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Kids' Bike Handlebar Grips Review (plus a buyers' guide)

eric-awwy By Eric Awwy, 22 Oct 2022

Here is a fact most cyclists and keen parents would agree with; the stock grips that come on a bike's handlebar (not just kids' bikes but all bikes) from the manufacturer are cheap and nasty. At least a handful of them, for one simple reason; cutting production costs.

So, as a way of customizing your kids' bike or if you are building them a bike, you can consider some cheaper yet durable, rad, and effective bike grip options in the market.

Getting a good kids' bike handlebar grip will make a world of difference in your child's cycling life. A grip is among the top three contact points on a bike alongside pedals and saddles, whose comfort determines whether a kid will love or hate their bike. It is the most important of the contact points because the kid uses the handlebar to control, direct, and handle the bike.

But what is the best grip out there in the market? With many options, getting a grip on a kid's handlebar can be challenging. That's where we come in; to make it easier for you to select bike grips that will beckon your kids to ride more.

After days of testing these bike grips for kids' bikes, we have put together this comprehensive review of bike handlebar grips for kids, including some of the factors to consider when buying one, in case the ones in the list do not impress you or your kiddo. We want you to choose the best bike grip for a balance bike, BMX, MTB, youth bicycle, or kids' pedal bike.

A Review of the Top-Performing Bike Handlebar Grips for Kids' Bikes

Let's get down to our list of top bike handlebar grips you should buy as a replacement for the stock grips on your kids' bikes

1 SDG Slater Jr. Grips

If you are building a bike or have replaced parts, you have probably come about components made by SDG. They are great at making bike parts and got the assignment right with the SDG Slater Jr. bike handlebar grips.

These kid-specific grips come with a lock-on collar that guarantees to fit into place without worry that they can be removed. It also fits only on the 19mm bar ends, which makes it a perfect match for balance bikes, small pedal bikes, and some tricycles.

The Slater Jr Lock-on grip features a tapered core that is slotted to increase the contact point and security of the grip to the handlebar.

It comes with a smaller diameter design that perfectly fits the smaller hands of kids, offering comfort and grip that guarantees bike contact and control.

When kids used the Slater Jr single lock-on grip during testing, they generally responded that they had a positive ride experience. They are 115mm in length and have an outer diameter of 25-26 mm.

The Slater Jr. Grips also have a tapered and slotted core that offers 100% non-slippage of kids' hands in whatever weather. Their iconic Plush SDG Icon Pattern guarantees vibration dampening as it perfectly absorbs shock and ensures superior grip control for the kids.

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2 Marque Mini Kids Bike Handlebar Grips

The MARQUE mini kids' grips come with a mushroom pattern that improves comfort for kids as they absorb vibrations of trails and surfaces. The kids tested the Marque mini grips confidently and commended the comfort levels.

The grips are made from TPR rubber that offers durability. They also have oversized bar ends that offer extra protection for the kids' hands.

When they rode in them, the kids testing the handlebar grips appreciated the fact that these ends cushioned their hands from slipping off the handlebar.

It offers maximum grip even in extreme conditions and is thus a perfect fit for balance bikes, mountain bikes, and other kids' bikes and scooters.

Installing these grips is easy because they are slip-on grips. You only need hair spray or soapy water on the handlebar to slide them into place, which takes a little time. And you do not require any tools to install them.

Their inner diameter is 22.2 mm, compatible with most standard kids' bicycles, tricycles, scooters, balance bikes, and pushbikes. If your kids love colors, they can choose from multiple color options to make their preferences, favorite colors, or bike schemes.

If you are in the market for a bike handlebar grip for your kiddo that will give you value for your money and at a bit of cost, go for the Minibike grips.

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3 Lizard Skins Mini Machine Handlebar Grips

If you want a product specifically made in the USA, you are good at choosing the Lizards Skins Mini Machine handlebar grip.

Lizard Skins is a brand that is preferred mainly by professional cyclists globally. These pair of grips are constructed from the highest quality material and highly-regulated processes. It is made from single-compound polymer, which gives it durability and assured comfort.

Like other slip-on grips, it is easy to install, and you only need to apply lubricant on the handlebar surface and slide them to the position. Once it is locked into place, even the kids cannot remove or interfere with them. They are a top-notch grip that will give you value for your money.

They are also a perfect replacement for the uncomfortable stock handgrips that come with kids' bikes. They can easily sit the 12-inch, 14-inch, and 16-inch kids' bikes as they can do from 18" onwards to adult bikes.

