Scott Grenade Pro II Kneepads Review

Sep 26, 2012 at 0:05
Sep 26, 2012
by Matt Wragg  
 
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Finding the right set of kneepads is hard. Much of the time people have to base their choices on a series of compromises - if they need to pedal they sacrifice protection, if they want protection they sacrifice movement. It is common for riders to have two sets, one for trail and one for downhill. But is it possible to have one single set of pads for everything? Scott may have created just such a kneepad with their new Grenade Pro II.

Development started with their original Grenade Pro pad - one of our favourite trail kneepads. What set them apart from the competition was the side protection - at the time we couldn't think of another lightweight kneepad which had at such big, confidence-inspiring pads around the side of the knee. Yet the original Grenade Pro was still a trail pad. When things got ugly, they got out of their depth. This was especially noticeable if you took a big digger, as they didn't stay in place too well for the second and third hits. The new Grenade Pro II was designed to provide the comfort of the original, with true DH-level protection.

The kneepads.

Details of the pads.

The amount of protection these pads provide is obvious just looking at them - from the big pad out front, to the comprehensive cover down the sides.



The Details

Picking up a set of Grenade Pro II knees for the first time, they feel big, like a proper downhill kneepad. They are similiar in size to a set of Troy Lee T-Bones and are much more substantial than their predecessor. Across the face is a huge main pad covering the kneecap and the top couple inches of shin. The main pad is accompanied by four side pads and a strip of padding between the main pad and the top strap. The main pad is covered with plastic strips to re-enforce the fabric and stop it from ripping when you crash. You start to appreciate the thought that has gone into these when you realise that the lower, outside side pad is also covered in the same plastic as the face because it tends to be where people rip through the material and trash their pads. Poking around them while they are on your knee what becomes apparent is the coverage - there are no sneaky holes for a stray rock to take a poke at your knee through.

Close-up of the front.

Details of the protection.

It's all about the details - things like the joint mid-way down the front of the face to allow the pads to move freely and not be restricted by the material. Popping the extra foam pad out from the front you can see how much coverage it offers and get a glimpse of the orange wonderstuff that is D3O.



At the heart of the protection is a D3O liner - a big piece of it sits behind the face of the pad. If you're not familiar with the stuff, it's a very pliable material (kind of like Play-Doh) that becomes hard and tough upon impact. That means the pads are soft and flexible under normal conditions, but it's like a hard shell if you thump it into something. Sitting behind the D3O cup is a second foam shell to further diffuse the force of the impact.

Out on the Trail

Where these pads separate themselves from any other pad out there is on fit. The original Grenade Pro pads had a strap at the top and the bottom, like most other pads. Studying them, Scott realised that it meant the lower strap tightened halfway down the calf and could slip down relatively easily. On the Pro II, the strap has been moved up, just an inch or so, so that it sits at the top of the calf and uses the natural shape of your leg to keep it in place. Because they hold so well at the bottom, the advice from Scott is to barely tighten the top strap, allowing the blood to flow down your leg freely. All this adds up to a pad that stays in place incredibly well, without restricting your movement or circulation. In short, that makes the new pads very good to pedal in, which is surprising, considering the bulk of the pad. To reduce the bulk slightly, there is also the option of removing the foam pad from the knee - it pops out through a slit at the back - although we have never felt the need to.

Fit.

This is why they fit so well - you can see here that the lower strap resting above the calf muscle, using the natural shape of your leg to keep everything in place.



Of course, the big question with any kneepad is; do they work when you stuff them into the ground at speed? For our money, they take the big hits as well as any downhill-orientated, hardshell pad out there. We'd struggle to tell the difference in a blind crash test. Their size is quite reassuring too, you feel well-protected in these. Importantly, they also stay in place if when you hit a few things before you come to a stop.

Testing the Gambler.

Putting Grenade Pro II pads to the test on-board the new Scott Gambler. Photo by Will Walker



Issues

The only two slightly negative things we can find to say about the Grenade Pro IIs are that they are a bit hot and they aren't cheap. Because of their size, your knees do heat up if you are pedalling for long distances, that's unavoidable. It's not to the point of discomfort, more the point of noticing, so unless you're ultra-picky about such things, you shouldn't worry about it. And then there's the price - yeah, there's no denying they are a lot of money and cynics out there could suggest you could buy a couple of sets of cheaper kneepads for the same price.

