Dainese Oak Pro Aluminum Knee Pads - Eurobike 2011

Aug 31, 2011
by Mike Levy  
Dainese 2012

The new Oak Pro Aluminum knee pads from Dainese incorporate the clever Boa Closure System directly into the pad, allowing you to easily fine tune the fit with a quick turn of the dial. When the ride is over you simply pull on the dial and the tension releases, allowing you to slip the pad off.


Dainese Oak Pro Aluminum knee pad details:

• New knee pad for 2012
• Uses the Boa Closure System
• Aluminum knee cup
• Multi material 'Crash Absorb' soft protection above and below the knee cup
• Open back for cooling and to prevent fabric bunching
• Silicone gripper strips to help hold pads in place
• Available Feb, 2012
• MSRP: $199 USD


What is the Boa Closure System? Long used on high-end cycling shoes, the Boa system is a clever design that uses a single lace, made from woven steel with a protective coating, that is routed in such a way that tightening the lace provides a quick way to custom fit the amount of tension without having to deal with standard laces or Velcro. Tension is controlled via a single dial - turn it to the right to increase the lace tension in incremental steps (one click of the dial equals just 2mm of lace adjustment, then simply pull the dial out to quickly release all of the tension. The Boa Closure System is not only lighter than buckles or multiple Velcro straps, but it also can provide you a much more uniform feel that is free of pressure points. While it looks complicated from the outside, the design uses only three parts: the dial, a small inner spool and the lace itself. The Boa system may be ideal for use on knee pads because it offers a quick way to adjust the fit of the pads without having to step off the bike or even stop.


Dainese 2012

This simple dial controls how tight the Boa Closure System grips. Simply turn the dial to the right in order to bring the tension up, or pull it out slightly to instantly release all tautness. The lace (there is only one that per pad) runs out of the dial, along the side of the pad and down to the bottom, then up the other side and back into the opposite side of the Boa dial.

Dainese 2012

The Boa lace itself is actually made from aircraft-grade stainless steel twisted together and then woven into other bundles and covered with a protective coating. It runs through hard guide loops within the pad to keep it from tearing the material. Dainese spent a lot of time experimenting with lace position in order to find a route that provides a uniform and comfortable feel all around.

Dainese 2012

The pad's knee cup is made from aluminum. Why? Dainese wanted to use a material that would slide over rough surfaces, allowing you to better absorb the impact instead of stopping dead when you hit the ground. We had to admit that it also looks pretty damn cool in person. Above and below the hard aluminum knee cup you'll find soft multi-material protection that is made from a mixture of polymer foam and nitrile rubber. Instead of simply layering the material Dainese employs an interesting looking honeycomb layup that they say performs a better job of absorbing impacts.

There is no denying that the Oak Pro Aluminum's $199 USD asking price is a hell of a lot of dough for a set of knee pads, but they are quite different - and possibly better - than what else is out there. If you don't want to spend that amount of money on pads Dainese also offers a $149 USD version that includes the aluminum knee cup but without the Boa Closure System, as well as a model that goes for the same price but forgoes the aluminum cup and includes the Boa. For $89 USD you can get the standard Oak knee pad sans Boa and the aluminum cup, but we could see these being a hit with all-mountain riders or those looking for a lighter duty option.

Dainese 2012

Dainese was also showing off their new Second Skin upper body protection. Made from the same honeycombed polymer foam and nitrile rubber, the Second Skin is light enough that it could make sense for aggressive all-mountain riders who are looking for more protection, but don't want to wear constricting and hot standard upper body armour.


Visit the Dainese website to see their entire lineup.


Stay tuned for more from Eurobike 2011



101 Comments

  • 25 1
 Would the dial not get damaged in a bad crash?
  • 4 0
 Yeah, I can see the dial getting caught in a crash and the pads getting pulled down...not a great design IMO...cool idea though.
  • 6 1
 Where will it go in a different design, so that it is accessible on the fly?
Really, how many times in a complete spread of wrecks do you smack that top part of your thigh?