4 Odi Ruffian Lock-On Grips

The Odi Ruffian Lock-on grip is yet another USA-made handlebar grip. They come in black with a lock-on silver clamp that holds them into place.

Installing them is super easy, as you must apply a lubricant on the handlebar surface and slide them into place. Once in place, you need to use an Allen key to lock them into place for a firmer positioning.

They have a rugged knurled pattern that offers maximum grip and traction. You can be sure that they will be effective during wet and dry conditions. The lock-on grip system guarantees that your kids will never lose them on trails, even if they have accidents. They also have snap cap end plugs that come out and can allow your kids to store small objects in them and fasten them to place.

The duo lock-on bike grips are a great buy; they are comfortable, have the solid build quality, and come at a great price point. Once you go to Odi, there is no chance that you will love any other premium bike handle grips.

Your kiddo will connect with their bikes and have the guarantee of a grippy experience on the trails or casual rides thanks to the two-collar locks system, which is a default design feature.

5 Kutrick Handlebar Grips

Good things never get unnoticed, even when there are many options, and Kutrick Handlebar Grips is one of them. These pair of mushroom-patterned bike grips offer you a guarantee of durability, perfect grip, and easy installation.

They are slip-on bike grips whose installation only needs some lubricant, such as soapy water, and nothing else. The bike grips come standard with a plug at the end, allowing the little ones to store tools such as puncture repair kits on the handlebar and lock them into the handlebar tube.

Kutrick flangeless handlebar grips have a slightly thick end that prevents kids' hands from slipping off the handlebar. They are great for kids who ride scooters and BMX bikes. You can also get them for youth bikes and normal kids' bikes. They weigh less and are 145mm long. If this is too long, you can cut them to fit onto the handlebar of some kids' bikes. They have a standard circumference of 22.2, which makes them fit for most bikes. Those who tested it liked it for its rubbery and grippy feel. And thanks to the multiple colors on offer, your kids will be spoilt for choice. They are the best grips for cheap that guarantee comfort, great color choices, and a better replacement for the boring stock grips on kids' bikes.

6 Suwimut Bike Handlebar Grips

Who wouldn't take more for less? Well, the Suwimut handlebar grips come in 6 pairs of grips, each with a different color. They are made from soft rubber, which improves comfort as it has higher vibration dampening.

These grips are perfect for BMX, electric, mountain, tricycles, scooters, and balance bikes. They are durable, thanks to the construction.

Besides, they are also easy to install as they slip onto the handlebar surface with little lubrication. They also feature mushroom pattern grips with a turbo-shaped surface to improve grip even when kids wick their sweat to it.

They are suitable for both girls and boys thanks to their different color offerings. You buy these grips and will agree that they are durable and an excellent buy for the money.

Your kids can mix colors to their preferences and keep some for replacements during special occasions such as bike races.

7 SAPLIZE Kids' Bike Handlebar Grips

If you are shopping for the perfect-fit grips for BMS, scooters, electric bikes, and other kids' bikes, consider the SPALIZE bike grips.

The grips are kid-specific and come standard with 3 layers of protection on the edges to protect the bike handlebars and the kids' hands from surfaces. Besides, the feature ensures that kids' hands do not slip off the handlebar easily, reinforcing their grip and contact with their bikes. You have the option of extra tassel streamers, which are a great addition to a bike that you are customizing for your kid.

The tassels fly as kids ride their bikes around, which improves thrill and adventure when on bikes. The grips are offered in four different colors that you can choose from depending on your kid's taste and preferences.

They also have thicker walls for vibration dampening, guaranteeing smooth rides and protected palms. Their iconic diamond pattern offers more surface for friction and a good grip that prevents slippage when in use.

You are also protected by their standard 1- year refund plan if the grips disappoint you within one-year post-purchase. They are about 105mm in length and 20 mm in diameter, which makes them fit most kids' bikes. They are kid-specific because they are constructed from eco-friendly TPU material that cannot harm kids if accidentally consumed.

8 BW Kids Bicycle Grips

When we settled for the BW kids bike handlebar grips, we were largely drawn by the 90-day money-back guarantee, although we never used it for our testers loved the pair of grips.

The BW kids' bike grips come with a ribbed grip pattern that offers a non-slip connection for the kids to their handlebars. It is also 130mm long, which gives ample room for any youth-sized bike handlebar. It also gives plenty of room for smaller hands to contact the handlebar.

Your kiddo will be confident, composed, and ready when riding a bike equipped with this pair of grips. The quality construction screams durability and is made of Kraton rubber that guarantees a longer lifespan. It also has a built-in end cap that prevents damage from accidents or scratches.

