Stay in Control: Understanding the Differences Between Slip-On and Lock-On Bike Grips

As most cyclists know, maintaining control of your bike is critical to staying safe and enjoying your ride. You seem to never think about your grips until you’re in the middle of a ride wishing you had a different setup. Choosing the right type of grip can make all the difference. The two of the main options are slip-on and lock-on grips. While the two types have a common purpose, there are key differences between these two types of grips that can impact your riding experience.

In this piece, we'll explore the unique features and benefits of each grip type as well as their potential drawbacks. Hopefully, this will help you make an informed decision about which grip is best for you. Whether you're a casual rider or a serious cyclist, understanding the differences between slip-on and lock-on bike grips can help you stay in control and ride with more confidence.

Why Use Bike Grips?

Why should you use or change out your bike grips?

Well, as we mentioned, bike grips play a crucial role in helping riders maintain control and stability while cycling. says,

“Alongside your pedals and saddle, grips are one of three touch points a rider has with their bike. Grips are crucial to steer, brake, and operate dropper posts and gear levers.” 

Grips also provide a comfortable, non-slip surface for your hands to hold onto, reducing the risk of slips or accidents. 

Additionally, bike grips can help reduce hand fatigue and numbness, which can occur on longer rides. They can help cushion your hands a bit more as well. Without proper grips, your hands may slide around on the handlebars making it difficult to brake, shift gears or maneuver the bike. This can be particularly dangerous when riding in wet or slippery conditions.

Whether you're fairly new to cycling or you're pretty much a pro, choosing the right type of bike grip is essential to ensuring a safe and comfortable ride.

The two we’ll be focusing on today are slip-ons and lock-ons. 

Slip-On Bike Handlebar Grips

So, what is a slip-on bike grip?

Slip-on bike grips are a popular option for many cyclists due to their simplicity and affordability. As the name suggests, slip-on grips are designed to slide onto the handlebars of your bike, and they are secured in place by friction. This makes them easy to install and replace, and they can be used on a wide range of bike models. Slip-on grips are often made from soft, pliable materials, which provide a comfortable, cushioned grip. 

However, one of the drawbacks of slip-on grips is that they can rotate or shift over time, particularly with heavy use or in wet conditions. This can cause the grips to loosen or even slide off the handlebars entirely, potentially resulting in a dangerous situation for the rider.

Despite their limitations, slip-on grips remain a popular choice for many riders. They are ideal for casual cyclists or those on a budget who don't require the added security of lock-on grips. Also, slip-on grips are often preferred by riders who like to frequently adjust the position of their hands on the handlebars. With their ease of installation and affordability, slip-on grips are an excellent choice for anyone looking to upgrade their bike's grips without breaking the bank.

Lock-On Bike Grips

Lock-on bike grips are another popular handlebar grip choice for cyclists. Lock-on bike grips provide a more secure and stable grip on their handlebars too. Unlike slip-on grips, lock-on grips feature a clamp mechanism that secures the grip to the handlebars. This prevents it from shifting or rotating during use–meaning extra security.

This added security can be particularly helpful for riders who:

  1. Engage in more aggressive riding styles
  2. Who frequently ride in wet or muddy conditions

Lock-on grips are made from durable materials such as aluminum or plastic and may feature additional padding or texture for improved grip and comfort. One of the main advantages of lock-on grips is their longevity and durability, as they are less prone to wear and tear than slip-on grips.

Another benefit of lock-on grips is their ease of installation and removal. While they don’t simply slide on and off, they are still easy to install. The clamp mechanism allows for quick and simple attachment or removal of the grip, making it easy to swap out for different styles or sizes as needed.

This can be particularly useful for riders who:

  1.  Frequently switch between bikes
  2. Who prefer to customize their grip setup

While lock-on grips may be slightly more expensive than slip-on grips, many cyclists find that the added security and convenience are well worth the investment. Overall, lock-on grips are an excellent choice for riders who require a stable, reliable grip on their handlebars and who value durability and ease of use.

Comparison and Contrast of Slip-On and Lock-On Bike Grips

When it comes to handlebar bike grips, both slip-on and lock-on options have their own unique advantages and disadvantages.

Slip-on grips: Easy to install and are usually made from soft, cushioned materials that provide a comfortable grip. However, they may not be as secure as lock-on grips, since, as we mentioned above, they can shift or rotate over time. This happens more often with heavy use or in wet conditions.

Lock-on grips: Feature a clamp mechanism that provides a secure and stable grip, so they are less prone to shifting or rotating. They are also more durable and longer-lasting than slip-on grips, but may be more expensive and they are not as simple to install. 

According to,

“Which attachment system you choose depends on your hand anatomy, the type of riding you do, how often you need to swap out grips, as well as personal preference.” 

So ultimately, it’s unique to each person which grip will work better for them and their bike. As mentioned above, casual riders or those on a budget may prefer the affordability and simplicity of slip-on grips, while more serious cyclists may require the added security and durability of lock-on grips.

Lizard Skins Bike Grips

If you decide to get handlebar bike grips, Lizard Skins is the best place to get them. We offer both slip-on as well as lock on handlebar grips in several different brands. The grips come in a wide variety of textures, styles and colors. So, you’ll be able to find something that works for your riding style as well as your personal style. 

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