Also, all the lower comments about Al vs plastics in sliding/friction comparisons need to consider the SPEED of the fall.
These will probably be used more for aggressive AM and maybe freeride (just a guess), so speeds shouldn't be TOO slow when an actual bail occurs. Binding in that type of wreck is much less likely...

I love them, and being a skier, I'm used to BOAs. These will perform as well as - if not better - than ANY others, and I'll stake $$$ cash money $$$ on it!
  • 1 1
 I had the this ' boa ' system in a pair of my late 80's reebok/puma high tops , can't remember what they called it back then
  • 1 0
 looks propa boa to me. ayyyyyeee
  • 4 2
 It clearly says "Titanium" on the knee caps, not aluminum

Everyone is bitching about price and that the little wire will snag which is BS, they look awesome and are much better than your foam rubber 661s, 661 sucks balls
  • 6 1
 DHbk I'm wondering, what kind of helmet do you use (TLD D2-D3 Carbon) did you spend 300-400 bucks on it. Now that is crazy. I must admit that $199 for pads is a lot and here in the US we mountain bikers are cheap, but yet we spend 300-400 buck on a carbon helmet, "THAT'S NUTS!" As we all know DAINESE's gear is better than anyone's gear out there and it last forever (Check out story on mtnbikerider.com I just read "Best Armor In The Free World : LONG TERM TEST.) and I use their gear and have not used any other for racing since.
I have seen some of this gear first hand and have to say it is pretty cool.
  • 2 0
 true. moto gear like knee braces cost a few pennies more but you DH and freeriders as far as i can see are sending it pretty damn BIG that protection always needs to evolve with your skill.
  • 1 0
 you would have to hit the dial just right on a sharp pointy rock
  • 9 0
 "Dainese Oak Pro Aluminum Knee pad details:

• Aluminum knee cup"

Says "Titanium" in the pic.

So?...
  • 1 0
 It says aluminium on the banner behind the kneepads in the picture, so probably that.
  • 1 0
 But It sure do look like what you can find on Daniese leather suits, and I think it Titanium on those.
  • 3 0
 @yxbix - The knee cup is aluminum, despite it saying "titanium" on it. These are preproduction pads, production models will not say that.
  • 1 0
 I see. Sounds a bit random, but whatever they like for marketing.
  • 7 2
 Looks awesome but $199 for a Knee pads.... That is just insane... Anyone who spends that much on knee pads needs their head seen! Why would someone spend so much for these when 661, A Stars and other companies offer brilliant protection for 3/4 of the cost!!! MADNESS
  • 4 1
 Too true, not sure about that bit of tensioning wire. Possibly prone to snagging if and when you stack it????.
  • 4 0
 Boas don't snag...they're too close to the body of whatever they tighten. Now if you ride a lot of mud, that's another story...
  • 4 0
 It is a lot of cash for knee pads, but its obvious they've put some serious thought into them, and that they're more than just a piece of foam/plastic in a sleeve like most are. Still, only time will tell if they're worth it.
  • 7 0
 hmm something named boa that is supposed to tighten around my thigh? Why do I get the feeling they're trying to kill my legs?
  • 3 2
 People spend more money for more protection. To some, it's worth it.
  • 17 0
 This is how it breaks down every time. Dainese creates something that's never been done before. Dainese charges a premium for this new product that's always met with mixed reviews. Other companies copy the strengths and eliminate the weaknesses of said Dainese product. Other companies then manufacture the copied product far sub-par to Dainese's quality and charge 1/3 the price. Dainese gets little of the glory but did all the hard work that everyone eventually appreciates.

