Revgrips Handguards review

by 44

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
  • FromCyclorise
  • Review by: Benji for 3 months

Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • Cost
  • Not quite deep enough
  • Everyone mentions them
Amanda with the hand modelling skills

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.

Nicely made clamps

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.

Sticker, model’s own

Overall

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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Review Info

Brand: Revgrips
Product: Handguards
From: Cyclorise
Price: £79.99
Tested: by Benji for 3 months

Orange Switch 6er. Stif Squatcher. Schwalbe Magic Mary Purple Addix front. Maxxis DHR II 3C MaxxTerra rear. Coil fan. Ebikes are not evil. I have been a writer for nigh on 20 years, a photographer for 25 years and a mountain biker for 30 years. I have written countless magazine and website features and route guides for the UK mountain bike press, most notably for the esteemed and highly regarded Singletrackworld. Although I am a Lancastrian, I freely admit that West Yorkshire is my favourite place to ride. Rarely a week goes by without me riding and exploring the South Pennines.

More posts from Ben

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 44 total)
  • Revgrips Handguards review
  • b33k34
    Full Member

    Very tempted by these – I’ve started to see more people riding with them.

    My main questions, how likely are you to injure yourself on the guards themselves?  You’ve now got a quite square edged piece of ally sitting up above the bars and a piece of polycarbonate out front.  One of the worst injuries I’ve ever had in a stack was from a light bracket as I went OTB.  These look like they could do you some damages – either from the metal or the edges of the guards.

    ossify
    Full Member

    How much?!?!

    jmmtb
    Full Member

    Without actually seeing what it takes to break them (big crash, small drop, unbreakable?) and what sort of sharp edges, alloy spikes, etc. would result from them breaking and whether this presents any risk, this review is pretty limited. Yes, obviously these can fend off nettles, thanks for that insight. Without demonstrating how these would stand up to everyday impacts with the ground or substantial branches/rocks this is just an advert for some overpriced, ugly bits of plastic. To present a useful review, why not go out and actually break those nice free hand guards that you’ve been given and let us know how you get on.

    barney
    Free Member

    So should Benji orchestrate one really big crash, or just a series of lots of small crashes? Broken fingers, or just a few minor lacerations?

    I wonder how you generally feel about helmet reviews…

    TheBrick
    Free Member

    How much?!?!

    MTB tax has been applied

    seriousrikk
    Full Member

    MTB tax has been applied

    Followed by Revgrips tax.

    DaveyBoyWonder
    Free Member

    So £80 to fend off a few nettles (my gloves do that) and wear trousers (in summer).

    And the “pros”:

    Greatly reduces summer overgrowth damage (and stings) to hands – don’t anything but the most lightweigh gloves do the same?
    Relative quick ‘n’ easy to swap between multiple bikes – is that genuinely a pro or just an expected design? You can quickly swap a seat between multiple bikes but I never see it as a pro on reviews?
    Works with any brake/dropper/shifter/e-remote clamp – as above, isn’t that just an expected design? I would expect them to work like that?

    Never in 25+ years of riding mountain bikes have I thought I’d need something like this…

    peajay
    Full Member

    Swap them left for right and you have a handy place for a different hand position on long rides!

    gbozo49
    Full Member

    I’m sorry but no. I can understand people who like to ride without gloves will find handguards useful but £80 versus £30 for a decent pair of gloves? I’m a naysayer and proud. Perhaps if I was an elite level enduro rider or mountain bike journo riding everyday for a living I might think diferently but as I’m not I think handgrips are an “innovation” that answers a problem that I don’t have.

    thepurist
    Full Member

    It’s not my hands that suffer from brambles, decent gloves will fend off the worst anyway. The worst injuries are from when they drag over my arms and shoulders snagging and scratching along the way. Can’t see that a couple of square inches of plastic in front of my grips will change that.

    prettygreenparrot
    Full Member

    🤔 a ‘pass’ from me. Gloves work OK for my trail bimbling. Though I did only commit to mtb mudguards about 3 years ago so maybe in due course…

    charliedontsurf
    Full Member

    I predict that sram will be making these as a fitted add-on on their levers within 2 years, so standard spec on most complete bikes and all the poo poo’ers will be… not won over and still poo poo’ing.

    I use this sort of thing on my offroad motorbike, with a full metal wrap around, plus the plastic guard.  That may well become standard for the downhillers as it prevents lever breakage, and knuckle impacts.

    IHN
    Full Member

    An expensive solution to a problem I have never had.

