661's New Recon Advance & Updated Recon Knee Pads - Pond Beaver 2021

Apr 7, 2021
by Seb Stott  

661 has added an all-new knee pad - the Recon Advance - to its line, and completely redesigned their popular Recon pads too.

661 Recon Advance pads

The Recon Advance is burlier and more padded than the standard Recon. It's more suited to enduro-style terrain rather than general trail riding.

Without the plastic caps they're a lightweight and flexible pad.
The caps are quick to install and add protection.

Inside there's a thick D3O insert, which protects the kneecap area and extends part way down the shin, plus fourteen small articulated foam pads offer additional coverage to the lower thigh, outer knee and shin. What makes these pads stand out is the optional hard plastic knee covers. These are available separately for $14.99 and can be attached to the outside of the pad via four Velcro straps. A large Velcro square on the back of the plastic cap helps secure the connection. It only takes a few seconds to fit or remove the caps, so you could take them off for mellow rides or to make them easier to wash and dry.

Inside there's a removable D3O insert.
The Velcro straps can be stowed away when not in use.

The fit is non-adjustable, but the elasticated silicone thigh gripper sits nice and high up the leg, which in my experience usually results in a pad staying up properly. 661's Padlock system allows them to be tethered to their padded shorts via plastic poppers for extra security.

In a size large they weigh 539g with the covers and 449g without - that's on my scales. They're available in sizes Small to XL, and they're expected to be in stock by August.

Recon Advance Knee - $109.99 USD
Hard Cap kit - $14.99 USD

New 661 Recon pads


At the same time, 661 has updated its minimalist Recon pad, which is a lightweight trail pad. The previous version. which we reviewed back in 2016, was a super-minimalist pad with no official accreditation for protection. The new version is more substantial than its predecessor, and it now carries the same protection certification as the Recon Advance, but still a much thinner, lighter-duty pad with less coverage. It uses what 661 calls D3O Ghost protective inserts, which are designed to be as flexible and breathable as possible while still passing the lab tests required to gain that CE 1621-1 certification. These inserts aren't removable and they're much thinner than the inserts in the Advance pads, so although they pass the same safety tests, I'd rather crash in the Advance pads.

Like the Recon Advance, they use elasticated silicone grippers to secure the fit and the upper band sits high up on the thigh. They're also compatible with 661's Padlock system to connect them to padded shorts or vests.

On my scales the Recon knee weighs 311g a pair in size large. There's a matching elbow pad available too, which weighs 279g a pair. Both are available in sizes Small to XL, with stock expected by August.

Recon Knee - $84.99
Recon Elbow - $74.99

Pond Beaver 2021

Author Info:
seb-stott avatar

Member since Dec 29, 2014
254 articles

  • 71 0
 Now I know what pads to wear when I'm rolling on my Polygon Recon with my Rekon tires and Recon fork.
  • 27 0
 I'll wait for you to do a recon run with your Recons on on your Recon on Rekons with a Recon before I drop in.
  • 17 0
 Hope they dont "reek on" you after a hot ride is summer
  • 7 0
 Yo, dawg. I heard you you like recons so we....
  • 7 0
 Gotta have the specialized recon shoes to complete the look
  • 10 0
 You reckon?
  • 1 0
 good set
  • 3 0
 @vcsabi: listen... I've been doing a lot of recon and I don't think you understand how this thread works
  • 1 0
 I've heard so many "recons" in this comment section that the word doesn't make sense and I don't know the meaning of it anymore...
  • 33 1
 Pretty cool idea. Would like to see a long term review before buying.
  • 10 0
 i would buy it in a heart beat! Always loved 661 protections
  • 7 0
 @audric: Still running my Kyle Straits! ...offering very little protection compared to modern pads. This might make me upgrade.
  • 2 0
 @IluvRIDING: haven't they made a Kyle Strait with D3O ??
Back in the days!!! www.pinkbike.com/photo/2397174
  • 21 0
 Anyone remember Roach brand pads? I used to have them back in the 90's. I just googled the company and found an article that the owner passed away. Very sad. They were a great product. So well made. I'm sad to see that the company didn't last. I still actually have a stem pad. My son rocks it on his MTB.
  • 16 0
 Ingrid was also very much a local legend in these parts. Starting off as a bike courier, and being around the early days of the shore, she knew what kind of clothing/protection mountain bikers needed, and would need, in the upcoming decade of progression. She was known for having a heart of gold, and treated riders/customers like family, often stitching up old Roach gear for free. RIP Ingrid.
  • 5 0
 iirc Roach was purchased by raceface
  • 2 0
 I still got a pair of their incredibly tough baggies. Good durable stuff. Bulletproof!
  • 2 0
 @mammal: PB should do an article on her.
  • 1 0
 @mammal: touching story, thanks for sharing. Never heard of her before... how come she died so young? Accident? Illness?
  • 1 0
 @mazze: Failing health over time. It's briefly mentioned at the end of the article.
  • 2 0
 @mammal: Thanks for that link, man. I had no idea. Touching, indeed. I gotta ride, now.
  • 6 0
 I had Core Rats. The first time I wore them, I crashed and smacked my knee hard on a rock. The pads did their job and I emerged unscathed but I learned my lesson: Pads cause crashes.
  • 8 2
 Something something, not as good as Kyle Straits . . .
  • 4 0
 loved my K Strait pads, but they were pretty warm and turned out to smell a wee bit ahahaha
  • 7 0
 @audric: I heard a rumor you have to wash them every year or so . . .
  • 4 0
 @noplacelikeloam: in wee? Don't be preposterous

