There’s not much to this. There are a few different ways to do grips:
1) Push them on. Muscle them onto the bars, and leave them be. Have fun!
2) Hairspray. This is the method I use. A quick spray of hairspray, shake out the grips so it’s a thin coating, and then slide them on. The hairspray will act as a lubricant at first, then dry sticky.
3) Air compressor. Get an attachment, a blow air under the grips. Slide them on, position them, and then remove the air. Alas, same effect as muscling them on.
4) Water. Same method as hairspray, but it dries without becoming sticky.
5) Microwave. I’ve heard a few people microwave the grips, then they just slide right on.
6) Freezing. The polar opposite as the microwave, I’ve heard of people putting their bars I nthe freezer to shrink the metal, slide the grip on, and you’re good to go. I wouldn’t advise this though, as I don’t know what this would do to the integrity of the bars/welds.
I’ve heard some people say “stop taking the easy way out, muscle it on”. Ignore them. They’re just trying to showboat that they didn’t need the hairspray/water. I spend 10 seconds to get my grips on, I’ve seen people spend a few minutes for each grip. “but they’re good to go right away” is a popular argument, easily countered with…do it around 10 or 11pm, right before you go to bed. The grips will dry overnight.
Basically, with my method, you want something that will act as a lubricant between the grips and the bars. Then dry afterwards. Hairspray dries sticky and will hold the grips, but water dries just the same, just doesn’t leave an adhesive type of dryness.
That’s all there is to it really.
FAQs (yeah, really)
Q: What about boiling my grips?
A: I’ve heard people boiling grips to make them more “gummy”, softer, etc. I haven’t heard about it being used as a method for installing them though. I’ve never done it, and I don’t intend to. I see no need. I would guess the grips should only go in the water for about 5 seconds though.
Q: How do I get my grips off?
A: That’s why I do not advise using any type of glue. Sometimes, something happens, and grips need to come off. In that event, just pull back one edge, pour some water in, and work it around. Should slide right off after some finessing and/or rage
Q: Do I put my brake lever on before or after my grips?
A: Depends on the lever, actually. If it’s hinged, after. If it’s not hinged, then before. If you have a hinged lever, let the grips dry (if you used any type of water/hairspray method) before putting the lever back on. If you have an unhinged brake lever, slide it down the bars a bit, and let the grips dry without it, then move it back in position. Same goes with bar ends, let the grips dry without them on.