Get a Grip: 17 Lock-on Mountain Bike Grips Reviewed

If you're in the market for a fresh set of mountain bike grips, there's likely a pair of handlebar grips that will make your hands and bike happy.
lock-on mountain bike grips compared
Many of these grips have closed ends, which is important to note if you like to store things in your handlebar.

A few weeks back we put several cheap mountain bike grips to the test. Now, we’ve collected a variety of lock-on grips from popular mountain bike brands like Ergon and Velo to see how they compare. If you’re in the market for a fresh set, there’s likely a pair of handlebar grips here that will make your hands and bike happy.

MTB GripWeightPrice
AMS Berm104g$28
AMS Cero94g$33
Diety Knuckleduster108g$28
DMR Death Grip Soft 92g$29
Ergon GA2 Fat138g$30
Ergon GE1 Evo99g$30
Fabric Magic100g$21
Lizard Skins Charger Evo103g$34
Nukeproof Sam Hill 116g$30
Oury V2 Single Clamp122g$30
Pro Lock On Sport121g$30
Ritchey WCS Trail Grips112g$34
SDG Thrice96g$20
SQLab 70X132g$34
SQLab 711 Tech and Trail150g$38
Velo Attune Firm118g$22
Velo Attune Steady94g$18

All Mountain Style Berm MTB Grips

All Mountain Style recently came out with two new grips, and this Berm shape is available in eight different colors. The grip covers 135mm of a handlebar, and clamps firmly in place with a single lock ring. The overall surface is conically tapered, with a 33.8mm outer palm platform and a 29.5mm inner measurement. Like most of the mountain bike grips in this collection, the palm-surface has a relatively smooth diamond pattern, while the finger side of the grip gives 15 soft rubber boxes for your digits to slot into.

Riders who grab onto the outer-most edge of their bars are often particular about the shape of that edge, and the Berm grips will best suit folks who want a larger surface beneath their fourth and fifth-fingers. The rubber on these grips is soft enough to hold tightly, with no distracting edges or funky features. I didn’t find the material soft enough for confident descending without gloves, as a bit of sweat makes the tiny diamonds rather slippery. If you like the gentle cone-shape of these grips, and you want to ride without gloves, remember to grab a handful of dirt to rub between your palms before the descent. Like climbing chalk, it will increase hand traction.

Recommended for: Riders who prefer a grip with a thicker outer edge.

All Mountain Style Cero MTB Grips

The Cero grips from All Mountain Style cover the same amount of handlebar and use the same clamp as the Berm. The important differences between the two pairs is that the Cero maintains the same 30mm diameter throughout, and it uses a dual-density rubber with different grip patterns under the thumb and fingers.

The black material under the rider’s fingers is the same as that of the Berm, providing ample grip with gloves, and requiring a little dust for bare-handed descents. The white rubber beneath the thumb is harder, and I’m not entirely sure why. Maybe the harder rubber and wider diamonds allow your thumb a tad more grip while using less grip strength? I haven’t noticed anything special about the differing rubber compounds, but I do find the shape and tread of these mountain bike grips comfortable. The soft blocks under the fingers are fewer and closer together compared to the Berm, and they allow for a super solid connection to the handlebar on gnarly tracks.

Recommended for: Dual density comfort.

Deity Knuckleduster Grip

A single Deity Knuckleduster grip spans 130mm in length and is 32mm thick. The soft-finned surface is available in 12 colors, with a single black lock ring to clamp it down. The finger side offers thirteen excavated windows for those fingertips, and the palm half of the grip is made up of closely spaced rubber fins that bend and compress with the movement of your hand. The outer third of the fins are aligned in a chevron pattern, while the inner chunk faces the direction of travel.

This raised rubber-fin style of grip surface is my personal favorite. It allows the grip to conform to your hand shape and the amount of power you’re putting into the squeeze, while the spaces between the fins promote some moisture moisture movement away from your skin. Thanks to the chevron direction of the outer fins, this grip works well without gloves, remaining a little less slippery as your hands perspire. It also helps a little on muddy rides, giving the slimy dirt somewhere to go. A few twists of your palm across the surface will often clear enough of the mud to allow for a positive connection.

