Whether you’re a Road Cyclist or a Mountain Biker, you will spend some time installing and removing different bike parts.
And as long as you have the right tools, you shouldn’t have too much of an issue.
Unfortunately, this cannot be said about a lot of Bike Handlebar Grips.
In fact, even if you have a quality pair of push-on Bike Grips, it can be one heck of a challenge taking them off.
This is why a lot of riders’ resort to cutting them off.
And while this can be an effective way of getting Bike Grips off, it completely destroys them, making them useless in the future.
If you’re looking for a way to get your Bike Grips off without damaging them, we have written this guide just for you.
Here is how you can remove your Bike Grips without cutting them.
You can actually remove bike grips without damaging them with some of the same methods you would use to install bike grips. You can use lubricants, compressed air and a little bit of patience and determination to remove them instead of cutting them. Let’s explore which option is best for you and how you can have the best results.
Here is a list of some of the most popular ways riders have used to get their Bike Grips off without damaging them. For a complete breakdown of each method as well as some tips for getting the best results, keep reading below.
- Use WD-40
- Use Dish Soap and Water
- Use Rubbing Alcohol
- Use Compressed Air
- Use Clear Hairspray
Ways to Remove Bike Grips Without Cutting Them
Instead of cutting your Bike Grips, there are several methods for working them off, without damaging them.
Similar to some of the methods for installing Bike Grips, you can remove Bike Grips using various lubricants and even compressed air.
Here is a better breakdown of the most popular ways to go about it, as well as a better description as to how they work.
1. Use WD-40
As universal as WD-40 is, it is one of the best lubricants on the market.
And being so common, there is a good chance you already have this laying around the house.
By spraying a moderate amount of WD-40 inside your Bike Grip, you should be able to spin and work it off with minimal effort.
The only unfortunate thing is that it will leave behind a little oil residue. So make sure you clean thoroughly with some alcohol afterwards.
How – Use a flat head screwdriver or tire wedge to lift each end of the Bike Grip. I have this WD-40 can at home and it works great due to the skinny nozzle attachment it has. Once lifted enough, spray in a moderate amount of WD-40 to use as a lubricant. Now start to spin and twist the Bike Grip, working the WD-40 all underneath the grip and eventually off completely.
2. Use Dish Soap and Water
If you’re looking for an even more common method but don’t want to leave behind any residue, using good old fashion water and dish soap is a great way to remove your Bike Grips without damaging them.
Unlike WD-40, there is no risk of oily residue or chemical damage. Use the tried and true Dawn dish detergent and you should have no problem.
How – Just like the other methods on this list, wedge something in the ends of the Bike Grips to lift them slightly. Once you have enough room, squirt in a diluted solution of dish soap and water. Once you have enough inside the grips, start to twist and work the mixture underneath the grips. Keep twisting the grip, pulling towards the end of the handlebar until it finally comes off. Since this is a relatively risk-free method, feel free to use as much lubricant as you need.
3. Use Rubbing Alcohol
Almost as common as dish soap, just about every house has a bottle of alcohol at home – and I’m not talking about the kind you drink.
Rubbing alcohol is one of the best lubricants for installing and removing Bike Grips, because it completely dries out shortly after use.
Just like dish soap, you don’t’ really have to worry about damage or leftover residue.
How – Use a screwdriver or tire wedge to lift each end of your Bike Grip enough to pour in a moderate amount of rubbing alcohol. Immediately start to twist and work the Bike Grip off the handlebar. Although the alcohol can evaporate quickly, you should be fine using as much as you want to get the grip off. The good thing about alcohol, is it will also help clean the grip, keeping it more effective for the next time you use it.
4. Use Compressed Air
The compressed air method is one that some riders swear by, however, it is often lesser known.
Instead of using a lubricant, this method involves inflating the Bike Grip to allow it to slide off.
Unfortunately this requires that you have some form of compressed air, whether that be from an actual air compressor or a can of compressed air.
Some riders have even mentioned using tire and ball pumps with the thin metal nozzles.
Another thing to keep in mind, is that this will only work on really secure Bike Grips.
If your grips have any holes or “leaks”, the compressed air will just escape.
How – use a thin nozzle along with a form of compressed air to shoot a shot of air into the outer end of your Bike Grip. Once your grip starts to inflate, modulate air while pulling on the grip to completely remove it from the handlebars.
5. Use Hairspray
If there are any ladies in your house, there is a good chance they have some old hairspray laying around.
And if that’s the case, make sure you thank them because you can use that hairspray to remove your bike grips.
While wet, hairspray will work as a decent lubricant for twisting your Bike Grips off without damaging.
Once it dries though it can get pretty sticky, so make sure you clean your Bike Grips after removing them with this method.
But as a quick tip, hairspray can be a great option when installing new Bike Grips, as it gets sticky when it dries.
How – Use a small screwdriver or tire wedge to lift the Bike Grip at each end. Being careful not to lift too much, spray in a liberal amount of hairspray. Immediately start to twist and work the Bike Grip towards the outer edge of the handlebar.
How to Make Sure You Don’t Damage Bike Grips When Removing Them
Depending on the situation, you may want to reuse your Bike Grips for another bike or a later time.
Besides cutting them, there are still ways you can damage your Bike Grips during removal, making them useless afterwards.
Here are a few ways you can avoid damaging your Bike Grips, preserving as much of their functionality as possible.
- Avoid Oil
Oil can damage the actual material of the Bike Grip, making them lose their grippy quality. If you use a chemical with an excessive amount of oil, your Bike Grips may never stay fully secure to your handlebars again.
- Don’t Scratch Handlebar or Grips
If you are too rough during the wedge and spray process, you run the risk of scratching or damaging the Bike Grip or handlebar. If you scratch them enough, they may never fully seal on your handlebars again. This is especially true of you’re using a metal tool like a screwdriver. This is why I use a high-quality plastic tire wedge like this one from Dicks Sporting Goods. It is sturdy enough to allow you to apply a considerable amount of force, without being so sharp or hard that it can damage your Bike Grip.
- Don’t Pull too Hard
Even if you use a solid lubricant, don’t pull or twist too hard on the Bike Grip during removal. This can cause it to become loose or even rip. The challenge is using just enough lubricant and force to work the Bike Grip off the handlebar without damaging it.
Can you Reuse Bike Grips?
This is a given for most Lock-on Grips, however, the topic gets a little touchy when we’re talking about push-on grips.
Since push-on grips use their elasticity and the bonding process during installation, it can be challenging reusing Bike Grips.
This is especially true if you are too rough or damaging them during removal.
The good news, is that if you are careful during the removal process, you can actually reuse Bike Grips.
Just remember to check them for safety before using them in any extreme situations like Mountain Biking.
In conclusion, it is really simple to remove Bike Grips without cutting them.
In fact, with a little patience and a few common household items you should be able to remove your Bike Grips without damaging them completely.
Good luck with either method that you use and safe riding!