On any given bike there are only three touch points: the saddle, pedals, and grips. As a kid, riding a bike offers a sense of independence and adventure as long as it’s easy to steer and guide the machine. Being comfortable and not worrying about worn parts is a big part of that sensation.
When parts are worn, they can detract from the ride and create unsafe situations. (Don’t even get me started on how dangerous exposed bar ends are)!
Having fresh grips allows kids to ride longer with less arm/hand fatigue and can increase the pleasure of a ride. That is why it’s important to maintain our bikes and keep parts functioning–even something as simple as grips.
Below are some grips that can freshen up your kiddo’s sweet ride. Because the majority of kids bikes have flat handlebars, the following grips are for flat bars only.
SDG Slater JR Grips
SDG makes great bike parts. In fact, I run a few of their components on two of my mountain bikes.
Their saddles, bars, grips are all fantastic and have high performing functionality. The Slater JR Grips are awesome grips to equip on your kiddo’s mountain bike.
These grips are one of only a few kid specific sizes that have a lock-on collar. As many others listed here, they only fit 19mm handlebars.
The grips are part of a series of components that can be paired together for serious matchiness and ride quality. I think the kids would say their bikes are “dripping” (I am trying to learn the cool kid lingo, haha) with these components on them.
Price: $16.99 (Last updated: 2021-06-15 at 09:09 – More Info)
Woom Original Ergo Grips
Ergonomic grips are awesome. The idea is that they provide comfort, stability and quality all while lasting long and increasing performance in bike components.
That’s why I run Ergon GE1 grips on all of my bikes. These are Woom branded grips that incorporate the ergonomics of the aforementioned company’s designs into their own grip along with an outer lock-on collar.
An inner flange, comfortable body and ergonomic outer end make for a high quality and unique design that offers performance for hours of pedaling bliss. Downhill riders may want something a little narrower but for long days in the saddle, grips like this go a long way in prolonging comfort in the arms and hands.
Kids grips can sometimes be a challenge to find replacements for. Prevelo has thought of everything when it comes to kid-sized componentry. The grips are part of that range of items.
Their smaller size replacement grips have flanges on both sides with the outer end offering a soft, multi-layered piece for protection and comfort. The inner body is a diamond shaped pattern of soft rubber that is comfortable and appropriately sized. These are easy, slip-on grips that won’t break the bank.
Brood Tenderiderz Grips
Brood is the component “house” brand for Spawn Cycles. Many companies have their own components made to fit their bikes because it provides greater economies of scale.
The Brood Tenderiderz grips are specifically designed for Spawn bikes, but can fit any normal handlebar with a 22mm radius. Most other kids grips fit 19mm handlebars, but Spawn likes to build bikes big.
The Tenderiderz has a soft rubber compound with the Brood logo imprinted along the body creating sweat channels and a comfortable place for little hands. They are a slip-on style grip with plastic bar ends, an inner flange and some extra rubber on the outer end.
Spank Spoon Grom Grips
Spank is one of a select few component companies that still offers 26” mountain bike wheels. Their attention to consumer needs helps them to provide quality components that look great too.
The Spoon Grom Grips are similar to that of the regular Spoon series, but just pint sized! A tight diamond pattern with varying colored lock collar and bar end collar help to bling out little bikes while providing a comfortable, functional touch point. We will have to get a set of these in for long term testing.
Lizard Skins Mini Machine Grips
Lizard Skins has been in the game for quite some time. With some big names as sponsored riders they have been an innovating factor in bicycle grip design.
The Mini Machine is a simple grip. It’s a slip-on design with a square matrix pattern offering comfort and functionality. There is a rounded bar end that prevents little hands from slipping and the grips fit kid bike bars. They can be found in a few colors and will get the job done.
Price: $11.99 (Last updated: 2021-06-15 at 09:14 – More Info)
Nukeproof Urchin Youth Grips
Nukeproof makes some cool bikes…and some cool grips too. A soft rubber compound combined with an inner flange and an outer soft/thick bar end create a touch point that is comfortable and highly functional.
Little hands won’t slip off either side and there is a lock ring to prevent the grip from slipping on the bar. A few different colors help to bling out the bike as well.
Woom Original Grips
A good foam grip is always comfortable and easy to overlook. The Original Grip from Woom does just that. Many people have moved over from rubberized grips to foam for the comfort and all of that is here.
Whether added to a kiddo’s mountain bike or street cruiser these grips will work well. They are affordable too!
Cleary makes unique bikes for kids. Their grips are a little more generic but are appropriately sized for little hands in two different sizes, “small” and “large”.
