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?
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.
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.
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.
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.