Save the Knees
The pedaling-friendly knee protection segment has grown dramatically over the last few years, and there are now dozens of options that are designed to be worn all day without causing discomfort.
For the most part, this style of pad uses a sleeve type design, similar to a knee warmer, with a large main pad constructed from some sort of viscoelastic material that hardens up on impact. Dainese is the outlier in this group – they use rubber that's been formed into a honeycomb lattice to help dissipate impacts.
No matter the material used, all 6 of the options included here meet CE level 1 certification, which was originally designed for protective motorcycle apparel. The test involves a 5kg weight being dropped with a force of 50 joules onto the pad. The resulting force is measured, and the average of nine tests must be less than 35 kN, with no single impact greater than 50 kN. Essentially, seeking out pads with that certification helps make you're purchasing protection that will at least do something
in the event of an impact, rather than just being knee warmers that'll help hold all the pieces together.
What follows is a round up of 6 new options that I've been putting to the test over the last six months. For even more options, there are 10 more picks featured in the Round Up article
that was published last spring.