Part of what you don't see included in the price is progress. Some people need to learn a little respect here.
  • 5 0
 This is so true of what you stated HARDCOREy. Everyone forgets it was DAINESE who thought of "IMPACT PROTECTION" to save us from server impact truma, they did the homework, testing, development, and people don't realize that cost big money.
  • 5 0
 I'm not one to be skeptical about a product before trying it, but I will admit I am skeptical about that dial snagging on the ends of my shorts. Maybe that's because it's a pet peeve of mine.
  • 5 0
 They looks like some sort of artful assassins torture device too me with that wire thing.. i'll stick with my Kyle Straits thanks.
  • 1 0
 I'm skeptical about the dial causing a nasty bruise on my quad if it's involved in a crash.
  • 1 0
 I'm skeptical of the dial smashing in a crash and having to cut the wire to get the knee pads off... I can't imagine Boa replacement kits are cheap or regularly stocked at my LBS. And the snagging on the shorts thing is also sketch.
  • 1 0
 The one good thing is that Boa replacement kits actually are quite cheap, and readily available. Boa makes these for ice skates, so even places like Canadian Tire carry them for about $20. And if the dial smashes, I'm pretty sure all the tension in the wire gets immediately released, as its the dial that keeps the wire tight. I just don't like the protrusion, as even shin pads WITHOUT a dial snag on my shorts.
  • 1 0
 Its a good idea but like why not just like that big zip-tie tightener thing that you find on TLD shorts and trousers? Theyre far more discrete, wont snag on anything and wont dig in when you crash
  • 1 0
 The idea of the Boa (which is pretty cool, other than the obtrusive knob) is that you can tighten the entire pad (top to bottom) with just one turn of the knob. You don't need multiple straps or buckles.
  • 3 0
 I'm skeptical of the aluminium getting scratched to death from just kneeling down.
  • 2 0
 HOJJJ Kyle Straits FTW!
  • 1 0
 ahhh. I worked at a shop that sold Specialized road cycling shoes with the 1st generation Boa lacing. I heard of 3 instances in which people had to cut them off. I have the 2nd generation Boa on my road shoes and have been using them for 3 years and they are only now starting to seize sometimes. I bet the new Boa systems are more reliable...
  • 5 0
 For me $200 doesn't seem that steep for what "looks like" a really thought out kneepad. I also like that they cover a little lower than the traditional 661 style. Hopefully it will keep in place during a bigger crash/slide.
  • 2 0
 I agree with you there, if its literally perfect and the best you can get then yes the price isnt too steep for something that (for the price) you should expect to last a lifetime.
  • 2 0
 Unfortunately I don't think any consumer good is made to last a lifetime anymore...
  • 2 1
 from the looks of the fabric and the exposed wires on the side of the knee these look disposable, as in, lucky to last longer than two crashes. all those exposed stiches... these look even weaker than 661
  • 1 1
 Because that wire is under tension, im pretty sure that if you were to have an awkward or heavy crash that pulled on the stitching and slightly broke it on the edge(s), the wire would rip straight through the whole stitching and cause the whole pad to self destruct.
  • 3 0
 I had a pair of DC snow boarding boots with the boa system and they where pretty bad ass you can tighten them down till you cut off circulation, bit spendy but its all about preference like some people roll shimano and some roll sram every one has the things they like. dont hate
  • 2 0
 why spend alot of money to get your bike to go faster, farther, higher and bark at a price on protection to help you so you can do it over and over again? body parts are pricey and definitely OEM one-offs. obviously more costly for now but there's always trickle down tech that happens.
  • 2 0
 super duper excited to try these! I've been running their performance shin and elbow pads for the last year and have had nothing but good experiences (aside from the crashing)... The Italians got their ducks in a row for sure.
  • 6 0
 More bionic then human.
  • 2 0
 And how much did you pay for your "BIKE", not a Walmart or Kmart price I bet. Just saying.
  • 3 0
 Am I missing something?
  • 1 0
 "The pad's knee cup is made from aluminum. Why? Dainese wanted to use a material that would slide over rough surfaces, allowing you to better absorb the impact instead of stopping dead when you hit the ground."

Aluminium being a relatively soft material actually generates a lot of friction when hitting things like rock/rough surfaces, its quite "sticky". Probably worse than some plastics.

If they wanted to do this "low friction sliding thing", steel might be a better choice.

