From an aesthetics point of view, I’ve never really been a fan of MTB handguards, though some are certainly less ugly than others; namely the moto-inspired AVS Handguards that offer plenty of room for customisation with stickers. That said, I’m still nursing a swollen finger and cut knuckles after an altercation with a tree at the weekend. Thus, for the first time I find myself considering adding a set to my set-up but there aren’t a heap of options out there. Now, GEO Handguards throw their hat in the ring with “the finest, most effective hand guards ever offered for mountain biking”.

GEO Handguards Protect & Deflect

Though a broken finger is nowhere near the worst injury you can do yourself while mountain biking, according to the EWS Enduro Mountain Biking Medical Study, it is in fact fairly severe in terms of the number of days it will keep you off the bike; 62.2. Unless you’re Lewis Buchanan who infamously velcro-taped his broken finger to the grip to continue racing, you’re in for a lot of missed ride time. GEO Handguards claim to keep you safe from trailside objects (trees) that will try their level best to break your fingers when you smash into them (I was just riding along, it came out of nowhere… yeah reet).

For me, it is hard to justify adding more stuff to my already crowded handlebar set-up. When you consider the two brake levers, a shifter, the remote suspension lockout, the dropper remote, and the cycle computer mount, there’s already so much going on. But, safety should come first, right?

founder glenn e olsen
GEO Handguards founder, Glenn E Olsen

In 2018, founder of GEO, Glenn E Olsen, set out to design and manufacture the new age handguards after crashing and suffering a serious hand injury, realising that if he had been running MTB handguards, his injury would have been much less severe. After 18 months of rigorous testing and design, Glenn is now manufacturing the handguards out of GEO’s Connecticut facility.

MTB Handguard testing

The GEO Handguards are designed to be safe, strong and durable. The guards themselves are made of a proprietary hybrid polymer which was formulated specifically for this application while the hardware is machined aircraft grade 6061 aluminum, which has been anodized for maximum durability and corrosion resistance. Even the stickers are made of outdoor grade vinyl.

geo-handguards-side-on

Unlike the AVS MTB Handguards and those from Mr Wolf which protrude from the inside of the handlebar grip into space, the GEO Handguards actually loop around the grip, from the controls on the inside, right around to the bar end, offering more protection in that plane.

geo-handguard-impact-forces
Forces experienced by the different areas of the GEO Handguard upon impact

No bike modifications are required to fit these to the bar, no drilling, cutting or bending anything. The only requirements are standard 22mm bars with open ended grips. You’ll just need to remove the grips and controls to install them.

At $75, the GEO handguards are some of the most expensive MTB Handguards around, with Mr Wolf’s priced at $58, the plastic AVS ones retailing at ~$55 and the aluminum ones at around $66. They are also pretty heavy, adding 340g to your set-up as compared to the 148g the Mr Wolf guards would add.

Pricing & Availability

A complete kit of GEO Handguards costs $75, fetching you left and right handguards and mounting hardware, which consists of two shaft collars and two expansion plugs. Also included is a nine color sticker pack and installation instructions. This includes free shipping in the United States. GEO are confident in the design and materials thus guarantee that they will not break, offering a 1 year guarantee against failure during normal use.

GEOHandguards.com

24 COMMENTS

  1. Is this really a thing – hitting your hands on trees? I’ve definitely had close calls, but so far have managed to avoid this fate over 3+ decades of trail riding. And while it is nice to know my knuckles will be saved, me thinks I’m probably going down pretty hard if any part of my handle bar – handguard or not – collides with an immovable object.

      • Glenn developed these on my local trails and I can promise you they are pretty subtle, appearance wise, when they are installed. You can definitely see them but they hide reasonably well amongst all the rest of the stuff bolted onto the handlebars.

    • Varies greatly with location. I’m in Alberta, with lodgepole pine forests. In the pines, there is literally not one trailside tree without missing bark – some trees have been cut right through the sapwood layers by bar strikes. Most riders I know graze a tree on most rides.

