Rev Grips Pro Series – Review
The mountain bike industry is full of innovations that claim to be “paradigm-shifting”, and most of them are either a shot in the dark or they fade into obscurity fairly quickly, the fat bike anyone? However, just like the 29-inch wheels and dropper post, RevGrips are here to stay in my opinion (if they can get the price down just a little bit!).
Some of you probably noticed by now that there are few reviews of grips on this website. This fact has a little to do with Mr Betty and me switching them like gloves. I find that grips are a very personal thing and what works for me one season feels all wrong the next. That said, I have had the Rev Grips on my bike for several months (a record for me!) so that probably counts for something.
These grips are produced by Revolution Suspension from the USA and has a background in motorbike and quad bike-related products. When I read that the patented “Shock Absorbing Grip System” ought to reduce arm pump, arm fatigue and lower back pain I was, to quote Natalie Imbruglia, somewhat torn.. Either it would be a (somewhat expensive) gimmick or something worth exploring as long runs in the Alps often left me with locked hands.
I have received a Rev Grips Pro in grey colour and golden caps. This version has a more sophisticated type of the Shock Absorbing Grip System with the higher ability of adjustability and control of the suspension.
When the grips arrived, the box contained a pair of grip sleeves, aluminium clamps, shock-absorbing inserts, aluminium bar plugs, tuning washers, clamp screws, a 2.5mm hex wrench, and a 3mm hex wrench. And a very long instruction manual which I do recommend reading from top to bottom as fitting the grips is a bit more complicated than just sliding them on. Thankfully, as these were a returned set, they were already “mostly” assembled and set up with a medium suspension.
What I mean by “medium suspension” is that the grip is actually suspended on your bar, using special inserts, that allow your grips to twist back and forth slightly. You can purchase different inserts for the desired level of suspension. That said, they do not actually move very much. If you have your grips set up on the firm side, they will move much less than medium or soft. This can be done thanks to the shock-absorbing inserts and tuning washers. Whenever someone new tries my grips I notice that they presume the grips will spin back and forth like its table football, I think they’re always surprised/disappointed when they don’t.
The grips come in different colour options and various finishes (Race, Pro) and sizes. The only downside when it comes to these grips is that you need to pay out between £70 – 100 per pair, which can be quite hard to justify when you are not sure if this is going to make a difference for you. However, the good thing is that if you need to replace a part of the suspension or the grip itself, the replacement parts are sensibly priced.
For me, if you can rationalise spending £80-100+ on a good set of pedals, I do not think you should stop yourself from spending this much for grips. For me getting the grips right is as essential as getting the pedals right, but I appreciate that this won’t be everyone’s cup of tea.
Despite my cockiness now, I will admit that at the start I thought that the grip would turn so much that I will lose control of my bars and either go over the bars or do some odd(er) manoeuvres. I couldn’t have been more wrong. On the first ride, I was astonished by how they basically felt like regular grips. Though, much better. Because the grips moved whenever I hit chattery rocks, I actually never felt like I was losing grip, I never had that feeling of jarring my wrists when the terrain got rough or my brakes locked up. The Rev Grip didn’t need an extremely tacky compound or incredibly profiled rubber for me to keep hold of it. Before Rev Grips, I’ve spent the longest time with the Ergon GD1, which feels great in terms of the grip and comfort, albeit it that grip doesn’t move (unless I’ve installed it!). When the weather became wet, the grip did not go away as much as it would on any other grips I owned. I also noticed that my fatigue levels dropped a little, and I was able to ride longer on the descents without needing to pull over and shake it off..
Long Term Impressions
Long term, I have been running these for around six months without any problems other than that the waffle surface to the grips became slightly worn. I imagine I probably have another 6-12 months before they’re too worn, but that feels broadly in line with my experience with other grips. The parts have not let me down, and the suspension works the same way it did on the first try.
I notice that I have stopped wearing gloves on descents, and rocky chattery paths do not worry me as much as they did before these bad boys came into my life. If I change my bike, I will definitely either keep these or purchase a new pair that will suit my new bike (colour).
The medium setting seems to have worked out for me so far, but if it seems to have too much movement, you should definitely try and change the way the Rev Grip is set up as it might be just a bit too harsh or too faint for the trails you ride.
If you are looking for an alternative option, there are a few other grips you can find that might help you with your hand and arm pain, especially if you are looking for cheaper options. Wolftooth Components Fat Paw Grips available online for £25 – as they are incredibly squishy they get rid of nerve pains. Or you might want to consider Ergon GD1s that we reviewed a while ago here.
Overall, after six months, I am pretty convinced of the merits of the Rev Grips. If you are willing to spend roughly three times what you might normally do for a pair of grips, then I think you would be very pleasantly surprised. If you suffer from wrist pain or similar, then that goes doubly so. I suspect the feeling of the grips and the impact on your riding will vary from person to person, so it is a shame that Rev Grips can’t offer some demo service for these. If you would like to purchase a pair, visit Cyclorise.
February 20, 2020