Bike grips, like saddles, are a very personal connection to your bike. It depends on what you like in your riding experience and what kind of gloves you pair with your selected grips. For some, a big chunky grip takes the need for gloves out of the equation, on the flip side, some riders prefer a smaller grip and let the glove do the padding or damping (or just prefer a more direct connection to the trail). Either way, you have to find the right grips that match your hand and riding style. We've rounded up our favorite mountain bike grips and organized them by size/damping.

Related: Best Mountain Bike Saddles

Best Bike Grips: Light padding and a tactile feel

1921980
These are the types of grips you'll mostly see on cross-country mountain bikes or hybrid bikes. The overall circumference of the grip is lower, but the feel is highly prized. This lightweight, efficient grip is made from a unique rubber or a silicone compound to heighten the dampening qualities without compromising the rider's feel.

Related: The Best Mountain Bike Pedals

Ergon Factory GD-1 Evo
1921956

The GD1 is a versatile grip that can do anything from downhill racing and enduro racing to flat-bar commuting. This grip has evolved to do much more than going downhill fast. The GD1 Evo features more damping, better control, and enhanced comfort over grips in the same category. Ergon claims the rider needs less gripping power due to its conical shape, and we would have to agree. The super-soft thumb zone helps when dropping off features and pumping in and out of the flowy trail. In addition to the updated oil slick looks, the factory version features a unique rubber compound exclusively made in Germany for an even more precise grip feel. I like the smaller "slim" version, but the Ergon GD-1 Evo "regular" will do the trick just fine for those with larger hands.

Related: The Best Ergon Grips

Pros:
  • Next-level bar feeling without over bulking the diameter of the grip
  • Carbon bar friendly
  • The lock-on style allows for finding the perfect "arm pump eliminating" angle
Cons:
  • Some grippy gloves can wear the rubber fast and rip the grip
  • The design of the rubber pattern offers little cushioning
Price: $39.95
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PNW Loam Grips
1921978
Not only does PNW make great dropper seatposts. The brand also makes a grip that's a near-perfect balance of comfort and performance. The Loam Grip features a sticky, highly textured body that provides excellent grip, even in wet and muddy conditions. The Loam Grip comes in a range of colors to make it easy to match your ride.

Pros:
  • Fantastic bar feeling
  • Many color options to match your bike and gear
Cons:
  • Textured body provides excellent grip but can irritate some hands
  • Not the most durable option—the grips cut easily when clipped on trees or rocks
Price: $19.99
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ESI Racers Edge

1921968

You'll recognize this grip from nearly every cross-country racers bike in the past decade. This silicone grip took the world by storm, and it's no fluke. These grips are perfect for a minimalist rider with the blend of grippy, vibration-dampening silicon and classic cool style. The ESI grips are easily cut down to a specific size, and you can color match nearly any color combo out there. The weight weenies love these grips, and at only 50g for the pair, it's easy to see why. The Racers Edge is thinner than others in the ESI line and off a nice balance between comfort and bulk.

Pros:
  • Many color options to match your bike and gear
  • Lightweight for those that crave the lightest options
  • Multiple diameters (check out the chunky version for larger hands)
Cons:
  • They can be hard to install if not versed in ESI installation.
  • Not the most durable option—the grips cut easily when clipped on trees or rocks
  • Some gloves wear the silicone quicker than others
Price: $16.99
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Lizard Skins DSP Grips
1921969
For those that love the DSP bar tape from Lizard Skins, these are your grips. They have excellent durability, just like the DSP tape and super shock absorption. The grips have a memory foam feel but do not fully compress to the touch. For those that like to ride in the mud and rain, these grips are super sticky once wet, making them perfect for sloppy XC racing. The DSP groups come in tons of colors, too, so you can get the ideal match for your ride.

Pros:
  • Great subtle tacky feel and comfort overall
  • Tons of color options to match bikes
  • Good durability and cut resistance
Cons:
  • More expensive than some in the same class
  • Installation and removal can be difficult
Price: $29.99
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Specialized Trail Grips
1921970
For those that forgo the silicon option and are still pursuing the lightest and best feeling grips around - the Specialized Trail is a must-try. The grip's overall shape is nothing new, but the rubber pattern and the soft compound are very hand-friendly. The Trails are super easy to install with a covert lock-on clamp that is super discrete. The Trail is available in two sizes: 30mm and 32mm, so you can dial in your ride. They are highly recommended for cross country racers and those that like a minimalist grip with a tactile feel.

