Kali's New LDL-Equipped Helmet for $100, and New Knee and Elbow Pads - Interbike 2017

Sep 21, 2017
by Mike Levy  
Interbike 2017

Interbike 2017


Kali's Strike knee and elbow pads are new for 2018, with both upper and lower protection designed to be the kind of thing that's light enough to wear all day but also tough enough to offer more protection than slim knee warmer-style padding. And if they seem familiar, it's because a certain Italian brand (you get one guess) uses a similar futuristic-looking design that's possible thanks to the Xelion "nano-carbon elastic compound'' padding. Kali says that, because Xelion is so efficient at absorbing impacts, it can be used in highly perforated, low-profile shapes without losing its ability to protect your kneecaps and elbows.

The claim is that Xelion absorbs impact energy by "instantaneously converting it into heat, which is then dissipated across the entire pad.'' No word on if you can just keep hitting yourself in the legs and elbows to warm up during a chilly winter ride, but that'd be a good trick. The 3D molded padding is laid over top of a thin compression fabric with a mesh back panel, while a Velcro adjustment strap lets riders fine-tune the fit on the slip-on pads.

Strike knee pads are available now for $84 USD, and the elbows (pricing TBA) will hit the shelves this November.
Interbike 2017


Interbike 2017


The Mission knee and elbow pads are a less expensive option compared to the Strikes, but they're also designed to be light enough to wear during an all-day pedal. These are also slip-on pads, but they forgo the Velcro straps in favor of simpler, less expensive elastic cuffs with non-slip bands. Protection comes via flexible padding that, like some other high-tech inserts on the market, is able to instantly firm up when struck.

Mission knee pads are available now for $45 USD, and you can pick up the elbows (pricing TBA) in November.



Interbike 2017


Kali is better known for their helmets than knee and elbow pads, and they also have something new in this department for 2018: the Alchemy. This is a new 'trail' helmet that comes in 60 - 90-grams lighter than the all-mountain focused Maya and Interceptor, but just a few grams heavier than the high-end Maraka cross-country lid, and it does it with a $100 USD price tag. The big thing here is that the 300-gram Alchemy include's Kali's Low Density Layer inserts that the company says is capable of reducing ''rotational impact forces by up to 25%,'' and low-g linear forces up to 30%.


Interbike 2017
Interbike 2017


The Alchemy's LDL inserts are rubber-ish strips (neither Armourgel, the company Kali worked with, nor Waldron will say exactly what those strips are made of) that have a very specific shape to them, with short, cylindrical extensions designed to flex laterally when an off-axis impact occurs. Kali claims that they allow for some movement and energy dissipation before the EPS foam comes into play.


Interbike 2017
Interbike 2017


The other bullet points include an adjustable retention band with two height settings, a breakaway visor, and twenty-one vents.





26 Comments

  • + 30
 When your knee pads have better traction on rocks than your tires...
  • + 1
 Yeah, surprised to see that from Kali who, with their helmets have a big focus on not getting hung up to obstacles etc. Surely these will get a sleeve of some kind over them to cover them up. Otherwise after one ride (crash) these will be filled with mud, the next ride you'll find them rigidly caked with stone which defies the whole point. Or these are merely for street (BMX) and road (racing) cycling. About time these road cyclists start wearing some proper protection too, for the speeds they're going at.
  • + 1
 @vinay: as the impact is made into heat the mud will naturally be burnt off. So think mud -> clay and as soon as you stand up it will fall off.
  • + 4
 @vinay: I tested an early pair of these Strike pads from Kali and thought I'd have this exact issue. Turns out, the pad flexes plenty and mud never really stayed on them for long- it was a non issue. All in all, I'm excited to get into a pair of production quality pads. Light weight, low profile, and very comfy! And an extra bonus- now with winter right around the corner, these will fit under most water proof pants much better than the old Aazis pads.
  • + 2
 I've had the strikes for about 3 weeks now and have already had a crash they stayed on my knee where they were supposed to after I slid about 5-6ft on the trail.
  • + 20
 I kneed these in my life... ok bye
  • + 13
 "Kalinese"
  • + 3
 Sourced from the same manufacturer in Taiwan or china? I bet so...
  • + 4
 "Mother of bikes"
  • + 1
 @nicolai12: actually Italy.
  • + 1
 @jonnymanbikes: Really? What manufacturer?
  • + 8
 I'm no seamstress, but I'm pretty sure the stiching isn't supposed to be crooked. But hey, maybe it was made approaching beer-thirty on a Friday.
  • + 11
 maybe it was 4:20
  • + 2
 Maybe the factory worker was getting a beat down for not being fast enough.
  • + 3
 The non-parallelization of the stitching helps to dissipate rotational forces when encountering off-axis impacts.
  • + 2
 The minimalist gloves had me at pinky and ring finger knuckle protection (damn cactus) since nobody else seems to have figured out that delicate balance in a light glove. But they ruined them with that stupid silicone branding on the palm.

Pro tip to all glove makers: that silicone just makes gloves more slippery as soon as you sweat. It does not enhance grip!!!
  • + 2
 Don't skimp on knee protection. You will regret
  • + 6
 ... it
  • + 2
 Sorry but I was really looking for a helmet with 22 vents.
  • + 2
 I've always wanted to look like Batman while biking!!!!
  • + 2
 These are the set I've been waiting for.
  • + 1
 All I can think of, is how you're going to clean those knee pads after you crash.
  • + 4
 with a brush ?
  • + 3
 Once the mud dries it falls off easy, these things are very flexible. My Strike pads survived plenty of trips through the washing machine, too.
  • + 2
 Pfft,only protection I need is a condom
  • - 1
 My wife is going to love the butterflies on those knee pads.
What? Not butterflies? Had me fooled.

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