Scott Grenade EVO Knee Guards - Review

Jul 13, 2017
by Vernon Felton  
Scott Grenade EVO pads

The Grenade EVOs are an upgrade on Scott’s classic Grenade Pro II knee guards. Like the original, the Grenade EVO is aimed at riders who are looking for a set of pads that’ll take the full brunt of the worst crashes. The guards features two very healthy slabs of D3O padding—the pliable stuff that gets real firm real fast when you smack into things—that get assists from a generous ring of EVA foam padding that runs atop and alongside the main D3O pads.

Scott Grenade EVO Details
• Flexible D3O knee pads
• Abrasion-resistant front panel
• Localized, EVA side padding

• Perforated, neoprene construction with stretch-mesh back panel
• Weight 630 grams
• MSRP: $129.99 USD
www.scott-sports.com

On Trail

The problem with heavy-duty pads is they usually feel like heavy duty pads—nothing you’d actually want to pedal around in. The original Grenade Pros already had a reputation for being surprisingly comfortable. The EVOs take it a step further, with the addition of a full-mesh back panel. The EVOs are a bit lighter (30 grams on my scale) and breathability has, no surprise, improved as well.

But let’s get back to protection, the Grenade EVOs feature a tough, abrasion-resistant cover over the tops of the main pads. The D3O inserts work as advertised—offering the kind of protection that you’d expect from a hardshell guard, without the nagging, back-and-forth drag across your kneecap. Bike park? Downhill? The Grenade EVOs are a solid choice.


Scott Grenade EVO pads
Scott Grenade EVO pads
Plenty of pads skip on side protection, but you can't say that of either the old (right) or new (left) Grenades.


The Grenade EVOs also make sense for riders who aren’t beholden to the chairlift. For my money, these are the most comfortable, full-duty guards out there. They’re also far less bulky than many other pads offering this much protection. That said, you will notice their weight. The EVOs weigh 30 grams less than their predecessor and the breathability is better, but they are still heavier and hotter than the current generation of strapless, knee-warmers-on-sterioids pads. You're toting around an extra 200 to 300 grams than you would be if you were sporting a set of lightweight kneeguards. Then again, the EVOs never slip and they completely outclass those lighter pads in terms of impact absorption. As a guy who eats shit a fair bit, I consistently reach for the Scotts. I have to admit, to be fair, that the mercury on my backyard thermometer rarely raises its head above 90 Fahrenheit (32.2 Celsius), so perhaps I’m a bit more forgiving of warmer pads than riders living in hotter climes.


Scott Grenade EVO pads
At left, the old Grenade Pro IIs after two seasons. At right, the EVOs after one. The new, mesh back panel is a bit too light for my tastes.

I do have one nit to pick with the new EVOs. That new mesh back panel reduces weight and increases comfort (the previous model was mainly neoprene with a tiny bit of mesh directly behind the knee), but it’s also prone to tearing. When removing the guards, you need to be diligent about grabbing and pulling down from the front of each guard. After one long ride, I came home exhausted and (not thinking too clearly) grasped the guard too closely to the mesh as I pulled them off—RRRRIP. Crap.

I’m also noticing a fair bit of wear on the mesh panels that is simply a byproduct of pedaling. In short, while I laud Scott for trying to make their Grenade guards more pedaling-friendly, they’ve inadvertently created a weakness here. I’ve been riding the pads with one large hole and a couple small holes in the mesh panel for the better part of a season now—they still work just fine—but this is something Scott needs to rectify with their next generation of guards.

Scott Grenade EVO pads


Pinkbike's Take

bigquotes"Comfortable" usually isn't the first adjective associated with a set of gravity-style guards, but Scott's Grenade EVOs manage to be incredibly comfortable while offering plenty of protection. You can pedal all day in these things without them slipping, cheese-grating your knee caps or smacking your handlebars. There is a lot that Scott got right with the Grenade EVOs. The full-mesh back panel, however, is a weakness—it's prone to premature wear and tear. I get where they were going here, but durability suffers a bit in the pursuit of improved breathability. Vernon Felton