Recommended for: Going gloveless.

DMR Deathgrip

Developed by the likes of Brendan Fairclough, the iconic DMR Deathgrip set likely needs no introduction. These 135mm-long mountain bike grips come in either a 29.8 or 31.3mm outer diameter, with a super soft 20a rubber compound in every color but the Gum which has notches a 25A on the durometer. The single lock-on clamp can be purchased in a variety of colors to match your ride, and the grips themselves come in eight solid colors, and four marbled patterns. The install is a little different with these, as the far end of the grip tapers slightly inside to give them a firm fit on the bar. Simply slide them on by hand, then smack them the rest of the way with a shoe or soft hammer until they bottom-out, and tighten the clamp as usual.

The squishy material on these grips feels fantastic with or without gloves, compressing nicely with the shape of a hand. Grip squares along the underside are softer than any other in this collection, providing a surface that’s easy to hold onto without a massive amount of hand fatigue. The directional inner fins that line the thumb position feel purposely designed for gloveless shredding, and they’re soft enough that one would have to work hard to earn a blister. The downside of all that soft hand-traction is that these grips do show wear somewhat quickly. If you’re hunting for a super cozy hand-platform, these are worth a long look, but if you need mountain bike grips to last for three seasons the Deathgrip might not be the pair for you.

Recommended for: Limiting hand fatigue.

  • Weight: 92g
  • Price: $25
  • Available at Amazon

Ergon GA2 Fat

Ergon’s GA2 Fat grips have the same pattern and shape as the Ergon GE1s, but are — you guessed it – fatter. They are made for larger handed folks or for anyone who wants more damping. I’ve found that even running the larger grips for damping, they become uncomfortable since my hands are smaller. For me, it just makes sense to stick to the right size.

  • Single side, lock-on
  • Weight: 138g
  • 33mm diameter
  • Price: $29.95
  • Available from Amazon or Compare prices

Ergon GE1 Evo

The Ergon GE1 Evo grips claim to be made for enduro cockpits and wide handlebars and will support the correct arm and hand position. The grips protrude in the middle to fill space in your palm, have wider grooves at the top of the grip, and smaller grooves where the bottom of your fingers extend to.

I’ve run the GE1 Evos as well as the Ergon GE1 Evo Factory grips on a few different bikes and they have been comfortable on all of them. They’re great for smaller hands, offer plenty of grip if you have active hands on the bars, and do pretty well with mitigating the effects of sweaty hands when you forget your gloves.

  • Single side, lock-on
  • Weight: 99g
  • Price: from $29.95
  • Available at Amazon

Fabric Magic MTB Grips

The Fabric Magic grips stretch across 135mm of handlebar real estate, with a 32mm thickness at their two fatter points. They have an open end, with two lightweight plastic plugs included in the package. The single lock ring will keep them plenty tight for most riders’ needs. The Fabric mountain bike grips come in four different colors, with a single size to fit most hands.

These are my favorite mountain bike grips that I tested for a few reasons. The squishy rubber fins feel great on rough trails when I need to hold on tightly, and the shape of the grip works well with my hands. Due to some nerve injuries, I mostly grip with my fourth and fifth fingers, and the thinner outer edge of these grips allows for a lot of finger-wrap. The central chunk where my hand rests has taller fins to absorb a little more vibration where it counts, and the thumb position relaxes back into the thin profile for a good amount of overall hand wrap around the grip. While finned grips can work well gloveless, the forward facing fins here feel pretty slippery with sweat, requiring a bit of soil to make them sticky against your skin.

Recommended for: In-bar storage.

  • Weight: 100g
  • Price: $21
  • Available at Amazon.

Lizard Skins Charger EVO

The Charger EVO grips from Lizard Skins feature a unique 3D diamond pattern broken up with a ribbed fingertip rest on the back side side. The texture feels weird and funky in a way that makes me want to ride without gloves; it’s almost soothing yet electric. The ribbed back / underside provides a great surface for resting fingertips, or digging in on both gritty climbs and hairy descents alike.

