This question has been floating around in my head for a while, mainly because I don't know anything about grips (edit to resolve confusion:covers for the part of the handlebar you hold on to).

Are there different types of grips available for mountain bikes?

Do different types of grip affect handling or comfort?

  • 2
    Is there something imperfect about your current grips, that you'd like to improve on? Do you wear gloves?
    – ChrisW
    Feb 28, 2011 at 15:55
  • I was really just interested generally. I do wear gloves with gel pads. I can't comment on my grips because I don't have the experience. I don't know what I'm looking for
    – Phil Hale
    Feb 28, 2011 at 22:00
  • 1
    Echoing @moz below, do you mean the entire handlebars or the grips coverings themselves? Mar 2, 2011 at 6:39
  • 1
    Sorry, I've confused everything by being an idiot. As several people have pointed out the article I posted a link to is about handlebars, not grips, and it is grips I'm interested in. I've deleted my post because it's rubbish
    – Phil Hale
    Mar 2, 2011 at 8:51
  • Perhaps ironically, one relevant issue is the type of MTB handlebar you need grips for. The common MTB flat bar or riser is what I expect you're referring to, but swept bars like the Origin8 Space Bar and mountain drop bars are going to have different needs. FWIW I've been enjoying riding the Space Bar + Ergon grip and I'm looking at switching to a set of mountain drops to try them out.
    – lantius
    Mar 5, 2011 at 16:33

3 Answers 3


Which grips you get for a mountain bike is mostly a matter of comfort and personal taste.

In terms of how they attach to the bike, there are grips that glue on and grips that screw on. They're exactly what they sound like. Locking grips (that tighten onto the bars with an allen key or a screwdriver) will avoid the grips twisting over time.

You can also get "ergonomic" locking grips. I had a pair of these and found them quite comfortable, and again, this is a matter of personal preference. (I also found that they reduced fine control just a little bit.) Some even come with smaller barends built-in.

  • 1
    Screw on grips are most commonly known as "locking grips". They're probably the simplest and best upgrade you can make for MTB grips.
    – lantius
    Mar 5, 2011 at 16:28

Grips come in different materials. I've tried some rubber grips that have a tread pattern. They're quite grippy for when you need to hold on over rough ground. I found though they could be quite abrasive on my hands and that they could actually cause my skin to split.

I've switched to some dense foam (ritchy ergo grips) and they still feel grippy enough, but the material is softer on the hands.

Also, I'd recommend getting comfier grips and having thinner gloves rather than trying to get all of your padding in to your glove. It might be my personal preference, but I think this combination gives a better balance of both comfort and control.


About a year ago, I mounted Ergon GP1 on my standard bike (BMW cruise bike).

I'm more than happy with the feeling and comfort, so I recently mounted Ergon GC2 on my new MTB (Swissbike X5).

The bad Scandinavian winter weather has kept me from testing them, but the GP1 experience makes me think they'll perform as expected.

Last summer, my mother-in-law complained about numbness and pains in her hands when riding her MTB. I got her and my father-in-law ergonomic handle grips from BBB similar to the Ergon GP1 model.

My mother-in-law reported that the numbness was gone.

  • I've been using the Ergon grips for a few years on my upright commuter bike and wouldn't be without them. My partner has the cheap plastic BBB copy and they work ok. On advantage of the Ergon is that you have the mini-bar ends as knuckle protection and a smooth curve so your bar end is less likely to get caught if it brushes against something. Like a wing mirror, say.
    – Мסž
    Mar 2, 2011 at 21:00
  • Do you find that the Ergon GC2 grips work well for off road technical riding?
    – Phil Hale
    Mar 3, 2011 at 9:28
  • @Phil: I'm still waiting for the weather to be better (= warmer). I'll post a comment about my findings as soon as possible!
    – T0TTE
    Mar 4, 2011 at 11:13

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