MSRP: $135.95USD
www.scott-sports.com

Pinkbike's Take:
bigquotesScott's Grenade Pro II could well be the best kneepad out there right now. They provide downhill-levels of protection with trail comfort and they stay in place better than anything else we have used thanks to the clever position of the lower strap. Scott have proved beyond doubt that it's possible to make a single kneepad suitable for every type of riding, but it does come at a price. - Matt Wragg
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50 Comments

  • + 53
 they look like something spiderman pulled out of his ass, along with the price
[Reply]
  • + 14
 Fix for pads fitting with under jeans. Don't wear jeans.
[Reply]
  • + 8
 they look OK, whatever you do dont buy the Nukeproof pads, I have been racing DH for 15 years !! Nukeproof pads are one of the worst products I have used, they fell to bits in every way possible and lasted less than two months, good design but absolute shit strength and quality. these scott pads look ok but they should extend further down the shin as pedal slips still happen just ask Bryceland.
  • + 4
 hahaha oh the ironic name!
[Reply]
  • + 4
 DH = Fox Launch knee/shin pads ... For trail rides and non DH then = Kyle Straights ! ... For me these don't cover enough for true DH and they are too bulky for regular tail rides .

Plus , I wouldn't pay $140 for those lol and then you see them on sale for like 49 bucks and kick yourself in the assss .
  • + 7
 kyle straits all around!
  • + 1
 I have the Fox Launch and the Kyle Straights and I'm a happy man...
[Reply]
  • + 6
 Roughed up shins=more man points
[Reply]
  • + 2
 I wanna try these out. They are pricy but for comfort, moveability and protection it might just be worth it. Also would like to see some nice elbow pads to accomodate the knee pads from Scott.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 the longest and most detailed knee pad review I have ever seen - i guess the pinkbike crew is getting bored with nothing interesting happening at the moment Smile
[Reply]
  • + 1
 If you need protection for you shins, you could combine the kneepads with the matching shin pads:
www.scott-sports.com/global/en/products/2275480001015/shin-guards-scott-soft-grenade-pro-black-s-m
[Reply]
  • + 0
 Here's what I want. A knee pad that works in Texas. There's no mountains, so no DH. And covering your knees with anything means losing precious ventilation and you risk having your knees spontaneously combust. Chime in, all you opinionated know-it-all's.
  • + 4
 It's hard to have knee pad that doesn't cover the knee. I think you just answered your own question.
  • + 1
 Try G-Form kneepads.
[Reply]
  • + 0
 LOL this price for knee pads? I just wear my 661 streetBMX/skate knee pads. Why all this ergonomic bs? Not like your riding in jeans or race pants. For those who are... well, sucks for you. Ride em on the outside of your jeans. This isn't a fashion statement.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Pretty novel idea to make the straps on pads in places where the shape of your legs keeps them in place rather than pulls them down.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 They look far to big for me.. i have problems fitting my kyle straits under my jeans! anyone know of a good, slim knee pad that fits under jeans well? I wear stretchy jeans btw Wink
  • + 3
 ixs slope pads fit under jeans pretty well.
  • + 1
 i'll check em out. cheers dude
  • + 2
 Sixsixone riots are pretty goodSmile
  • + 1
 @thetake401 ... Dude i neg prop you unintentionally :/
It isn't the end of the world , but i apologise because i totally agree with you Wink
The ixs slope pads are awesome stuff and fit realy well under a jean ... when i was wearing these pads i felt 10 % as badass as The Claw Big Grin

I strongly recommend these IXS pads Wink
  • + 2
 I'm with Kieran. The 661 Riot is a great slim-fitting kneepad
  • + 1
 Have a look at g form, super comfy and slim!
  • + 3
 G-Form - don't slip, breath really well.
I have been down on mine two or three times and they are still going strong.
I did kill an elbow pad but I did go down hard and it saved me from a fracture (fairly certain) and actually stayed in place despite multiple bounces. I think I finally tore through the lycra on the fourth (or fifth) bounce and ended up with some cuts but without the pad (or with a pad that flips up - like most soft pads do) I would have had a much bigger graze/ deeper cuts and lost a lot more skin.

