Find the right rubber to keep your ride planted

The best mountain bike grips can be hard to find so we’ve gathered all our favourites here for you to peruse at your leisure. Gripped and sorted.

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What is a mountain bike grip?

Fundamentally mountain bike grips are lengths of rubber fastened to your handlebars that you hold on to. The most common design is the lock-on design that stays in place with one or two end clamps.

Best mountain bike grips 2019

Here our are current favourite best mountain bike grips. See the links to full reviews down the page.

  • DMR Deathgrip, £16.99
  • ODI Elite Pro, £22.99
  • Ergon GE1, £27.99
  • Chromag Basis, £24.99
  • Race Face Half Nelson, £19.95
  • Chromag Palmskin, £24.99
  • Renthal Ultra Tacky, £24.99
  • Nukeproof Sam Hill Series, £19.99

best mountain bike grips 2019

When was the last time you properly thought about your grips? We’ll admit, there’s no glamour associated with these components. They aren’t as sexy as a set of carbon wheels or the latest 160mm suspension fork but without them your ride won’t go very far. Along with your pedals, your handlebar grips represent one of the only points of contact your body ever really has with your bike (your saddle being the other one).

They are your first line of control and your first line of comfort. You can happily compromise on most parts and still mainly enjoy a ride but get your choice of grip wrong and your enjoyment can go out of the window. Get these contact points right on the other hand and you can increase confidence and control, decrease arm pump.

Compound

To get started go for the softest grips you can find — yes they’ll wear out quicker but they’re easier on your hands that way. DMR does a “race day” compound and ODI makes a supertacky version too. Avoid old-school grips with collars on the outside of the bar that could hurt your hand, new designs are fixed on perfectly well with an inside collar and clever tapered bores.

Pattern

Grip patterns are incredibly varied, with knurled patterns for your fingertips, waffle pattern for your palm, and in the case of the DMR Deathgrip a raised mushroom profile for thumb cushioning. Whatever you opt for, make sure there is a decent amount of rubber under your palm, and not a thin skim of rubber over the hard nylon core.

Dimension

Choose a width and length for your hands. Fatter is better, but of course if you’ve got small hands you might prefer a thinner grip. Some like the NS Holdfast offer a longer grip section, perfect for big hands. Just check the grip section measurement, most brands measurements tend to include the lockrings as well. If in doubt go and finger some at your local bike shop to get an idea.

‘Best Deals’ links

You will notice that beneath each review summary is both a link to the full version of the review and a purchasing link. If you click on one of these links then mbr may receive a small amount of money from the retailer should you go to purchase the product from them. Don’t worry, this does not affect the amount you pay.

Best mountain bike grips 2019

All of the following tyres are the best mountain bike grips which scored at least 9/10 in our test. Here’s a complete list of all the grips we’ve tested.

best mountain bike grips 2019

ODI Elite Pro grips

Price: £22.99
Score: 10/10

They have an eccentric core that puts more rubber in the palm of your hand and less on the underside of the grip where the fingertips rest. So you get all of the benefits of fatter grips without the bulk. The ODI Elite Pro is the best fat grip we’ve ridden to date. It’s a great grip for anyone with an open mind or sore hands.

Read the full review of the ODI Elite grips

best mountain bike grips 2019

Ergon GE1 grips

Price: £27.99
Score: 10/10

The unique selling point of the Ergon GE1 grips is that they aren’t uniform in diameter; they’re narrower at the inner end than the outer end. In other words, they flare out. You do have to be careful with orientation (there are helpful markings on the collars for this) and it may take a few attempts to fine tune but once you’ve dialled them these are exceptional grips.

Read the full review of the Ergon GE1 grips

best mountain bike grips 2019

DMR Deathgrip grips

Price: £16.99
Rating: 10/10

Unlike Brendan Fairclough, we like to keep a couple of fingers resting on the brake levers at all times. But where we share a common ground is that we both prefer to wrap our remaining digits around his signature Deathgrip. What looks at first sight like an unlikely quilt of different patterns actually turns out to be an inspired design where each section does a different job, yet somehow manages to feel completely cohesive to the touch. Our favourite is the thick version with a 32mm diameter but there’s also a 30.5mm option along with both flanged and non-flanged designs a rainbow of colour options and even a super soft Race compound. A brilliant grip, simple as that. 

Read the full review of the DMR Deathgrip grips

best mountain bike grips 2019

Chromag Basis grips

Price: £24.99
Score: 10/10

For all you hardcore rubber sniffers out there this grip is made from a special mixture 25a durometer compound that ensures a tacky feel but without the overly fast wear rate often experienced with sticky grips. At sub-30mm diameter it’s not a fat grip and as such will be appreciated by skinny-grip fans who want good adherence to their cockpit control.

Read the full review of the Chromag Basis grips

best mountain bike grips 2019

Race Face Half Nelson grips

Price: £19.95
Score: 9/10

One of the slimmest grips in this test at 28mm diameter and very much of an old skool vibe too. There’s no funny eccentric shaping or super sticky rubbers here. This is just a no-nonsense semi-plain grip with fingertip grip section (the Race Face logo panel). Much comfier than going for the obvious ODI Ruffian-style diamond-knurled option.

Read the full review of the Race Face Half Nelson grips

best mountain bike grips 2019

Chromag Palmskin grips

Price: £24.99
Score: 9/10

As the name hints at, the Palmskin grips are specifically designed for use without gloves on. Bare-handed biking isn’t something you see all that often in the UK but if you’re a convert to glove-less way of life, but don’t want the icky sticky feel of Renthals (see below) then these are currently the best lock-ons available.

Read the full review of the Chromag Palmskin grips

best mountain bike grips 2019

Renthal Ultra Tacky grips

Price: £24.99
Score: 9/10

The Ultra Tacky provides as much bar grip as you could ever need and despite the narrower diameter is surprisingly comfortable to use day-long. The accelerated wear is something you’ll have to put up with for the high-level performance.

Read the full review of the Rental Ultra Tacky grips

best mountain bike grips 2019

Nukeproof Sam Hill Series grips

Price: £19.99
Rating: 9/10

It’s obvious Sam Hill knows what works when you look at these grips. Great design and properly soft rubber makes them work for any terrain or weather condition.

Read the full review of the Nukeproof Sam Hill Series grips

Grip Price Clamp Length Diameter Rating
DMR Deathgrip £16.99 1 x inner 133mm 30.5, 32mm 10/10
ODI Elite Pro £22.99 1 x inner 129mm 32mm 10/10
Ergon GE1 £27.99 1 x inner 135mm 32mm 10/10
Chromag Basis £24.99 1 x inner, 1 x outer 138mm 29.5mm 10/10
Race Face Half Nelson £19.95 1 x inner 133mm 28mm 9/10
Chromag Palmskin £24.99 1 x inner, 1 x outer 137mm 30mm 9/10
Renthal Ultra Tacky £24.99 1 x inner, 1 x outer 130mm 30mm 9/10
Nukeproof Sam Hill Series £19.99 1 x inner, 1 x outer 136mm 31.5mm 9/10

Best mountain bike grips 2019: conclusion

Even though handlebar grips are fundamentally one of the simplest (and cheapest) components on a bike they can have a profound impact on your riding experience. The best will inspire confidence and enhance handling; the worst will be like strapping a live eel to your bars.

Although the results of this grouptest seem to suggest that most grips are relatively proficient in completing their sole task, there are still a lot of differences.

In the end is was clear that three grip sstood out amongst all the other offerings.

Best all-round grip: DMR Deathgrip.

Best thinner grip: Chromag Basis.

Best fatter grip: ODI Elite Pro.