It is a perfect choice for the standard 22mm handlebars. And if your kid loves to throw colors on their bikes, you have the chance to choose from the six different colors on offer. It is a perfect choice for 12' bikes, balance bikes, pedal bikes, and scooters. They stay in place once installed and are more comfortable. Again, these are a worthy purchase; your kids will fall in love with them at first sight and daily when using them.

9 TOPCABIN Bike Handlebar Grips

The TOPCABIN grips are constructed from high-quality and durable rubber. The rubber is non-slip, giving the kids more grip as they handle and control their bikes and improving comfort.

They are a pair of ergonomic comfort handlebar grips that will fit all types of kids' bikes (from balance to pedal bikes) and scooters with a bike handlebar of size 22-23mm, which is a universal fit for most bikes. Its handle design is comfortable to allow the kids' palms to stay in place so that they can interact with their bikes without pain, even when riding long distances.

They are 90 mm long and cover most of the handlebar sections of kids' bikes. The flanged ends reduce the chances of kids' hands slipping off the handlebar, which gives them maximum grip and control of their bikes. It is a slip-on bike grip, which takes a minute or two to install.

We liked the TOPCABIN short Mini Two-Color rubber bike handlebar grips for their durability, ergonomic design, affordability, and practicality for kids. They are also great for bikes with twist-grip shifters.

10 DEERU bike handlebar grips

When we saw the word premium, we were already sold to the DEERU bike handle grips. Upon testing, the pair of grips never disappointed.

Their premium rubber construction comfortably took all the simulated thorough beatings they could get from kids throughout their lifetime. We are guaranteed that it will offer its service long enough for your kids to enjoy cycling and its benefits.

They are soft and comfortable. The tread patterning allows ridges that allow water to drip off during wet weather conditions, increasing grip.

The non-slip BMX grip and mountain grip texture surface allow the kids to get the right traction or grip to have maximum control and contact with their bikes.

It is suitable for the 22.2-diameter handlebar, which makes it perfect for youth MTB and BMX bikes. It comes standard with two clamps that are easy to install into place and a pair of plugs to attach to either end of the handlebar.

Your kids have a choice of 7 colors, which makes them spoilt for choice. Coming from a brand synonymous with excellent bike components, this would also make a worthy choice for a bike grip for your kids' bikes.

More Choices to Consider

Apart from the 9 best kids grips for bike handlebars we reviewed above; you can also consider common brands like Cleary, Trek, Specialized, WOOM (Woom original ergo grips), Pello grips, or Prevelo grips; they are kid-specific, durable, and good for replacement. We also like the Coolrunner grips, Ergon-GA3 ergonomic grips, Spank Spoons Grom Grips, and the PNW grips, specifically for youth bikes. The likes of Brood Tenderiderz grips and Nukeproof Urchin Youth grips also wowed us and performed well during our tests; although we did not list them, you can also consider them for purchase.

Factors to consider when choosing a bike grip for Kids' Bike

If you are wondering how to choose grips for kids' bicycles, we have a small guide here to take you through the process.

Having said that, grips are a comfort factor on a bike, and you need to get the best; there are a few things you need to check. Manufacturers have invested their time in researching and developing the best grips for kids' bikes.

Comfortable contact points seem to be a key move by most kids' bike brands. You will find good pedals, grips, and saddles on today's bikes more than you would on bikes we bought ourselves or our parents bought for us back then. Although this is far from true for some big box kids' bikes, there are a few exceptions. So, what does a parent need to look for when shopping for the next handlebar grip for their kids' bike? Let's dig in, won't we?

Type of handlebar grips

As you settle down to buy a grip, you should be aware that many bike grip brands are on the market. You will find famous names and some new entrants. What matters is the type of grips they produce. There are three types of grips: traditional slip-on, ergonomic/comfort, and lock-on grips.

The slip-on bike grips are as simple as their names sound; they are installed by sliding them on the handlebar until they correctly fit the handlebar. They are primarily simple rubber-sleeved grips. From our experience, once they stay so long on the handle, removing them might break a sweat. However, they can be slippery during wet weather and do not have end plugs.

The comfort or ergonomic grips are flat, wide, and comfortable. They taper back to a more circular shape at the thumb area to make it comfortable for the rider when the grip is on. You can choose the oval grip that offers better comfort than the round one. Identifying comfort grips is easier because they are shaped in a manner to allow the rider to grip the handlebar comfortably and are a good fit for bikes ridden long distances.

