Construction Last August
, I had the chance to give Dainese's new Enduro Knee Guards a test. While the concept of a hybrid knee guard that worked well for enduro and heavy duty trail riding was sound, the pads had some major shortcomings. They were very uncomfortable to wear, which I addressed in the first ride at that time.
The pads were originally slated to be released in November, but Dainese held off and went back to the design phase in order to address the concerns that were brought up. The pads reviewed here are the result of those revisions.
Enduro Knee Guard Details
• Enduro Knee Pad
• ABS molded protection
• Slip-on, with upper elastic velcro strap and fixed elastic calf strap
• Colors: Black
• Sizes: S-XL
• Weight: 18.34 oz (claimed)
• MSRP: $129.99 USD
The Enduro Knee Guards are a hybrid of soft and hard-shell construction. Hard ABS plates on the front of the pad are designed to deflect impacts and offer more protection to the kneecaps and shins than a soft material would. The plates are designed to offer mobility while on the bike and pedaling, and they're mated with Dainese's "Pro-Armor" and "Crash Absorb" side padding to give additional protection and coverage.
The ABS plates are pre-curved in a position that's meant to provide freedom of movement when climbing and descending. There are elastic bands that grip the legs on both the top and across the calf, and elastic gripper lining inside of the top and bottom of the pads. The pads have a soft and breathable "Airnet" material that's coupled with a jersey mesh on the backs. The updated pad has more material at both the top and bottom of the ABS plastic, and the center section between the knee and shin protection has been revised to offer more flexibility.Performance
After trying the initial version of the knee pad, I was pleased with the amount of protection that they offered, but the discomfort quickly drowned out any benefits they provided. The good news is that the updated pads address my original concerns. They are much more comfortable, and I have no problems riding, standing or walking in them. They offer a great deal of protection and stay in place throughout hours of pedaling and descending. I tested a size medium, which fit my 5'10", 150lb, long-legged frame well.
The fit around the top of the pad is snug, and there's not a lot of room for adjustment. Ideally, I would have liked to have seen a taller and lighter duty mesh up here, something that would tuck under shorts a little more easily. It's the bunching up of material in this spot that's really the pads only shortcoming. Despite the bunched up material, the pad does stay in place and it is not uncomfortable.Pinkbike's Take