|Having the proper protection when mountain biking is essential so that you don't end up hurting yourself and then wasting time recovering when you can be spending more time mountain biking. Most people make sure to keep their head protected by wearing a helmet even though you do see your fair share of people not using helmets at all. But as you may know there are other parts of your body that need protection while out on the trail.
Your hands also need protection from things such as the elements, the ground (when you fall) and also from your grips when the riding gets rough. For the most part your standard mountain bike glove will work just fine when it comes to hand protection but if you do more intense riding such as downhill riding or take on rough trails you may end up with blistered hands gloves or no gloves.
Risk Racing Palm Protectors offer additional protection underneath your gloves to prevent blisters when taking on those technical trails. The palm protector consists of a thin neoprene type material that you slip over your fingers and wrist and that covers your palm giving you an extra layer of protection between your hands and gloves. They can easily be worn under your gloves without you even noticing that they are there.
The palm protectors were originally designed for motocross riders who needed the extra protection to prevent blisters. They work by absorbing vibrations which is a main factor when it comes to blister prevention. The protectors cover your palm as well as the area between your thumb and forefinger where you have a lot of pressure on the grip.
We tested a pair of these out with preexisting blisters and then with no blisters at all. When using them with preexisting blisters they didn't do much to take away any pain or discomfort which we really didnât think they would. On blister free hands they seemed to do a good job of preventing any new blisters from forming. When wearing them under gloves you didnât even notice them being there and may have actually made our hands more comfortable while riding.
A couple of things we didn't like was that the material is kind of thin and you may have to replace them once in a while if you use them a lot. But at only around $8 for a pair it's no big deal to get another set compared to dealing with painful blisters. We would also like to see them offer more protection between the fingers, especially up higher on the thumb which is also a common place to get blisters.
Overall the Risk Racing Palm Protectors are a nice product and definitely worth trying if you do any kind of rough mountain biking. You don't really need them for your run of the mill cross country riding unless you tend to get blisters from that too in which case you should look at your grips and gloves and see if there is any room for improvement. But for how little they cost you should give them a try.