Finally, lock-on grips have a metallic or stiff plastic collar on either end that locks the grips to place on the handlebar. You can use Allen bolts to lock them into place to avoid slippage. They are a standard in most MTB kids' bikes. If your kid or youth child is a shredder, get them a lock-on grip for their handlebar, it will make a difference. They are more stable and maintain functionality even under bad weather and trail conditions.

Diameter of the Handlebar

As you shop for and purchase grips, it is vital to consider the diameter of the child's bike handlebar. Look at the number indicated on the handlebar if you are unsure.

Alternatively, you can check the bike's specs from the manufacturer's website or packaging documents.

You can also measure it using tape or a ruler; it should be in millimeters (mm). Experts at BikeGremlin have a guide on measuring the handlebar's diameter.

With the diameter of the handlebar, you can comfortably shop for the correct size grip for the kids' bike.

Size

As you select the grip, check the hands of your child. They would do better with large-diameter grips if they had a large hand. Otherwise, if they have smaller hands, get them smaller grips. The standard size of kids' bicycle handlebar grips is 19mm in diameter. For bigger kids and youths (not so tiny), the standard bike handlebar bike grip size is 22.2 mm.

The size of the grips is measured in diameter, and the diameter here depends on the circumference of the handlebar. Marketers and manufacturers will hear about 22mm, ¾, or 19mm handlebar grips. They are referring to the diameter of the grips, which defines their sizes and depends on the handlebar size. You will find kids' grips of 19 mm up to 22 mm in the market.

In most cases, the size of the handlebar grip would be indicated on it. You can also check the bike's specs from the manufacturer's website to determine the correct size. Take note of the size dimensions, as they are always specified.

Notably, most kids' bikes come with standard-dimension handlebar grips 19mm in diameter. However, for bikes for older kids, the handlebar width is 22.2mm. This means you can buy a universal kids' handlebar grip, which will function on your kids' bike.

As you consider the diameter of the grips, also consider their length. There are shorter, and longer grips, and most grips are between 130mm and 140mm in length. There are also shorter versions from between 90 to 100mm, but these are mostly designed for the grip shift systems that are classic today. If you buy a longer grip for a kid with a smaller hand, they will most likely leave so much length of that grip unused.

Color

Although a minor factor, the color of the bike grip matters to some kids. Kids know the colors they love. Grips are a way of accessorizing your child's bike and must be customized to their taste. Ask your kiddo for the color profile of the handlebar grip they prefer and purchase one with their color of choice. Colorful grips are a cheaper way to make kids' bikes rad.

Material of the Grip

Even with the right diameter (size) and shape, you must consider the type of material from which the grips are made. You will find the soft-single compound grips in the market, which are always lightweight, offer excellent vibration dampening, and absorb the shock from the trails and surfaces.  

You will also find non-slip rubber and dual compound grips that offer durability, better grip and control, and security. These might be handy if you buy for a kiddo who rides aggressively. They are best for the trails, BMX, cyclocross, or kids' gravel bikes. Some of the kids' bike grips are constructed from foam. The foam grips are comfortable, easy to install, and can be trimmed down to size.

If your kid prefers the material, buy them a grip made from it for peace of mind. Adult cyclists will prefer grips made from specific materials because it is what they like or finds comfortable. This will not be much of a bargaining point for kids unless they know what they want.

Grip Ergonomics

Whether you are buying a grip for a kid who rides less often or for one who rides most often, you need to consider the comfort of the grip. Go for a grip that offers much comfort to the rider. You can look at the shape, construction, material, and design.

Some grips come standard with better edges or tapered ends to protect the kids from surfaces the handlebars come into contact with, such as walls or trees on the trails. The tapered ends also offer more room for dampening the vibrations on the trails and surfaces where the kids ride their bikes.

Note that grips are no longer a one-size-fits-all component. Therefore, what's comfortable for your kiddo might not be comfortable for the other. You need to ensure that you select a grip that maximizes comfort and enables control of the bike.

As part of ergonomics, consider the shape of the grips. In our assessments, we noticed that kids prefer round grips for their uniform cylindrical shape in full length, which allowed them to grip the handlebar at different angles and places with the same comfort and feel. Most of the ergonomic grips will have flatter sections that mimic the kids' palms' contours, adding security and comfort.

Grip Texture

When choosing a bike handle grip, consider the padding pattern as it determines how the kid will grip them.

There are those with horizontal patterns to increase friction. Others have rib-like patterns, while others have small studs. Others have a soft rubber surface that also grips well. Go for grips with a better design that allows comfort to the hands.

