I use my mountain bike for trail riding (a few hours on weekends) and for commuting (20-50 minutes each day), on paved or dirt roads (I have 2 different routes).

I would like to replace the grips on my handlebars (because my existing ones are getting too old). I would like to understand which grips fit the very different styles of riding I do.

My current thinking is like this: I can do the commuting without gloves, to minimize the equipment I mess up with on daily basis, – and then I need smooth grips, which probably are a bit worse for trails. I can choose to always ride with gloves, and then I can get deeply-grooved grips (that would be better for trail riding?). Which important factors do I miss here?

I used ergonomic grips in the past, like in this picture; didn't like them.

  • 1
    Use regular lightly-padded bike gloves for commuting. They take up virtually no space. Jun 25, 2013 at 11:52
  • 2
    Gloves aren't just to keep your hands comfortable, they also help keep the skin attached to your palms if you fall.
    – Johnny
    Jun 25, 2013 at 20:05
  • 1
    @Johnny - I would put it the other way. Gloves are there to protect you hands in a fall, comfort is a by product of that. Even commuters can take a fall - wear gloves.
    – mattnz
    Jun 25, 2013 at 21:48

2 Answers 2


Grips: Deeply grooved grips will not really compromise your commuting ability, but smooth grips will give you troubles off road when it's wet and muddy. Get something that works for you off road in bad conditions, where you need it most. You will have no troubles commuting.

Gloves: Garden shops sell from heavy duty to light weight fabric/leather protective gloves. Check them out. Cost basically nothing because they are no-name products, but still keep you safe and protected.

  • -1 for garden gloves. Blisters are your best friends in garden stuff on a bike.
    – trailmax
    Jun 27, 2013 at 13:23
  • @trailmax well then either you have no clue about gloves, or you are a bicycle glove manufacturer that's angry because someone pointed out that his product is too expensive while offering limited advantages (like finding them easily in the mud because of nice colours and the contrast between glove and the big printed logo).
    – anaheim
    Jun 27, 2013 at 18:50
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    I'm sorry, but I'm neither. Only 14 years of mountain biking and about 100 different pairs of gloves tried and tested. Including garden, skiing and from warehouse shops. Cycling gloves are called cycling for reason.
    – trailmax
    Jun 27, 2013 at 21:46

I use Oury Mountain Grips on my mountain bike and my city bike.

They have a cheaper slide on version (about $10-12 USD) and a lock on version ($ about $30 USD) which I prefer. The lock on version avoids the 'slippy grip' issues you sometimes have when water eeks under the edge of the grip and it slips on the bars.

These grips are smooth and cushy enough to wear without gloves and are good and sticky when used with gloves.

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