most elegant of solutions. But cheap, easy and works. –  Matt Adams Mar 29 '12 at 15:27
    
-1 for throttle grip –  dotjoe Mar 29 '12 at 18:27
    
No throttle grip - I didn't open up a gland an poor it in, just a little bit inside the grip. –  Wezly Mar 30 '12 at 0:30

Two solutions I've used:

  1. Spray the inside of the grip with hair spray. Slide it on immediately, and then when the hair spray dries, it will glue the grip in place.
  2. Use rubbing alcohol. It does not do as good of a job at locking the grip in place, but it does evaporate quickly and doesn't leave any lubricant inside the grip.
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+1 Hairspray is the best. The higher the the alcohol content the better. As in, use the cheap stuff. Aqua Net, in the big pink can works excellently. –  zenbike Mar 28 '12 at 19:43
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I'm guessing this will still allow the grips to be removed? eventually? –  Wezly Mar 28 '12 at 20:38
    
To remove you just use hairspray again. –  Colin Newell Mar 29 '12 at 10:37
    
Rubbing alcohol is my favorite. it dries fast and doesn't leave much residue. it makes it possible to remove the grips without damage in many cases. –  Benzo Mar 30 '12 at 3:04
    
I prefer hairspray because the grips tend to stay in place after the hairspray has dried. I had a friend tell me Aqua Net, too; evidently there is a difference. –  lawndartcatcher Jul 12 '12 at 14:59

Best solution (probably available only at shops): use an air compressor with a narrow tip to inject air between the grip and the handlebar at an angle (like spiralling around). This will create an air cushion and you can move the grip around (keep moving the air jet as you apply the air jet, since only in some positions the air cushion is formed).

Less professional method is what I use to do at home:

  1. Wash bar and grip perfectly, with water and soap, to remove grease (even the grease from your hands). If the grip is new, probably not needed.
  2. Spill like a small spoon of alcohol inside the grip, and shake it inside a bit to make all the inner side of the grip wet with alcohol.
  3. Quickly (before the alcohol evaporates), insert the grip, twisting and pulling.
  4. In case it gets harder from the middle to the end of insertion, two strategies might help:
    1. Push from the bottom (lateral part) of the grip, so as to "fatten" it in a barrel shape. This increases its inner diameter, allowing it to snap into position.
    2. Pull from the inner border, like you would pull a sock around your foot, preferrably with both hands.

I am eager to know other alternatives, because this not always work. Specifically, it might take a few days untill the alcohol eventually disapears. Before that, some slight slipping might happen, but usually nothing serious.

Hope this helps.

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This is why I prefer locking grips. –  Neil Fein Mar 28 '12 at 18:22
    
Hockey tape!!!! –  Daniel R Hicks Mar 28 '12 at 20:42

Distribute thin zip-ties around the inside of the grip somewhat evenly so that they provide slippery "rails" on which the grip can slide on the bar. Once the grip is in place, pull the zip-ties out (with pliers if necessary).

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Interesting idea, may try this for lack of spit/hair spray. –  Wezly Mar 29 '12 at 14:43
    
+1 best way if you don't have an air compressor. You'll need pliers to get them out. Anything using a lubricant means you'll have throttle grip for some period of time. –  dotjoe Mar 29 '12 at 18:23

Avenir 3D rubber grips on my cruiser bar: Vodka :) Just a splash inside the grips, wriggle them on, and let excess drain outside the end hole.

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Will the 60% water be safe (not a rust hazard) for all metals/coatings? –  NOTjust -- user4304 Apr 6 '13 at 22:28

I always used hairspray with my grips, it's the best solution in my opinion. It not only keeps them from slipping too far on/off the handlebars, but keeps them from twisting in place. Now, however, I use locking grips like these: http://www.ebay.com/itm/110736653646?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1497.l2649#ht_1030wt_1163

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To put simple rubber compound grips I usually use two step procedure. Use extreme degreaser on handlebar, the one that is used to degrease car brake rotors. Then pour some water into grips and then put them on while water is still inside grips. To take them off it's even simplier. I use syringe with water. Stick the needle through grip up until the surface of a handlebar and then inject some water. The grip come off with no effort at all. Using lock-on grips though makes process of putting grips on and off a lot easier ;)

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Boiling water helped but hair spray was best

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Welcome to Bicycles SE. We're looking for answers with more detail on this site. Please consider expanding your answer to include how you used boiling water and hairspray to aid in the process. –  jimirings Oct 4 at 15:22

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