I bought a used mountain bike recently that came with some not so great handlebar grips. In humid weather they get really sticky (so much it hurts to pry my hands off them) and bits of rubber come off and stick to my hands.

I'm replacing them as soon as I can but in the meantime I'd like to know what I can do to prevent this from happening with my new set of handlebar grips. Does this happen when you leave your bike in the sun or the rain? Is it inevitable after a certain amount of time? Is there anything I can do about it?

  • 2
    This happens with a lot of grips (especially cheaper ones and especially old ones). Buy higher quality grips basically.
    – Batman
    Jul 1, 2016 at 18:41
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    Crappy grips do this when exposed to UV in sunlight, or simple age. As a dirty hack, wrap them in tape until you can afford new ones. Note, the ooze soaks through painter's masking tape so use something else. Don't wrap too tightly, the tape will pull itself shorter exposing adhesive. The real fix is some new $30 grips, not $4.99 grips.
    – Criggie
    Jul 1, 2016 at 22:28
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    Buy new grips from brands on an physical shop instead of an online service because just price is not safe indicator. I am seeing my crappy rubber grips that cost me 7eur for 20eur in really famous shop. Nov 13, 2022 at 16:28

2 Answers 2


I remember this would happen to me as a kid while on my bmx bike especially in humid summer weather.

So you are buying new grips already - I'd say make sure they are a harder compound than whatever your current ones are. Seems like harder rubber is less likely to deform/melt away.

With your current grips you might try wrapping them in bar tape. There are many kinds. I use cork - is good for wicking away moisture from sweaty hands but it is thick. Synthetic bar tape that's thinner might wrap tighter and be less bulky around your grips. If you don't have any bar tape, maybe try the clear plastic wrap from your kitchen. It should keeps the little bits off your hands. Could be more slippery so be careful.

  • 1
    Bar tape for mountain bikes?
    – c10yas
    Jul 2, 2016 at 8:06
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    @c10yas yes - bar tape can be used on any bars. You can even use several wraps of bartape to add thickness.
    – Criggie
    Jul 18, 2023 at 2:44

I’ve had this issue with types of rubber like Kraton that are designed to be tacky when wet. I think they degrade from oil and sun exposure. The absolute cheapest grips just get cracked or crumbly like an old tire or vinyl. Had plenty of higher end grips get gooey, $40 Ergon grips with the grey inlays have been the absolute worst for me. So buying fancier grips is not necessarily the solution.

  • Welcome to the site - good first answer. I wonder if covering your grips would help, when the bike is not in use.
    – Criggie
    Jul 18, 2023 at 2:43

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