A lot of plastics are also fairly soft, so will also grip due to deformation, but unlike ally, some plastics are self lubricating
  • 1 0
 some metals are also self lubricating to I thought?
  • 1 0
 I think they're awesome! I love it when a company uses different technologies in new ways. Boa systems have been around a while and do a fabulous job of holding things in place. What I don't get is that people spend $5K+ on a bike, but won't consider spending a fraction of that to protect themselves?
  • 1 0
 Love it! Finally someone spends money in R&D instead of building off what Dainese invented back in the early 80s with small mods. At $199 those are def at the top of the price chain, but aren't we paying like $150 for the normal POC or Astars? 50 bucks more for innovation and a totally new different technology doesn't seem too bad, considering the amount of dough we spend on bikes, pedals and all this other shit.

For sure the BOA system looks like it'll help tighten and custom fit the fit, while being able to be loosened for the climbs. Not sure about the dial position but how many times do we actually hit the top of the thigh. Not sure.

Now, I don't think that Dainese, if they want to grow back their mtb biz would stick to producing only 1 new knee-guard. I am sure there are cheaper versions of this one with different features. Isn't Team Pivot sponsored by Dainese this year, including Kyle Strait? Maybe he helped influence the new knee guards.
  • 1 0
 Hey essenmeinstuff I see that it says Ti on it and the one thing that would be a bummer is that when you hit any kind of metel on a hard surface it will dent on impact not slide. Now I know Dainese does there homework and I would think this plate will be replacable I hope as well as other parts. The one thing we all have to look at is that this can all be preproduction. Lets all keep this in mind.
  • 1 0
 ..."miles more breathable"..... I guess this is the best statement of them all. If you are writing that, then... whatever you want mate.

what about the albs multiplied by the g's at impact, don't you multiply those albs by the number of g's. What do we impact at in a Super D or DH run, let's be conservative and say 5 g's? no?
  • 2 0
 Seems a little over done, its not like a plastic cup wouldn't have worked. But then again this is the protection game and nothing is ever too much.
  • 4 0
 Love the knee pads, awesome. You can't beat a bit of Italian flair Smile
  • 1 1
 Iv seen this system before in snowboard boots and it works great, I dont know how well it will hold up in the sand and mid tho :/ besides for that price I'll stick to my POC knee pads the have never failed me and work in any conditions by simple design.
  • 1 1
 Here,here!!
  • 3 0
 damn awesome looking pads
  • 1 0
 The stated price right on the sixsixone website is $120.00. I made a correction above, keep shopping where you are because they are giving you an excellent price.
  • 3 2
 Using Aluminum in Knee Pads is not necessary plastic is good and light enough.
But carbon maybe would be the best??
  • 7 0
 don't you know the facts behind Catastrophical Failure? Carbon explodes in contact with stones and rocks I've been told here Big Grin
  • 2 0
 I don't think that the aluminum cup is necessarily there for shock absorbtion (i>the soft pad underneath does that/i>Wink , but rather to prevent punctures. I'm interested to see if the aluminum actually slides any better than plastic would... I think CarlosMC has a pretty good argument.
  • 2 0
 Right Carlos MC. As far as I am concerned all those carbon helmets on the market incl D3 have the outer shell made out of glass fiber, with CF only on the outside for the hypeously cool reasons. I mean even to me cf looks cooler than glass fiber so whatever. Another thing is that cf takes uv from direct sunlight much better than glass fiber. But a full on CF shell seems crazy. Even V10 carbon has aramid weave in the downtube.

As for these dainese pads they might be worth the money, considering how amazing is their Next back protector and upper armour in general. Dainese means a real thing, they are the same kind of people that work at Ferrari, Ducati, Armani - amazing north Italian perfection... with style Wink
  • 4 0
 @Carlos Plastic degrades much quicker abrasion-wise which is why actually most brands, except a-stars, use metal protections for moto-gp level racing. Plastic is a much worse shock absorber than metal for a motorcycle level impact as well. Plastic can more easily be bent (deformed) by hand than can a comparable piece of metal. Plastic is much softer and when applied to the ground over a larger surface area and with less pressure, such as a knee slider or bicycle bar-end, it slides effortlessly. Whereas, if you concentrate a hard force to the ground in a small area then metal will be much more effective, such as a shoulder plate in a suit.

