It’s funny how simple a BMX bike is, requiring only a few key tools, but how many ways you can modify it or do different things to maintain or change things out. The other day Colony posted a quick How To Fit BMX Grips video that was about 48 seconds long. In that How To they showed a quick and simple way to swap out your BMX grips using a little bit of hair spray. That got us thinking about all the different ways that you can change out a pair of BMX grips. So, we decided to compile a handful of ways to get the job done with plenty of examples thanks to Youtube. So, let’s get into this.
Alright, so unless you are installing a pair of grips on a new set of handlebars, there’s a good chance you’re going to have to remove the existing grips that are currently on your bars, likely pretty worn, tattered and torn. When it comes to installing or removing BMX grips, there’s a pretty endless list of ways to get it done. When it comes to removing the old grips, you pretty much can use anything you want to get the job done. If you plan on tossing them, a razor blade or scissors to cut a seam is probably the quickest and more simplistic way to get it done. There are cases where you have a pair of grips that aren’t completely worn out that you might want to hang on to as a backup pair though. That’s where you pretty much start getting into the free reign of just what you want to use.
Since you’re going to be removing the grips and will have the opportunity to clean the handlebars, you can use pretty much any solution you might want. The best trick is to take a small flat head screw driver (or two) and start to wiggle it in under the grips. If you have them on properly, this can require a little bit of effort to get the rubber away from the bars. Once you have a decent opening, you can put a little bit of whatever solution you choose to use. Water, WD-40, spit, ketchup, dirt, beer, lube, jelly, whatever you want should do the trick… Except for maybe Super Glue, unless you think you can get the grips off before it actually dries in about 10 seconds, haha. You can also get the nozzle of an air compressor under the grip and the air will stretch the grip away from the metal making it so you can pull the grips off as well. Once you get part of the grip loose, wiggle the screw driver in a little further and repeat, twisting the grip back and forth to get whatever lubricant you choose to work its way in. The grips should slide off pretty easily once you get about halfway. In some cases, you can even take the grip and roll it back over the old one, but that really would only work well on really worn grips.
Once you have both grips off your bars, clean up whatever is left on the bars from removal. You will want to get the bars clean like they just came out of the box since that will ensure you aren’t going to be sliding the grips back on over what you just used to get them off.
When it comes time to install the BMX grips, you have a few less options than taking the grips off, but still a pretty endless list. The key to this is to use something that will ultimately evaporate or harden so the grips will stay in place on the bars. If you have ever done a quick search on Youtube, you probably would have seen about a 100 different ways to get the job done. Below are a few examples.
Adam LZ shows you the Zip Tie trick.
Mike Frisk also showing you the Zip Tie trick, and starting at about 2:40, he shows you the air compressor trick, which is our preferred method since it’s clean, fast and simple. Mike is a product designer for a few brands like Wethepeople, so it’s safe to say he’s a reliable and credible source on something like this, haha.
Here’s an example where they use wipes with alcohol on them. This is a pretty quick and easy method. The reason this works well is because the alcohol dries really quick unlike water, so it gives you enough time to get the grip on and it will get the grips staying in place quickly.
Adam LZ once again showing you another trick. This time he gives WD-40 and some lube which works, but it can take a little longer for it to dry, so if you’re trying to ride immediately and not waiting around for it to dry, this probably isn’t the best way for you to get it done.
Custom Riders giving you a look at the WD-40, Zip Tie and Hair Spray methods with three bad ways to do it which involve soap, a hammer and a screw driver.
Here’s Colony‘s quick video showing the hair spray trick. Hairspray works well because it dries quick and it also helps stick the grips in place.
So, that’s some of the most common ones. Two in particular we didn’t see that we know work is spray paint, which can be messy and take a bit more time to dry, and carb cleaner. What’s unique about carb cleaner is that is has a chemical reaction to rubber so when the grips actually get carb cleaner on them, the rubber starts to “melt” a little bit. Once they are dry, they stick to the bars even more than other methods.
Another option that you have that is probably one of the easiest ways to remove and replace BMX grips would be the ODI Lock On system. The way this works is the grip has a plastic sleeve under the grip and on both sides you have clamps that you tighten down onto the bars with an allen key. Need to replace them? Simply use the allen key to loosen the screws and slide the grips off. The only downside is these grips tend to run around $10 more expensive than traditional grips and they tend to have a thicker overall diameter, so if you like thin and / or cheap grips these aren’t for you.
One important thing we should mention is that it’s important to always run bar ends. Weather it be plastic or metal, having something over the end of your bars will protect yourself and other people around you when riding. If you want to see an extreme case of what can happen when you don’t run bar ends… Watch this. As a warning though, it is GRAPHIC – Mat Hoffman and Dennis McCoy Collide
Do you have any methods we didn’t mention? Let us know in the comments below!