One of the problems regular bicycle riders have is grips that slip or come off; the most obvious solution is grip glue. However, that doesn’t make it the best choice. Unfortunately, grip glue tends to dry too quickly, leaving your grips stuck and warped or out of place.
What is the best grip glue alternative? I’ll explain the most common alternatives and share the best one, so your grips stay on.
The best handlebar grip glue alternative is Loctite Go2 all-purpose glue because it’s elastic, non-shrinking, shock resistant, and gives you time to settle the grips. It will bond in about 2 hours and cures completely in 24 hrs so long as you apply it in dry weather. Plus, you can remove it with butane when you replace your grips.
To see all of my up-to-date recommendations for bikes and cycling gear, check out this resource that I made for you!
What Can You Use In Place Of Grip Glue
If you’re not happy with grip glue, get rid of it. There are plenty of suitable alternatives to use on your bicycle grips to hold them in place.
Although some riders prefer it, you don’t need a specific branded grip glue to achieve a bond between your handlebars metal (or paint) and the rubber of the grips.
All you need is a fixative that can bond with the smooth bars and the porous rubber without damaging either.
1 – Loctite Go2 All-Purpose Glue
- Extra Durable and Versatile: Developed with Loctite industrial expertise to mix strength of polyurethane and versatility of polyoxysilane
- Invisible Repairs: Solvent free formula sets without clamping and dries crystal clear for office, home, hobby, and crafting projects
- Resilient Formula: Resistant to water, impact, vibration and extreme temperatures up to 176°F (80°C)
- No Drip or Run: No-mess formula reduces clean up and is ideal for precision alignment of surfaces
- Bonds To: metal, concrete, tiles, ceramic, glass, mirror, wood, cork, chipboard, MDF, linen, paper, cardboard, rigid PVC, mirrors, natural stones, concrete, and more
The best handlebar grip glue alternative is Loctite Go2 All-Purpose Adhesive because it works well on many surfaces and can quickly bond metal and rubber.
Plus, it dries clear, and it’s easy to wipe any excess off before it sets with a damp cloth. All you need is a few drops inside the grips.
I recommend doing one at a time since this glue begins to dry quickly.
Once the glue is inside the grip, slide it on the bars, and rotate 360 degrees to spread the glue around evenly between the surfaces.
Then leave it to cure for 24 to 48 hours. I especially like that it doesn’t require clamping to set.
According to Loctite Products, you can remove it easily from painted metal, “…start with a clean surface. Then, coat the area in question with a spray lubricant. Let it soak in, removing any excess on surfaces beyond the glue. Butane lighter fluid may also do the trick. Use a plastic card, putty knife, or similar dull edge to scrape away the glue. Use firm pressure and smooth strokes until the glue is entirely removed.”
Get Loctite Go2 for your grips by clicking here.
2 – Permatex Super Weatherstrip Adhesive
- Professional, superior adhesive that blends with automotive weather stripping for less clean-up
- Effectively bonds a variety of common materials, including automotive gaskets and automotive weatherstripping
- Designed to withstand extreme temperatures
- Resistant to gasoline, kerosene, antifreeze and most solvents
- Suggested Applications: Cut gaskets, auto or van carpeting, door and trunk moldings, vinyl tops, fabric-backed vinyl upholstery, and headliners
Permatex Super Weatherstrip Adhesive gives you more time to settle your grips into place and bonds exceptionally well with metal and rubber.
I would have given it first place, except that it requires extra steps to apply. You’ll have to prepare and sand the surface of your handlebars.
First, clean and dry the bar’s surface where the glue will sit. Sand a 1-inch ring around the bars about an inch in from each end of the grips and another right in the center of where they’ll sit.
Make sure you dust off any debris. Then apply the Permatex in a thin circle at the outside edge of each sanded area, so the grips slide the glue into the prepared space.
You can pick up Permatex 81850 Black Super Weatherstrip Adhesive on Amazon when you click right here.
3 – 3M Hi-Strength 90 Spray Adhesive
- HIGH STRENGTH, FAST TACKING spray adhesive that bonds laminate, wood, concrete, metal, plastic, paper, cardboard, insulation, fabric, melamine, polyethylene, polypropylene, and SBR rubber.
- PERMANENT BOND: Versatile, fast drying, contact-type spray glue bonds strongly to a wide range of projects both large and small, crafting to construction.
- INVERTED CAN: Spray adhesive formula is easy to dispense while holding spray can upside down.
- ADJUSTABLE NOZZLE to choose the width of lace-patterned spray needed for your project.
- RESISTANCE to moisture and high temperatures.