I'm not saying there is a right or wrong answer as to what material to use, (I also feel plastic would be better suited here) I'm just saying that every crash is different and each material has their own strengths.
  • 1 0
 and I couldn't believe my nerd professor from stress calculations that materials are fascinating. Then a teacher from materials was telling me that chemistry is fascinating - I'll pass on this I thought... I'm gonna call them and say that 5 years later a bike forum changed my mind Big Grin
  • 3 2
 $200....ha hah!!!! If we as bikers pay that, we're all bigger idiots than I ever imagined.
  • 1 0
 Bet the aluminum doesn't damage paint work too, they look great but I'm unsure they'll work any better.
  • 2 1
 Won't last. You won't see this product on shelves in 2013, with the exception of the unsold 2012 models.
  • 3 0
 Is it because in 2012 a Mega-tsunami is going to kill everybody except Sherpas on Mt Everst?
  • 2 0
 Ya well, I guess nothing will be here after 2012. Good thing I've ridden so much this summer!
  • 1 0
 how are they aluminum when the first pic clearly shows titanium written right on the knee pad?
  • 1 0
 Clearly you are VERY happy with your pads, I'm stoked for you. I don't, end of story
  • 1 0
 wudnt the alliminium front dent your toptube incredibly easy. sorry for the mistakes
  • 1 0
 No. If the aluminum on your knee pad is stronger than your top tube...you have bigger issues to deal with than a dented top tube.
  • 1 0
 but you can dent a toptube with just your knee
  • 2 0
 soo sick
  • 1 0
 that tightening wire reminds me of ski-boots
  • 2 0
 Boa has their system on ski boots, running shoes and cycling shoes as well.
  • 1 0
 Error, I guess they are now $120...
  • 1 0
 wow, total chest protection and absolutely NO shoulder protection. FAIL.
  • 4 0
 Really? There are many riders who are looking for lighter and simpler chest and back protection... While the Second Skin is new, the idea certainly isn't.
  • 1 0
 i don't see the point to protecting the chest and back when the shoulder is far more likely and easier to injure.
  • 1 0
 As long as you have a FF helmet, your knees and back covered, the rest is your own preference. I see more people dressing up for a crash and either overcautious or trying stuff way behind their comfort zone, than those who try to ride in balance slowly picking up their speed. Guess which ones get more serious injuries. Too much focus on effects of crashes rather than their cause.

Then there are people who are new to the sport and don't want to look like they're about to enter MX GP, but want a bit increased yet comfortable safety margin (like riders dear GFs and wives Wink ) even if it's just a placebo. I find that to be the reason of such a vast popularity of soft protectors like slim knee and elbow pads
  • 1 0
 Way to costly for most people! :-(
  • 1 0
 Wait... MSRP: $199 USD....

For kneepads???? What a joke...
  • 1 0
 meh... just buy poc, more simple
  • 1 0
 lacks side impact padding. no thanks.
  • 1 0
 ill just stick to my 661 Kyle strait pads..
  • 1 0
 Kneepads for normal people?
  • 1 0
 I Like !!
  • 1 0
 I want to see the inside
  • 1 0
 @ jamesxx D3o tech does work, check out G-From pads more or less same tech, but thinner and lighter.
  • 1 4
 sixsixone Evo's are still $160 ish dollars all they have is some made up rubber crap in them.
  • 2 1
 D3o isn't made up rubber crap, it's sick, look at some of the videos about it on YouTube!
  • 1 2
 Well first off I own a pair and they are no way as good as the hard plastic shells, and second I don't base my product research from you tube videos.
  • 2 1
 First off... I own both versions of the D3O knee and elbow pads that 661 makes and NONE of them are over $100... the knees were $89.99... the elbows were $69.99... and the Evo Lite's were $10 less for each. Only the D3O pressure suit was over $100.