The black grips are a standard slip-on style with cushy bar end protection and a linear rubber pattern across the main body. The grips only fit 19mm handlebars and not the standard adult size of 22mm. Like many others, these grips can be used for several children’s bikes.
Pello is a great kid’s bike brand, and their grips follow suit. Their grips are simple to apply, use and are a great value. The smaller grips are a standard rubber grip with robust ends that keep little hands from slipping off while providing enough room for one of three touch points on the bike. Their larger grips are lock-on and designed for bigger, more aggressive riders.
The best part is they are very affordable for a replacement part. Grips are sized by their models but can easily be used for other handlebars as well.
Price: $12 / $22
Kids Handle Bar Grip Comparison/Specs
|SDG Slater JR Grips||19 mm||115 mm||Lock on|
|Woom Original Ergo Grips||19 mm||43 cm||Lock on|
|Prevelo Grips||Multiple||Multiple||Slip on / lock on|
|Brood Tenderiderz Grips||22 mm||Multiple||Slip on|
|Spank Spoon Grom Grips||30 mm||100 mm||Lock on|
|Lizard Skins Mini Machine Grips||30 mm||105 mm||Slip on|
|Nukeproof Urchin Youth Grips||30mm||115 mm||Lock on|
|Woom Original Grips||19 mm||43 cm||Slip on|
|Cleary Grips||19 mm||Multiple||Slip on|
|Pello Grips||Multiple||Multiple||Slip on / lock on|
Additional “Adult” Grips That May Work
If your child has a 22mm handlbar, you don’t necessarily need a “kids grip.” An adult grip may very well work, especially if it can be cut down to size.
The biggest issue with adult grips are that they may be to wide for your child’s handlbar, necessitating that you modify them. We’ll talk more about handlebar diameter and width below.
If you do want to buy an adult grip, these ones are easy for cutting down to size:
What To Consider When Buying Kids Bike Grips
Before ordering any of these grips, take these few things into consideration first (especially the handlebar diameter).
The most important thing to consider when buying grips is what size diameter is your child’s handle bar. If you’re not sure, you can look for the number on the handlebar itself, check the specs from the bicycle’s manufacturer, or get our your ruler and measure yourself (do it in millimeters).
Most kids bike handlebars are 19mm in diameter, but don’t just assume that’s the case! Bigger kids may have industry standard adult sized 22mm bars. Many handlebars also taper–i.e. they are wider in the center than at the bar ends. You want to measure the diameter at the bar ends.
Also note, that some grips will advertise their external diameter rather than the internal diameter–i.e. a 30 mm Spank Spoon grip will fit on a 22mm bar.
The other thing to consider is grip width. If replacing existing grips you can measure their width before ordering. Little kids grips will be narrower than big kid grips.
Many adult grips, if they are slip on rubber of foam (the ODI grips are a good example ) can actually be cut down to a more appropriate size as well.
Flanged Grip Ends
One thing to consider is whether or not you want to choose a grip with a flanged end. We really like these for young kids who are just learning to ride as they help keep little hands from slipping off the bars. Flanged ends are generally not needed for older, more skilled riders.
Foam Vs Rubber
All cyclists have a preference on their favorite type of grips and I’m not here to convince anybody what’s best. Foam grips are generally really comfortable, easy to install, and simple to cut down to size. In my experience, rubber grips tend to provide better grip and stand up to abuse from kids a little better.
Foam grips without flange (left) vs rubber grips with flange (right)
Slip On Vs Lock On
Grips can be either slip-on (simple just like it sounds) or lock on. Lock on grips will bolt onto the handlebar with an allen wrench. Whichever you prefer is a personal preference.
The tradional bike grip is round, but that might not be the most intelligent design for a grip. Consider “ergonomic” grips that provide a wider platform.
This is less important than the other factors, but don’t forget that grips are a fun way to accessorize your child’s bike. This is particularly true if your child’s bike frame isn’t their favorite color. Adding some colorful grips and pedals are an easy and inexpensive way to help add some bling to the bike.
How To Replace Kids Bike Grips
If the existing grips are lock on, simply unscrew the bolt and wiggle until they come off. More likely, your child’s grips are slip on. If they are worn and headed to the trash can, you can simply cut them off. Otherwise, you’ll want a long flathead screw driver and some soapy water to help pry them off.
To put new grips on, reverse the process. Lock on grips, wiggle the grips on and then bolt them into place. Slip on grips, spray some hairspray or use soapy water to help slide them into place on the bar.