Bad grips out number good grips at least 100 to 1. Apparently, when most grip makers sit down to design a grip, they don’t bother to look at their own hands, or how a hand grabs things, like a handlebar. I imagine their world is filled with uneronomic things, like square axe handles and pencils shaped like macaroni noodles. Actually, I think the real reason most grips are so bad is because they can be. It’s a really low bar. Why try when you don’t have to? You can just make something with a lock on grip, and say it’s Bill’s signature grip, and it’s good to go. Ideally make it in some neon color, while you are at it. (Not that we’re against neon)
Most mountain bike grips suffer from 2 things: no squish, and being a lock on grip. The padding issue is exacerbated by being a lock on grip. Lock on grips need to have a hard plastic core to keep the grip rigid. It’s what ties it into the lock on the end, and keeps it from rotating. This has to be a few millimeters thick. That plastic core is taking up squish space.
Not all lock in grips are bad. Ergon's grips are pretty great, for the most part, but that greatness comes from a good shape. That shape requires them to be a lock on grip. The paddle on the back exerts leverage on the grip in the rotational direction. If they didn’t lock on, they’d slip. Not so with normal rubbery grips. Round rubber grips only slip if they’re installed wrong or they’re not made right. They need to be a soft rubber, molded a bit smaller than a handlebar. If the rubber is too hard or made with too big an inner diameter, the grip will slip, even if you glue it.
Which brings us to Oury grips. They’ve been quietly making a grip that’s ideal for bigger hands and alt bars. It makes no attempt at being an ergonomic shape. Yet it’s big enough and has enough squish that it’s good for long miles, if you have a generous back sweep to your bars, ala Nitto Forest Amblers, Jones Bars, etc. Not great for little hands, but most medium to big hands are happy with it. Try it on Albatross or Choco bars as an alternative to cork. We dig cork grips, but these grips are lower maintenance and don’t mind being dropped, locked up in the rain, and are removable if you wanna swap out your 1-bolt stem, etc.
Spray some alcohol in these and slide them on. Put some plastic bar plugs in your bars first. Let the alcohol dry. Done!