Pros:
  • Lightweight and lock on - easy to install/remove
  • Price and color options
  • Fantastic feel with or without gloves on
Cons:
  • It can take some time to dial in the correct micro thumb angle
  • Built-in end caps are susceptible to rips and tears
Price: $20.00
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Best Bike Grips: Larger diameter grips for comfort

1921981

One of the most common complaints heard in bike shops (besides "my butt hurts") is "my hands go numb when I ride." It's not an issue that's isolated to new riders, either. It's a problem with fit and equipment. Once you can diagnose the cause, then you can get working on the cure. For most, it means a more supportive grip and a slight tilt upwards on the saddle. Since this is such a common occurrence, we figured the best grips for combating hand numbness would be a great addition to Best Bike Grips. So if you battle little or full hand numbness when you ride, look for these options.

ESI Chunky & Extra Chunky
1921972
The ESI Chunk is the bulked-up version of the popular ESI Racers Edge grip, with an extra 2 or 4mm of extra material to the grip’s overall girth. This additional material makes the grip more robust and compliant. The silicone eats up road and trail chatter with ease, and the slightly tacky feel of the grip works great with or without gloves. The weight is low and only adds 10g from the best-in-class Racers Edge grips.

Pros:
  • Great feel and shock absorption
  • Lots of different color options for many different styles
  • Two chunky sizes to choose from (32mm or 34mm)
Cons:
  • They can be a pain to install
  • The width can be too much to some used to thin grips.
  • Cut easy on clipped trees and rocks
Price: $21.99
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Wolftooth Fat Paws
1921974
If you like the feel of silicone grips and you're looking to mix it up, the Wolf Tooth brand offers a great option. The Fat Paws are a large 36mm dual density silicone grip that feels great on the road or trail and is available in two different lengths. The 36mm width makes these the thickest silicone grip on the market - offering superb vibration damping, and the material conforms to your hand for comfort. If you get numb, fatigued hands while riding, the Wolf Tooth Fat Paws are worth trying out.

Pros:
  • Great feel without gloves
  • Super cushion and vibration dampening
  • Good grip while dry or wet
Cons:
  • The 36mm diameter is too big for some riders
  • These are usually a special order at most shops
Price: $24.99
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ODI Dread Grips
1921975
The near-perfect mix of a lock-on and silicone grip—the IDO Dread Grip. Designed with legendary ultra-endurance/cross country racer Tinker Juarez the Dread Lock Grips offer padding, control, and style. The padding is an ultra-soft and lightweight AIRE compound that's proprietary to ODI. The offset design provides additional padding for your hands without the feel of a bulky grip. The single-clamp Lock-On system ensures that your grips stay put no matter the conditions and is super easy to install.

Pros:
  • Comfortable and easily adapted change from silicone grips
  • Easy to install and uninstall
  • Available in different colors and lock ring combinations
Cons:
  • They can get slippery in rainy conditions depending on the glove combination
  • Finger grips aren't for everyone
Price: $33.00
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Ergon GP-1
1921976
The GP-1 is the grip that started it all for Ergon. The GP Series grip is the worldwide reference for winged grips. The pal support, the ability to lock the grip in place, and the German-engineered ergonomics make this grip a force in fighting hand fatigue. For more than a decade, this grip has helped riders get back on the bike and feel confident that they will not have numb hands. Even if you don't suffer from hand fatigue when riding - the GC-1 is a fantastic grip for any riding style. The dual rubber compounds help your hands feel fresh, while the stiff rubber alleviates hot spots and road vibrations. Perfect for those looking to spend the day out on the bike, touring, mountain biking, or anything in between.

Pros:
  • Industry-leading performance against hand fatigue
  • Great overall feel and ability to adjust easily
  • Super durable and long-lasting product
Cons:
  • Finding the correct wrist/grip angle takes some time
  • Large grip body is not the best choice for aggressive trail riding
Price: $29.99
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Specialized Neutralizer
1921977
A mix between a palm cradling grip and a cross country grip, the Specialized Neutralizer is a concrete mix of comfort and edge. Specialized claims are these grips are scientifically tested to distribute pressure more evenly across the hand. The grip’s flat ledge offers a small place for your fingers to perch when driving around twisty turns. The tacky yet stiff rubber is a nice combo and makes the grip feel more like a racing grip than a hybrid model. They are available in two sizes so riders can dial in their perfect sensation; Small/Medium: 30mm and Large/X-Large diameter: 32mm.

Pros:
  • The tremendous overall feeling while on the trails or road
  • Excellent palm support without too much bulk
  • Lock-on allows the rider to try different grip positions and easily update
Cons:
  • They can be a hard call between the sizing for some hands
  • The rubber end cap easily damaged
Price: $24.99
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