2Toms Grip Shield is designed to keep hands dry and grip optimal in a wide range of sporting contexts. It does exactly what it says in the blurb – and for a very long time.
Grip Shield isn't cycling-specific but is aimed at those who play golf, baseball and hockey, skiers, gymnasts, mechanics and other contexts where a good grip is paramount. Applied rather like an anti-bacterial hand-wash, it dries in around 20 seconds or so.
One of the main ingredients is aluminium chloride hexahydrate, which is primarily used to curb excessive sweating and commonly found in anti-perspirerent deodorants. In many respects, it's easiest to think of it in those terms.
These and the other ingredients block the pores while repelling sweat, rain and other precipitation, so you maintain the best grip, even in really humid conditions.
Intended primarily for hands, it can also be used inside gloves and may keep them smelling fresher for longer. Talking of which, though claiming to be odourless, it has a subtle, clean fragrance that has also enabled me to track its staying prowess.
Tested initially from the (dis)comfort of the indoor trainer, I was amazed by just how little product was required to maintain a fly-paper like tenure with Benotto tape – a notoriously slippery old-school plastic wrap.
My hands remained completely arid after an hour's interval efforts, and I then took this opportunity to swap tyres and other components around. Grip on Allen keys and other tooling was also markedly better than without the Grip Shield barrier.
Six hours and a good long shower in between, I was still conscious of a thin, residual layer and that subtle scent. Subsequent, day-long outings have confirmed these characteristics and, sure enough, with full-finger middleweight gloves on, things felt more arid than usual. Shorter, 15-mile bare-handed blasts in some torrential rains failed to tax it, or my tenure on the leather wrap.
Turning up the heat a bit (quite literally), I've donned my dark shield, overalls, steel-toed boots and leather gauntlets for some serious gas and MIG welding sessions. Given a few hours in these temperatures, my hands were turning faintly clammy but considerably drier than usual.
So then, Grip Shield has definitely lived up to its hype and delivered in all contexts. Although £13.50 isn't cheap, it does go a surprisingly long way and, chances are, prove very good value in the long run.
To be expected perhaps, but the drying element can also leave your hands feeling uncomfortably so. For most folks this is easily countered with a decent lick of moisturiser afterwards, but might be a deal-breaker for those with particularly sensitive skin.
Pricey but very effective grip-enhancing gel
road.cc test report
Make and model: 2Toms Grip Shield
Size tested: 45ml
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
2Toms says: "2Toms GripShield is formulated to work fast to keep hands dry and enhance the grip of anyone who is concerned about wet sweaty hands including many athletes and those who work with their hands. Whether it is before or during activity, 2Toms GripShield delivers results by quickly drying hands and creating a moisture barrier to improve grip and enhance performance. GripShield can even be used inside of gloves, and may help prevent odor buildup as well! GripShield applies to a multitude of sports and activities that include, but are not limited to; tennis, baseball, basketball, bowling, cycling, football, golf, gymnastics, hockey, skiing, softball, mechanics, industrial work, or any activity in which a firm, dry grip is essential."
I say: "Works surprisingly well and for a very long time."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
SD Alcohol 40B (Ethyl Alcohol), Aluminum Chloride Hexahydrate, Water (Aqua), Silica, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Isopropyl Alcohol, Hydroxypropylcellulose, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel), Cymbopogon Schoenanthus (Lemongrass) Oil, ', Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Flower/Leaf Extract, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Blue 1 (CI#42090), Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Oil Leaf Extract
Though expensive, a little goes a long way and lasts a long time.
55g bottle convenient for wedge pack or jersey pocket.
Because it works to the same principle as an anti-perspirant deodorant, while grip is excellent, the sensation of blocked pores can feel a little uncomfortable after several hours. By that point, my skin was beginning to feel uncomfortably dry.
A little goes a long way and I was pleasantly surprised by its versatility.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Overall, the 2Toms Grip Shield is a surprisingly versatile product that genuinely aids grip in all contexts and lasts a very long time – I'd hoped so given the asking price. Though useful for cycling, riders who incorporate weights or gymnastics into their training regime are most likely to appreciate its properties.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Economical, long lasting and, moreover, very effective. Doesn't wash off easily, even with prolonged, warm showers and soap.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Can dry the skin and ultimately become uncomfortable.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Possibly
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Possibly, so long as they didn't suffer from dermatalogical poblems.
Use this box to explain your score
It works really well, doing exactly what it says on the tin, though it can feel uncomfortable after a few hours. A bit on the expensive side, but long lasting. Arguably, it's of most use to riders who incorporate weight lifting or gymnastics into their training. A 'very good' 8 overall.
About the tester
I usually ride: Rough stuff tourer based around 4130 Univega mountain bike frameset My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo-cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking
Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)