Bicycle: How To Remove Grips From Handlebars (Easy)

Whether you ride a road bike or a mountain bike, you will need to spend some time assembling and disassembling various bike parts, including grips from handlebars.

With appropriate tools, there should practically be no problem with this. Here are some of the methods you can employ to remove grips from handlebars:

  • A simple solution of soap and water.
  • Use a good lubricant.
  • Spray compressed for removal.
  • Cut the grip manually.
  • Use a hairspray.
  • Use oil to remove handlebars.

Removing slip-on bike grips can be extremely difficult, even if you have a good pair.

Read on as I explain the process to you in detail.

What Are Handlebar Grips?

sport mode on e-bike

Handlebars, one of the three main points of contact between the rider and the bike, are where the bike grips are attached. The non-slip sheaths that are attached to the handlebars of bicycles to improve grip and control while riding are known as bike grips. 

They usually feature a surface that is textured or rippled, which helps the rider keep a firm and comfortable grip on the handlebars.

To prevent wrist and forearm strain while riding, bike grips like these must have the proper size and diameter.

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Why Are Bike Grips Important?

For secure and safe cycling, handlebar grips are crucial. The majority of the time, when navigating the road, we rely on bike grips. 

We use the grip on the bike handlebar each time we make a turn or drive uphill while riding off from the saddle, or simply race and move the bike rhythmically to achieve good speeds.

All the handling of the bike can be said to be done from the handlebars, and the way to have handlebars securely under your control is through a good pair of grips.

Why And When Should I Remove Handlebar Grips?

If bike grips are old and worn, if they slip easily around on the handlebars, or if they need to be cleaned, it is time to remove and replace them. Changing or removing bike grips is a common necessity. Because of personal preference or wear and tear, a rider might take them off at some point.

It can be said that riding a bike with grips that don’t provide enough support during tough rides increases your risk of suffering hand and arm injuries from vibrations.

To ensure greater comfort and better bike control, the grips may need to be replaced if you experience sore wrists or numb hands.

Grips Are Worn Out

Due to constant use and exposure to the elements, grips that have been in use for a long time can start to wear out.

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Grip Shifts Continually

Spraying a grip adhesive on the grips may be helpful if they are losing their ability to adhere to the handlebars to strengthen the grip. 

However, this is only a temporary fix, and you will eventually need to replace your grips with fitting ones because grips that move about aren’t safe for long, strenuous rides.

Grips Need to Be Cleaned Due To Dirt

As a result of riding through mountainous terrain, grips may become soiled or gather residue and grime and must be taken off to be cleaned properly.

Use a bike cleaner spray to thoroughly clean your bike without endangering it.

Changing the Type of Bike Grip

Riders may also take off their handlebar grips to switch to a different brand or style or to experiment with different handlebar grip sizes and types. 

Is Removing Bike Handle Grips Easy?

It can be said that removing push-on bike grips can be extremely difficult, even if you have a good pair of them on. Grips are usually made of rubber which boasts one of the highest friction ratios among a lot of materials. Sliding in and off such material after prolonged use can be described as tricky.

However, this does not imply that they cannot be taken out at all.

You can do it if you have the right tools and expertise!

Types of Handlebar Bike Grips 

Bike grips are available in a range of designs, materials, and diameters to accommodate hands of various sizes.

Grips come in two basic varieties: lock-on grips and slip-on grips. 

Slip-on grips are squeezed onto the handlebar after a lubricant has been applied and have a small inner diameter. The locking rings on the ends of lock-on grips are fastened to the handlebar with a tiny screw or Allen key.

#1 Lock-on Grips

Long rubber tubes are used as these types of grips, and tiny screws are used to secure them to the handlebars so they won’t slide off. 

Because of their greater dependability, especially during rides on rocky and uneven terrain, they are thought to be superior to slip-on types. 

To ensure that the grips are extra secure during challenging rides, these double lock-on grips lock at both ends.

#2 Slip-on Grips

Without locks, these grips are slid onto the handlebars. They are less bulky because there are no plastic or metal fasteners. 

Slip-on grips are preferred by some riders because they are simpler to put on and typically less expensive.

» Read my blog post: Why Bike Seats are Uncomfortable! — and How To Fix It

How Long Does It Take To Remove Bike Handlebar Grips?

Taking off handlebar grips is not rocket science, so it should not take you a lot of time. It might take you anywhere from 10 minutes to 45 minutes to completely remove bike grips.

But it is true that according to your knowledge, experience, and tools at your disposal, the length of time can vary.

Methods To Remove Bike Handlebar Grips

Method 1: Simple Solution of Soap And Water

If money is an issue and you don’t want to spend any money on this process, you can just use soap and water. 

Using regular water and dish soap to remove your bike grips is a great option if you want to use an even more conventional technique but don’t want to damage them.

There is less chance of oily residue or chemical damage as well. You shouldn’t have any issues if you use the tried-and-true dishwashing liquid.

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Put something in the ends of the bike grips to lift them a little. (A screwdriver can be deemed as a good option for this). 

When there is enough space, squirt water and dish soap diluted solution inside. Start to twist and work the mixture under the grips once there is enough inside.

Until it finally comes off, keep twisting the grip and pulling toward the handlebar’s end. Use as many solutions as necessary as this method is comparatively risk-free.

Method 2: Using a Good Off-The-Shelf Lubricant

I’ll be using a specific lubricant for this purpose, namely WD-40. If you know or have a better option available with you that is similar to WD-40, you can also make use of that. 