I have been riding in my knees and elbows for two seasons (Whistler - six days per week, May to Oct) and they are fantastic.
  • + 1
 Well riots fit well if you ride skinny jeans,Not so well with downhill trousers
[Reply]
  • + 1
 All the scott kit I have has been really top quality. Expensive but worth it. Except scott's gloves, they have the weakest stitching! Clothing and equipment however, all super! Smile
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Sick looking pads, but hot damn, i dont even remember 661 evo pads being that pricey.
  • + 8
 halve that price and then i would think about it.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Who is Scott and why is he making knee pads?
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Not similar price to other top end pads like this? I know pocs are dearer in the uk, also look into sweet protections knee pads, similar to these, not sure on price though...
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Honestly I think they are ugly. I swear the inflation rate in the mountain biking world is rising way more rapid than any other! $140 for knee pads?
[Reply]
  • + 1
 every time you try some knee pads you say: those pads could be the BEST....race face, 661, than kali etc etc....no good job, just advertising time
[Reply]
  • - 1
 I love my shins , for downhill shin protection is a concern for me!.
have some lizardskin pads, the best from what i have tried ! (BIG legs=hard to fit pads).
these seem ok for trail, but when i ride trails i ride without pads.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I like how they are compared to Troy Lee T bones, which also do not move and also offer miles of protection. All for $50. $140 for knee pads is absurd.
  • + 1
 The reason I mention T-Bones is because I've been using them for years (I reviewed them on here earlier this year), so it's an easy point of reference. T-Bones are good for DH, but they are nowhere near as comfortable to pedal long distance in and don't stay in place quite as well.
  • + 1
 I've never run the Scotts, but my T-Bones always slid around on hot days when I'd sweat a little bit and I agree with Matt that they were not ideal on longer pedals, too bulky in my opinion. The Shock Doctor stuff from TLD is pretty great for pedally rides though.
  • + 1
 I ran the Shock Doctor stuff for a while this year, but haven't used it since the Scott stuff came through (I've got both the Grenade Pro I and II in the cupboard right now) as I prefer the fit and side protection. I've used a fair selection of other stuff too in the last year and I reckon these Scotts are genuinely the ones.
  • + 1
 Definitely not the best for pedals. Why are people wearing knee pads on long pedals anyways? However, if you do, the shock doctor stuff is really good for that. Not ideal for DH though as the protection is minimal and they tend to shift in a huge wreck. I have stitches in my knee to prove it! My t bones do not move an inch though.

For $140 though... those Scott's had better be "the ones".
  • + 1
 Next time there's a Euro World Cup, you should come down to where I am in Northern Italy and I can show why you'd want to pedal a long way with a big kneepad on! There's some ugly, rocky shit up there in the high mountains...
  • + 4
 I like this pinkbike employee discussion, "What line on these knee pads shall we take???" Transparent.... Pedals here in europe noramlly are enduro which is a different style or riding to what USA guys are doing...therefore these pads are probably ideal for the Enduro riding that they will be subjected to. By usa standards im sure that these knee pads are cheaper than paying your doctor to stitch your knees up...
  • + 0
 Just an FYI - I ride A LOT in Europe. I basically live there for 6 months of the year. In fact, I've ridden extensively all over Italy as I was more or less based there for 2 years. Souze, Bardonecchia, Livigno, Val Di Sole, Pila, Aosta, etc. Just saying, I know exactly what the riding is like there, and in Germany, Austria etc. I still wouldn't wear big knee pads, but that's a personal thing I guess. You see euros wearing all sorts of crazy outfits. Wink If I did wear pads, I certainly wouldn't pay $140 for them, no matter how good they were! I don't doubt these pads are well built, the pricing just seems out of control.

Also - not American.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 typical price for scott, but they look good to me. i'd like to try them...
[Reply]
  • + 1
 seem sweet. you get what you pay for. I get cheap stuff, but if I hit the big time these might be on my list
[Reply]
  • + 1
 They won't sell any at that price, no matter how good they are.
  • + 1
 I know this post is almost 2 years old but had to comment on what you wrote back then, Not only are there a lot of people still buying these almost 2 years later but they are widely viewed as one of the best knee pad you can buy, I agree the price is a little high, but when you think about them lasting for over 2 years, may make you change your mind.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 G form for trail, Race Face Flank for DH/FR
[Reply]
  • + 1
 O'neal Sinner with SasTec is better and cheaper
[Reply]
  • + 1
 G Form, nuff said.
[Reply]

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