Must Read This Week

54 Comments

  • + 22
 Another 100$ plus item that doesn't last a season. Any word from the warranty department?
  • + 3
 Tldr: buy the old ones?
  • + 7
 I have had a set of the old ones since 2014 and have absolutely TOMAHAWKED myself in them a few times. I have had plenty of slide outs and other minor crashes too. Don't be fooled, or foolish, these pads are badass.
  • + 5
 Nailed it. Only worse product are mtb gloves
  • + 3
 @Squeakybb: worse than one industries gloves? O_o
  • + 1
 @Squeakybb: Thanks, I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks so.
  • + 1
 I've imagined it's a scam. Sell products at top price; make customer buy again after one season.
  • + 1
 @david-kooi: That's business nowadays.
  • + 1
 Knee guards are for the dead.
  • + 22
 Grenade kneepads, useful when you want to Pin it!
  • + 8
 Every knee pad review interests me because my well abused 3+ year old POCs are smelling like they need replacement. But then I see rips, stretched material and complaints of comfort in various reviews... seems like I should just get another set of POCs for the next 3 years.
  • + 4
 I also have a 3 year old set of POC knee pads and if/when they finally die, they will most definitely be replaced with a new set of POC knee pads.

Any company that makes a product that durable/comfortable/effective deserves to be rewarded for their hard work with a little bit of brand loyalty, imo.
  • + 1
 Soak 'em in vinegar! Good to go for another 3
  • + 1
 My mate has put his through the washing machine a few times. I'm too scared to do that, but if they are so bad you're considering replacement it's worth a try, eh?
  • + 1
 @slimboyjim: hah, I have certainly washed them many times. The dead skin and scabs just kinds of build up. As soon as they get sweaty again... Death
  • + 1
 Ever thought about the ixs dagger?
  • + 1
 @arrowheadrush: diluted vinegar works for me, and then rinse them and throw them in the wash. no more smells
  • + 1
 I don't own Pics but my 661s have been through the washing machine a couple of times and they come out looking new and not smelling
  • + 1
 ION Kpact are the best pads I've owned. Tried some Fox ones, IXS, TLD, these are comfy enough to just keep on all the time and are DH-level protection
  • + 1
 Try adding baking soda to the wash. Helps with the smell of my ride gear immensely.
  • + 10
 I kneed these.
  • + 7
 @vernonfelton that right knee pad still haunts me.

"The odor, The odor"
-Marlon Brando
  • + 6
 That's what happens when you steal my knee pads....my reek haunts you. Thanks for washing them.
  • + 6
 If one falls often, hardshell is what you need.
  • + 1
 i'm having trouble finding a good pair that are comfortable pedaling in for a few hours. the POC full leg ones are oddly super comfortable (but overkill most of the time), but the POC DH knee pads i tried were immediately uncomfortable, same as the IXS daggers.

any other brands to try?
  • + 4
 @xeren: My recommendation would be the Leatt Dual Axis. They look bulky, but they are the best knee guard I have ever used. Surprisingly light, comfortable to pedal in, super breathable, and the most protection you can buy. Also, only $70. Mine have stood up to two years of near constant abuse, high speed crashes, sharp rocks, and my washing machine. My only gripe is that any hard shell knee pad can scratch your frame a bit when you are pedaling in them, so I put tape on my top tube to keep it from getting scratched. Fox also makes a good articulated knee/shin hard shell, but I prefer the Leatt Dual Axis, its some robo-cop level protection.
  • + 1
 @ghotinori: thanks, I'll check these out!
  • + 2
 Currently on my second pair of Scott Grenade Pros (my mastiff used the last ones as dental floss) and for me they are the best set of knee pads I've come across thus far (and I have a shed full of different brands Fox, IXS, 661 etc..). The problem for me is that when they get wet they can move and cause some nice wear holes in your knee if you are clocking up lots of kilometres. Also as noted the mesh is prone to tearing if you are not careful in taking them off or putting them on. However when compared to other brands they are very good and have save me many, many times.
  • + 1
 I've been wearing the Grenade Pro II knee guard's now for 2 years and they are still going strong. Through spring, summer, fall and winter they have never let me down. No tears or seams coming undone. They have been through 2 major crashes and several smaller off the bike crashes and my knees come out good. All I can say is these are the best.
  • + 1
 D30 is excellent protector, you won't feel any crashes at all. The problem is heat accumulation and after 30 min you can boil eggs in your knee pads. I think there are no better body armor then Dianese. You are definitely not as much insulated from hard contact with Mother Earth but they protect just enough to prevent from any injury at any speed. On other hand they weightlessness, won't slip even when you are sweaty, you feel nice breeze penetrate fabrics, you can pedal all day long in luxury, and they durable. Try Armoform for downhill, or trailskin 2 for trail. You never go back to any other manufacturer.
  • + 1
 I have not ridden the Scott pads but I recently picked up a set of TLD Raid's. After wearing everything from 661 to AStar and back, I couldn't be happier with the Raid's. Super comfy. Good padding. A little hot. But it's a real kneepad and you can pedal in it. I bet they'd outlast the Scott pads...
  • + 0
 I have the Raid's as well, and they seem to be holding up ok but I've only got 3/4 of a season on them, and our season is kinda short here in the Northeast. Definitely gets hot but as long as it holds up I won't complain about the heat.
  • + 1
 i've had these 661 Evo puppies for like 4 years now, not daily use, but a decent amount of weekend use for DH, and they still look perfect and you forget they're there:

