POC Joint VPD System Knee Pads - Review

Oct 25, 2017
by Mike Kazimer  
POC Joint VPD Knee


POC's Joint VPD System knee pads may not have the catchiest name, but that title does describe where they fit into the Swedish company's line of protective apparel. The pads take traits from POC's DH-oriented VPD 2.0 models and combines them with traits from the VPD Air line, creating a lightweight knee pad that's not lacking when it comes to offering crash protection.


POC Joint VPD System Details
• Impact absorbing inner layer
• EN 1621-1 certified
• Weight: 337 grams (pair)
• Sizes: S, M, L
• MSRP: $150 USD
www.pocsports.com

The bulk of the impact protection comes from POC's visco-elastic polymer dough (VPD), a material that's very pliable, but that hardens up upon impact. The pad's outer fabric is stitched from a high tenacity polyamide yarn, which POC chose due to its ability to resist cuts and tears – they originally used it on their protective ski gear, where sharp metal edges are a constant threat. There aren't any velcro straps to be found on the Joint VPD System; instead, the pads are held in place by the elasticized cuffs, with silicone grippers in place around the top cuff to provide more slip resistance. Available in five sizes, from XS to XL, the Joint VPD System knee pads retail for $150 USD.


POC Joint VPD Knee
POC Joint VPD Knee
The Joint VPD System pads use a simple, slip-on design, with silicone grippers around the upper cuff to keep them securely in place.


Performance

Joint VPD System Knee isn't a very memorable name – if it were up to me, I'd designate that as the pad's scientific name, and come up with a catchier common name. After all, if you were at the beach and started yelling, “There's a carcharodon carcharias!” most people would think you were spouting gibberish. Start screaming, “There's a great white shark!” and it's a different story.

I haven't settled on what I think these pads should be called, but I'm thinking it should involve feathers, marshmallows, or something similarly squishy and soft. That's because they're the most comfortable knee pads I've ever worn, and the list of options I've tried is extensive. It's like having a small pillow on each knee, except that the pillow is extremely abrasion resistant, and hardens up when you hit the ground. The VPD material is temperature sensitive, and once my body heat warmed them up the pads perfectly matched the shape of my knees, without the slightest bit of discomfort or chafing.

I took a few good slams while wearing the VPD System Knee pads, and they performed as advertised every time. Sure, it didn't feel great hitting the ground, but for how minimal the pads feel, they absorbed more of the impact than I anticipated. They're an ideal choice for trail riding, but for DH runs or times where bigger impacts are more likely I'd recommend something with a little more padding on the side of the knees.

The VPD System pads are comfortable enough to keep in place for the entirety of a ride, and even on hotter days they weren't too stifling – they're obviously warmer than not wearing pads, but they did a good job of wicking away sweat, and the fabric used for the back panel gives them a decent level of breathability. The pads have also held up extremely well to repeated washing, which helps to keep them looking (and smelling) like new. Given their minimalist design I was skeptical about how long the pads would stay in place for, but even after months of use there's enough elasticity in the cuffs to keeps them from sliding down.



POC Joint VPD Knee
Even after several crashes and slide-outs the fabric is still holding strong.



Pinkbike's Take

bigquotesYes, the Joint VPD System knee pads are one of the more expensive options out there, but that price is backed up with an unsurpassed level of comfort. They're light, well-made, and most importantly, can help save those vulnerable knees during a crash. I'd love to see a more DH-oriented version with additional side protection, but as it is, cost aside, for everyday, all-round usage, these pads are tough to beat.  Mike Kazimer