    *Insert Duncan Bannatyne “I’m oot” meme here*

    chrismac
    Full Member

    So should Benji orchestrate one really big crash, or just a series of lots of small crashes? Broken fingers, or just a few minor lacerations?

    Im sure the combined wisdom of the testers could come up with a way of testing them that doesn’t involve broken fingers. A starter for 10 could be hitting them with a big stick to see how they react to the impact. Film it on a phone and see what happens. Do they bend or shatter? If they bend are they likely to squash your hand anyway. I’m sure there are many more scientific ways you could do this

    Watty
    Full Member

    An expensive solution to a problem I have never had.

    X 1 million.

    DaveyBoyWonder
    Free Member

    I predict that sram will be making these as a fitted add-on on their levers within 2 years

    I predict they won’t be…

    devash
    Free Member

    I had something similar on my first ever mountain bike – Huffy “White Heat.”

    https://www.youtube.com/embed/UOvQiVrWgXM

    charlie.farley
    Full Member

    Here is a £22 hand guard solution that I use, perhaps someone else may find of interest

    Use it, don’t use it, whatever adds to your enjoyment whilst actually cycling is a plus

    Speeder
    Full Member

    I like nice thin gloves in summer and like the idea of these a lot but I’ll put up with a lot of scratches and stings (they’re good for you right?) for the sake of £80.  Not saying I’m out but short of a windfall, I’ll probably not be buying any.

    colp
    Full Member

    I fitted an old pair off my moto enduro years ago. I suffer from Reynauds and they really help keep the wind and rain off on fast descents. Also where I ride in the U.K. there is a lot of dense gorse and they help there too. Regarding crashes, I have a massive one two weeks ago in Leogang into some woodwork. Lost a bar end and my new grips took a beating, the brakes were fine so it looks like the hand guards helped protect them.

    Not the clearest photo, they look a bit weird but they work for me.

    johnnystorm
    Full Member

    Charlie Farley showing off with the the Gucci £23 jobs. 😉

    These ones are £12!

    JFGRACING Universal Hand Guards Brush Bar For off Road ATV Motorcycle Pit Dirt Bike – Black https://amzn.eu/d/h4hqCC6

    To be honest I was thinking that some made from the same stuff as the ass saver style mudguards would be enough to keep brambles off. These cheap ones might do and provide the tricky bit, the mounts!

    dyna-ti
    Full Member

    This is August, April the first has long past.

    Everyone mentions them

    Yes, they point and laugh.

    Rubber_Buccaneer
    Full Member

    To be honest I was thinking that some made from the same stuff as the ass saver

    Pfft, get creative with a couple of 2l milk cartons, some zip ties and a pair of scissors.

    I’ve a feeling these hand guards are something you don’t get until you’ve tried them. A chap in FoD was raving about his but I’m not seeing the appeal.

    mtbfix
    Full Member

    After my ride at the weekend, adding some sort of fairing like you get on mopeds would help with all of the shin height brambles. Would also look terrible.

    DickBarton
    Full Member

    Jesus wept…we really have gone so far up ourselves now with those, haven’t we?

    Clearly not for me…I’ve been lucky enough not to see any of these in real life.

    no_eyed_deer
    Free Member

    Just. No.

    This:

    if I was a.. mountain bike journo riding everyday

    It’s what orginally frustrated me about ST reviews – and still does TBH. A magazine with fantastic potential, but in reviews and other areas – their approach sees mountain biking through a very narrow lens, one I doubt many riders en masse can generally relate to.

    I haven’t even seen a nettle or bramble while riding for the last 5 years, since I moved to NZ. Anyone with these on their bike would simply get laughed at here. There are many other parts of the world where nettles and brambles aren’t a problem. To be honest, having ridden much of the UK for 30 years, there are plently of parts of the UK where nettles and brambles are not really too much of an issue.

    This is a very ugly solution to a problem that doesn’t exist. Unless you happen to be a bike journo living in Calderdale.

    chakaping
    Free Member

    £30 for a decent pair of gloves


    HOW MUCH???

    Would like to try handguards TBF. Deffo not paying £80 for the privilege though.

    Rubber_Buccaneer
    Full Member

    Anyone with these on their bike would simply get laughed at here

    Maybe. But Sam Hill was an early adopter and Enduro MTB with their more European bias liked another brand

    AVS Racing Hand Guards Review – A Sensible Bit of Protective Kit?