      Here’s a video from some the area. The “Ridgeback” trail is a particularly bad one.

      • Hey RMR, this is Sean at GEO Handguards. Me and the guys at GEO love your enthusiasm! Thanks for taking the time to post a video which demonstrates one the many reasons to consider hand guards. If you email us at contact@geohandguards.com, we would love to send you a complimentary set. If you like them, send us a pic for our website.

  2. The fully enclosed design seems unsafe… the hand/wrist can get stuck in the guard with worst consequences than braking a finger. All been tested in moto for years… several people injured because of it.

    What about making the bars smaller like most EWS riders do? Besides the fact 90% of people would be better off with smaller bars anyhow and it would improve the handling.

    The other guards on the market makes sense if you ride in owergrown areas, they are not meant to protect the hand from trees.

    If you hit a tree, the problem is your riding. I understand these are aimed to beginner riders, but they are not a solution in my book.

  3. Another way for beginner riders to try and buy skills instead of learn them. As others have said, if you are hitting your bars on trees, the problem is the rider. Learn how to ride your bike.

    • Not promoting these things by any means. But trying to say only unskilled riders might hit a tree is ridiculous. Everyone makes mistakes and has crashes, no exceptions for skill or experience level.

      • Yeah and those types of accidents are so few and far between, do you really think these ridiculous(ly overpriced) $75 guards are gonna help?
        Not to mention the weight. How many riders hitting trees will hit less trees with 350 + more grams strapped to their bars hajahahaaj

  4. These are common on moto trail bikes because it saves your lever. There is a strong contingent of people who refuse to run them because if you go over the bars your hand gets stuck and snaps your wrist. I would much rather smash a pinky than snap a wrist.

  5. These were around in 90s in Enduro motocross, Acerbis made them . They were banned from Motocross because they brake wrists when you go over the bars. If you don’t believe me then do some research

  6. Hi Rowen, this is Sean from GEO. Our hand guards may look similar to old motocross designs, but they have some significant differences. First of all, the guards have a 1″ drop on the outboard side which would make it extremely difficult/unlikely to trap your hands. Second, the inboard mounting point is free to rotate and the guards are made of a very pliable and elastic polymer (plastic) that was blended specifically for this application. As a result, the guards will twist and rotate out of the way if you were to trap your hand – they are not rigid enough to cause a wrist fracture.

    here is a link to our latest video that demonstrates how they protect, deflect and absorb

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pWurIriKdrY

    BTW – we laughed about the mime and fencing comments. The guards were really hard to photograph well in a normal setting (they blend in) so Glenn put on the white gloves and clothes to create a background that showed the guards.

  7. Hi Guys This is Sean from GEO. Although they may look similar to other products, there are some significant differences in both design and function. First of all, the outer end of the hand guard drops 1 inch to allow for hand clearance. Second, the inboard mount is floating, which allows it to rotate freely. Finally, the hand guard material is a very flexible and elastic material that we had formulated specifically for this application. Therefore, in the unlikely event that someone caught his or her hand in the guard, the material can rotate, twist and flex, which dramatically reduces the force applied to the wrist and makes a fracture extremely unlikely.

    Here is a link to our new video which demonstrates PROTECTION, DEFLECTION and ABSORPTION, as well as hand clearance.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pWurIriKdrY

    BTW – Glenn and I thought the comments about him dressing like a mime or going fencing were hysterical. The guards, when installed on a bike, blend in so well that they are difficult to photograph. We came up with the white clothes and gloves to make a nice backdrop for the photos. He doesn’t actually dress like that on rides!

  8. I’ve had these on my bike for about a month now. Not only do they protect your hands from trees, they are great for deflecting overgrown brush on tight single track. I honestly don’t even notice them on my bars while riding.

  9. Just about every woods rider uses wrap around hand guards. I have never heard of anyone actually break their wrist from the hand guards.

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