121 Comments

  • 77 3
 A wise man once said "Under every pad is a scar." Kneepads are cheap insurance, and I never ride without them.
  • 7 0
 yup. multiple knee injuries made pads an easy descision after a few years
  • 6 1
 I broke a chain years back on a steep climb and smashed my kneecap at full force into the stem. That got me into knee pads. Since then, bailing really feels a lot better.
  • 3 1
 What about us with monster knees and legs? Won't these just slip down?
  • 1 0
 @richierocket: dunno, i use race face ambushs, theyre more than big enough for my tree trunks, and dont need shoes removed either.
  • 27 3
 I like POC stuff, but will never be willing to pay their prices. Lots of other options out there that are more affordable.
  • 6 0
 Watch PB buysell and Craigslist. I picked up brand new POC pads for $50
  • 8 1
 Not many that are better though. Love my POC pads, they are very comfortable, stay in place, and still in great shape after a couple full seasons. As an example, I have owned a few pair another brands knee pads that may be less expensive but they pretty much only satisfy the first criteria.
  • 2 2
 I love my POCs too. The first time I 'used' them I was surprised how the VPD material hardened up around my knee on impact with a big sharp rock, and saved me form injury. My only gripe is for the price they should be machine washable. I don't always have time to hand wash my pads after every ride.
  • 1 0
 @coltybear15: yep. I’ve got a set of pic pads (brand new) that were too big for me in the buy/sell forum right now.
  • 2 0
 It is well worth the price. The original VPD had some issues where it would slide down, but nothing like that with the 2.0 and anything after that versions. They work well and stay in place. It may be pricy, but a pair of knee pads should last several seasons.
  • 3 0
 @Mojo348: You can machine wash them without any issues. I would hang dry them afterwards. I have done this many times. Just make sure the velcro is secure.
  • 2 1
 POC gloves are the first pair I've owned that I haven't put a whole in any of the fingers after a couple of rides. They've held up all summer long. The extra money I paid was worth it.
  • 1 0
 3+ hard years in my pocket knee pads. Well worth the money spent even with cheaper alternatives
  • 1 0
 I thought the same thing at one time. Then I tried on every other brand of pad at Bike Bling (which at the time was just about everything you could think of) and the POC fit me best and was most comfortable. Yeah, I could have spent less and gotten the same amount of protection or more. But, at the end of the day for me the other options just weren't as comfortable, and would've probably made riding less enjoyable, so it was worth the money to me. YMMV
  • 1 0
 I should add though that I have the VPD air, not these ones. The VPD air where significantly cheaper than these, but still a little on the pricey side of things.
  • 1 0
 @Mojo348: I got the previous model, already with VPD but sans Kevlar as a top layer on the outside. Machine wash is totally fine, 30-40°C, throw some detergent and laundry disinfectant in there as well.... works like a charm. But try to adjust your spin cycle not above 800-1000 rpm, the VPD might twist and tear, depending on how it sits in the machine..... had this happening on my Bluegrass 3DO jacket shoulder inserts, no fun. :/
  • 1 0
 I'm gonna add to the support for POC pads/apparel: Polygiene. I've got three sets of knee pads, one from POC (VPD 2 Knee). I originally purchased them because they performed the best in a rather comprehensive test (something like 15 different pads) at absorbing impact force, but the anti-odor treatment works so well I've since purchased a few POC riding shirts and a spine jacket. The other pads and any other shirt absolutely wreak after one ride. I hate washing gear after every ride ("I only wore it for two hours and it wasn't muddy!"), but man is it hard to pull that stinky crap on the next day, even if I'm just going to make it stink again. I can wear the POC pads and shirts for who knows how many rides and they still don't stink (I always end up washing before they ever start stinking, at least a half dozen rides for the pads). Maybe other makers are using similar treatments now, but at the time it was only POC. Worth something to me.
  • 1 1
 @Mojo348: I was at an Army open day earlier this and one of the guys was showing us some of this polymer stuff. He flattens it out and puts it on the back of his hand. Puts his hand on a table and whacks the crap out of it with a hammer. No hand damage at all. Really cool stuff.
  • 1 0
 @Mojo348: for the record I had no idea they weren't machine washable... I do it all the time.
  • 1 0
 @Jason300b:
Which forum,, I could use a set of size large
  • 17 1
 I've been really happy with the IXS Flow knee pads. They are light weight, feel very comfortable and stay well in place with the single strap above the calf - good trail riding pads.
  • 7 1
 I second that. I've been using the Hans Rey flavor for a couple seasons, the best $69 I could spend!
  • 6 1
 @JWadd: I have the same Hans Rey edition pads. Bike-Discount sells them for 46€. That is some serious value!
  • 3 0
 Ive got a pair of ixs flows still going strong after 3 seasons, the strap on the top of the calf is the winner for me, they never move out of place.
  • 7 1
 I wear them for the last 6 months and they're awesome, never moved, protected me and still in a good shape after 2/3 washing machines.... and important point : you don't notice them while pedalling up/transitioning! I have some knee pain (who doesn't here?!) and I can pedal with them on every time! The other VPD AIR are more noticeable. Good quality + protection + light + cheap doesn't match easily...
  • 3 45
flag NYShred (Oct 25, 2017 at 8:55) (Below Threshold)
 Sorry you had to pay $150 for that experience. I've bought no-name $20 gel kneepads from the pharmacy that performed the same way.
  • 16 3
 @NYShred: yup gut mine fur free in da trsh made uf currburd yup thats da shit bruuu
(note the french with average english trying to sound retarded while writting. If you have a better version of this, thanks for your help.)
  • 2 0
 @fracasnoxteam: lmao this'll do.
  • 1 0
 @wmelton14: thank you very much. I really appreciate.
  • 11 3
 These look pretty awesome for a lightweight everyday set of pads that I really kneed.
  • 5 0
 No side-padding? That's the part I hit on my knees the most when just doing trail riding, smacking that top tube with the inside of my knee is more common than ground impacts sadly....
  • 8 15
flag the-lorax (Oct 25, 2017 at 9:59) (Below Threshold)
 I know you're being facetious, but it sounds a simple solution to me. I would bet money that you have a pronation issue, and correcting that in your bike shoe would likely result in no more bruises.

