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Best Bike Grips For Commuting

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The three places where your body makes contact with a bike are critically important if you’re to be comfortable on a commute.

At the front of the bike, the handlebar, its position, and your interaction with it are all critical factors.

Whatever type of handlebar you have, the grip plays a vital role in preventing sore hands or wrists. And the farther or more often you ride, the more this becomes an issue.

This article will explore the best bike grips for commuting and give you some useful buying ideas.

Top Picks:

Top 11 Best Commuting Bike Grips Reviewed

Below, you’ll find our eleven top picks for handlebar grips using various criteria. There are grips here for all types of bikes and tastes.

1. Ergon GP1 BioKork Handlebar Grips (best overall)

CHECK PRICE AT REI

One of the best handlebar grips on the market is the Ergon GP1 BioKork Handlebar. Its tried-and-tested design offers sublime comfort, and the construction quality inspires confidence.

The ergonomic design of this grip helps to eliminate wrist pain. Several hand positions are possible. A textured soft rubber compound provides a secure grip and helps to subdue vibration.

Further comfort comes from the winged shape of this grip, which distributes pressure over a wider area of the hand.

This eco-friendly grip uses cork from biologically certified Portuguese cork farms, has a 100% recyclable aluminum clamp, and an inner core partially made from grass fibers.

What we like:

  • Comfort – exceptionally comfortable.
  • Ergonomic – healthy for your hands.
  • Eco-conscious – environmentally friendly materials and packaging.
  • Construction – well-made product

What we don’t like:

  • Compatibility – a shorter version exists for Gripshift shifters.

2. Lizard Skins Northshore Lock-On Grips (runner-up)

CHECK PRICE AT AMAZON

Mainly designed for MTBs, the Lizard Skins Northshore Lock-On Grips feature an array of dense shock-absorbing sections to provide exceptional comfort and grip. They are relatively large in diameter, making them ideal for larger hands.

Lock-on clamps secure the grips securely to your handlebar, so they won’t twist when riding. The clamps are easy to remove for maintenance purposes or switching bar components.

The Lizard Skins also function well when wet, meaning your hands won’t slip under rainfall or with sweat.

These grips mark a partnership between Lizard Skins and the North Shore Mountain Biking Association (NSMBA). A percentage of sales goes towards helping the NSMBA to develop new tracks.

What we like:

  • Comfort – large diameter with shock-absorbing sections.
  • Control – good grip in all conditions.
  • Lock-on – won’t rotate when riding.

What we don’t like:

  • Cost – a little on the pricey side.

3. Weanas New Generation Soft-Gel Grips (best for hybrids)

CHECK PRICE AT AMAZON

Ideal for hybrid bikes or MTBs, the Weanas New Generation Soft-Gel Grips have an anatomical design with raised non-slip surfaces. Its concave shape accommodates your hand comfortably.

For stability and control, this grip features a non-slip surface with a diamond pattern. A gel insert adds further to grip and comfort. The triple-density design maximizes efficiency in function and durability.

These grips are secured to the handlebar with G2 screw locks. They come with Allen keys for quick installation.

What we like:

  • Comfort – anatomical shape and gel inserts provide comfort.
  • Grip – diamond-shaped grip for good purchase.
  • Locking – two screws on each grip prevents rotation.
  • Inexpensive – appealing price.

What we don’t like:

  • Heat – questionable durability when exposed to extreme heat or UV.

4. Revolution Pro Series Large Suspension Grips (best for MTBs)

CHECK PRICE AT JENSON USA

MTB riding is particularly demanding on hands and handlebar grips, so what makes the Revolution Pro Series Large Suspension Grips special in this regard? The standout feature of these grips is their adjustable shock absorption.

The grips come with shock-absorbing inserts and a tuning kit, so you can adjust the feel of the grips to suit your own personal taste and the nature of your riding. If you’re commuting on asphalt, you might prefer a firmer feel.

If you do go off-road during your commute or in your spare time, these grips are superb for soaking up surface vibration.

What we like:

  • Tunable – adjust shock absorption levels with the included kit.
  • Comfort – ultra-soft compound grips with padding.
  • Large – 34mm outer diameter ideal for larger hands.
  • Spares – all parts are available separately for replacement.

What we don’t like:

  • Oversized – may not suit smaller hands (medium and small sizes also exist).

5. Odi Ruffian BMX Lock-on Grips (best for BMX)

Odi Ruffian BMX Lock-on Grips in Black color

CHECK PRICE AT JENSON USA

BMX grips tend to have flanges at the inner end to prevent hand slippage, hence the Odi Ruffian BMX Lock-on Grips. These grips have a thin profile and a diamond-patterned grip for enhanced traction.