On top of that, they absolutely work as good as hard shells. As someone who's blown out both knees, one of them twice, and who puts a premium on protection... as well as somene who understand the physics behind it... D3O is not only as good as hard shells, it's actually better in many ways.
  • 2 0
 if you have 2 blown out knees how are they working better?
  • 2 1
 What a dumbass... the knees are old injuries not related to biking in any way. If you're dumb enough to doubt the basic physics behind D3O I guess I shouldn't have assumed you'd understand that a blown out knee isn't something that any knee pad can guard against. Point being, I'm not about to sacrifice protection given my previous history. I've taken hits to D3O that would've cracked some RF DH plastic armor and hoped right back on the bike. I took a hard hit across my leg that left a three inch raised bruise immediate where the D3O protection ended at the shin and about a one inch raised bruise on the outside thigh just above the protection... under the D3O pad, nothing at all... Ride what you want, beleive whatever hype you want but saying dumb shit like D3O doesn't work just makes you look stupid.
  • 1 0
 So if you "understand that a blown out knee isn't something that any knee pad can guard against" then why does it matter that D30 works or not. Anyway, I understand that you really are happy with these pads, so I'm happy to. Having a name-calling rant may make you feel better,
but not everyone wants to read it.
  • 2 0
 You're the one bringing up the blown out knees as a point of knee protection... and now you're asking why I brought it up? WTF?

Knee pads aren't there to keep you from blowing out a knee, they're there to keep you from shattering a kneecap or sustaining fractures to the upper tibial region and tibial plateau... which D3O does with more effect than any plastic pads out there. It's basic physics... plastic doesn't offer much in the way of energy absorption, D3O offers huge amounts of energy absorption while also producing a hardening effect on impact to help guard against punctures... The science is real, proven, and absolute fact whether you chooseto believe it or not.

As for the name calling rant... seriously, quit your crying. I called you dumb... which you've proven to be in just these few posts. If you don't want to be called dumb, don't post dumb shit... pretty simple really. I have no issues if you say you just prefer hard armor, that's certainly your perogative, but saying that they're not as good as something that they've been proven to be better than is just dumb, pure and simple.
  • 1 0
 I have almost shattered my knee cap and I was wearing Fox launch knee and shin guards they dont provide that much protection to your shins they do but not direct impacts to your knee.
  • 1 1
 D30 is just a good marketing product, most companies have, or will have, their own memory-foam/shape-retention foam material with the same, if not better, absorption, breathability and lightness. To be really efficient with D30 you need a lot of it, therefore heavier and super hot. ONly brands who have no labs, no R&D, purchase D30 licensing.
  • 2 0
 LMAO... it's honestly shocking how many ignornant people are will to open their mouths when they clearly have no clue what thye're talking about. I really will never understand how you idiots can doubt the efficacy of things you obviously don't understand.

You do realize that D3O is not memory foam or shape retention foam right...? It's a dilatant material or non-Newtonian fluid. As the material transitions from solid state to flocculation state, it hardens and locks molecularly taking a 'fluid' substance and hardening it for only the moment of high impact shear strains before immediately returning to its natural state.

As for how only brands without labs or R&D budgets buying D3O, that's laughable... for one, the US Department of Defense liceneses D3O... Dow Corning, possibly the largest R&D lab in the world, also licenses D3O for use as a base layer in their ballistics vests. So I think what you actually meant to say that even the most advanced labs in the world with the largest R&D budgets possible recognize that D3O is a technilogical marvel.
  • 1 0
 D30 might be good for ballistic vests or other usage that don't mind the heaviness and heat produced when you wear it, so doesn't really matter whether the DoD is using it or not,there might be some very good use to it there. We are talking about mtb protection and about providing the best absorption while staying breathable and light (the heavier you are the heavier you impact, the heavier the possible damage).

So, non-newtonian fluid or not, non "memory foam or shape retention foam", doesn't really matter here how you describe it, does it hardens only or does it absorb the impact gradually and slows the g's of the impact down? Because it looks like the harder you hit the harder it gets?

Definitely a great product, for other usage maybe, not proving better in our sport.
  • 1 0
 Yes... proven better in our sport... and yes, proven to both harden on impact and dissipate the energy from an impact. Compared to old school foam type padding with hard shell impact protection, it's mile more breathable and lighter. In terms of physics... the difference between even a 140lb rider wearing 3lbs of armor vs 5lbs is negligible in terms of the increase in energy levels from a fall. So, not quite sure what you were getting at but yeah... D3O is still awesome for mtb padding.

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