Grips may be one of the cheapest components on a bike, but their impact on ride quality and confidence is immense. Being one of the primary contact points of a mountain bike, a set of grips can make or break a ride depending on their quality. A grip that doesn’t suit a rider is equally annoying and uncomfortable and can contribute to arm pump and fatigue. While grip selection is widely preference-based, the following selections are to help guide a rider based on their preferences and the qualities they value most in a grip.
The Best Mountain Bike Grips for Hand Pain and Vibrations
At 34mm in diameter, Deity’s Supracush grips are one of the thickest traditional grips available on the market. The larger diameter of the grip allows a rider with big enough hands to relax, limiting fatigue on long descents. Deity’s TRC+ rubber blend is soft to the touch while being durable enough to withstand a season's worth of riding. The grip’s diamond pattern provides plenty of traction, while the thicker profile does a fantastic job at muting out trail chatter and vibrations. For those who prefer a thicker profile grip that does a superb job of limiting harsh feedback, the Deity Supracush is at the top of the list.
The design of Revgrips is unique from any other grip found on the market. With an inner diameter slightly larger than the diameter of a handlebar, these grips are suspended on elastomers on either edge of the grip, allowing it to rotate around the handlebar. This design allows the grips to work with a rider's hands to eliminate harsh trail feedback and vibrations. This translates into a grip that drastically limits hand fatigue and arm pump. Revgrips are available in a wide variety of profiles, textures, and diameters, to accommodate any rider's preference.
The Thinnest Mountain Bike Grips
Featuring the same TPC+ rubber found in their much thicker Supracush grip, the Slimfit has a much narrower tapered profile that fits extremely close to the bar. Its diamond grip pattern is more tightly packed than that of the Supracush and works well in all weather conditions. Having such a small profile, the Slimfit is ideal for riders who want a very narrow grip that provides a high level of bike feedback and control.
These ESI grips are lockless, featuring a slip-on design that maintains a secure fit once installed. Best installed with rubbing alcohol or by using an air gun, these have slightly different installation methods than the other grips on review but offer the same, if not better, ride quality and feel. ESI includes a separate bar end to protect riders in the event of a crash. These grips are also the lightest on the market, making them a favorite among weight-conscious trail and XC riders.
The Thickest Mountain Bike Grips
Just recently released, the OneUp thick grips are appropriately named due to their oversized profile. The grips taper from 35mm at their outermost point down to 32.5mm at their thinnest. This offset design allows for a more comfortable fit in your hand, limiting fatigue descending. OneUp has included an intricately textured design with diagonal thumb ridges, and thumb ridges ensure the most secure grip possible. A raised section of palm padding aids in reducing harsh vibrations and hand fatigue.
Diameter: 35 - 32.5mm (tapered)
The ESI Chunky grips are identical in construction to the ESI Racers Edge, except they have a thicker 32mm diameter. The silicone construction of the Chunky grips provides excellent shock absorption at speed and over rough terrain.
The Tackiest Mountain Bike Grips
Perhaps equally known for its presence in motorsports, Renthal has established itself in the cycling world with its high-end cockpits and accessories. While all of Renthal’s grips match the quality of their other components, the Ultra Tacky version of the Renthal Lock-On is distinctly grippy thanks to its adhesive nature. Sticky to the touch, these grips provide a glue-like feeling in the hand.
Designed with Brendan Fairclough as his signature grip, the Deathgrip has become a favorite among riders for its secure grip and traction. Most of the grip features a traditional diamond texture, while a half-waffle design on the back side of the grip provides a safe purchase in all weather conditions. DMR's soft 20a Kraton Rubber is durable while providing a comfortable feeling in the palm.
The Most Ergonomic Mountain Bike Grips
The Ergon GE1 Evo is designed for the riding positions and demands of trail and enduro riding. This innovative grip profile actively promotes the correct forearm position during descents by tilting the grip area 8% towards the steering axle. This adjustment automatically raises the elbows into an ideal body position. It reduces pressure on the sensitive ulnar nerve in the outer hand. The surface texture provides fantastic slip resistance, while the soft rubber compound aids in muting out vibrations.
Diameter: 32mm (average)
Chromag has taken a unique approach to the Squarewave grip with its slightly bulged mid-section and tapered edges. The raised center of the grip is designed to sit nicely in the center of the palm, limiting fatigue on longer rides. The pattern is softest at the outer edges of the hand, while the center of the grip is a bit firmer to provide a compliant yet durable ride feel. The Squarwave’s rubber compound blends a 25a durometer rubber with a proprietary additive to achieve an ideal combination of tackiness and durability.
Diameter: 31mm (average)
The Most Comfortable Mountain Bike Grips
The latest addition to the Bellingham, WA-based manufacturer, the Icon is the finishing touch to any cockpit. After extensive research and testing, Tenet opted for an extra-soft 20A rubber compound that provides an excellent blend of durability and comfort. Icon grip barrels and lock rings are sold separately, allowing riders to customize their grips and reuse lock rings, minimizing waste.
The ODI Elite Pro Lock-On grips utilize a raised palm and half-waffle design to provide an ergonomic ride without deviating too far from the profile of a standard grip. Slightly flared outer edges and a partial flange keep a rider’s hands securely in place no matter the terrain while relying on a durable material that doesn’t wear out quickly.
Diameter: 30 - 32mm