These lock-on grips clamp to the handlebar to prevent slippage and grip rotation. They include the manufacturer’s proprietary “Snap Cap” end plugs, which snap into place without risk of loss or any need of tools.

These grips are easy to install and comfortable in use. They’re also durable.

What we like:

  • Traction – rugged diamond-patterned grips for secure riding.
  • Flange – prevents hand slippage and intuitive to use.
  • Durable – high-quality construction and materials.
  • Thin – a racing profile.

What we don’t like:

  • Profile – may be a tad too thin for commuting purposes.

6. Salsa Gel Cork Bar Tape (best for road bikes)

CHECK PRICE AT REI

Most road-bike commuters won’t add any physical grips to their drop bars, but choice of bar tape is all-important. Salsa Gel Cork Bar Tape is excellent for traction and comfort.

Bar tape should remain grippy when wet, and this Salsa tape excels in that respect. Its gel cork construction is a subtle blend of cork for durability and gel for comfort.

Road cyclists looking for a more physical addition to their bar can look at Redshift Cruise Control Drop Bar Grips.

What we like:

  • Grippy – soft texture that is easy to grip.
  • Gel – helps to soak up road vibration and prevent hand fatigue.
  • Resilient – functions well even when wet with rain or sweat.
  • Easy – easy to install with adhesive backing.

What we don’t like:

  • Finishing – lengths of finishing tape on the short side.

7. Ergon GP5 Handlebar Grips (best ergonomic)

CHECK PRICE AT REI

Handlebar grips that allow your wrist to rest in a natural, untwisted position have great potential. Enter the Ergon GP5 Handlebar Grips. These allow multiple hand positions, including one where your hand isn’t twisted around to grip a flat bar.

Not many handlebars offer a natural wrist position, except perhaps a swept-back bar on a city bike or cruiser. This Ergon grip adds that benefit to your commuter bike, be it an urban bike, hybrid or MTB.

These grips feature German-made soft rubber grips on the main body and a lightweight nylon composite with rubber inserts on the bar ends.

What we like:

  • Wrist health – the grips allow a natural side-on wrist position.
  • Construction – well made from high-quality materials.
  • Clamp – the grips clamp onto the handlebar to avoid unwanted movement.
  • UV resistance – won’t easily degrade with prolonged exposure to sun.

What we don’t like:

  • Carbon – not usable on carbon bars.

8. Fabric Silicone Lock-On Handlebar Grips (best all-weather)

Fabric Silicone Lock-On Handlebar Grips in Red color

CHECK PRICE AT REI

Silicone grips are known to perform well in all weathers, retaining their traction no matter what you throw at them. This is why we’ve picked the Fabric Silicone Lock-On Handlebar Grips for inclement-weather duties.

This brightly colored grip is made from medical-grade silicone, which means it meets strict standards of safety and manufacturing. The grips are thick for extra comfort and lock onto the handlebar to avoid twisting.

What we like:

  • Traction – reliable traction from this pure silicone grip.
  • Colorful – a little cheer always welcome on bikes.
  • Clamp – durable aluminum clamps keep the grips in place.
  • Bar ends – robust rubberized bar ends prevent scuffs.

What we don’t like:

  • Grime – hard to keep clean (can however be purchased in black)

9. Oury Single Compound Flanged Downhill Grips (best flanged)

CHECK PRICE AT JENSON USA

Flanges on bar grips are a practical or stylistic choice, depending on the type of riding you do. The Oury Single Compound Flanged Grips are simply designed and ideal for MTBs or BMX bikes.

You don’t have to be rapidly descending an MTB trail or pulling tricks on a BMX to appreciate a flanged grip. Some people just prefer them as they provide a tactile barrier that keeps their hands in position.

These Oury grips are slightly larger than average, reliable in all weathers, and are soft to the touch.

What we like:

  • Comfort – large and soft-touch grips prevent numbness.
  • Colorful – various bright colors available.
  • All-weather – the grips function well in wet weather.
  • Secure – good traction from these non-slip grips.

What we don’t like:

  • Rotation – lack of clamps can allow rotation without use of grip glue.

10. Vans x Cult Flangeless Bike Flangeless Bike Grips (best flangeless)

CHECK PRICE AT AMAZON

If you’re looking for MTB or BMX grips minus flanges, consider the Vans x Cult Flangeless Bike Flangeless Bike Grips.

The result of a design collaboration between Vans and Cult, these grips feature the hallmark Vans waffle sole pattern. It’s actually made by ODI Grips in the U.S.A.

Having proved its worth on the soles of shoes, it turns out the waffle pattern is also effective for the hands. These 150mm grips offer excellent comfort and traction, courtesy of ODI’s proprietary rubber compound.

What we like:

  • Traction – secure traction from these Vans/Cult/ODI grips.
  • Distinctive – a cool pattern borrowed from the soles of sneakers.
  • Comfort – pleasant to the touch, subjective though that is.
  • Seamless – flangeless integration with the handlebar.

