I have some Bell anatomic handlebar grips that tend to slide (rotate) on the bar. I've read that using hair spray is useful, but tends to be rather permanent. I'd like to make the grip tackier but not a permanent application. Would any of these techniques be worthwhile?

  • a strip of masking tape on the bar, or run along the inside of the grip?

  • a modest swipe of honey in the grip before application?

  • a segment of innertube between the two?

Anything else I should consider?


I have rubbed the inside of the grips out with an isopropyl soaked rag and rubbed down the handlebars of two of the bikes and this has helped a lot. Some advice I got from my favorite LBS mechanic was specific to the black tooth finish on my SKS bars: his advice was to wrap bars with a bit of electrical tape. I will try that, as the grips on the black bars are a bit firmer, but are still not great. Thank you for your answers!


A single wrap of electrical tape on the black SKS bars was just the trick! I did a spread spiral with the tape, and was able to twist the grips on in the same direction as the spiral. (No hair spray has yet made it to my shed.)

  • I should add that this is an issue on about three bikes of mine, two of which use those Bell anatomic grips, on flat or riser bars. Could I also have put these grips on a greasy bar, and if so, would a spray of wd40 on bar grip area and in the grip be an effective way of removing any grease? Commented Aug 5, 2011 at 6:07
  • In my experience WD40 or GT85 does leave enough residue to make the grip slip round, problematically so for at least a fortnight and then never really that good. Particularly so with anatomical grips. You can clean the area with WD40 but you will need a cloth to clean the WD40 off. Hairspray will work after that, letting you get the grip on, which is hard with a dry bar/grip combo. And you can get the grip off afterwards, that is why people use hairspray rather than Araldite etc. Commented Aug 5, 2011 at 9:17
  • So it sounds like hair spray is not as bad as I thot. This is all very informative. I look forward to getting some grips off, cleaning, and trying again, and possibly pawing some hair product from a neighbor :-) Commented Aug 5, 2011 at 15:27
  • btw these are all good answers, thanks, I'll choose one after I get some maintenance in Commented Aug 5, 2011 at 15:28
  • this happens to me when I am riding in wet conditions/rain. Not really related to this because for that it is easily fixed by wiping the bar and inside of the grip dry Commented Aug 5, 2011 at 19:29

5 Answers 5


Wipe the bar with isopropyl alcohol. It evaporates completely and will leave dry rubber against a clean bar.

If they slip and slide after more than about 24 hours left alone, the you may need to replace the grips (assuming they're not new).

The high alcohol content is what makes hairspray effective, and using isopropyl alcohol cuts out the sticky residue of the hairspray that is made up of its remaining content.

A grip left on its own will bond to the bar after some time, even if installed completely without any additives, so you still may need to cut them loose when it's time to change them.

Alternatively, use either a lock on grip, or a wire twist to secure a loose grip without lock ons.

ODI Lock ons

Secured with wire

As for honey, masking tape, or adding a piece of tube, it would be very difficult to install them, honey would be more permanent by far than hairspray, and there are better alternatives.

Hairspray, btw, is not permanent. It's just difficult to remove without a compressor or damaging the grip.

  • Zenbike and @Daniel both have good answers that are working for me. zenbike dispelled my fear of hairspray. I've voted all of these answers up, they are good. See my update. Commented Sep 7, 2011 at 4:18

I have had the same problem is the past with Oury grips. My solution was to use a bit of rubber cement. You only need to apply a little to the bar and inside of the grip. While the cement is still wet, it will slide on smoothly, then dry and secure nicely. Be sure to wipe off any excess that accumulates as you slide the grip on.

I have had no trouble getting rubber-cemented grips off with a little WD40 or Goo-Gone.

  • Rubber Cement has been my go to for all non locking grips. It helps the grips slide on easily, then keeps them there and comes off easily as well. I've often been able to remove old rubber cement with just my hand and friction. Commented Nov 10, 2014 at 18:41

First thing I'd try is washing the grips (inside) with a good detergent and rinsing well. Then clean the bar well and wipe with alcohol. Use only water or alcohol as a lubricant while installing the grips, and give them a few hours to "set" before riding.

This would give the rubber its best chance at naturally grabbing the metal bar (which rubber will want to do).

If that fails, any of a number of home remedies, or there is an (expensive) liquid product used to install grips on gym equipment.

  • I agree. I've been using nothing but alcohol for grips for...30 years. If the grips themselves have become too worn to adhere by themselves, I would just toss them and buy another set, and if you REALLY want them to stay put, you can buy grips that have an incorporated clamp that tightens with an allen wrench.
    – M. Werner
    Commented Aug 5, 2011 at 18:09
  • Daniel, I rubbed a rag with isopropyl on it thru the inside of the grips and that helped a lot. I believe there was grease on the inside of the grips which was part of my problem, thanks. Commented Sep 7, 2011 at 4:20

I used to a) clean the handle bar well with isopropyl alcohol, then b) spray Windex (or whatever glass cleaner) into the grip to let it slip on to the bar. Then let it sit for a while, and the glass cleaner will evaporate, and leave a nice secure grip.

To later remove a grip, I usually slide a flathead screwdriver under the grip a little bit (trying not to puncture the grip, or scratch the bar), and spray Windex into the gap, then remove the screwdriver, and do the same in 2 or 3 other spots around the grip. Then with that liquid under it, it should be easy to make it twist and work it off the bar.

  • I find that I without fail scratch the bars when using a flathead to get purchase under a stubborn grip. Commented Sep 7, 2011 at 17:46
  • 1
    Substitute anything plastic and rigid in place of the flathead... possibly a ball-point pen, if it isn't too thick, or a plastic butter knife, Popsicle stick might even be sturdy enough... My point was more that glass cleaner works in place of hairspray, etc.
    – rally25rs
    Commented Sep 7, 2011 at 19:43
  • Thanks! Great idea for another free too -- I'll drop a plastic knife into my bike toolbox, I shoulda thot of that one. Commented Sep 9, 2011 at 2:57

Hairspray works great and you just need to slide a small but long screwdriver inside the grip (and waggle it around) to pull it off, so it is not permanent.

The hairspray lets you ease the grip on, which is otherwise very hard to do unless you have access to high-pressure air.

The other approaches you have described look like hard work to me and I don't think I would try them on my own bike.

If you have hairspray in the house then do it.

  • 2
    Agreed, although he did specifically ask for "not hairspray".
    – zenbike
    Commented Aug 5, 2011 at 6:46
  • no hair product in the house Commented Aug 5, 2011 at 15:30

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