Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Stick grips

I love construction tips and seeing how other people are putting their RVs together. In the new RVator newsletter from Van's (available here), Ken Scott gives a glimpse about the stick grips in the company models.

I’ve never installed a set of handlebar grips – all my bikes have bars wrapped with handlebar tape. So, off I trotted to the local bike shop, bought a set of grips… and spent an hour and a half trying to get the first #@#$! grip to slide down the control stick. It went about an inch, and then friction took over and I just couldn’t slide it any further. I tried brute force. The rubber grip smiled. I tried WD-40. The rubber grip grinned. I tried a film of motor oil. The rubber grip grimaced. I tried fervent cursing and pushing down around the rim with a bicycle tire iron. The rubber grip, I swear, snickered. Obviously, in the infinitely long list of things that many people in the world know and I don’t, is how to put a rubber grip on a steel tube.

Bicycle grips? Who'd have thought?

Strolling the RVs at Oshkosh is a love-hate thing for me. I see mostly immaculately-built aircraft that have craftsmanship I can only dream about. And it's not like I don't try.

But I also like stopping by the Van's booth to look at the company models. There's not a lot of fancy stuff involved in their construction. And yet, I don't see any indication the people who work there have any less fun flying them.


  1. Bicyclists will tell you to use hairspray. I've had better luck with a bit of Toluene or MEK - it will dissolve the grip just a bit (slide it on quick!) then be anchored WELL.

  2. Use compressed air. Place the nozzle of the blow
    gun in the area where the end of the grip is
    engaged over the stick. The air slightly expands
    the grip, and the grip slides on freely.
    Temporarily plugging the end of the stick to
    reduce air loss can be useful.
    Mike Linse
    Corvallis, OR
    RV-6A builder