www.wigglestatic.com/product-media/5360070365/661-evo-knee-pads-12-blk.jpg?w=2000&h=2000&a=7
  • + 1
 The most important question and one which is seldom answered in reviews is whether the pads stay in place in a crash. My experience (and many others) is that many knee pads shift in a crash and result in injuries almost as serious as if no pads had been worn at all.

How they look and feel while being worn is all very nice, but do they actually work?
  • + 0
 I'm in need of an upgrade in knee and elbow protection, esp after the China Peak enduro and Mammoth coming up. Anybody using the new Fox Racing Launch Pro D3O? any comments on that, Vernon?? I can't find any reviews other than the older Launch Pros, but not the new D3Os. Anything will be an upgrade from my GForms of course, but pedaling 3-4K uphill is a concern for sure. If these are comfy, then I may take the risk of the mesh..
  • + 2
 I've been using the old Launch Pros for 3+ seasons and they're awesome! Super comfy even with the hard cap, and in the hot Arizona sun. Probably gonna get another set when these wear out (which they almost have)
  • + 1
 @DesertFox94: thx man. Protection good too I suppose?
  • + 2
 @ajjrsons: I have a set of the new Launch d30's that i've been using for about 4 months on and off. I wouldn't wear them for anything that I have to pedal to in over an hour though as they got hot right about then. they do ventilate really well for being so well padded and worlds better than the older version or like the 661 kyle straits or even the new tld raids i've found. they flex well and you dont feel anything crashing haha
  • + 3
 Those could have gone well with the Cannondale Claymore... I'll show myself out, thanks. Smile
  • - 1
 Something g similar to these are ixs dagger. Dh like protection, light and plyable enough to pedal all day. Had a hard crash on them the other day and they stayed planted in place. Well worth $100
  • + 1
 mine were sooo uncomfortable, i sold them off. a review i had read said that there was a piece of material that pokes into your leg that causes rubbing issues, but i ignored it, and sure enough, that damned material was trying to rub my skin off
  • + 2
 How are these for weight compared to the POV vpd 2.0?
  • + 0
 A well padded review with nothing to cause knee jerk reactions. That is unless you hate puns. Well done PB.
  • + 0
 Ixs dagger, cheaper, harder, comfortable and more durable, the problem with d 30 it easily damages by trees
  • - 1
 Looks like they don't go too high up thigh=after 1st impact theyll slide down.
Gta have the models lift the shorts....again
  • + 0
 Just wondering about the g-form knee pads??, any comments, thanks.
  • + 1
 Don't bother with the g-form. There just isn't enough protection, impacts can get between plates, and without any strap closure they tend to slide down the leg in rough terrain.
  • + 1
 @lazarus2405: Great, thanks for that.
  • + 0
 Perfectly paired with your fox shock, cost a bomb too
  • + 0
 Nice to have extra protection if things explode
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