The Rage Hard has been a mainstay of SixSixOne’s line for a while now, but this latest version of the knee guard is a bit of a different beast. The new-for-2016 Rage Hard features an updated chassis, sporting a larger knee cap and more side padding. There’s a minimalist movement afoot in the body-armor world, with some knee guards that are nothing more than overgrown knee warmers and, on the other end of spectrum, overbuilt models that offer the kind of bomb-proof protection you’d look to from a full-on DH kit. Where does the Rage Hard fit in the scheme of things?
Rage Hard Knee Pad Details
• Flexible, internal knee cap
• Hardshell, external knee cap
• Extensive, EVA side padding
• Hook-and-loop/elastic gripper combo
• Colors: black
• Sizes: S, M, L, XL
• Weight: 557 grams (size L)
• MSRP: $75 USD
The Rage Hard steers a little closer to the full-face-helmet-and-chairlift end of the bell curve, although SixSixOne has made definite efforts here to create a set of pads that can be pedaled about comfortably. Available in sizes S, M, L and XL, the Rage Hards sell for $75 USD. On the Trail
Knee pads that chafe, loosen up and weigh a ton are not worth the trouble of wearing. I wasn’t sure how the Rage Hards would measure up, given that they are a bit burlier than a lot of the 3D0-style guards that I often ride in.
Well, let’s start with the pros—the actual protective quality is outstanding. SixSixOne has married the same flexible inner knee cup found in their soft-shell Rage knee guards with a hard, outer plastic shell that does a fine job of blunting impacts and sliding/deflecting off of rocks and such when you do actually eat shit. So, yes, they work like a champ. There is also quite a bit more padding on the shin and sides of the pad than you find on most of the competitors in this class. If I knew I was definitely going to be riding over my head today, I’d definitely strap these things on.
For a stout set of guards, they are also fairly comfortable. SixSixOne has clearly worked on making that a reality by making a fairly flexible pad that, on the backside, also sports a lightweight mesh. Bottom line, the backs and sides of my knees never got rubbed raw, even on all-day rides. I’ve ridden plenty of pads that aren’t this comfortable.
That isn’t to say, however, that the Rage Hards are perfect. For starters, these guards weigh a fair bit more than a lot of other “all mountain/enduro” style pads. It’s not a huge deal, but it is noticeable.
Second, the pads do have a tendency to migrate south after an hour or more of pedaling—this despite the fact that each pad is equipped with a large Velcro-strap, elastic grippers on the calves and plenty of internal silicone printing on both the top and bottom of each pad. To their credit, SixSixOne has also equipped the Rage Hards with their PADLOCK connection system-essentially, a snap that attaches the pads to SixSixOne’s Evo shorts and keeps the Rage Hards from growing all droopy. That’s a cool feature, no doubt, but the Rage Hards should stay in place by their own bad selves. The slippage is not as severe as what I've experienced with some other pads, but it'll prove noticeable if you're the type who pedals all day in knee guards. If, on the other hand, you're the shuttling/bike park type, you can pretty much ignore the last 100 words.Pinkbike's Take
|Outstanding protection quality, both for your knee and the ligaments/tendons running alongside it. This is also a pad you can pedal all day in, but there are other models out there that do a better job of staying put. - Vernon Felton|