This guide gives you everything you need to know about choosing the best mountain bike grips. It covers what makes grips comfortable, proper sizing, and it even includes a list of the best mountain bike grips for big and small hands. In the end you will know exactly how to choose the perfect grips for your bike.
There are several different types of grips, and ways they connect to your handlebars. Double-lock-on grips are always recommended for downhill and enduro riders. Single-lock-on grips work for everyone else. Slide on grips do not work well with mountain bikes. Without a lock-on feature your grips will slide around and become a distraction while riding.
Best Mountain Bike Grips For Comfort
If you’ve ever experienced numbness in your wrists or hand while riding chances are you don’t have the correct grip installed. Every mountain biker’s body is built differently, meaning one grip does not work for everyone. Riders prone to wrist and hand discomfort don’t need to worry. This can be easily remedied with ergonomic grips.
Ergonomic grips act as a platform for your hand to sit on. This takes pressure off your wrists, and it spreads the pressure point out to a broader area of your hand. Both of those changes significantly decrease numbness and pain in the wrists and hands.
Even mountain bikers that do not experience hand and wrist discomfort will enjoy ergonomic grips. They provide a feeling of increased control while adding a level of comfort standard grip shapes cannot provide. Ergonomic grips will also come in varying shapes and sizes. Some have a very small profile making them good for riders with small hands, while others a larger profile good for large hands.
Are Mountain Bike Grips Universal?
All handlebars are not universal, but most of them are for adult bikes. Kids bikes often have much smaller handlebars so grips are not universal in that regard. Mountain bike handlebars are 22.2mm or 7/8″ in diameter throughout the grip section. Some handlebars will taper wider than that at the first bend in the bars. Smaller kids bike handlebars on the other hand measure 19mm or 3/4″ in diameter. If the bike has 24″ wheels or larger it likely has the standard 22.2mm sizing.
Once you’ve determined your handlebar diameter your grip options are endless. There are grips in every color and style you can imagine. Just stick to something with double or single lock-on. Also, look for a grip that feels like you can hold it in your hand for several hours comfortably, because that is what you’ll be doing with it.
Most mountain bike grips will be tacky and durable. Fitness hybrids and other flat bar bikes of the non-mountain variety will have soft grips. Those do not do well on mountain bikes because your going to take a tumble or two at some point. With soft grips you will be replacing them with every fall.
Best Mountain Bike Grips For Big or Small Hands
Having the proper grip size is crucial to ensure you have an excellent experience on your next mountain biking trip. The lists of the best mountain bike grips shown below have been sorted into two size categories. The grips for big hands all come from Ergon, while these is a lot more brand variety for riders with small hands. Ergon sets the standard for comfort on two out of three bike touchpoints. (Saddles and grips.)
These Are The Best Mountain Bike Grips for Big Hands
- Best Overall MTB Grip for Big Hands: Ergon GA3 Large – This single lock on grip perfectly balances comfort, performance, style and value. With six color options available there is an Ergon GA3 for everyone. (Check Current Price on Amazon) In the Ergon Amazon Store you can find option for all of their grip options.
- Best For Cross Country Mountain Biking: Ergon GA3 Large – (Shown Above.) These are the grips I use on my Trek Marlin 6 now. They are a recent add, but these first few weeks have been great.
- Best For Enduro Mountain Biking: Ergon GE1 Evo – This is the ultimate endro mountain biking grip. The durability and texture have been optimized for high performance racing.
- Best For Trail Mountain Biking: Ergon GA2 FAT – This single lock on grip has a slimmer profile than it’s GA3 big brother, making it perfect for mountain bikers with smaller hands. The Ergon GA2 provides the perfect balance of comfort, durability and style. (Check Current Price on Amazon)
- Best For Comfort: Ergon GA3 – (Shown Above.)
These Are The Best Mountain Bike Grips for Small Hands:
- Best Overall MTB Grip for Small Hands: RaceFace Half Nelson – The profile on this grip makes it perfect for little shredders and other riders with small hands. Grip is tacky and comfortable, yet still durable. (Check Current Price on Amazon)
- Best For Cross Country Mountain Biking: RaceFace Sniper – These grips include a dual surface texture to ensure grip-ability in all riding conditions. They have a narrow profile for small hands, but still provide excellent comfort while riding. (Check Current Price on Amazon)
- Best For Enduro Mountain Biking: Fifty-Fifty Double Lock On – As the name implies, these grips are double lock on making them perfect for enduro mountain bikers. They come in nine different color options and weigh only 98 grams per pair on average. (Check Current Price on Amazon)
- Best For Trail Mountain Biking: Deity Knuckleduster – It was an odd situation that popped up when comparing mountain bike grips that allowed the Knuckleduster to get into the competition. Another trail rider happened to be talking about grips in the trailhead parking lot and recommended giving them a try. These grips are single lock on with a tapered inner sleeve. They provide the ultimate performance in control. (Check Deity Components Here)
- Best For Comfort: Ergon GP2 – This mountain bike grip is perfect for riders with small hands that suffer from numbness while riding. The GP2 adds a bar end grip to give you additional hand positions while riding. (Check Current Price on Amazon)
In conclusion, the best grip for one rider may not be the best for the next. When choosing a grip consider what is most important to you. Riders experiencing numbness may prioritize ergonomics over durability and cost. Mountain bikers prone to accidents will favor durability above all else. Replacing grips can get expensive after a while!