But yes.... washing them is kind of a no brainer.
  • 2 0
 That is true the Kyle Straights and Rage Hard (think that was the name of the ones that replaced) them were best pads ever
  • 1 0
 I didn’t like the Kyle Straits. They didn’t fit me very well, which will vary from person to person, I realize. But they also weren’t very durable. But that also could have just been my luck.
  • 1 0
 I just found my old pair in a box, thought I gave them away. I'm kind of stoked.
  • 1 0
 @milesofpain: YEAHHHHHHH
  • 3 1
 I don't think I would often use a word like innovative when it comes to knee and elbow pads because I'm not sure much of the newer gear protects as well as the armor in the early 2000s, but its nice to see that someone at 661 is thinking. Curious to know if there's padding between the d30 and your knee because d30 is like the same rock you hit when it hardens.
  • 4 0
 those D3O inserts look exactly the same as my pearl izumi elevate knee pads!
  • 1 0
 Yup! Some companies have proprietary D30 molds but most brands use universal designs offered by D30. That way they know exactly what certifications it'll carry and it saves money, brands don't have to each invent their own wheel, D30 does it for them. So basically, when buying D30 pads, you're choosing between various knee sleeves with a pocket for the same D30 protector. Also... I find extra padding added around the perimeter of D30 pads to be just more crap, I don't think it does anything helpful. D30 otoh is pretty amazing, I have used it too many times, lol.
  • 1 0
 @davec113: the extra padding definitely helps avoid abrasions if you slide.
  • 4 0
 Just remake the kyle straight pads mine are about worn out now
  • 2 0
 I like it, kind of an in-between of regular booboo pads and big tank shin guards.
  • 3 0
 And snaps to pin them to your garter belt!
  • 2 0
 All I want them to do is remake the Kyle Straits. I don’t even mind if they change the name.
  • 2 2
 Meh,.never had a sleeve design pad which aged nicely and didnt start slipping off after a few months. Looks like a nice design, but for me- straps, no thank you ( at the very least an upper thigh strap)
  • 2 0
 cool idea, looks high quality and strong.
  • 1 0
 661 makes some great stuff, but haven't seen them release too many new products. Good to see some new stuff from them.
  • 1 0
 Can't remove D30 inserts. D30 says not to wash pads with detergents Can't wash pads Won't buy pads.
  • 1 0
 Edit, nevermind, you're talking about the second pair
  • 4 0
 Hi Ktron, The updated Recon pads will feature brand new D3O Ghost components, these use D3O's new Impact Print material, which is washable (Cool wash with no fabric softeners & do not tumble dry) Thanks - Gareth / 661
  • 1 0
 @sixsixone: fantastic. On the maybe list then!

Thanks for checking the comments and writing back.
  • 1 0
 These look sick... To bad I just bought a pair of the race face roam pads.
  • 8 9
 $125 for knee pads...you could buy a Walmart bike at that price.
  • 73 0
 But then you'd have a Walmart bike and no kneepads.
  • 2 3
 You will cry when the hard shell rips offs.
  • 2 4
 Pound Beaver!
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