You can spend ages finding that perfect grip: thick, thin, soft, hard – the list is endless. I like a thin one, almost like a bmx grip, but with the security of a lock on. I was very excited to test the Half Nelsons; on paper they were the grip for me – thin, tacky and lightweight. Out of the box the grips look really good, the contour lines look ace and the RaceFace logo is clean and fits in well. I also really like the position of the RaceFace logo on the grip. Usually I would stay clear of a grip that has sticky-out bits as they can feel uncomfortable, but the Half Nelsons have the writing underneath where it adds grip for your fingers. Our test pair came in a neutral black but if you wanted to be creative and colour coordinate with your bike there is a massive range of colours for you to pick from: Black, Grey, White, Blue, Green, Orange, Red, Yellow, Turquoise…
Fitting the bars is easy, they use just one locking bolt so you there is less bulk at the end of your bar, this enables you to really have your hands at the edge of the bars. This does however mean the bar end plug is just a plastic push in one. The grip slides onto the bar easily and lining them up is also a doddle.
One small issue I had was when I had set them up and put the bar end in etc, I gave them quick car park test. During said test the grips moved on the bars as if they weren’t tight enough. They were tight but not tight enough. I found that you really have to ‘dog’ the bolt up to keep them properly secure, and with it being a 3mm over a normal 2.5mm alan key this is easier without rounding the bolts. But still be careful when tightening them up, all it takes is one little slip and you have a knackered bolt.
Out on the trail the grip immediately felt great, it felt super comfortable and just the right thickness for my liking. Each ride I changed between wearing gloves and without, I did actually prefer the grip without gloves and even when the grips were wet they still provided really good grip. After a few weeks I gave the grips a good check to see how worn they were and I couldn’t see any sign of tearing or the rubber crumbling and coming off.
The grips continued to stay super grippy and really comfortable, I really liked how even though they are quite thin the grip still had a little bit of sponge in them like the bigger more bulky grips tend to do. One small issue/annoyance was after a few crashes and general scuffing the plastic bar ends get torn up real easy and then they just look tatty and make the grips look a little scruffy. However I would much rather quickly replace the push in bar ends that cost next to nothing than replacing my full grip because the end is shot.
Overall: For me the Half Nelson grip is superb, they are lightweight, thin and really grippy. If you are in the market for a set of thinner grips then these are very much recommended and another great point is the price, at £20 they are affordable and definitely worth every penny. The Half Nelson’s are now my go-to grip and RaceFace have really set the bar high in the grip world.
|Tested:||by Dan for 3 Months|