The Cotic RocketMAX Gen 4 is the brand's flagship big travel bruiser. Made-in-UK steel front…
Handguards are a brilliant invention and I’m never going through a summer without them. These particular Revgrips Handguards have been great.
- Brand: Revgrips
- Product: Handguards
- Price: £79.99
- From: Cyclorise
- Review by: Benji for 3 months
- Greatly reduces summer overgrowth damage (and stings) to hands
- Relative quick ‘n’ easy to swap between multiple bikes
- Works with any brake/dropper/shifter/e-remote clamp
- Not quite deep enough
- Everyone mentions them
Yes this review is as cynically timed as possible. It’s round about August Bank Holiday time where a lot of UK mountain bikers have finally snapped. They’ve just had enough of being whipped. Not in a BDSM sense. Well, not strictly. We’ve had enough with nettles and other overgrown baddies attacking our knuckles and fingers.
And without wishing to give away the verdict of this review too early on the page… naysayers be damned! Fit some handguards! Fit some now!
There’s no getting away from the main issue people seem to have with handguards. The way they look.
To sport handguards you just have to get on with it and not worry what anyone else may be thinking. Because they may well be thinking something along the lines of “jeez… what a tragic wannabe”. You can’t really be a shrinking violet whilst running handguards.
The carping mockers will be smirking on the other side of their faces after the first nettle infested trail. It’s hard to argue with the function that handguards offer. In summer, with handguards – and full length riding trousers – you can head down whatever autumn-winter-spring trail you like no matter how compromised it is by overgrowth.
Will handguards ever achieve the status of front mudguard (another item that used to be sneered at but is now de facto UK standard issue)? I don’t know. I don’t care. I’m sold. I’m not giving these back. They have made my summer infinitely more enjoyable.
I’ll take them off when the ferns and the nettles die back. Then I’ll happily put them back on for next year’s stingy whippy season.
Speaking off on-and-off-ability, these Revgrips Handguards have hinged clamps with 3mm Allen key bolts and have proven to be impressively quick and simple to remove from one bike and install on another. Kinda like swapping a favourite pair of pedals from one bike to another.
And I have swapped them around A LOT. Even when I’ve been rushing around and setting off a bit later on a ride than I’d have liked to, I’ve taken the time to put these handguards on whatever bike I’m riding that day. Actually, that’s a lie. There’s definitely been a couple of times when I’ve forgotten to install these handguards on a test bike and have ended up missing them and really regretting it.
There’s a lot to like about these particular handguards from Revgrips.
In an aesthetic sense, there the least ‘motocrossy’ handguards you’re likely to find. Whilst there’s no hiding them, they are discreet from the rider’s POV when riding along. They aren’t dayglo distractions. You quickly forget they’re there.
In a functional sense, there are pros and cons.
The polycarbonate guard material itself has proven to be a good mix of toughness and flexiness. I’m not sure what would happen if they took a huge impact from a crash but I can confirm they do a good job of withstanding taps from trees, as well as endless whips and whacks from brambles, nettles, bushes and whatever else nature spurts at you in summer.
The clamps are nicely made and mate well with any brake etc clamp I’ve used them alongside. They will fit inside that gap that Shimano brake levers have between their main clamp band and the anti-flex peg thing. Truth be told, I’ve always had them located butted right up against the grip to offer maximum lateral protection. Replacement see-through sections are available should you damage them in a crash.
Perhaps the main niggle I have with them is that they aren’t quite big enough. The 140mm width is fine. Any wider would begin to foul brake clamps and induce ‘Wide Vehicle’ problems when riding near trees/walls etc. It’s the 80mm (at widest part) depth of them. To be fair to Revgrips, 80mm depth is actually bigger than a lot of handguards out there. I think just another 10mm to their depth (height?) would really improve the level of protection. As it is, I still had the occasional nettle sting on the back of my hand. I don’t wear gloves though (yes, I am one of Those People). Glove wearers may not get got by nettles as much.
The front bolts holding the clear polycarbonate guards to the metal clamp/brackets did begin to come loose as well. I suspect this may have been caused by the guards contacting the ground when lying the bike on the ground. Due to the nature of the polycarbonate, it’s not a good idea to use Loctite on the bolts either (Loctite will cause a chemical reaction and the polycarbonate will crack). It’s not the end of the world but it’s something to be aware of and keep an eye on.
Handguards are a brilliant invention and I’m never going through another UK summer without them. As for these particular ones from Revgrips, there’s a lot to like but there’s also room for improvement. £80 handguards should be perfect. I like the relatively discreet and ‘mountain bikey’ design. The easy on-off clamps are great. I just wished they were a bit bigger/deeper for those of us gloveless goons who want maximum protection from the overgrowth. It’s the discreet-ness and the clean clamp design that are things that explain the price tag. The undoubtedly (much) cheaper motocross handguards can look a bit gaudy but their main problem is how fiddly the multi-bolt multi-nut clamp designs.
Ultimately any handguard is better than none. Try to think of them like we do with mudguards; they’re a seasonal accessory. And an accessory that massively improves that season’s ride experience.
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|Tested:||by Benji for 3 months|
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