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How to fix loose bicycle grips – 3 simple steps on how to keep handlebar grips from slipping

In today’s article I’m going to fix loose bicycle grips. My Cannondale M300 has minor issues with loose handlebar grips. The rotating forces on the grip shifts caused them to move outward ever so slightly in time.

Loose bicycle grips are more than just a nuisance. If they are loose to the point where you can slide them back and forth with hardly any effort, they’ve become dangerous.

The last thing you want happening is you losing control over your bike because the handlebar grip with your hand on it, is floating in mid-air. This scenario will surely end in a very nasty fall.

Video Tutorial

Standard versus Lock-on grips

Loose handlebar grips are a common problem with bicycles. Especially when they’re older. Some grips are glued, and when glue ages, it’s loses its adhesive ability. Rubber or slip-on grips aren’t glued but achieve their tight fit because they are expanded slightly when moved onto the handlebar. As age sets in and their natural elasticity decreases, they can become more loose.

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ODI lock-on grips

Nowadays you have lock-on grips. Lock-on grips are tightened to the handlebar with a screw that holds a locking collar in place. If the screws are properly tightened, these grips will never come off, unless they are completely worn to the point of disintegrating.

But you might not want to buy lock-on grips if, except for them getting loose, you’re perfectly happy with your handlebar grips. Or you’re a purist who wants their bike to remain stock as much as possible. Fortunately there’s a simple trick you can use to keep loose handlebar grips from slipping.

Step 1: Remove handlebar grips


We first need to remove the handlebar grips. Do this by firmly gripping the grip with continuing rotating movements back-and-forth. If you need excessive force to do this, you might wonder if the grip is really all that loose.

There’s no need to clean the handlebar afterwards. This would only reduce the friction between the handlebar and the grip. And more friction means the grip is less likely to come off once we’ve reinstalled it.

Step 2: Using hairspray as glue


Now that the grips are off we can use a simple can of hairspray to apply a small film of the stuff to the inside of the grips. The big advantage of using a can of hairspray is that it’s cheap and applies the glue-like formula quickly and evenly.

Step 3: Reinstalling the handlebar grips


After you’ve applied the hairspray you have a small window of time where the spray hasn’t dried yet. During this time it’ll be extremely easy to reinstall the grip with no force at all. As the hairspray underneath the grip dries, the sticky residue remains, ensuring your grip will stay in place.

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