Race Face Half Nelson Lock-On Grip [Rider Review]

Our "Rider Review" article series features the honest reviews from verified purchasers of Worldwide Cyclery. They contain the photos, thoughts, feedback & overall review you are looking for.

One of  the least expensive but most effective upgrades for an average mountain bike is the grip. Being one of the five contact points that connects you to the bike, it's a pretty important component. Our friend Michael shares his thoughts on the Race Face Half Nelson Lock-On Grip. Check it out! 

Race Face Half Nelson Grips Rider Review


Sometimes mistakes can turn into wins for you, as you will soon read about.
I was working on a friend’s bicycle he was going to gift to his father, and he asked if I could procure a set of grips that would match the color of the logos on his Trek Stache. I went to my first stop for all MTB needs (Worldwide Cyclery, of course) and these Race Face Half Nelson grips seemed a near-perfect match. I placed an order post-haste and they arrived quickly even though the COVID crisis was in full effect. That’s a testament to the hard-working hamsters at WC, and all of us in need of the things to fuel our hobby and passion thank you immensely.

Race Face Half Nelson Grips Rider Review

It became apparent the color of the grips was a little darker than the Trek logos immediately upon removing them from the box. Maybe my phone color settings are off? Maybe I had a little too much beer in me when I ordered? Who knows? However, my mountain bike happened to be sitting right there in my garage, and as I peered over at the anodized blue Hope Tech brakes, hubs, and headset on my Curtis XR650 enduro, a thought crossed my mind. What if I put these grips MY bike and got him a better matching set? The color is slightly lighter than the Hope Tech blue, but it will give just a little more visual punch to my already stunning bike. I phoned my friend and explained the SNAFU to him and offered to buy the grips from him. Wanting the bike he would be sending his father to not have any shortcomings, he agreed to sell the grips to me. WIN!!

Race Face Half Nelson Grips Rider Review

Mounting was straight forward with a single inboard lockring, a press-fit endcap, and a measured length of 133.33 (repeating of course) millimeters.

These would be replacing the Renthal gum color grips that were fitted to my bike when I purchased it a year ago. The Renthal grips were certainly grippy but seemed to lack a little micro-shock absorption. I was looking forward to being able to compare with a couple of rides on the Race Face grips and see if my hands felt better afterward. The Renthal endcaps were part of the outboard lockring and I thought I preferred that system. Realizing what kind of beating the endcap takes from falls and even just setting it down, the press-fit endcaps seem a better idea. You can just replace them when they get too janky looking.
I have fairly small hands and fatter grips reduce my grip confidence on the bike.

Race Face Half Nelson Grips Rider Review

These have a measured 29.15-millimeter diameter and are right in that sweet spot for me. I always ride with gloves because I like the skin on my palms to stay right where it is when I crash, which is pretty often. With gloves on, the grip these provide is crazy good, even when wet. I have not experienced any bad tingling from technical sections with the rides I have done so far. The real test will be when the borders open back up and we hit the bigger bike parks in Austria, Italy, and Czechia.

Final Thoughts 

I have full confidence these will be up to the task. Changing out the grips on your bike is one of those cheap upgrades that can not only improve your ride but also make you look better while doing it. I am happy I made a mistake when ordering these!

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March 04, 2021

grips › Half Nelson › Race Face › Rider Review ›

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