Do you really have to sprain your wrists while trying to remove grips from handlebars? Or cut the grips off because there’s no other way you would be able to replace them? You may think of it as the easiest and the most effective way to get rid of these grips. But if you do not wish to discard them, you cannot rely on the method of cutting them off.

The notion that bike grips tend to wear out with time leaves no room for doubt. You cannot ride a bike with loose and sliding grips, considering the risk they invite on the road. Eventually, you will have to replace them with new grips.

The most straightforward idea to strike your mind will be to cut them off. However, the same method cannot be used if you wish to keep your old grips. They don’t necessarily have to be damaged to be replaced. And in that case, knowing how to remove grips from handlebars without cutting them off is crucial.

In this article, I have listed 7 practical ways you can rely upon to remove your handlebar grips easily while also expecting them to remain intact. If you are looking for these methods, read this article till the end and choose the approach you find the most convenient. is readers supported, you may find Amazon affiliated links on this page, that pays us commission for recommending products at no extra cost to you.

7 Effective Ways To Remove Grips From Handlebars

1. Make use of your hairspray

Utilizing hairsprays to remove handlebar grips is quick and easy. All you have to do is grab a flathead screwdriver and use it to lift the grip at both ends, creating a gap between the grip and the surface. Make sure not to raise it to an extreme extent; a slight lift should be sufficient.

You can then apply a layer of hairspray on the surface between the grip and handlebars, immediately after which you can twist the grips, popping them off your bike effortlessly. When moist, your hairspray will act as a lubricant and work just as well. After removing the bike grips, remember to wipe the spray off, as it tends to become sticky after drying out.

Make use of your hairspray

2. Use water and dish soap

If you do not have hairspray or any of the other items mentioned in this list, something as simple as dish soap can help you out. Begin by following the same process of creating a hole or gap between your handlebar and the grips. Pour in some soapy water to make the surface slippery.

Once you believe there is enough diluted liquid between the surface and the grip, you can pull the grips out effortlessly. The best part about this method is that it eliminates any possible risk of chemical damage that may exist in the case of other methods. Because of this, you are free to pour as much soapy water as you feel is necessary to twist the grips out. 

Use water and dish soap

3. Apply rubbing alcohol

Using rubbing alcohol is yet another method to remove the handlebar grips without worrying about chemical damage and residue. In fact, it is one of the best lubricants to exist for replacing handlebar grips.

Begin with shoving a screwdriver or anything to create enough space between your bike grips and the surface they are clung on. Then let the rubbing alcohol flow inside the gap you created. You can use as much of it as you want.

Alcohol is quick to evaporate; therefore, immediately twist and slide the bike handlebar grips out. The best part is that, apart from being an excellent lube, rubbing alcohol is also a great cleaning agent which will keep your bike grips clean until the next time you use them.

Apply rubbing alcohol

4. Use WD-40 lubricant

WD-40 is easily one of the best and the most common lubricants used by professional bikers to remove their bike handlebar grips. All you will have to do is pick a screwdriver; a flat-headed one will be preferable as it will help expose a larger surface area.

Then, wedge it down the grip at the end to create some gap. After that, you can spray an adequate amount of WD-40 lubricant inside of the gap you created and twist the grip to check if it is still clenched to the surface.

If it feels slippery, the grip has been loosened, and you are ready to pull the bike grips off your handlebar surface. A negligible drawback of using this lubricant is that it leaves an oily residue behind. But it is not an issue as you can clean the surface off using rubbing alcohol.

Use WD 40 lubricant

5. Use the compressed air method

Utilizing compressed air to remove tight bike grips may be unusual, but it is one of the most preferred methods used by bikers. Unlike other methods, you are not supposed to use a liquid or spray as a lubricant; you will have to puff up the bike handlebar grips.

For this, you should either have tire pumps with metal nozzles or compressed air in any form. To begin, you can simply place the thin nozzle under each end of your bike grip with an air compressor inside of it. In case you do not have a compressor, you can use a blower.

Once your grip is inflated, you can easily pull it and take it off. However, before using this method or arranging a can of compressed air, you must make sure that your bike grips are free of holes. If your grips are ruptured, the air will just leak and escape while you try to inflate them. And in this case, you should resort to other methods mentioned in the list.  