Why WD-40? Well, simply because it is one of the best lubricants available in the market, and is found and known all over the globe.

If you just take a peek at your garage, the likelihood is that you already have this lying around your home because it is so common!

Spraying a small amount of WD-40 inside your bike grip should enable you to spin and remove it quickly.

The only regrettable aspect is that some oil residue will remain. So be sure to follow up by cleaning thoroughly with some alcohol.

The way to go about it is to lift each end of the bike grip using a flat head screwdriver or tire wedge. Fit the WD-40 can with its small nozzle attachment. This ensures directed usage and is good for hard-to-reach areas.

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Spray some WD-40 into the area once it has been sufficiently raised to act as a lubricant. Start rotating and twisting the bike grip now, working the WD-40 completely out from underneath the grip.

WD-40 is also used to clean the rust off your bike chain.

Method 3: Spraying Compressed Air

Some riders swear by the compressed air removal method, but there is no denying that it is frequently a less well-known one among others.

This approach involves inflating the bike handlebars’ grip to make them slide off rather than applying a lubricant.

Unfortunately, to do this, you must have some kind of compressed air, whether it comes from a can or an actual air compressor.

Using tire and ball pumps with thin metal nozzles has been mentioned by some riders as a means of employing the compressed air method.

Another thing to keep in mind is that only extremely secure bike grips will be able to support this method. Because if there are any holes or “leaks” in your grips, the compressed air will simply leak out.

To shoot a shot of air into the outer end of your bike grip, use a thin nozzle and a form of compressed air. As soon as your grip begins to inflate, pull it away from the handlebars by modulating air pressure while doing so.

Tip: Make sure that you slowly and evenly increase the air pressure as a sudden increase can burst the rubber and cause damage to both bike and the handler!

Method 4: Using Oil

Another method to remove handlebar grips easily is to employ oil as a lubricating agent. This method is fairly easy and immediate to act upon, as almost every household has oil in it.

Note: This method is only suggested when you are sure that you will not be reusing your handlebar grips. 

If you don’t find a proper lubricant and require immediate removal (replacement) of your handlebar grips, then this method is certainly worth trying.

Similar to how WD-40 was used, simply lift the grips using a flat-headed screwdriver, and pour some droplets of oil inside.

Make sure that you’re constantly twisting and turning the grips to make them loose. Once loose enough, pull them out completely. Repeat the step for each handlebar.

Important: Oil can harm the bike grip’s material, causing it to lose its grip properties.

If you use a chemical that contains too much oil, your bike grips might never again be completely secure to your handlebars.

Clean your handlebars thoroughly by applying soap, detergent, or some alcoholic agent.

After using this method, you have to apply a new pair of grips to your bicycle.

Method 5: Cutting the Grip Manually

If your grip is already worn out and tattered and you are certain that you will not be using it again, then you can probably choose to cut the rubber off quickly.

This brutal yet effective method of removing grips from handlebars is probably the first that comes to mind when one thinks about bicycle grip removal.

Simply cut the grips slowly with a utility knife or a small cutter. Ensure that you do not scratch your handlebars in the process.

Quick and Easy!

Method 6: Using a Hairspray

If you or someone from your family is into hairstyling regularly, then it is most likely, you have some used hairspray lying around your house.

If that is the case, be sure to thank them because you can take off your bike grips by using that hairspray.

Hairspray will function well as a lubricant for twisting off your bike grips without breaking.

Make sure to thoroughly clean your bike grips after using this method to remove them because, once it dries, they can become quite sticky.

Tip: Since hairspray gets sticky when it dries, it can be a great choice when installing new bike grips.

Just lift the bike grip at each end using a small screwdriver or tire wedge. Spray the hair spray liberally, all the while being careful not to lift too much of the grip. 

As soon as possible, begin to twist and move the bike grip toward the handlebar’s outer edge.

Safety Measures to Take While Removing Bicycle Grips

Wear Gloves

Wearing gloves can prevent your hands and fingers from getting scratched while handling the grips and screwdrivers. They can also help prevent your hands from getting stained by lubricants, soap, or oil.

Stand Securely

Make sure that you stand in an upright and stable position while performing this job. 

As you exert significant strength while removing handlebar grips, you mustn’t be sitting down in an awkward position.

Tip: A good work posture can increase concentration and work efficiency.

Wear Protective Goggles

While using lubricants such as WD-40 or hairsprays, it is best to wear protective goggles to avoid any fumes from reaching your eyes.

If taken in large quantities, this can irritate, leading to sore and painful eyes

Keep Your Children Away While Working

As you might be using sharp tools and chemicals while removing grips from your bicycle handlebars, it is best if you do it in a place where small children cannot interrupt you.

They may inadvertently cause harm to them.

Avoid Enclosed Spaces and Flames

Ensure that you set up your working space away from areas that generate heat and flames, like a boiler room or kitchen.

As you will be handling lubricants that may be flammable or harmful to intake once mixed with heat, you should keep a safe distance from these sources.

Ideally, set up your work in an open space somewhere or in a place that is well-ventilated so that fumes from lubricants do not linger.

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Most bikers ignore the importance of the grip on the handlebars. However, when you install the right ones, these bike parts significantly improve your cycling performance. Like any other part of your bicycle, the handlebar grips need to be able to be taken off.

There are procedures and suggestions to keep in mind when taking your bike grips off the handlebar, just like when changing your bicycle’s wheels. 

Hopefully, this article provided useful methods!

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