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Old 02-20-12, 12:03 PM   #1
AlphaDogg
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How to install grips?

I just got a new handlebar (replaced my old heavy steel one with aluminum) and the grips that I wanted were out of stock at the LBS. So I used brute force and heat from a hairdryer to pull the old grips off of the steel bar and I used water to get them on the new bar. When I first installed these grips on the steel bar, I used hand sanitizer and they stuck super well. When I installed them on the new bar, the water didn't dry and they slid around. Then I tried hairspray. It didn't work. I just installed them with hand sanitizer and I'll see how well they stick. If they don't stick, what can I do to make them stick? Spraypaint?
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Old 02-20-12, 12:33 PM   #2
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rubbing alcohol
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Old 02-20-12, 12:35 PM   #3
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I used hand sanitizer which is mostly rubbing alcohol. I like using hand sanitizer better because it's a gel and easier to work with. If you really think it will work better, I could use my bottle of 99% rubbing alcohol that I use on computers (not the cheap 70% stuff that you guys probably have).
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Old 02-20-12, 12:36 PM   #4
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Once grips start slipping, it's important that the handlebar and the inside of the grips are cleaned thoroughly before re-installing (with or without adhesive of some kind.

Odds are they slipped because the bar had a film of oil, or because the heating released an oily component from the grip material. Either way, until the surfaces are clean and dry nothing will make any kind of bond.

If they're very tight, I've found that the best way to soften them for installation is a long soak in hot water, then sliding them on jot ans still wet w/o an adhesive.
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Old 02-20-12, 12:38 PM   #5
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I didn't heat them on the new bar, I heated them on the old steel one. I also cleaned the grips with dish soap and water after removal from the old bar.
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Old 02-20-12, 12:50 PM   #6
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Could they have stretched out due to the brute force removal? If you have the cash just get some ODI lock on grips and never have to worry about it again.
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Old 02-20-12, 12:50 PM   #7
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Did you also clean the new bar? Handlebars often arrive with an oil or wax like film left over from the manufacturing process. You may not see or feel the film but it's there, and can cause grips to slip. Use alcohol, turpentine, mineral spirits, or detergent, water and elbow grease to get the bars squeaky clean.

Also, though you probably did, be sure the grips are rinsed of any soap residue. Rinse them well with hot water to be sure, and feel the inside to be sure that it, too is squeaky clean. Then you can install dry or with hairspray or the adhesive of your choice.

BTW- be aware that often newly made plastic, or rubber grips are still leaching resin and will continue to do so until they cure. A process that can take a long time. If they continue to slip, pull them off and put them in your car parked in the sun for a few days to accelerate the curing process.
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Old 02-20-12, 12:52 PM   #8
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Putting them in my car in the sun during this time of the year in my location will put them a little below room temperature.

Also, the grips are cheap $5 ergo-style grips that I really like.
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Old 02-20-12, 12:54 PM   #9
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Hairspray has always worked for me on aluminum bars, for both foam and rubber grips. Did you let it dry overnight? bk
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Old 02-20-12, 01:01 PM   #10
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Yes I let the hairspray dry overnight. I just took the grips off the bar and I cleaned the bar with my 99% isopropyl alcohol. I am soaking the grips in hot water for the time being.
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Old 02-20-12, 01:06 PM   #11
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Putting them in my car in the sun during this time of the year in my location will put them a little below room temperature.

Also, the grips are cheap $5 ergo-style grips that I really like.
The curing issue doesn't apply to you, between posts, I forgot that you were talking about old grips, which are obviously cured. I think it's strictly a cleanliness issue. Wash both bar and grips well, rinse well with hot water, and consider a final rinse with alcohol. Then dry, and you should be fine with whatever adhesive (or none) you've used in the past.

If you're using hairspray, consider that not all sprays are equal. You want the old fashioned firm hold lacquer type that was used for the "big hair" styles of the 50s and 60s, not the more modern light hold types popular today.
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Old 02-20-12, 01:08 PM   #12
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The grips were only about 4 months old, so I'm not so sure they cured. They stayed inside for that time because it was winter when I installed them. So about 4 months at 68F. Think they're cured?
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Old 02-20-12, 01:15 PM   #13
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The grips were only about 4 months old, so I'm not so sure they cured. They stayed inside for that time because it was winter when I installed them. So about 4 months at 68F. Think they're cured?
If they didn't slip before, than they either are, or it isn't the problem anyway. The only thing that changed is the new bar, (and it's maybe oily surface) and how you washed them. On the off chance that they're porous, I'd rest them overnight between washing and installing.

Years ago, when dealing with slippery vinyl grips we'd glue them on with rubber cement (actually the vulcanizing agent in patch kits). Wet it lubed them so they slipped on well, dry it kept them in place. You might try that but keep in mind that it wants plenty of drying time (like overnight) for all the solvent to evaporate.
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Old 02-20-12, 01:23 PM   #14
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I have an air compressor and I blow air underneath the grips using my spray nozzle however I have two spray nozzles, one with a thin long tube that works perfect for this.
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Old 02-20-12, 01:29 PM   #15
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I let them soak in scalding water for about 10 minutes, then dried them, and then put some rubbing alcohol inside the grip. This was about 10min ago. I just checked on them and they're sticking pretty well. They're still sliding around ever so slightly, so I guess the alcohol is still drying. Thanks guys!
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Old 02-28-12, 12:04 AM   #16
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I took my first ride with them on the new bars on Saturday. They stuck like glue! Thanks guys!
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Old 02-28-12, 01:49 AM   #17
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I use WD40 to remove, isopropyl alcohol to install. Have done 4 handlebars so far all grips feels solid after letting dry overnight.
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Old 02-28-12, 02:08 AM   #18
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I'm sure its not the best method to use but I like to use 3 in 1 oil to remove and install rubber grips. I was in a rush to finish a bar swap years ago to get to work on time and used 3in1 oil to get the grips off the old bar and without thinking stuck them on the new bar and left for work on another bike. When I got to work I realized what I had done. Got home and expected the grips to pull right off but they were stuck better than they were on the old bar. Ever since then I've always used 3in1 oil and never had them slip after setting a few hours.

Like I said probably not the best way to do it but its yet to fail me and it cuts the work way down.
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Old 02-28-12, 07:03 AM   #19
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I never use anything oil or wax based to remove or install grips. To remove I slip a plastic shim under the edge of the grip and squirt a little of my general cleaning solution (dilute mix of Simple Green and Dawn dishsoap) under the edge and work it around. Most of the time the grips can be coaxed off without too much effort. If they don't slide off to hand pressure, I use compressed air which has never failed me yet. Whether reusing old grips or installing new ones, I always wash them in my cleaning solution and then rinse the heck out of them under hot water. Dry them well and let them sit for a while or blow them dry with the air compressor to make sure there is as little moisture as possible. The handlebars get wiped with cleaning solution followed by alcohol. A light spritz of hairspray in the grip and on the bar helps them slide right on. I've had to let them dry for as long as 36 hours before they were completely solid, especially with foam type grips. Solid rubber grips are generally good to go overnight. I volunteer at a bike co-op and flip some bikes on my own and have never had a grip slip yet.
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