At 136mm long, the Charger EVOs are slightly longer than the average mountain bike grip, with a medium diameter, making them a good choice for the average rider. The padding is fairly minimal; that is, not very thick or spongy, offering good feedback and responsiveness. With just a single clamp, the pair weighs right around 100g which is fairly lightweight.

I recommend running the grips with the ribbed texture facing forward/down.

Nukeproof Sam Hill Series MTB Grips

Sam Hill’s signature Nukeproof mtb grips work well even if you don’t ride flat pedals, and they’re the usual 135mm in length with a 32mm girth. They have a tiny diamond pattern with Sam’s signature raised on either end of the palm patch, and the finger gripping blocks underneath fade away toward the final quarter of the grip for a shallower thumb bed. These are the only dual lock-ring set I tested, and when you’re as fast as Sam a single ring doesn’t cut it. They come in this black color or a rainbow option that’s oddly called oil-slick.

These grips feel very similar to the All Mountain Style Cero above, with medium squishiness on the palm side and some large blocks for your fingertips to lock into. The blocks fade away under the thumb to allow it to lay in a flatter and more natural position under the bar. They feel great with gloves, and with some dust they’re good gloveless, and the slightly fatter size should work well for folks with large hands.

Since I didn’t manage to slip a single pair of the grips in this test, I really don’t understand the need for the second lock ring. I suppose if one comes loose your grip will still stay put, which is good, but if tightened properly there shouldn’t be any issue. Early lock-on grips would sometimes slip, and made noise occasionally, but the modern versions seem to have solved those issues, negating the need for that second set of hardware.

Recommended for: A nice, secure lock.

  • Weight: 116g
  • Price: $30
  • Available at Nukeproof.

Oury V2 Single Clamp Lock-on Grips

This is Oury’s first single-clamp offering and naturally it features the brand’s signature blocky gripping surface. Compared to previous versions, the V2 grips are a bit longer at 135mm. The ends are closed so there’s no need for plugs, though that does limit storage possibilities if you’re so inclined.

With a 33mm outer diameter, these are the thickest lock-on grips I tested. I like riding gloveless with larger grips, and the Oury V2s do not disappoint. In fact, this is one of the few sets of grips I can ride sans-glove on hot summer days. The wide channels shunt moisture away, and the rubber is some of the stickiest I’ve ever experienced. That stickiness seems to be enhanced when things get wet, and with bare hands it feels like the grips have been dipped in maple syrup.

The Oury V2 grips are quite solid and firm, and tend to transmit trail feedback more directly than others I’ve tested. Overall these are my favorite grips for riding in the summer, and for going gloveless whenever possible. Available in five colors, including the poppin’ Blaze Orange shown here.

Oury also has dual-clamp V2 grips on offer (not tested) that weigh 140.9g with plugs.

Recommended for: Summer gloveless riding.

  • Weight: 122.1g
  • Price: $29.99
  • Available at Amazon.
Tested by Jeff Barber.

Pro Lock On Sport Grips

The Pro Lock On Sport grips feature a unique “pressure optimized core” that provides a squishy channel toward the middle of the grip and on one side. In practice it’s only noticeable off the bars; once installed, the handlebar limits any noticeable inward flex or squish. With a 32mm outer diameter, these grips are on the wide side of mountain bike grips.

With a single lock-on clamp, the grips go on easy enough but I really struggled with the provided bar end plugs. The instructions suggest trimming the ends of the plugs for an easier fit with narrow inner diameter bars, which I tried. Even with a few taps of a rubber mallet, I still wasn’t able to get the plugs flush with the ends of the grips and bar. I finally opted to use a set of plugs from another pair of grips. Unfortunately in my frustration I threw away the plugs before I had a chance to include them in the weight of the grips.

Gloveless and sweaty, the Pro Lock On Sport don’t provide enough grip. With gloves they work great and have a soft, vibration-damping feel to them. These grips are best for riders with big hands and for those looking for maximum comfort and grip with gloves.

Recommended for: Big-handed riders looking for extra comfort.

  • Weight: 120.9g (without plugs)
  • Price: $29.99
  • Available from Amazon
WCS Trail photos and words by Jeff Barber.

