GripRings review

The humble bicycle grip – one of the main contact points on a bike: vitally important for comfort and control; one of the first components that we upgrade, and why not… they are cheap and easy to replace. We change them for better ergonomics, better grip, cushioning and most of the time, added bling-factor. Which is quite sad that save for a handful of brands that make good quality grips in nice colors, most of the time, we settle on black… or black with a little trim of color… or boring colors like red, white and blue. Sometimes, sometimes you just want to paint with all the colors of the wind, y’know? For those times, we now have GripRings!

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GripRings are made from non-toxic silicone rubber. They come in modular rings so you can customize the look of your grips to match your bike or outfit of the day. They come in bright colors so the bling factor is taken care of, but how do they perform in other areas? Surprisingly, very well. We were skeptical when we first got hold of them, but after more than a few rides in different conditions on different bikes, we’ve got to admit that we’re quite pleased with the results.

GripRings for mountain biking
Great! We installed them on a hard-tail mountain bike with locked-out forks. The silicon rubber provides good cushioning from the trail – comfortable without being too soft. A grip that’s too soft would lead to early fatigue, but GripRings provided a firm gripping surface that seemed to absorb most vibrations. Our concerns that the grips would twist and slip proved unfounded. GripRings work best when they have a smooth surface to grab, and even though we installed them on matt-finished handlebars, they never budged. This is possibly because GripRings are bevelled and designed to nest, so each supports the one next to it.

The only issue we had with GripRings on a mountain bike was that the horizontal grooves designed for grip caused our bare hands to slip slightly during aggressive cornering in the rain. This was easily solved by wearing gloves – which also improved comfort exponentially.

GripRings for BMX racing
Excellent. Just as with the mountain bike, GripRings provided comfort, control and a splash of color. These days, we seldom ride BMX in the rain, so wet grips are not an issue. We couldn’t find any fault with them here. They held up to grip-twisting bunnyhops, dead-start sprints and several unintentional loop-outs. They are supposed to last 4 times longer than conventional rubber grips. If you’ve ever grabbed a worn, sweaty, sticky grip before, you’ll appreciate this: they promise to never get sticky.

The only problem we had was choosing from the many colors available. GripRings come in twelve colors – clear, white, pink, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, brown, grey and black. A standard grip is about 7 rings – that’s close to 800 possible color combinations! To make things easy, we just went with UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale) colors. GripRings are easy to install – we fixed ours on in 5 minutes. Behold the image sequence below.

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Definitely time to replace this grip.

Dangerous cookie-cutter! We'll deal with this later.

Dangerous cookie-cutter! We’ll deal with this later.

Getting the old grip off is easy with some rubbing alcohol.

Getting the old grip off is easy with some rubbing alcohol.

Off in just a few seconds.

Off in just a few seconds.

Why settle for one color when you can have 6!

Why settle for one color when you can have 6!

A standard grip is 7 rings. We went with 6 this time.

A standard grip is 7 rings. We went with 6 this time.

The first ring slips on easily.

The first ring slips on easily.

Next color...

Next color…

Like a cooking show trick, the next few rings find their way onto the handlebar.

Like a cooking show trick, the next few rings somehow find their way onto the handlebar.

Cookie-cutter danger neutralized with a sturdy expanding bar-end plug.

Cookie-cutter danger neutralized with a sturdy expanding bar-end plug.

Tighten with a 2mm hex wrench. That's the only tool you need to install GripRings.

Tighten with a 2.5mm hex wrench. That’s the only tool you need to install GripRings. If you change your mind, you can easily take the rings off.

Very colorful, no?

Very colorful, no? GripRings will fit most straight bars, riser bars or mustache bars of 22-24mm diameter.

6 rings fits most hands nicely, but 7 rings feel better.

6 rings (105mm) fits most hands nicely. If you have large hands, 7 rings (120mm) will feel better. 8 rings (135mm) for big bear hands.

Used the same color combination on our mountain bike. Yup. 7 rings feels so much better!

Used the same color combination on our mountain bike only because we got really tired of trying to select a perfect color combination.

It's a good thing GripRings come in 2-ring packs as well as a standard 7-ring pack.

GripRings come in 2-ring packs as well as a standard 7-ring pack. The purple is really nice.

Guess which BMX factory team colors?

Guess which BMX factory team colors?

Another team's factory colors. Guess which.

Another team’s factory colors. Guess which one.

GripRings are $3.20 a pair. End-plugs are $5. Or get a single-color 7-ring pack with end-plugs for $26.90. Configure your own at gripbuilder.com, email us a screenshot and arrange to collect/install them at Bike School Asia (159A Joo Chiat Road). Alternatively, visit LifeCycle at 204 Rangoon Road S218451 or 986 Upper Serangoon Road S534732 for your GripRing kicks.

Trick out your own bike! Trick out your kids’ bikes, trikes and scooters. Trick out your mop or broom handle! Just get them! It’s an affordable upgrade for which your eyes and hands will thank you.