The mushroom pattern on the grips absorbs shock, improving comfort when little riders hold onto the bike handles.

Hard grips will cause harm to your kid's hands. Preferably, consider foam and rubber grips. Some grips come with thicker offset padding on one end to allow the cushioning of the palm areas where the rider applies the most pressure. The thinner areas are where the fingers land.

Weight

Cyclists are weight freaks, but that applies to pro cyclists. When choosing handlebar grips for balance, mountain, and kids' pedal bikes, weight is not much of an issue, but comfort is. The weight largely depends on the material used to make the grips. Other factors that determine the weight of the grips include clamp configuration, ergonomic profile, and the amount of padding. The foam and carbon grips are by far the lightest. On the other hand, rubber and silicon grips can have some weight on the handlebars. Lock-on grips will have some weight due to the Allen bolt and screw holding them.

End configuration/Design

There are grips with flat ends (those without flanges) and those with flanged ends.

Consider the grips with flanged ends when buying for smaller and timid kids. They are the best, especially for kids learning to ride a bike, as they prevent and protect their hands from slipping off the bars. They also protect their hands against hard surfaces, which are not required for skilled riders.

The flanged-end grips are a better choice for kids learning to cycle, whose handles often slip from the handlebar. However, for more skilled, experienced, and aggressive riders having a flanged or flangeless grip makes no difference.

Plugs

Handlebars offer extra storage for some small accessories that can come in handy when your kid gets a puncture. Consider allowing your kiddo to access the handlebar and stuff some of their bike accessories when selecting a bicycle handle grip.

Some come with screwable plugs that you fit into place by turning clockwise and removing anticlockwise.

Other grips have plugs you push into place and can remove by applying force on the space left between them and the handlebar. Some come with an Allen screw.

FAQs

When should grips on kids' bikes be replaced?

A few tell-tale signs indicate when to replace a handlebar grip for your kid, including cracking surfaces, sliding grips, sticky surfaces, faded colors, and worn-out treads. These are indicators that the grips have reached the end of their life cycle and should be replaced. Check the grip patterns and surface to know when to replace them. You can also replace to get a kids' favorite, which is a plus sign that they want to ride more or accessorize their bikes.

Are grips a good investment on a kid's bike?

Yes, they are. They are among the three touchpoints or contact points a kid has with their bike apart from the saddle and pedals. Handlebar grips determine the bike's comfort and allow the kids to control, balance, and direct the bike efficiently. Grip choice and positioning also influence the braking of a bike. When you purchase quality grips, you are guaranteed to get the kids riding longer, comfortably, and with pride. Go for a grip that meets the quality requirements and the kids' preferences.

Do brands matter when purchasing grips for kids' bikes?

Not at all. However, some kids align with specific brands. The secret is to choose a bike handle grip that your kid loves. Otherwise, focus on quality, durability, size, and design for those that determine comfort more, which is a better benchmark.

Can adult Bike handle grips fit on kids' bikes?

Although smaller adult grips can fit kids' bikes, it is best to purchase kid-specific bike handlebar grips, for they are designed with kids in mind. The grip ergonomics, texture, and patterns will be friendlier to kids' hands and palm sizes. Most kids' bike grips fit the 19mm standard size kids' bike handlebars, while adult bike grips are made to the standard fit of the 22 mm handlebar. Notably, standard kids' bike grips can be used for several other children-specific bikes, balance bikes, and tricycles.

Can kids' bike grips be used for scooters?

Yes, the standard grips on kids' bikes can fit on the scooter handles without modification. You have to check the diameter and circumference of the scooter handle when choosing the right grip for it.

Final Remarks

Even though grips appear as though they are trivial bike components, they play a crucial role for budding and professional cyclists.

As you buy your kids a bike, which is a step in the right direction towards ensuring they enjoy the benefits of cycling, ensure their comfort in it is guaranteed. A bike handle grip is a comfort factor on the bike; get the right one, the kids will ride, get the wrong one, and they will stay away from the bikes.

Like pedals and saddles, it is also a touch point for a bike. The correct grips for your kids' bike balance texture, shape, color, ergonomics, and security that fits their riding style. And for your information, grips are not one-size-fits-all; there has to be a single one that works well, depending on the type of kids' bike, riding style, and preference of the child.

In this guide, we have focused more on the general category of kids' bike grips. We mentioned those suitable for mountain bikes and other general category bikes, a little something to get you started. As kids approach their youth, they develop their personalized taste in bike components and will most likely advise you on which grips to get them.

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