Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Handlebar grips on a handlebar

Putting handlebar grips on your bicycle's handlebars is a tricky job. Getting them off is usually pretty easy - pour rubbing alcohol on the bar and get it between the bar and the grip and it'll slide off. Getting them on, though, can be a challenge.
To install new grips many recommend rubbing alcohol, soap and water, just water or even hair spray. While these may help the grip slip on, the key is get the grip on in a single motion and there should not be any residue. The rubber grip itself will stick just fine on it's own and stay in place while riding (that's why they're so hard to put on!).

In my experience, Ronsonol Lighter Fluid is the best/cheapest option. It's readily available and not too expensive. And it evaporates quickly, leaving no residue ... I suppose there's some residue, but less than hair spray!


1. Clean off handlebar - use some of the lighter fluid on a rag as it will remove any grease. Notice how quickly it evaporates - you're going to be sliding the grip on before the lighter fluid evaporates.
2. Squirt lighter fluid inside your new grip - lots, 'too much.'  It will drip out the little hole at the other end, so hold this over the handlebar so the excess drips onto the handlebar where the grip is about to go.
3. Sure that both the inside of grip and the section of the handlebar the grip will cover is soaked in lighter fluid, quickly...before it evaporates!
4. ...quickly! slide the grip on in one smooth motion.
5. If it stops halfway, you fucked up. Use your 'superman strength' to pull it off, go back to step 2 and try again.


Note: you might think that, once halfway on, the grip can be twisted and coaxed all the way on. But you'll notice there is too much surface area with too much 'compounded friction.' You can only twist/seem-to-move one end of the grip. And it's near impossible to squirt lighter fluid between (all the way around) the grip and the bar. If it's on 3/4 of the way, it's that much worse. It's way easier to accept you fucked it up and fight to pull a half-installed grip and try again for the 'one smooth motion.'


Bonus! The left-over lighter fluid is great to clean off the frame, stem, seat post or any other part that should not be greasy for the rider.


Obviously, lighter fluid is flammable. Don't smoke or anything. If you do, be sure to smirk and find it funny before you blow yourself up. Once the grips are on, give yourself a "fuckin' right on!" and high-five someone. After that, the lighter fluid will have evaporated and everything's jake.

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