Thursday, September 1, 2011

Replacing the Brompton stock grips

I've always wanted to replace the stock rubberized foam grips of my Brompton but never got to because I couldn't find the perfect replacement. Ergon had these special GC2 grips that could fit GripShift handlebars, but none of the LBS here in Metro Manila had them.

So after months of hopeless waiting, I finally settled with the regular sized GC2 grips I bought from my friend Brznf (Yes, that is his complete first name--don't ask me why).
I bought the pair with the white bar ends.
The major stumbling block to this little operation is getting the old grips off the handlebar without destroying them. My friends Al and Ruth simply sliced them off from their respective Bromptons. I wanted to keep the foam grips, just in case I change my mind, you know what I mean.   
The problem with the foam grips is that they are glued to the handlebars. I followed TSP top honcho and fellow Brompton owner, Pio Fortuno's advice and poured Joy liquid detergent soap inside to loosen the adhesive. I used the red thingy from a WD-40 spray can to make an opening, but I reckon you use those swizzle sticks/coffee stirrers from Starbucks instead.
After vigorously twisting and turning for what seemed to me like an eternity, I got the foam grips off! Hallelujah! 
The Ergon GC2 grips and the Brompton stock grips
Next, I had to cut short the replacement Ergon grips to a length that would fit the Brompton M-type handlebar.
I used a regular blade to cut through the rubber exterior and the hard plastic interior. Unless you're using a laser there is no way to cut it smoothly. There will be jagged edges.
After cutting off the excess, I slid the new Ergon grip into the handlebar and it fit like a glove. I positioned it to the proper angle and tightened the grip with an allen wrench.
Project completed! FI-NA-LLY! Now, I can't wait to test them out in a long ride. Hopefully, with the wide surface area and bar end, my hands will no longer fall asleep.


  1. Looks good, Kris! I plan to do the same thing but opted to wait till I get my Shimano BL-R550 brake levers. With the replacement levers, I will only need to cut less of the GC2 giving more room for my hands. I'll wait to hear what you think of your setup.

  2. Thanks, man! will let you guys know if I'm satisfied with this GC2 grips.

  3. Nice job! Does the white bar end touch the ground when the bike is folded?

  4. Thanks, Scarlet. Unfortunately, it does. So I put 3M helicopter tape on the part that touches, so that the paint won't chip of. So far, the set up is working.