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Race Face Love Handle Grip

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2 member reviews

Love Handles Aren't Just For Thick Girls

Rating: Featured Member Review
The Good:

Good ergonomic design, High quality Rubber, Well thought out patterns, dual locking rings with durable bolts.

The Bad:

Questioning the durability (long term) of parts of the grips.

Overall Review:

Purchased these to go on my 2016 Scott Gambler 720. I'm a firm believer that having well designed contact components (where you attach to your bike) can and will improve rider confidence which later improves skills. In terms of contact components, there isn't any other piece of the bike that is more hands-on than the grips. Thats why selecting a good pair is of the up-most importance.

From flat to mega-ergonomic design, there are an endless amount of grips to choose from. After trying many grips out there throughout the years (Lock-on Charger, Squarewave, ODI TLD, Ruffian Lock-on, GX MTB, etc) I have learned that my hands prefer a less intense ergonomic shape for all riding types (XC all the way to DH/FR). Knowing this, I decided to try out the Race Face Love Handle grip.

First Impressions:

The first thing I noticed when pulling these grips out of the box was their unique profile and pattern. Unlike most grips out there, the Love Handles have a contoured shape to them. They start out at 34mm wide over the outter locking ring, then move quickly to 30mm along the laterial to middle part of the grip, then contours to 28mm right where the fingers meet the thumb, and then back to 34mm over the inner locking ring. The pattern of the silicone padding is rather unique as well. Over the palm of the hand, they have a simple ridged design that changes half way around the grip to a thinner and much grippier mini-diamond shape. Unlike many flat grips where they can be rotated and swapped due to uneven wear, this two-toned design definitely makes the Love Handle grips a directional grip that could limit the life of them.

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The Love Handle grips also come with pretty hefty bar ends that lock onto the outside locking ring once tightened. I would imagine it would take a huge crash to get those to come off.

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The silicone measures a distance of 130mm across which offers plenty of real-estate for any riding type. In terms of weight, at 104 grams, they stay pretty close to the claimed weight of 98 grams.

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On the Trail:

With it's two toned design, I find these grips to be very comfortable along the palm of my hand while offering plenty of grip along my fingers. The tapered profile fits well within my hand and I love knowing exactly where my hands are while riding even the most challenging sections of the trail; something very difficult to be able to do with a flat grip. The grip of the Love Handles works well for those who ride with and without gloves. I primarily ride with gloves and feel they aren't overly sticky. When I leave the gloves at home, they don't feel to hard either. Race Face did a really well job at making them a great all-around grip. As for weather, living in the high deserts of Utah, I haven't been able to test them out that way but Race Face mentions that they do extremely well in wet conditions. The Love Handles feel great and are very comfy. Having a larger hand (XL / size 11) I feel the 28mm part of the grip gets a little small. Offering the Love Handle in a larger size would make them feel even better for my hand.

Durability:

When looking for a good handlebar grip, you pretty much choose hard and durable or soft and temporary. Finding a soft and durable grip is like finding a golden unicorn; I'm not really sure if they even exist. That being said, companies are trying to find the best balance between the two. The Love Handles definitely have the soft and comfortable component to them. As for durability, Because I have only a few weeks on them, I can't honestly tell you yet. (I will certainly update this review once I can through.) Durability wise, I feel they will last a bit longer than grips that are fully ridged grips like the Lock-on Charger or Swayze Lock-on Grip. The fact that they are directional limits the life the grip quite a bit. I tend to wear the outside of the palm and the inside of the fingers first and when this wear happens with the Love Handles, There isn't any real adjustments I can do. Once they are worn, they are done. Lastly, the silicone that covers the locking rings isn't actually attached to the locking rings themselves.

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They hover over them which means there is a large amount of padding that is just floating on the outside of the grips. Still not sure how it will hold up half way through the season, but it is something that concerns me a bit.

Overall:

My initial impressions of the grip have been pretty good. I love the ergonomic shape. I know exactly where my hand are while riding. They are comfy with or without gloves and seam like they will hold up for quite some time. Because they are directional, once wear makes show, it will be challenging to rotate the grips to get more life. They have plenty of padding and are plenty wide (at 130mm). My only question is to see how the outside of the silicone holds up, considering you have about 3mm that floats over the locking rings. They only thing I could thing that would make them better is offering them in a wider size for people with larger hands. If you want a comfy grip w/ or w/o gloves and want to know exactly where your hands are on the bars, I would recommend these grips.

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Love the Love Handles!

Rating:
The Good:

Durable, grippy, ergonomical, lots of trail feedback

The Bad:

A bit unforgiving

Overall Review:

My old ODI Ruffian MX bit the dust and I was up for trying something new. The silicon material and shape of the grips convinced me to try something new. The shape of the grip, wider in the middle, narrower on the outer edges, makes for a very comfortable grip and your hand it always in the right spot. Another benefit to the shape, and one that surprised me, was that my pinky sat just inside of the outer lock ring, as opposed to on or over it (as it does on ODI Ruffians).When the trail gets narrow and I hit a tree with my bars, usually my pinky gets smashed up as well. The design of these grips stops that from happening. Bonus!

Another benefit of these grips over traditional ones is the silicon compound they use. I usually go through about 3-4 pairs of grips per season. These lasted me at least twice as long before I felt like they might need replacing. The grip pattern is also very grippy and I never felt like I needed more grip while descending rough trails even while wet.

The only negative I can think of (and it depends on preference only) is that they are quite narrow and you do feel a bit more of the trail. I personally enjoy this, but I know some people enjoy a thicker, softer grip to deaden some of that trail chatter. 

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Specifications
Product Race Face Love Handle Grip
Riding Type Cross Country, Trail, Freeride / Bike Park, Downhill, Dirt Jump / Slopestyle
Length
Material Race Face's super tacky silicone compound
Colors Pink, black, purple, blue
Weight 0 lb 3.5 oz (98 g)
Miscellaneous 28-33mm diameter
Double Lock-On grip
What comes between you and the mountain bike you love? The Love Handle, a very thin profile, double lock-on grip featuring our durable yet super tacky silicone compound that delivers long wear and all weather stickiness. The Love Handle is not only about its silicone good looks though, the palm area is contoured with channels to allow air to circulate and moisture to dissipate while the diamond pattern in the finger grip zone provides tons of control. Get a good grip; you won't want to lose these love handles!
Price $24.99
More Info

​​Race Face website

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