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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    86

    How hard to change hand grips on a bike?

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    I'm very much a newbie - haven't been on a bike in almost 20 years, and just getting back into it. I'll be doing the Seattle to Portland ride in 2009. I currently have a Schwinn 21 speed aluminum hibrid with the t-bar handlebars that I'll be training on until I can get a better bike. I want to change out the grips on the handelbars to some that are more comfortable - not sure what they're called, but they have a a wider part that heel of your palm sits on to make it more comfortable. (I've test ridden several good bikes and they all seem to have these grips.) Is this something I can do on my own, or should I let a lbs do it? Also, is handlebar tape purely cosmetic, or is there a function to it?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Seminole, FL
    Posts
    268

    Smile

    It only takes a few minutes - I would have the LBS do it. Congrats on training for your ride - I also ride a hybrid and have carpal tunnel. I was not getting enough hand positions on my handlebar and thought it was my grips also, but what I had our LBS install was bar ends and they are wrapped. The wrap is for grip and comfort I believe. Anyway I am so thankful that I went with the bar ends - no more hand numbness, tingling or pain in the palm. Make sure you also get (or maybe you already have) some decent cycling gloves. Mine are Chiba gel pros and they really protect the hands and have gel cushions where my hand contacts the bar. Good luck with your training. I am also training for a MS150 ride in May with my DH.
    “No Bird Soars Too High If He Soars With His Own Wings” ~ William Blake

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    86
    Thanks for the tips! I'll look into the end bars vs new grips. Went to the lbs today at lunch to get gloves and a repair kit. Talked to them about 'tuffy liners', tune ups, etc. but forgot to ask about grips and/or end bars! Ah well, next time I guess. I want to try the gloves before I decide to do anything with the grips. Maybe it's just extra padding that I need.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    2,556

    The secret

    Shhhh. Don't say this too loudly, but the secret to removing and installing grips is....

    hair spray

    Get one of those red plastic straws that fits on aerosol spray cans, put a tiny screwdriver under the grip, put the straw inside, and squirt. Wiggle it back and forth, spray further inside if you need to, and it will slide right off. To install the new grips, spray inside lightly and slide them on. In most cases, they will be firm in a couple minutes. If they keep sliding, you used too much hairspray, so slide them off, wipe inside with a rag, and try again.
    Last edited by DebW; 09-06-2008 at 04:51 AM.
    Oil is good, grease is better.

    2007 Peter Mooney w/S&S couplers/Terry Butterfly
    1993 Bridgestone MB-3/Avocet O2 Air 40W
    1980 Columbus Frame with 1970 Campy parts
    1954 Raleigh 3-speed/Brooks B72

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    2,704
    Second the hair spray trick! I taught this one to all the boys at the shop, and they were amazed. No more cutting off old grips, and wrestling new ones on.

    To the OP: I think what you're looking for are "ergonomic grips". I have a pair made by Ergon (GP1-S, I think) that are very very nice. They're bolt-on, which means that I was able to fine tune the angle without having to repeatedly take them off. Just loosen the Allen bolt on the clamp, move the grip, and re-clamp. IME, it took a few rides to find that perfect angle where the entire heel of palm evenly contacts the grip without causing discomfort, but now they're perfect!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    2,556
    Quote Originally Posted by Becky View Post
    Second the hair spray trick! I taught this one to all the boys at the shop, and they were amazed. No more cutting off old grips, and wrestling new ones on.
    I originally learned to use soap. It works fine until you ride in the rain - then the grips may start sliding. My only exposure to hair spray before this year was that I grew up with a mother who used the stuff, and I absolutely HATED having to smell it every day. I still hate it when my mother comes to visit and sprays the stuff in my house. Stinks for an hour or more. Ug. The way we use hair spray in the shop, with the little straw and spraying only inside the grip, you usually can't smell it at all.
    Oil is good, grease is better.

    2007 Peter Mooney w/S&S couplers/Terry Butterfly
    1993 Bridgestone MB-3/Avocet O2 Air 40W
    1980 Columbus Frame with 1970 Campy parts
    1954 Raleigh 3-speed/Brooks B72

 

 

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