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Steel Bromptons come with textured rubber grips.
Brompton’s Superlight bikes (lighter wheelset and headset, titanium front fork, rear frame, and mudguard stays as opposed to steel ones) come with foam grips. As you might expect, the foam grips weigh less.
Foam vs Rubber Grips
The Superlight foam version weighs 42 grams a pair. The Standard rubber version weighs 102 grams a pair. Both are lock-on grips, meaning they have a built-in clamp that secures them to the handlebar and prevents them from slipping. You can remove and install them using a 2.5 mm hex key.
Ergon Grips for Bromptons
Just as a Brompton’s tires and suspension block provide shock absorption, so do the handlebar grips. If you want even more comfort, you can upgrade the grips. We recommend Ergons. With a place to rest your palms, they better support your hands and prevent you from overbending your wrists.
All the grips in Ergon’s GP series (GP1, GP2, GP3, GP4, and GP5 grips) are compatible with all Bromptons. They need to be cut a little shorter to fit the M and H bars.
The GP1 is a shop favorite.
The palm rest part of the grips can make the folded package a tiny bit wider—something to consider if you need every bit of narrowness.
GP2, GP3, GP4, and GP5 have bar ends, or extensions. The bar ends allow you to turn your wrists 45 degrees to provide another position and increase climbing ability. Depending on how the handlebars and grips are adjusted, the bar end can hit the ground when the bar is swinging down during the fold. If you tilt the bike while allowing the bar to drop into position, it will prevent the bar end from hitting the ground and provide a more stable surface once completely folded. It is our opinion that the benefits of the grips outweigh any interaction with the ground.
You’ll need to decide whether you want the BioKork or non-BioKork version. The BioKork version is lighter and softer, but less durable.
They come in two sizes, but that relates to hand size, not length or bar diameter. We find most folks go for the large. The GP3 BioKork version only comes in one size, and it’s equivalent to the large size of the non-BioKork version.
You will want the full length version, not the grip shift size. The Ergon grips for twist shifters will fit, but they are shorter than necessary. We generally prefer to cut the full-length versions to preserve as much grip area as possible.
An extension on the GP3 allows for more hand positions.
To install Ergon grips on a Brompton:
First, remove the factory grips. If you have the lock-on type, simply loosen the clamp with a 2.5 mm hex wrench and slide the grip off. Factory grips on pre-2017 Bromptons are glued and will need to be cut off. Thoroughly scrape off any glue residue from the bars. You will find that the Ergons are a little too long, hitting the brake levers before the grips are all the way on. Loosen the brake and shifter levers and slide them as far in as possible. Be careful not to clamp the bent part of the handlebars, which can lead to failure later. You will see that it is still necessary to trim up to about 1/4" from the grips. When you cut the new grips, be sure to cut the grip short enough so that the clamp on the new grip is flush with the end of the handlebar. We use a hacksaw. Cut as clean as you can. The grips can then slide on far enough to be tightened properly.