Six Six One Evo Lite Knees - Reviewed

Sep 16, 2010
by Sharon Bader  
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
Light and comfy

Putting them on is easy.
Putting them on is easy.

Design Features

* 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.
Offered great protection from those nasty cacti abrasions.

Previous Armour:

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
Sedona slick rock

Subjective:

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.

Rockin' Seymour
Rockin' Seymour

Objective:

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
Comfy on the rocks

Overall Impression:

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:

Views: 5,241    Faves: 0    Comments: 6



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.


45 Comments

  • + 4
 having owned the original 661 Evo d30 knee pads, and suffered some crashes wearing them - I would not recommend them if you ride rocky areas!

they are great for dirt jumping, skatepark and smoother terrain

but anything hard / sharp enough will penetrate the d30 and cause a nasty injury

I have gone back to wearing the 661 Kyle Straits which I find better for pedalling (the plastic cap inside stops any pad rub, by keeping the material away from your knee cap) and for protection they are much better, even in rocks - cheaper too Wink
  • + 1
 Agreed. I wear the standard evo knees for dirt jumping (they fit under jeans) and have had crashes, fallen on to my knee and been fine. That stuff really does work. I wear hard shell for DH and personally I don't bother for XC because I HATE pedalling in knee pads of any description! I might try these for winter though as they would keep your knees warm at the same time Smile
  • + 1
 I also wear Kyle Straits, I really cant imagine buying knee pads without a hard shell. Few summers ago I went over the bars onto rocks and ended having to have my knee drained......wearing pads similar to these. Considering how comfortable my KStraits are, I dont see the point of not having that extra bit of protection.
  • + 1
 I also wear the original Evo's and have had a few high speed DH crashes on them. My experience is that while they protect you somewhat from the impact and abrasions of the ground, they shift around enough on your skin that the *inside* of the pad actually gives you the abrasions. I've been left with fairly large scrapes and abrasions on areas completely covered by the pads.
  • + 1
 another experience with the 661 d30 pads was my riding buddy John

he bought the 661 d30 elbows, went into the slopestyle park at Esher, fell off, and ripped all the stitching out of the left pad, making it useless

GBP£70 wasted within 1/2 hour, and he still got a massive abrasion (like a burn mark) on his elbow through the pad...


I have found my 661 Kyle Strait pads more comfortable than my 661 d30 knee pads because the d30 pads feel too pliable and rub against my knee whilst I pedal - as mentioned in my first post, the Kyle Strait is slightly more rigid due to the plastic cap and this means the inside of the pad stays away from my knee whilst I pedal
  • + 1
 I rode the EVO D30 knees and I really like how comfortable and easy they are to pedal. Their biggest shortcoming is durability. They'll last about 2-3 months with a couple washes. The mesh material in the back breaks down from normal use. If you must have comfort and want to drop $100 bucks every 3 months then these are for you. Otherwise, the Fox Launch Pro is a similar knee guard with a hard internal plastic cup that works just as good and is more than half the cost and I've been riding them for 5 months now.
  • + 1
 Exactly what I found. 661 EVO pads don't last, are expensive, and don't work as well as the Fox Launch Pros. The EVO's may be a bit more comfortable then the Fox's, but they are not worth it by any means. Fox Launch for the win, 661 EVO for the DNF.
  • + 1
 I've only washed them twice, no dryer, they've been holding up with continued use since June.
  • + 1
 These EVO lite version does not have the mesh neoprene in the back, so I suspect these will hold up better. Although, my elbow EVO pads have held up better and I still use them. The reason may be that you're flexing the knees much more pedaling vs. elbows stay steady the majority of the time.
  • + 1
 Strange... I have had my original EVO pads for 2 seasons now, washed at least a dozen times, and had a few crashes with no sign of breaking down yet. My 661 Race shins (the white ones), however, started falling apart a few weeks after I got them though.
  • + 1
 I agree about the hard shell especially on rocky terrain. This is another option on xc rides where you don't need that extra protection and the fact that they are easier to put on makes you more likely to wear them. I also have the Kyle Straights but have been wearing these more often due to their ease of putting them on, comfort and longer rides and better then nothing protection! They are more expensive. Guess it depends on how much you value your knees...
  • + 3
 they need to bring out 3DO boxxers or briefs , my bollocks took a right kickin the other day
  • + 3
 Bigburd, have you tried being nice to women instead? Smile
  • + 1
 haha , nah mate , treat them mean and keep them umm... lose them !! nah thats not right !
  • + 1
 Look like sick pads! I am going to look into a pair of these...Would they be tight enough to fit under tight jeans? I have the Kyle Strait's right now but they are way too big to fit under my jeans so I'm just reppin volley ball pads.
  • + 1
 they fit better then the kyle straights under my riding pants. Very low profile. Note sure about TIGHT jeans... They're thinner then volly ball pads.
  • + 1
 Rad! Looking for something very low profile, but volley knees do not offer protection anywhere close to mountain biking needs. Thanks!
  • + 1
 I borrowed these pads once from a friend when i forgot mine and for anything other than xc riding they are useless. for $109.95 you basically get a flimsy, awkward to put on, knee warmer with the thinest layer of this "d30" that will basically only make hitting your knee on the stem a little less painful. if you take a serious crash into anything hard or slip a pedal and come down on the stem there is pretty much nothing between your knees and the hard place. I'll take my $180 POC knees that actually harden on impact and provide full knee protection over these flimsy over priced pieces of garbage any day.
  • + 1
 How are the POC pads anyway? I am using the original EVO pads (the thicker ones), and while they protect from impact reasonably well, they tend to shift in a crash, and the inside material will actually cause abrasions on my skin. Just wondering how the POC pads compare.
  • + 6
 too expensive :s
  • + 1
 Glad I'm not the only wuss who wears armor cross country. Although I do have to say - laugh it up. They've saved me from more than one nasty this season.
  • + 1
 I rode street bmx for years, Im 27 now and I have the knees of a 70 year old man. Trust me, wear as much protection as you can stand, even if you ride cross country.
  • + 2
 Are you serious ? $109.95 ?
NO THANKS !
  • + 1
 I realy needed pads on saturday if u look on my profile u can see the whole ife got in my knee. Blank Stare
  • + 0
 if your going to put they in your pack on the way up you may as well just put a hard shell knee in your pack just for a bit more protection on the way down.
  • + 3
 These are for those of us who also go up on the way down. Then back up again.
  • + 1
 Damn those are thin! look sweet
Below threshold threads are hidden

Post a Comment



Copyright © 2000 - 2019. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv56 0.052898
Mobile Version of Website