I am a rep/friends with the owner of Foot Foundation. I pronate excessively (so does the majority of the population) and use their custom angled "wedges" to bring me back to a neutral stance. It's changed both my skiing and biking immeasurably.

I used to get bruised knees all the time from riding and not only have I not gotten a knee-bruise in years but my hip flexors are less tense and i don't have as difficult a time keeping my feet in the correct position on the pedals anymore either.

As a ski boot fitter in the winter, I have helped out innumerable skiers correct their pronation who had no idea they had a pronation issue.

www.footfoundation.com
Check out this video of before/after on a bike: vimeo.com/77426608

Feel free to message me if you are interested or have questions.
  • 4 0
 No velcro means no bueno .Ive had a set of these and yes they are comfortable (like others) but they dont even stay up that well...and for that price? lol Never again, get yourself a set of IXS for 80$ instead.Just as comfortable and they wont slide down to your shins EVER
  • 6 0
 Imo Silicone grippers lose their grip over time and washing, I always go for pads with straps for this reason.
  • 2 0
 Totally agree. They always stretch over time and lose their effectiveness in a crash.
  • 2 0
 Must say I have the super expensive VPD DH ones and even though they go on very tight, those pads still slip. The new TLD ones I now weardon't and are waaaay lighter. All that protection doesn't do anything if it slids off the knee upon impact.
  • 3 0
 Any suggestions on a manufacturer that makes knee pads that will fit those of us with larger legs? Most brands largest size is still a bit small.
  • 1 0
 Ixs flow pads in xl are pretty big
  • 1 0
 My upper circumference is cca 55 cm and my xl ions fits perfect.
  • 1 0
 These are spendy and not worth it for most people.........but if you're 17" at the calf this is one of the only knee pads that you can slide on. If you have big 'ole hammer calves these are probably your best bet-especially if you're stuck mail ordering decent pads because the LBS (or LBS's) nearby don't bother stocking stuff like pads and reinforced gloves.
  • 1 0
 Alpinestars Paragon knee have been on my knees for the past 1.5 years or so, still going strong, still super comfy, and they've protected my knees from pretty dire consequences more than once. And they're like 1/3 of the price of these.
  • 1 0
 I love POC helmets (and won't use anything else) but i had an elbow guard and every time (no exceptions) i crashed that pad would just slide straight up my arm and i end up with a bloody elbow as if nothing was there.

