When it comes to mountain biking, the points of contact for your bike are largely based on personal preference and style when buying accessories. All riders have a personal taste for their desired saddles, grips, and pedals. Grips in particular come in a myriad of colors, textures and styles that can all reflect a given rider’s personality.
Even something as simple as a mountain bike grip can be a point of contention and confusion for many riders, this is why we have outlined the best three grips that mountain bikers can purchase for this year.
But first, there are is a main point of difference between grips that will affect how you ride your mountain bike, which is what separates a lock-on grip and a non-lock on grip.
How to choose the best mountain biking grip: lock-on grips and non-lock on grips
There are two main grips available for mountain bike riders: lock-on grips and non-lock on grips. Each type of grip comes with different strengths and weaknesses. The different forms of grips are more or less the same price, with the difference being only a few dollars. But the long-term costs associated with your grips may vary, as well as the risk of accidents and the cost of repair.
We have examined the key differences between non-lock on grips and lock-on grips below.
Non-lock on grips
A non-lock on grip can also go by different names such as the slip-on and push-on grips. These grips get their name because they are literally pushed onto the handlebars of the mountain bike. A form of lubricant is required when attempting to fit a lock-on grip, such as using compressed air or a bike chain lubricant.
A lock-on grip is attached to metal lock rings that tighten against the handle bars to prevent it from moving. If you need to install or remove a lock-on grip, you will need to loosen or tighten the screws, making them less convenient to place in a hurry. Lock-on grips are the heavy duty option of grips, as they are both heavier, require tools to install and remove, and also cost a fraction more than non-lock on grips.
What choice of grip is better?
It’s hard to say definitively if a lock-on grip or non-lock on grip will be better for you, as they both have their strengths and weaknesses. For example, a lock-on grip will stay in place for longer and will not rotate or twist when using the bike, while slip-on grips are sometimes prone to slippage.
If your grip slips while you are using the bike, it can be a real problem, and even become a hazard to your personal safety. In saying that however, non-lock grips are becoming more stable with each passing year, and accidents resulting from non-lock grips are very rare, and even unheard of in modern times.
Non-lock grips are also easier to change and maintain, and they can easily be swapped around even when on the road.
To summarize, lock-on grips are generally more stable and reliable, whilst non-lock grips are more convenient, while still providing adequate levels of safety. The choice is up to you, as there’s no clear winner between the grips.
Top 3 Mountain Bike Grips
Below you will find some of the best lock-on and non-lock grips for this year. We chose this list due to each grip’s numerous positive reviews on sites such as Amazon, as well as for their competitive prices. If you wish to see more detail about each of the grips below, click one of the links. There you will be taken to the grip’s product page on Amazon, and you will be able to see the grip’s updated pricing and shipping details.
Race Face Half Nelson Locking Grips
The Race Face Half Nelson Locking Grips comes in a variety of colors: grey, red, blue, orange, green, and black. The grips lock-on to the handle bars, offering an unparalleled amount of stability and security for the rider.
The Half Nelson Grips are low-profile, weighing in at only 0.2 grams. They are up to 24 grams lighter than other models such as the Race Face Sniper lock on Pair, which can help you lower the overall weight of your setup.
The topographic moisture channels improve friction and responsiveness of the grips, and easily channels unwanted sweat and water. Although sturdy and durable, the grips are soft with Race Face’s VEXY construction that keeps the rider’s comfort as a priority, allowing you to ride for extended periods of time without any undue strain of your palms or fingers.
TOPCABIN Ergonomic Design Bicycle Handlebar Grips
TOPCABIN’s Ergonomic Handlebar Grips are a lock-on variety of grips, securing themselves firmly to the handlebars without fears of slipping. The interior of the grip features an aluminum ring that helps to keep the grips secure.
Unlike other grips on the market that may cause your hands to become sore from extended use, TOPCABIN’s grips were designed to minimize the rider’s fatigue, absorbing unwanted vibrations on your hands, wrists, and elbows on long rides.
The grips will fit any standard-sized bicycle or stunt scooter bars, and they measure at 133x33 MM with an inner diameter of 22MM.
They come in a variety of colors, including black, red, blue, and white. Only a socket wrench is required to install these grips, so they make for an easy do it yourself job for installation.
West Biking GP-101 Bicycle Grip
The GP-101 handle grip comes in three different colors: black, blue, and red. Constructed from superlight sponge, this material was designed for the rider’s comfort in mind, as well as preventing any bad odors or bacteria.
These grips are 12.3cm in length and have an inner diameter of 17mm. Weighing in at only 32 grams, these sponge grips are some of the lightest that money can buy. The special design of the grips work to reduce vibrations and shock while riding, and will fit any handlebars that have an internal diameter of approximately 17mm.
These grips are also some of the easiest to install in the market. All you need to do is to wet the handle bars using tap water and apply the grips to the bike’s frame. After the grips have dried, they will fasten themselves automatically. It should be noted that unlike other grips, it is not recommend to apply grease or other lubricants when using sponge-based grips, as it may cause slippage.
Thanks for reading our list on the best mountain bike grips for this year. We hope that you found our list helpful and informative. You can check out each of the top three grips on Amazon by clicking a link above. You will be taken to each grip’s product page, which is also where you can get up to date information on the grip’s pricing and shipping details.
The best way of knowing if a grip will work for you is by reading what other shoppers have said about the grips in the past, which is where reviews can be extremely helpful. Additionally, you can read some frequently asked questions posted by other users, as well as ask your own questions all on the Amazon platform.
The prices and shipping details are known to change from month to month, which is why they have not been posted here.