    And Pinkbike, more Canada way, reviewed a few and saw the merit

    https://www.pinkbike.com/news/review-3-handguards-ridden-and-rated-2022.html

    Dickyboy
    Full Member

    Aside from downhill racing, they’d probably be more use fending off the cold & rain in the UK

    tetrode
    Free Member

    Here’s a thought – Why not instead invest the money you would have spent on overpriced hand guards on trail tools to help cut back the overgrowth that happens every year, or failing that donate to your local trail organisation to help maintain the trails instead of ignoring the actual issue which is lack of trail maintenance!

    explorerboy
    Full Member

    Whilst I could see your point if this was someone reviewing a very niche product that deals with very extreme circumstances, I think you’re being a picky bugger on this one…

    ST is a predominantly UK-based mag and I’m assuming (for the print mag) a mainly UK based readership. I am sure I saw Mark post elsewhere that just over 50% of all readership is from the UK. Any help at all with nettles and brambles in Summer is welcome

    FWIW, I’m not a fan of the looks of handguards and think they’re an overkill solution for trail riding… just wear some gloves! If it’s protection from bashing bar ends or hands on trees, I think the counterpunch is a slicker looking solution –> https://www.loamlab.bike/products/counterpunch

    orena45
    Full Member

    Handguard convert here! Yep, in general, they are waayyyy overpriced, but for me, they do exactly the job I wanted them to do and were worth the (slightly reduced in a sale) price I got my Sendhit guards for.  And that’s all that matters.

    bobbyspangles
    Full Member

    what have we become.

    😂😂😂😂😂😂

    DickBarton
    Full Member

    @orena45 – what job did you buy them for? Great they do the job, but it depends on what it is…(being cheeky, I’d suggest the ideal job for those is to look absolutely ridiculous and serve no real benefit other than emptying wallets).

    Sponsored riders don’t really have an option as they get given products to use as part of their sponsorship.

    Going by personal experience – brambles, gorse and anything else spikey tends to be flexible enough to whip over a shape and then catch the inside – I’m fine with gloves on and accept the nippy scratches on arms and legs, but I seem to get caught with a bit of regularity with my glasses…I’ve been lucky enough for it to be small branches rather than spikey things, but having scratched my eyeballs several times due to this, I’m really not convinced these will do anything other than allow other people to mock the rider.

    jmmtb
    Full Member

    barneyFree Member
    “So should Benji orchestrate one really big crash, or just a series of lots of small crashes? Broken fingers, or just a few minor lacerations?”

    Yeh, because it’s almost impossible to think of a way to see what it takes to break these apart from actually crashing while riding!

    All helmets are tested to destruction by manufactures to industry standards (and subsequently certified to that standard) , and none of them are likely to leave an aluminium spike (possibly with sharp plastic remnants) sticking up from the handlebars, in front of your chest and face following failure. The ‘review’ makes no mention of whether these subscribe to any safety standard, rather important information I feel. A quick email to the manufacturer from a competent reviewer might have gained some valuable information, but even better to break them and see what it takes.

    philstone
    Full Member

    I’ve got a set of the Sendhit guards. Yes they look a bit questionable and if you’re on bike parks useless, but here we have a lot of gorse bushes that grow over trails. When you’re pulling out your sixth 4mm gorse thorn from your knuckle in a week, you quickly see the appeal. And we’re not allowed to do trail maintenance where I live.

    Niche yes – but definitely not useless.

    DickBarton
    Full Member

    Very good point on the gorse spikes – I can’t argue against that one.

    Trail maintenance isn’t always allowed, but doing it on the quiet, little by little, bit by bit and it can help a lot. Not that I’m suggestion you flaunt the law, but there are ways things can be aided.

    b33k34
    Full Member

    This is a very ugly solution to a problem that doesn’t exist. Unless you happen to be a bike journo living in Calderdale.

    I’m not sure where you ride but it’s definitely a problem all the places I ride in the UK in the second half of summer. None of the gloves I’ve tried are effective against brambles or gorse (more so against ferns)

    jamesfts
    Free Member

    I’m a convert and have a set of AVS guards that get used for a few months a year, just for local trails.

    Bad:
    – they look dumb, some way more than others. AVS were the least offensive I could find
    – most are stupidly expensive

    Good:
    – they work, I’ve never worn gloves, these stop 99% of bramble/gorse/nettles
    – I’m sure they’ve saved me from broken pinky fingers and crashing when tagging trees

    Defo not for everyone but if you don’t wear gloves and ride somewhere that gets overgrown (even with a team of us on the tools!) then they’re a useful if fugly thing to attach to your bike.

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