What we don’t like:

  • Sticky – can get tacky when gripped with sweaty hands.

11. HFS CQQ Lock-On Handlebar Grips (best budget)

CHECK PRICE AT AMAZON

If you’re looking to kit out your handlebar at low cost, give the HFS CQQ Lock-On Handlebar Grips a look. They’re ideal for most bike types, including MTBs, BMX bikes, hybrids, cruisers and folding bikes.

These HFS CQQ  grips are made from soft and durable rubber and clamp securely to the bar. This eliminates the possibility of annoying grip rotation. Traction is helped by neighboring lattice and grid patterns.

Available with eye-catching blue or red clamps, these grips also come with bar plugs and an Allen key (hex wrench) for installation.

What we like:

  • Price – very little to lose and a bargain to gain.
  • Secure – a fairly firm grip with good traction.
  • Color – agreeable splashes of color from four clamps.
  • Clamped – no annoying grip rotation.

What we don’t like:

  • Plugs – bar plugs prone to falling out (a common problem).

How To Choose Bike Handlebar Grips For Commuting

There are several things to consider when buying handlebar grips. We’ll cover the main points below.

Grip Length & Clearance

A chief concern when choosing a grip is how long it should be, especially in relation to the type of gear shifters you have.

Some shifters take up more space than others on the bar, hence you must choose shorter grips.

For instance:

  • Thumb shifters or trigger shifters – 130mm grip.
  • Twist or grip shifters – 90mm grip.

Flange or Flangeless

A flange has a potential safety benefit when used on bikes like BMXs or MTBs, where sudden steering and movements may be necessary. It helps prevent hands from slipping off the bar.

Read more: Are MTBs good for commuting?

Some people like flanged handlebars purely for the reassurance they provide. Others prefer unobtrusive flangeless grips.

Push-On vs Lock-On Grips

Lock-on grips eliminate the possibility of the grip rotating while you ride. If nothing else, that is annoying to many people.

A push-on grip is generally cheaper, and some people like to hold the bar at the end (a clamp spoils this). Push-on grips can be glued onto bars with special grip adhesive.

Video: Installing Lock-On Grips

Single-Compound vs Dual-Density vs Triple-Density

Bar grips can either be made from a single material or can have different densities of material in different areas. More densities generally means more expense.

A typical dual-density (aka dual-compound) grip will usually have a firm core density to help it hold its shape and a softer outer density for comfort. Triple-density grips may be contoured grips offering alternative levels of firmness for different hand positions.

Grip Thickness

As you might intuit, thicker handlebar grips are more comfortable for people with bigger hands. Small hands like small grips. It’s simplistic but often true.

Your preferred grip thickness may also be influenced by the smoothness of the ride. When you’re bike commuting on asphalt, a thin and firm grip may be sufficient.

Shock Absorption

A thicker, softer grip is generally going to mean better protection from vibrations transmitted from the riding surface. As you may have noticed among our reviews, some high-end grips offer customizable “suspension” for this purpose.

Ergonomic Grips

Ergonomic grips are usually anatomically designed and/or formed to comply with the natural shape of your hands and position of your wrists.

With wrists, a natural position is where your palms face inwards, whereas many handlebars and grips have you twisting your wrist so your palm faces down.

Obviously, there are other ways to relieve pressure on your hands and wrists, but grips have a significant role to play.

Video: Ergon Ergonomic Grips

Road Bikes Solutions

Most cyclists do not add physical grips to the drop bars of a road, gravel or cyclocross bike. With these bikes, choice of handlebar tape makes a critical difference.

Some handlebar tapes are padded with gel, which makes them kinder on the hands but thickens the handlebar. If you don’t mind a fatter handlebar, you can also double-wrap it for extra comfort.

Read more: Guide To Commuter Bike Handlebars

Conclusion

Turning again to our top 11 handlebar grips, the popular Ergon GP1 BioKork Handlebar deserves top spot for its superb ergonomic design and high standard of eco-conscious manufacturing.

In at number two are the formidable 130mm Lizard Skins Northshore Lock-On Grips, offering excellent traction and comfort for riders with larger hands or those needing some shock absorption.

Third on our list are the Weanas New Generation Soft-Gel Grips, offering a triple-density design with gel inserts for comfort and a diamond-patterned surface for non-slip traction.

All of our chosen grips provide tangible benefits for the discerning commuter. They’re a great way to upgrade the feel and comfort of your bike.

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Bike Push - Mark W
Mark W
I’m a cycling enthusiast, and the founder and chief editor of Bike Push. If I’m not working on this website, then I’m out on the bike clocking up the miles. I want to help others get the most out of cycling.

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