Safely removing handlebar grips-
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  1. #1
    Village Idiot
    Join Date
    Jan 2018

    Safely removing handlebar grips

    I'm sure this has probably been posted before, at some time. I did a search, and didn't get any hits that were fairly recent, so I thought I would post about this tip.

    I learned this back in my motorcycle days. If you do not want to destroy your good handlebar grips, while removing them to do some work or to re-install them on other handlebars, and/or you don't want to gouge your nice handlebars (especially CF handlebars) by cutting off your grips, then try this method.

    Everyone has an air compressor, right? If not, you should. They come in handy for many, many things. Charge up that thing, put on a blower nozzle with a pointy tip, jam that tip under your handlebar grip, and blast some air in there. Chances are, it will cause the grip to break loose from your handlebar just enough for you to twist and wiggle it off of the handlebar...with no damage to anything.

    Now, when my new handlebars arrive today, I will get busy re-installing my very nice (almost new) grips on it. Then get busy making some new handlebar end plugs from some old wine corks. Seems there would be a market for some really durable end plugs that actually hold up to your bike being dropped once or twice. Until those come out, I guess I will see how the free ones I make hold up. They won't hold up, but at least it won't cost me anything but time to replace them.

    Oh, and another tip for installing grips - spray the ends of your handlebars and the insides of your grips with clear hairspray that you borrowed from your female significant other. That helps them slide on, and it keeps them nicely stuck to your handlebars. I also learned that from my motorcycle days.

  2. #2
    since 4/10/2009
    Reputation: Harold's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Usually, using a compressor on bicycle grips (non-locking rubber type) will result in the opposite side shooting across your shop. Done this countless times.

    Lock-on grips just unbolt and slide off. Silicone grips like ESI are a different beast. You can still use the blower nozzle on your compressor, but they are a tight fit already.

    Rubbing alcohol is the recommended method.

  3. #3
    Up In Smoke
    Reputation: Train Wreck's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    I've always had really good luck with wd-40. Helps remove old grips and also works really well when installing new grips, once it dries your grips should be stuck pretty good. Not sure if that's recommended with carbon bars though.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: J.B. Weld's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    I agree, compressed air is the best way to install or remove grips because it's fast and clean. I haven't found hairspray necessary though, one of the advantages of using a compressor with dry grips is that they are instantly stuck and ready to ride.

    I always used compressed air to install non-lockon grips when working in shops and my own experience with installing esi's dry is that that they will not budge, ever until you remove them.
    I brake for stinkbugs

  5. #5
    damned rocks...
    Reputation: Aglo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Air compressor works best for me.
    Recently had to install Esi Extra Chunky and then remove it, because I wanted to shorten the handlebar, 810mm is to much. To make things worse, my carbon handlebar have some kind of rough grip area for silicone grips, so an air compressor is the best method, but having both bar end plugs installed is necessary.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Been using the air compressor to remove and install bike and other types of grips for years.

    Also use the same technique to remove golf club grips when shortening shafts. If you don't blow them up and pop them like a balloon, they go back on good as new with fresh tape and grip solvent.

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Another vote for WD40 with the "thin straw". Good for getting "ESI' grips off.

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Quote Originally Posted by bellboyant View Post
    Another vote for WD40 with the "thin straw". Good for getting "ESI' grips off.
    I tried WD recently, it reacted and/or coated the new grips being installed and nothing would stick.

    So back to the tried and true - Windex.

    Pry back the end with a small flat head screw driver, spray some Windex in, maybe do the same on the lever side. Grip comes right off.

    Spray inside of new grips, slide on, let dry overnight and Voila !.

    Works everytime.

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation: RS VR6's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    I use an air compressor to remove my ESI grips. Stick the nozzle under the grip and blow. You can see the grip expand and you can slide it right off. I use rubbing alcohol to install the grips. Spray the bar and the inside of the grip...slides right on. Tried a few different handlebars over the weekend and this is what I did.

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