Should I wear my armor or not? I'm not riding a tough trail, what could POSSIBLY go wrong?
How often have you asked yourself this question when going out on an XC ride, or a more technical ride. You know you should put some armor on, but it's heavy, it's bulky, it's hot and inconvenient. Six Six one has come out with their Evo XC Lite Knee which is a soft neoprene and lycra pad with the d30™ polymer that can be velcroed on without taking off your shoes. Review inside
,They are warm, but not too warm to wear on 30+ degree days, even when you're climbing. The d30™ is reported to offer protection on hard impact. While I did not have a significant crash wearing these pads, I will attest that they do offer protection on low speed crashes and those crashes that happen where your bike slips and you fall onto your knee.
I'm sure that hard armor will offer more protection on higher speed crashes over jagged rocks. I would say that these pads would offer great protection on crashes where the result would be abrasion or laceration. A crash that could cause a bone injury may be alleviated by these pads, but I couldn't find anyone to actually test that. Design and Construction:
Light and comfy
Putting them on is easy.
* Hook and loop sleeve so the the pad can be put on or removed without removing shoes yet stays in place.
* Lightweight and flexible d30™ padding for good impact protection while still being able to pedal well.
* Light and flexible vented Neoprene and Lycra® construction.
* Upper and lower straps for easy adjustment.
* d30™ - Remains flexible but stiffens on impact. A soft flowable material that stiffens on impact.
* Used by Spyder ski apparel with the Canadian and US Olympic Ski teams.
Offered great protection from those nasty cacti abrasions.
I have worn the SixSixOne Kyle Straits, Roach knee/shin pads and older XC Fox pads.Comfort:
Having worn this in 37degree dry heat of Sedona, 30degree humid heat of British Columbia, these pads are the most comfortable pads I have worn. I also rode them on a 6 hour alpine ride involving 1000m of climbing in varying weather ( sun, rain, sleet ) and they were comfortable and warm. There was no rubbing of the straps behind my knees and no hot spots formed at all while pedaling. While any pad will be warm in these temperatures, these pads were not uncomfortable to wear. Paired with the comfort of descending these are the least obtrusive pads I have worn.
Sedona slick rock
I wore these pads on all my non-lift assisted rides on technical or fast trails where crashing would have consequences, but you are always questioning - Do I REALLY need to wear my pads? I would put the pads on at the top of the first descent and leave them on for the rest of the ride. The fact that they are compact, easily fit into my 12 liter pack and that you don't have to take off your shoes to put them on makes them very convenient and more likely to be worn. They gave me the confidence to ride sections that may cause hesitation if I wasn't wearing any pads.
While skeptical of any magical properties that these pads prevent you from crashing and denying the reality that my time just hadn't come yet I needed to see how well the padding actually worked. After finding some sharp rocks to walk on with my knees I can attest that in this situation the pads offered great protection from sharp rocks. Adding in momentum with sharp rock impact may have different results. For most XC and all mountain applications where excessive speed and impact is less likely to occur these pads offer ample protection.
While there is movement at the top of the armor part of the pad where the fabric bunches between the pad and upper velcro strap it is unclear if this will be detrimental in a crash. The Velcro is quite firm and does keep the top of the pad in place.
These pads will protect from abrasion and low impact crashes. They were not tested in a high impact crash.
They also dry fast and easily washed in the washing machine.
After using them on about 75 rides over the last four months the material and stitching is holding up well.
Comfy on the rocks
Incredibly comfortable. Offers the desired panacea effect most pads offer. They are comfortable and convenient ensuring you will wear them where you may not wear other hard shell or full knee/shin pads. Great on XC and all mountain rides. Comfortable to wear while climbing and descending.Video of the Six Six One Evo Lite Knee
These pads retail for $109.95
. In Canada they are distributed by Norco Performance Products and are available at most bike shops.
Check this link
to find a dealer near you.