How to Fix a Mountain Bike Grip That Has Fallen Off


An extreme sport like mountain biking requires specific equipment because you have to be ready for any accident that might happen. In this article, we'll discuss how to fix a mountain bike grip that has fallen off. This is a common and easy-to-fix “accident” while biking.

To fix a mountain bike grip that has fallen off, clean the handlebar and bike grip, remove any moisture from the bike grip, reinstall the old bike grips using an adhesive for a stronger attachment, or upgrade to lock-on grips. 

What Is a Mountain Bike Grip? 

Mountain bike grips help to maintain control of your bike during your ride and keep your hands and arms more comfortable. 

A mountain bike grip is a piece of specialized material fastened around the handlebar of the mountain bike, to hold onto while riding. Mountain bike grip materials include rubber, silicone, or foam, and are available as lock-on or slide-on grips.

It’s crucial to get mountain bike grips that are a good fit for you and your bike because ill-fitting grips can compromise your ride. You can learn more from Shimano about how to choose the proper mountain bike grip.

An important benefit of using mountain bike grips is that they can reduce the numbness in your hands when you’re out for a long ride. Look for suitable mountain bike grips to avoid getting numb hands

Lock-on Grips

Lock-on grips have small metal collars and are tightly locked onto the handlebar. The advantages of lock-on grips are that they can be looser than traditional grips, making them easier to get on and off, and the end plugs on these grips stop any damages from happening to the bar ends in collisions. Riders often choose lock-on grips because they do not slide during accidents. 

Lock-on grips have small metal collars on one or both ends that lock the grips onto the handlebar making them more secure, while protecting the bar ends from damage. 

On the other hand, lock-on grips tend to be heavier than slide-on ones because of the extra hardware. Due to their superb performance and construction, lock-on grips are more expensive.

Lock-on mountain bike grips are a more secure option to fix a mountain bike grip that has fallen off.
Lock-on mountain bike grips attach to handlebars more securely and protect bar ends. Image source: Amazon  

Slide-on Grips or Slip-On Grips

The main advantage of slide-on grips is that they are easy to install because they just slide onto your bike.. 

Slide-on or slip-on grips are easy to install by sliding them onto the bike’s handlebar. Being easy to slip on means that they could move, so secure slide-on grips with a suitable adhesive.  

However, since they slip onto the handlebars they tend to move and slide off the handlebars, making them more dangerous during a collision. If you purchase this type of mountain bike grip, you should consider buying a grip adhesive to secure the grips. Also, since they are made from soft materials they can wear out quickly.

Slide-on mountain bike grips are easy to install and should be secured to the handlebar using adhesive.
These slide-on mountain bike grips are the easiest to install. Image source: Amazon

Below is a summary of the types of mountain bike grips with their pros and cons:

Types of Mountain Bike Grips  Pros Cons Amazon Product Price
Lock-on Secure, comfortable, safe Heavy, harder to install Corki Mountain Bike Grips ~$15
Slip-on Comfortable, easy installation Can slide off, wear out quickly Vans Bike Grips  ~$15

Additionally, you might be interested in reading our complete guide to mountain bike grip sizes. So be sure to check that out too.

How to Fix a Mountain Bike Grip that Has Fallen Off 

Mountain bike grips can fall off at any time and for different reasons, during a ride. It’s possible for you to sort out this minor setback immediately and get right back to enjoying the rest of your ride.

To fix a mountain bike grip that has fallen off, first clean the handlebar and bike grip to remove dirt, sweat, oil, or any other substances.  Once the surfaces are dry, use an adhesive to secure the grips properly and reinstall the bike grips. Upgrade to lock-on grips to avoid having to clean the grips and handlebars regularly. 

This video posted by Park Tool shows just how easy it is to replace or fix your mountain bike grip that has fallen off, including the tools and other materials that you may need. Alternatively, pick up great ideas on how to replace old grips by visiting Purecycles

Here is a step by step guide on how to fix a mountain bike grip that has fallen off:

Step 1. Clean the Handlebar and Bike Grip of Dirt, Sweat, Oil, or Any Other Substances

Before you glue your grips, you should clean both the handlebar and mountain bike grips of any dirt, sweat, oil and other substances. You can use alcohol and a towel, or if there is anything sticky attached to the handlebars, you can use something stronger like goo-gone or WD-40.  Make sure to get all of the residues off before reinstalling. You need a clean surface to put the grips back on successfully.

Use a substance such as Isopropyl alcohol to clean handlebars when attempting to fix a mountain bike grip that has fallen off.
Make sure your handlebars are completely clean before installing the bike grips. Image source: Park Tool

Step 2. Make Sure the Bike Grips and Handlebars are Dry Before Installation

After you’ve cleaned the bike grips and handlebars, dry both surfaces thoroughly with a towel. You may have to wait a little bit before installation for both to air dry if you can’t get them completely dry. Any kind of moisture can hinder the installation of mountain bike grips.

The mountain bike grips cannot be installed until both surfaces are completely dry.
Make sure that the grip and handlebars are completely dry before installation. Image source; Park Tool

Step 3. Use an Adhesive to Make the Bike Grips Stay on the Handlebars for Longer

If you have slip-on grips then you should consider purchasing a mountain bike grip adhesive. There are specially made adhesives for grips, available in bike stores. Alternatively, you can glue your grips with adhesives that can be found in every household, like 3M Spray Adhesive. Although, do thorough research to make sure that the type of adhesive you are using is suitable for the environment you’ll be riding in. For example, the 3M Spray Adhesive is not recommended if you will be riding in dusty environments. Adhesives are pretty easy to use- apply some to the inside of the grips before sliding them onto the handlebars, and leave them to dry overnight. 

