How Do You Remove Handlebar Grips?

Mountain biking comes with many perks. And one of the most common things to consider is that you need to casually change the parts and components of your bike to ensure safety, enjoyment, and utmost performance.

Take for example handlebar grips.

This is where you have the most contact with your bike because it’s what you hold. It is also where you get control and it’s what makes you maneuver down tight trails.

But what if it’s time for you to replace your handlebar grips because they’re already worn out? Or maybe you just had a change of flavor?

That’s where knowing the right way to remove handlebar grips comes in.

In this article, we’re going to discuss the right way and process of removing handlebar grips. We’ll also share some tips so you don’t have to stumble on some problems along the way.

Step-by-step Guide on Removing Slip-on Handlebar Grips

Step 1

The first thing you need to do is to gather all the things you need. These are a screwdriver, silicone spray, or lemon furniture polish. You need a long and thin flat head screwdriver which you will use to slide your grips off the handlebar.

You might also need compressed air coupled with a degreaser to make it easier to remove the grips. Just don’t overdo it or use too much to prevent your bars from becoming too slippery and sticky.

Step 2

Once you have prepared all the things, you then need to spray the furniture polish on the screwdriver. Slowly insert the polish screwdriver onto the grip just between the handlebar. Gently push it into the crevice.

Move the screwdriver to create a small gap between the grips and bars. You can then blast compressed air onto it using an air compressor to help make the separation process easier. Compressed air from an air compressor air nozzle creates a small air bubble around the bike handlebar grips so you can just remove it by just wiggling it off.

Step 3

On the other hand, if you use liquid solutions such as adhesive spray from a spray bottle instead of air, you need to make sure that it’s evenly spread around.

Then slowly twist the grips and make sure that its inside portion is coated. It might take a few spray applications, but gradually, the grip will start to slide off. Slowly move and slide the grip off the bar until it’s loose enough for you to easily pull it out.

Step 4

Spray more furniture polish or silicone spray on it if more lubrication is necessary to slide it off without scratching the bars. And there you have it. You just finished removing grips from your bike.

How to remove lock-on grips?

Step 1

Removing lock-on grips is far easier than removing slip-on grips. Lock-on bike grips are locked in place on your bars with bolts. The only thing you need to prepare is an Allen tool. But before anything else, make sure that the Allen tool is clean and shouldn’t have any sediments stuck on it so you don’t end up damaging the bolts.

Step 2

Choose the Allen key measurement that is the same as the bolt. It can either be a 4 mm, 5 mm, or 6 mm Allen. Once you determine the right size, simply use it to unbolt the bolts on the side-most part of the bike grips.

Step 3

Once you have removed the bolts, simply slide the grip off from your bar and pour rubbing alcohol to cleanse any grime. Rubbing alcohol also disinfects it, which is important knowing that you hold onto it for hours. And you’re done! It’s just as easy as that. It is now then time to get your new grips installed and have your old grips taken to the sidelines. Just make sure that you install grips properly.

When to cut off handlebar grips?

There are times when you can just cut off your bike grips if they are already very damaged and you deem them unusable for a decent mountain bike ride.

It’s also justifiable to just cut off a damaged grip if it’s just a cheap one. And by cheap, we mean around $10 to $30. Although these might be much for some, grips that belong to this price range are mostly disposable and only have a few months of intense usage compared to the premium grips that are more durable and have a better feel.


Removing handlebar grips is one of the easiest things to do in bike maintenance. You just need to have the proper tools to do it smoothly. Just make sure that you do this slowly and gently so that your handlebar won’t be damaged.