Use the compressed air method

6. Use furniture polish

You can use your lemon furniture polish spray to effectively loosen the grip from your handlebars, just like hairspray. Grab a flat-headed screwdriver and spray some furniture spray on it.

Then, proceed to shove it under the outer end of your bike grips, circling it around while also twisting it. Spray the furniture polish inside the gap, which will be created for more lubrication. Then simply twist and work the grips off the surface of your handlebars. 

Use furniture polish

7. Cut the handlebar grips off

It may be possible that your old grip is torn and ruptured, which will be useless to keep. In this case, instead of wasting your time on other methods, you can just cut them off and discard them. You can use a cutter to carefully glide it between the surface and the bike grips to slash it off eventually.

Cut the handlebar grips off

Why is it important for your bike to have handlebar grips?

Whether you are a professional biker or just someone who has been riding a bike for a while, you would agree that handgrips directly affect your comfort and ability to apply prompt brakes.

You need to have a strong grip on the surface to steer your bike in the right direction. The significance of these handlebar grips can never really be overemphasized. Let’s get to know their benefits in detail.

1. Minimizes soreness

Most bikers experience hand soreness due to inappropriate handlebar grips. Riding with old and ruptured grips can also cause chafed skin. Good bike grips act like a cushion between your palm and the surface of the handlebars.

The foam and additional padding in the grips allow your fingers to be comfortable while they are clenched to them. This maximizes your comfort while riding a bike and reduces chafing, cramps, and soreness to a large extent.

2. Helps to avoid road accidents

Handlebar grips directly influence your ability to apply the brakes promptly. If your hand does not feel comfortable clenched to the grips, you would not be able to apply as swift brakes as you need in emergency situations.

At the same time, if your hand keeps sliding off the handlebar, your safety will be hampered. In a situation like this, you can consider using lock-on grips.

Indeed, your safety on the road is not just ensured by strong gripping, but we cannot overlook the fact that it is impacted by the kind of grip your hands have with the handlebars.

3. Fantastic gripping mechanism

If your bike does not have proper hand grips, your hand will keep sliding off the handlebar, which could prove to be very risky on the road, especially if you are mountain biking. You would not be able to hit the brakes when required, and your hand is more likely to slide off while making a turn.

With handlebar grips, your hand will remain clenched to the handlebars even when you are sweating. Because of these bike grips, you would have a firm grip even while it is raining. Such a commendable gripping mechanism is possible because of materials like rubber and leather used in your handlebar grips.

In case you feel your grips are not good enough to work in sweat or rain, you can consider replacing them with lock-on grips and follow up on the steps and methods mentioned above in this article.

4. Gives you control over your bike

There are just three parts of your body that come in contact with the bike while riding. Your hands are not only behind controlling your movements but are also responsible for pulling the brakes.

With handlebar grips, you are able to perform these tasks effortlessly. Good handlebar grips let you steer, shift and apply brakes as and when you need to, without letting your hand slide off while riding. These bike grips let you control your movements and, therefore, your bike.


It is pretty evident that we can never overemphasize the importance of handlebar grips. From controlling your movements to your ability to apply brakes, a strong gripping mechanism ensures comfortable rides. This leads us to the fact that riding your bike with old and worn-out grips is pretty dangerous.

Replacing ruptured grips with new grips is essential for your safety and comfort. And for this, you must know how to remove grips from handlebars. Sometimes, you might wish to swap your bike grips despite them being intact. And if you do not wish to discard them, you would need the right methods to remove those grips without having to slash them off.

In this article, I have talked about various ways to take handlebar grips off. These methods require the items you would easily find at your place. Just following the steps and using something as familiar as a dish soap can help you get the grips to slide off your bike effortlessly.


  • Aaron Webster

    Aaron Webster is a passionate and experienced bicyclist and BMX rider. He has spent years exploring different trails and roads on his bike, and has a deep understanding of the mechanics and performance of different bicycle models. When he's not out on the trails, Aaron can be found tinkering with his own bikes and sharing his love of cycling with others.

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