Ritchey WCS Trail grips

The Ritchey WCS Trail grips are meatier than the average grip, making them a good choice for riders with larger hands. A classic square block pattern is enhanced with a micro texture on the blocks for improved, non-slip performance. The Kraton rubber feels firm and hard, not flexy, for excellent control. Available in six colors.

SDG Thrice 33 Mountain Bike Grips

The SDG Thrice 33 grips are a squishy departure from the Velo Attune and if you prefer a softer feel, with a design you can really grab on to, these are a great option. They are a single-side clamp, come in a multitude of colors, weigh 48g each, and are 136mm in length. The Thrice uses a mushroom profile for ergonomics, and they have lots of protruding patterns for added hand traction.

The Thrice feels like a handlebar end for “gripping and ripping.” They are soft and comfortable, and the pattern feels like it keeps your hands from slipping both fore and aft and laterally. It’s nice that they come in several different color options for those who like to color match with other components. Overall, the SDG Thrice 33s make for a really comfortable grip and are ideal for people who want some seizable meat on their handlebars, and they also come in a thinner 31mm diameter.

Recommended for: Riders who want a meaty grip.

SQlab 70X Grips

With the description for the 70X marked as gravity and E-performance, you get the idea of what this grip is made for — heavy bikes and heavy-handed riders.

The 70X rounds out in the front for a comfortable grip and is mostly made up of a small, textured diamond pattern. It’s much firmer than the 711 Tech and Trail and the rubber doesn’t feel quite as tacky.

SQlab says the material provide a damping effect, but if it does, it’s subtle. Overall, I found that I enjoyed the grip of the 711 much more (see below).

  • Single side, lock-on
  • Weight: 132g per pair
  • Price: from $34
  • Available at Amazon

SQlabs 711 Tech and Trail Grips

The SQ Labs 711 Tech and Trail grips became my favorite set for my own bike. The grips themselves are sized in S, M, and L, which is is pretty unique for a set of grips, but SQlabs takes ergonomics seriously.

Initially, the 711 Tech and Trail is tougher to install than others because only a third of the inside grip is a hard plastic, and then it’s just rubber. So, you may have to use hair spray to get the grips on, but I installed them with just a bit of elbow grease. I have smaller hands, and these grips have been the most ergonomical for me without feeling like I’m trying to get my hands around a fence post. I’ve found them suitable for all riding situations.

Velo Attune Firm Grips

Velo makes some outstanding saddles, and they’ve recently brought more mountain bike grips to light. The Attunes are a simple, unshapely grip, with a distinct pattern between the two edges. The middle cube-pattern is a little more soft and forgiving, while the outer knurled patterns are firmer. The Attune Firms are made to adapt to the rider’s hands over time. They weigh 59g per grip, are 132mm in length, and cost $22 a set.

It’s hard to say the Attunes morphed into my hand shape over time, but I haven’t logged a complaint on them yet. They are far from the gushiest grip out there, so if you like something with a bit of cushion, then we’d recommend trying something else. But, the middle section, softer and more tacky, feels very useful gathering a grip. They have been a perfect fit for my size medium hands. Overall, these are a nice and firm grip with some sticky rubber in the middle to keep your hands planted. They come in black only.

Recommended for: Riders who like a squishy grip.

Velo Attune Steady Grips

These Velo mountain bike grips are a solid set, though riders may find them a bit milquetoast. Priced at just $18 for a pair, they’re among the most affordable, and offer a few upgrades over the inexpensive and basic Amazon grips we tested earlier this summer.

For starters, the Attune Steady grips feature a bit of an hourglass shape, with the outer diameter ranging from about 31mm at the ends to 29mm in the center. A gridded back side of the grip makes for a tactile finger rest I like to use on uphill grunts.

With just a single clamp and sealed outer ends, this is one of the lightest sets of lock-on mountain bike grips we tested, weighing 93.8g. The micro-diamond pattern is a familiar one from our Amazon grip test, and it tends to feel a little spiky with bare hands. Overall these feel responsive and comfortable, even if they aren’t the sexiest on the trail.

Recommended for: Getting a great value and blending in.