Grips play an important role in the handling of your bike. And, together with the handlebar and stem, they form the control panel, which is what you use to steer your bike around corners, feed it on descent, and lift it over obstacles.
There was a time when bikers had to stick the grips onto their bikes’ handlebars using either hairspray or glue, but this didn’t always work and if any dirt or mud found its way under the grip, getting it out was always a hard task.
However, the introduction of single and double clamp grips eliminated this problem, and they are now found all over. Here’s a comprehensive list of the best mountain bike grips that are currently available on the market.
Race Face Half Nelson Grip
Race Face Half Nelson is an award winning mountain bike grip that has featured in numerous reviews on the internet. It is interesting to note that this grip always ends up getting a 5 out 5 rating whenever it is reviewed.
At only 28mm diameter, this slim grip is well padded with an amazing amount of feel that can hardly be compared to none. The Race Face Half Nelson is incredible with bare hands and can even do better with gloves on.
Nonetheless, this grip could still need some improvements. For instance, it needs to have a better protective end cap as opposed to the current plastic plugs it has. If this improvement is done, dirt would be prevented from finding its way under the rubber making it to split. The grip can also call for harder efforts, more so on mountain bikes that have carbon bars.
- Lock-on aluminum clamp
- Ergonomic design
- UV stable rubber and toxin free compound
- Color: Black, Red
Schwinn Tri-Layer Gel Comfort Grip
This is the only mountain bike grip in the market that comes with the additional gel layers to ensure softer but firm grip with comfort. It is more durable since it is made of Kraton compound. This grip also contains gorgeous textured pattern on its top for improved traction.
You will get a larger palm pad area (157 mm) on this grip for protection against vibration dampening. Its pad area can absorb the moisture and sweat from your palms giving you more ease and control over the bike.
This grip is highly recommended to the bikers of any kind who want to have a great controlled ride with super comfortable grips. On top of all, it’s very easy to install and costs less than $10.
- Extra gel layer for comfortable grip
- Kraton compound for extended durability
- Textured pattern for enhanced traction
- Weight: 181g
- Color: Black
ODI Ruffian bike grips handle
The ODI Ruffian grip has remained a classic in both BMX as well as mountain biking, and is still delivering today. If you have ever had a chance of using the legendary ODI Ruffian grip before, you will know it feels great when it has worn out a bit.
However, with the new Soft Pro-Compound ODI Ruffian, you don’t have to wait for it to wear in a bit as it is tacky straight away. With just the right amount of stickiness and traction, the feel of the ODI Ruffian Grip is remarkable.
The bad side of this grip, however, is that the collars come with hard edges, and not only do its fixing bolts corrode quite fast, they are also placed on opposite sides. The Ruffian may still be classic, but a few improvements would highly be welcomed.
- Ultimate comfort
- Bonus pack includes grips, Lock Jaws and Snap Caps
- Diamondized pattern for optimal traction
- Ultra thin profile
- Color: Black, White
Azonic Logo Anodized Aluminum Grip
The Azonic Logo is just a few tweaks from perfection and comes with some great attentions to detail. It may look like a small thing, but this grip comes with specific right and left-hand collars, therefore all the fixing bolts face in the same direction, meaning they are very easier to access when adjustments are needed.
Unlike the ODI Ruffian grip that has hard edges on its collars, this one has been designed with rounded ones. This means that they are less prone to scuffing and also make it quite comfortable for individuals with larger hands as well as smaller ones.
The grip surface feels tacky right from the start, and its chevron pattern with a slight ridged surfaces helps dissipate sweat quickly. Overall, Azonic Logo is a great purchase, especially if it gets more amazing improvements in the near future.
- DSP grip technology for maximum comfort
- Adonized-aluminum lock-ons
- Comes as grip set with plug-in and lock-ons
- Color: Black, Red, Blue, Orange
Santa Cruz Palmdale Mountain Bike Handlebar Grips
From the outside the Santa Cruz Palmdale looks like it’s just a single collar grip, but once you chop it in half, you are going to see that it comes with a taper-lock core. As you drive the grip into the bar it wedges into the taper, eliminating the end twist and creating a more secure fit that you get with some single-collar grips.
Interestingly, this grip doesn’t slide completely, and leaves about 15mm of overhang, which is really a good way of adding more width to your handlebar for extra comfort.
Indeed, the Santa Cruz is a fat grip that comes with plenty of cushioning, and its Moto knurl pattern ends up being secure even on dry or damp conditions. If you have large hands or require more handlebar, then this definitely what you need to buy.
- Single lock ring design
- Secured flared closed ends
- Moto Knurl pattern for maximum comfort
- Color: Green, light blue, black, magenta, grey, white, tennis yellow
Charge Griddle Grips
At only 135mm in length, the Charge Griddle grip is one of the thinnest (28mm diameter) and also the lightest (75gm) of its kind on the market. Its tiny hex shapes and a waffle style pattern are in fact cut all through to its core.
Charge Griddle produces loads of traction from its sticky rubber, even in wet conditions. However, being so much thin is an indication that you shouldn’t be expecting more cushioning for your hands when you buy this grip.
A closed design would be more comfortable and more durable, but even so, this grip is great value, light and ideal for people with smaller hands.
- High-quality Kraton rubber to respond to wear and warmth
- Dual density, 89g rubber grip
- Responds with high traction
- Color: Grey, silver, black, red
- Weight: 84g
Choosing a winner from these six mountain bike grips would be a tough task. This isn’t a cop out; all of them are very good. Nonetheless, the decision to buy any of the above discussed grips would greatly depend on several important factors which include the following:
- Price of the grip
If your budget doesn’t allow you to buy the most expensive grip (Chromag Palmskin) on the list, then you shouldn’t force yourself to buy it, otherwise you will regret the decision immediately.
- Size of your hands
When choosing the grips for your mountain bike, another factor that you’ll have to bring in is the size of your hands. If you have larger hands, you need to go for grips that have higher lengths and vice versa, in order to ensure maximum riding comfort.
- Single clamp or double clamp
You will also have to decide whether you want a single clamp grip or a double clamp one for your bike. Single clamp grips come with only one collar on their inner end and combine well with an expandable end-cap.
On the other hand, double clamp grips have metal clamps on both ends. They are usually sold together with a plastic cap in order to protect you from being hurt in case of a crash.