Contacted POC twice (in at least 2 crashes) with pics and explanations but never heard back from their customer service.
  • 1 0
 I've been riding these and the matching elbows all summer, they are unreal. All my lightest trail pads are superceded by these as ar me DH pads. They breath better than any of them apart from me airiest Leatt pads (which offer 1/5th the protection) and never move on a ride no matter how rough. Used them in Finale Ligure on EWS runs all day long and didnt touch them (in temps up to 40C!).

My only gripe is lack of side knee coverage (which POC had lacked for years) and slightly longer shin coverage. My TLD RAID knees fit this bill but are MUCH warmer and not quite as nice to pedal in.
  • 3 1
 Been using their knee and elbow pads for ages, and i'm going for the full jacket next year. The prices are always exaggerated that's true.
  • 5 1
 Are they 4x as good as the Alpinestar Paragons?
  • 4 1
 We kneed a knee pad comparison-shoot out!!!
Let's see what the industry has. Including a list of pros/cons.
  • 7 0
 We did one last year: www.pinkbike.com/news/trail-knee-guards-ridden-and-rated-2016.html, but doing another round down the line is definitely a possibility.
  • 2 0
 @mikekazimer: Are these twice as good (as they are twice as expensive) as the Dainese TrailSkins 2?

I have the OG trail skins and the trailskins seem very similar technology-wise but with even more airflow than these. You said you've tried a lot of kneepads....
  • 2 0
 @zepper: The Trailskins 2 are a little more breathable, and do offer better side impact protection, but for overall fit and comfort, the POC pads take the win.
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer: Cool, thank you for the quick reply!
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer: next time include the ixs flow. great pads that seem to get great reviews elsewhere.
  • 4 0
 These look great. But why they always forget about the shin?
  • 1 0
 Check out the new Rockingtor with floating transparent shins...
  • 1 0
 Cause they're mostly geared for XC use? So unless you're new at flats, you don't really need any shin protection.
POC also has longer pads, the VPD 2.0 Long Knee which are cheaper than these.
  • 1 0
 The elastic-only idea is concerning. Will it stretch out? I suppose you're only supposed to hand wash and dry them to help prevent that from happening. Velcro wears out too, but seems to last a good long time.
  • 1 0
 I've had mine for a few years and they're still going strong. The comfort thing is quite important to me - I didn't mind paying a bit of a premium for this as I thought I'd not use them if they weren't comfortable, making them a meaningless purchase. Yes there are other pads out there and most of not all are cheaper, but it was the fit that sold these to me. I did have a pair of Poc bones before and these were Velcro fastening. The Velcro goes long before the pad...
  • 2 0
 tld raid hasent let me down yet and i wear them every ride from xc to park runs
  • 1 0
 A decent comfortable pads is an important part of a mtbers kit, only a fool rides without them, that or someone who has never kneed a rock at 25mph
  • 3 0
 Have a set of these and love them! Super comfy
  • 2 0
 I have these. Can ride for hours, finish the ride, hit the pub and not remember they were on until I get home. Best ever.
  • 1 0
 that sounds like the beer talkin'.
  • 1 0
 Best knee pad hands down is the 7 Protection Control. I guess its a preference thing, but blew my POC knee pads out of the water.
  • 1 0
 One day someone will make some pads that don't DISPLAY the name IN LARGE PRINT......I am not sponsored so I would like a black pair without logo PLEASE
  • 8 6
 $50 in the clearance bin in 6 months
  • 1 0
 Where!?
  • 2 1
 Oh you mean I’m the next 6 months? No way. They’ve been around and this expensive for a while. I have them. They’re worth it.
  • 1 0
 Are these rated to any safety standard like some of the other (Leatt) pads?
  • 3 1
 I really kneed a pair of joints right now.
  • 1 0
 I would happily settle for one
  • 2 1
 I have a hard paying 150$US for kneepad, they will end up smelling like shit after 3-4 months of use anyway.