A simple 3M Hi-Strength 90 Spray Adhesive will hold your handlebar grips in place, but you must be careful when using it.
3M didn’t make it higher on the list because the glue is meant to be permanent. It is also industrial strength and made for trained workers.
Moreover, 3M Hi-Strength 90 is highly sticky, and I recommend using gloves when handling it.
To apply your spray adhesive, you’ll need to apply it to the inside of the grip tube. Be aware that this is an inverted application, so it must be upside down to spray.
Once coated, slide your grips in place and smooth them out so they sit flush against the bars.
Clean any excess off immediately with a damp microfiber cloth. Then follow the directions on the package for curing time.
You can learn more about this option by clicking here.
4 – Eastwood Durable Paint 2K Aerosol High Gloss Clear Spray Paint
- 2k CLEAR COAT: Our special aerosol spray is a high-gloss clear coat spray that provides maximum shine. It will not only protect the sprayed surface from minor scratches but also allows it to maintain a clean a finish, that ensures the surface will look as good as new for years to come.
- HOW TO USE: Use 1-2 spray passes with 50% overlap. Approx. 1.2-mil per spray pass. Allow 3-7 minutes flash between coats depending on temperature. Then fully cure in 12 hours at 68 degrees Fahrenheit, 35-40 minutes at 140 degrees Fahrenheit (IR drying).
- EASTWOOD QUALITY: Eastwood offers solutions which combines our 4,000+ unique products with the know-how to “Do The Job Right”. With an In-house product design, development and testing and a strong track record of high-quality, innovative products. Used and trusted by top builders to beginners and also provides a Lifetime Tech Support.
- SAFETY INFORMATION: Always wear eye, skin and respiratory protection when applying this product.Use in a well ventilated area away from open flame. Store spray in a cool dry place. Warning: This product contains chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm.
- WARRANTY: Comes with a 90-day limited warranty and 90-day return.
Using spray paint, especially clear or aluminum metallic spray paint, is a time-honored way of applying handlebar grips. Although this isn’t my first-choice method, it will work.
However, I strongly suggest picking a high-quality clear paint like Eastwood Durable Paint 2K Aerosol High Gloss Clear Spray.
Cheap spray paint doesn’t always bond well and tends to flake and break down quickly.
Skip the UV-resistant sprays as they will be covered by the grips, and always use a mask and gloves when handling spray paint.
Coat the inside of the grip tube and let any excess drip out onto a prepared surface like a newspaper. Then quickly slid the grips in place and let them cure for 24 to 48 hours.
Have a can of Eastwood Durable Paint 2K Aerosol High Gloss Clear Spray delivered to your door fast when you order here.
5 – Aerosol Hairspray
Aerosol hairspray is another traditional ‘quick fix’ for keeping your grips in place. I only recommend this option if you don’t have anything else handy and when you don’t need the bond to last very long.
Unlike the other solutions, hairspray will come off the first time it rains or breaks down in damp weather.
Helpful Tips To Know About Handlebar Grip Glue Alternatives
- Most bicyclists’ main complaint about grip glue is that it sets far too fast. Since you need your grips to sit correctly, it’s not hard to see why this would be a significant issue. Choosing an adhesive that sets slower is the only sensible solution.
- The second biggest complaint about grip glue is that it is ‘rebranded’ superglue or Krazy glue. Although this is not the case, it’s an easy mistake to make. Grip glue is contact cement. As Knowhow Napa Online explains, “There are two types of adhesives. Epoxy, super glue, urethane, polyurethane, and silicone are reactive adhesives, curing chemically. Construction adhesive and contact cement, on the other hand, are “non-reactive” adhesives, curing by evaporation.”
- If you don’t want to use adhesives, there’s another option. Use safety wire. Anyone can get a set of needle-nosed pliers and some rust-resistant safety wire from the local hardware store or online. Carefully wrapping safety wire at your grips’ top, bottom, and center will help cinch them in place and hold them on. Unlike hairspray, the wire won’t break down in the rain but will eventually rust. More importantly, you need to twist the ends together, bend them, and press the sharp tips into the rubber of your grips to prevent accidentally scratching your hands as you ride. Still, it’s highly effective and easy to remove.
Having secure handlebar grips is essential. However, defaulting to grip glue just because of the name isn’t the wisest choice.
While grip glue works, there are many alternatives, from temporary solutions like safety wire and hairspray to more permanent fixes like Permatex.
However, I think the best handlebar grip glue alternative is Loctite Go2 because it’s shock resistant and flexible.
Most importantly, it allows you time to set the grips in place and cleans up easily.