About Grab On Grips

Grab on Grips Facility

Grab On foam grips were first invented in 1973. What started out as a comfortable bicycle grip has grown into an industry with thousands of applications. Sales are in two main categories OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturers) and consumer products. For the consumer we have a large selection of motorcycle grips including the newly acquired line of Johar motorcycle grips. Next we have a line of bicycle grips, Comfort Choice pens and our popular pen and pencil grips. At Grab On we have a saying that we want to help keep your hands the way our Creator designed them. For more information on how we got our start check out the Grab On story below.

The Grab On Story

Back in 1973, Dale Tillay wouldn’t let his son Mike buy a new ten-speed bicycle. “Who needs ten gears anyway? But, maybe you can get a used one. We’ll see if it works out.” Mike found one for $10 but the grips were shot. The handlebar tape was all unraveled so he just started riding without handgrips, just hard bars! One afternoon Mike headed out for an extra long training ride on his “new” bike. When he returned he noticed that his hands were really sore. This soreness turned out to be the beginning of a new idea.

The first sets of bicycle handlebar grips were made from foam tubes of pipe insulation. Mike and his partner Zane first started selling grips for ten speed bikes. The name chosen for this new invention was “Comfort Riders Handlebar Padding”. Shortly after selecting this “catchy” name Mike was traveling back to New York for a trade show. The man sitting next to him was a famous film director. When he saw the name on the foam handle grips he suggested an alternative: Grab On Grips. Impressed with his filmmaking credentials, Mike asked him, “Have you ever named a product?” His response, “Yes, the Hula Hoop.”

Perhaps you have had one of these serendipity moments where you felt Divinely directed. Some years later we had another significant event that kept us in business. Months before this next occurrence Grab On had been attending a lawn and garden show displaying their new grips for rakes and shovels. As a reminder of their products the company was giving away pens with miniature tool grips on them.

One day Mike was sitting at his desk a little miffed at God because of the recent failures with new products. Mike believed in prayer but this was not a prayer it was just a pronouncement he made out loud: “I’m not going to market one more new thing until You show me what to market.”

Later that day the company received a letter in the mail concerning the grips they had put on their pens for the show. The letter said, “If these grips are not on the market yet they need to be.” Sales from pencil grips eventually comprised 30% of the companies business.

Here at Grab On there is an increasing conviction among us that nothing “just so happens.” “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28.

We believe that God has a purpose for this company but more importantly He has a purpose for you. If this story has sparked some questions in your mind or if you have an experience you would like to share please contact me. My name is Mike Tillay and I can be reached through the Contact Us page.