  • 7 1
 Wash them.
  • 1 2
 @IN4M: come on. I was them after every ride.
  • 6 1
 @bikeavard: Use soap and water. Not urine and onions.
  • 1 0
 Not buying it. With my luck those things would be down to my ankles revealing a huge gash on my knee
  • 1 0
 have POC stuff. Problem is the pads are too hot. I wear Leatt now and better protection.
  • 1 0
 Which model Leatt do you use?
  • 1 0
 Hope these stay in place better than the older VPD pads. They slipped down on impact.
  • 1 0
 whats the difference between these and the lesser expensive vpd 2.0 other than I can see the vpd 2.0 has velcro straps?
  • 2 4
 So, in order to get a 'comfortable' pair of knee pads, you have to pay $150?
Or, is this more of the same 'ole PB making whatever they're reviewing at the moment seem like the greatest item in existence?
I've personally found a multitude of 'comfortable' knee pads over the years, that even now cost less than half of what POC wants for theirs. PB endorsement not withstanding, I'll choose my pads based off my own experiences thankyouverymuch
  • 3 0
 Nope. You can get comfortable knee pads for half that price, and I clearly mention that the price is high in the review. That being said, I've tried close to a dozen different knee pads over the last couple of years, and these are some of my favorites.
  • 1 0
 I own the knees and elbows. they are awesome! wish they had 1 strap to adjust tension
  • 1 0
 P.rotection O.nly C.oncern. Love and swear by them. Expensive but less compared to a hospital bill.
  • 1 0
 Been impressed with my POC Bones,incredibly comfortable, nothing comes close for coverage/protection.
  • 2 2
 Did these replace the VPD air ? I have VPD 2.0 and they look more protective than these.
  • 3 1
 I’m guessing so which is good, I sold my VPD Air pads to get the trail pads dakine makes. The Poc ones always slid down within a minute of downhilling.
  • 1 0
 @andnyleswillriot: my VPD 2.0 are sweet, a little too much for trail riding though.
  • 1 0
 VPD 2.0 has better sizing and shape imho. Joint VPD replaces the VPD Air.
  • 1 0
 why is there not a cut out on the back of the knee to make it cooler?
  • 4 0
 I'm not sure POC's exact reasoning, but my guess would be that with this design there aren't any seams to chafe and annoy you when you're pedaling.
  • 1 0
 personally it's the chafing but the material is almost lyka second skin. Yes, price is absurd but the protection plus comfort for almost all day wear is second to none.
  • 1 0
 ION k-sleeve works great for me...just too long to put in
  • 1 0
 ION K-Pact here. Exactly what Kaz was hoping for in a slightly burlier kneepad. Sas-tec padding, good side protection, straps, stay in place like crazy, even to the point the are hard to take off! And easily the most comfortable knee pad i have ever put on. 5/5
  • 1 0
 @hirvi: I assume you use them for DH only, right? Bought a pair a few weeks ago and I like them going downhill, but even on the shortest uphills they are too warm and slide around when pedaling. Probably should have bought the K-Lites
  • 1 0
 @nikxwar: Nope, done enduro races and all in them. They are warm, that's true, but once i get a little sweat in them they don't move a millimeter no matter what i do. I have no idea how you get them to slide around!
  • 1 0
 Any comparison comfort-wise to IXS Flow?
  • 2 0
 not sure about IXS flow tho but POC have sweat wicking, temperature sensitive fabric that you wouldn't know it exist. Especially when the weather gets hotter, somehow u won't feel lyka sweat reservoir inside the pads. The fabric absorbs and wick those away. U virtually won't feel any strap bites under prolong wear and the pads stays(it does).

only issue i have is flat pedal bites on the calf sock side of the pads.
  • 1 0
 Will they fit snug on karate kid arms?
  • 1 0
 If you are burley surely they won’t fit
  • 1 0
 Why pay $150 usd when you can buy Raceface for like $80 ????
  • 1 0
 Stoked to try them out.
  • 1 0
 Hans Rey ftw
  • 3 3
 POC don’t play around!
Below threshold threads are hidden





Copyright © 2000 - 2023. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv65 0.048928
Mobile Version of Website