When purchasing a bike grip adhesive make sure you buy one that can withstand heat, has a quick curing time, is clear and durable, and allows for reapplication.

When installing slip-on bike grips, use a spray adhesive to secure the grips easily.
A spray adhesive makes for easy installment of slip-on bike grips. Source ytimg.com

Step 4. Re-install Bike Grips

You’ll need a long and flat screwdriver to make the installation easier. Lever the grip with the screwdriver and spray a mountain bike lubricant inside to help slip it on. Slide the new grip on and squeeze so that it will adhere to the handlebar.

Step 5. Alternative: Upgrade to Lock-on Grips if You Don’t Want to Clean the Grips and Handlebars Regularly

If you don’t want to clean the grips and handlebars regularly, consider upgrading to a set of lock-on grips. They are easy and quick to install and you will not have any problems with slippage. Although they can get dirty and loose, this will happen less often than with slip-on grips. They could cost a little more upfront but will last longer.

Why Do Mountain Bike Grips Fall Off? 

Even if you have the best mountain bike grips that money can buy, and use grip adhesives, they can still fall off.

Mountain bike grips fall off because of dirt, sweat, oil, and damage to the handlebar. These factors will loosen a mountain bike grip even if secured with adhesive. Always ensure that mountain bike grips are secured carefully.

Dirt 

Getting dirt between the grips and handlebars can cause slippage. Dirt acts as a barrier between two surfaces and it prevents the grips from securing onto your handlebars. Once dirt gets in, more and more accumulates until it causes your grips to fall off.

This is a common occurrence with bikers who like to ride in the mountains, over various bumpy terrain, or during and after rainy weather.

To prevent dirt from getting in between your grips and the handlebar, don’t lay your bike on the ground. Wash your bike regularly to keep dirt from accumulating ride after ride. 

Sweat

Another factor that can cause grips to slip is sweat. Sweat can get under the grips and it will lessen the effect of glue and cause slippage. This is even worse with slip-on foam grips, which absorb moisture. During your ride, the grips could slide around making it difficult for you to hold on. 

If you find that you sweat a lot on your rides, you can wear gloves to avoid sweat getting in between the handlebar and the grips. Make sure to also check out our related article on how to choose a mountain bike grip for sweaty hands too.

Oil 

Like sweat, oil can reduce the adhesive power of your grips and cause them to become loose. It is probably one of the worst substances to get between the grips and handlebar because it is so difficult to get off. You have to clean both the grips and handlebar thoroughly before reinstalling because the oil will stop your grips from adhering securely. 

You could accidentally get oil on your grips when you are fixing up your bike and oiling the chains with your bare hands. To avoid this, wear gloves when working around the bike. Also, if your bike’s storage area is full of containers of oily substances or has oil leak stains, cover the bike with a big plastic bag or a tarpaulin to protect it from spills.

Damages to the Handlebar

The handlebar is a non-moving part of the bike. Damages to the handlebar can be as a result of long-term riding, an accident, natural wear and tear of the material over time, or loose screws.

Even though the handlebar is made from hard material it can still break in a collision. The handlebar is often made of aluminum, which is cheap and wears out quickly, causing it to break after a lot of riding or exposure to different climates. Since the handlebar is fastened in the middle, to the steering column, the screws can also loosen due to weather changes, making the bar fall off.

Check your handlebar before embarking on a journey into the mountains to avoid accidents from happening.

How to Keep Mountain Bike Grips from Slipping

Now that you have reinstalled your bike grips, secure them to prevent them from slipping.

To keep mountain bike grips from slipping, secure them to the handlebars by applying bike grip adhesive, hair spray which is an alternative to grip glue, or isopropyl alcohol which can be used to clean and to secure the grips. 

Option 1. Bike Grip Adhesive Allows You to Connect the Grips Firmly to the Handlebar

Bike grip adhesives are specially made for sticking grips onto handlebars. It’s easy to use- just put some glue on the inside of the grips, slide them onto the handlebar and leave them overnight to dry. There are numerous brands to choose from. When purchasing, get the glue that is specifically meant for the material that your grips of made of. There are also multi-purpose adhesives that work with rubber and other types of grip material.

Option 2. Hair Spray can be Used as an Alternative to Grip Glue

Hair spray is a great alternative to grip glue, and it can be found in any household. While it is wet, hair spray acts as a great lubricant so you can slide the grips onto the handlebar easily. Spray it onto the handlebar, slide the grips on, press them and leave them overnight. They will become sticky and adhere to the handlebars, but hair spray may not last as long as a bike grip adhesive.

Option 3. Isopropyl Alcohol can be Used to Both Clean and Adhere the Grips

Isopropyl alcohol is also a good alternative. Before using it, make sure that the handlebar and the inside of the grips are clean. Then spray the handlebar and the inside of the grips with isopropyl alcohol. The grips will easily slide on. After you install your grips, let them dry overnight so that they stay put.

Below is a summary of substances to use to prevent mountain bike grips from slipping:

Substances to Prevent   Slipping Pros Cons Amazon Product Example (Link) Price Range
Mountain Bike Adhesive Durable, firm hold Wears off eventually Loctite Heavy Duty Threadlocker ~$10
Hair Spray Convenient alternative Wears off quickly Nexxus Hair Spray ~$5
Isopropyl Alcohol Cleaner and adhesive Wears off after some time Medical Grade Alcohol ~$20

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