AVS Racing is the brainchild of Arnaud Vincent, who hails from the south of France, arguably the home of mountain bike enduro racing. Vincent is a French and World Championship winning motorcycle track racer and keen mountain biker. He suffered a crash in 2014 due to a tree branch grabbing his brake lever, leaving him wondering why mountain bikes don't use handguards that are usually factory-fitted on motorcycles.
AVS Racing Handguard Details
• Alloy mounting arms available in 7x anodized colors
• Injection molded guards available in 12x colors
• Total Weight: 112 grams (actual)
• Various graphic kits
• MSRP: €55 / $57.50 USD (approx.)
For the eagle-eyed amongst you, AVS handguards have been spotted on the pro bikes of Nicolas Vouilloz, Nico Queré and even Sam Hill on the EWS circuit. The guards are available to buy direct online and at some dealers, with multiple colors and graphic kits for €55 / $57.50 USD (approx.)Installation
Fitting the guards is simple, with a 3mm hex bolt to affix the mounting arm, and a 4mm hex to attach the guard. The single bolt arm does require removing the grips, so it's not as handy and quick as a dual clamp system like we find on most modern brake levers.
The guards do take up extra space on the handlebars, and if your cockpit is already cramped with controls, or you set your brake levers very close to the grips, finding enough space for the guards could be difficult. The mounting arm is 10mm wide, narrower than most brake and shifter clamps.Performance
The guards are flexible to some extent, but the mounting arms are very strong, good for glancing off big blows, but I do have some reservations about attaching such sturdy leverage to carbon handlebars.
Once installed, hopping on the bike for the first time the guards gave me a slight sense of claustrophobia, and I wasn't entirely sold on the unwieldy appearance. As time went on I became used to them and they become less noticeable. Where they do become apparent is when you start riding close to bushes, brambles and branches at the side of the trail; you can ward things off and the awkward, puckering moments found in these situations are reduced. I also found myself taking more risky lines that would normally have resulted in scuffed knuckles, only to emerge without a scratch.
Who are these for? For racers, they provide a little extra peace of mind by protecting your hands, brake levers and controls in the event of a crash. The guards are also handy for people who ride in places where spiky bushes and brambles start to take over summer trails. They also could help to save you from the dreaded 'mountain bike finger,' the fairly common ailment that leaves riders with wonky little digits for the rest of their lives.Pinkbike's Take
|If you can handle the look, and your friends poking fun at you for being sooo moto, the AVS guards can add protection and give peace of mind. - Paul Aston|
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