Review: 6 of the Best New Pedal-Friendly Knee Pads

Nov 23, 2020 at 15:54
by Mike Kazimer  


Save the Knees

The pedaling-friendly knee protection segment has grown dramatically over the last few years, and there are now dozens of options that are designed to be worn all day without causing discomfort.

For the most part, this style of pad uses a sleeve type design, similar to a knee warmer, with a large main pad constructed from some sort of viscoelastic material that hardens up on impact. Dainese is the outlier in this group – they use rubber that's been formed into a honeycomb lattice to help dissipate impacts.

No matter the material used, all 6 of the options included here meet CE level 1 certification, which was originally designed for protective motorcycle apparel. The test involves a 5kg weight being dropped with a force of 50 joules onto the pad. The resulting force is measured, and the average of nine tests must be less than 35 kN, with no single impact greater than 50 kN. Essentially, seeking out pads with that certification helps make you're purchasing protection that will at least do something in the event of an impact, rather than just being knee warmers that'll help hold all the pieces together.

What follows is a round up of 6 new options that I've been putting to the test over the last six months. For even more options, there are 10 more picks featured in the Round Up article that was published last spring.




Contents





Chromag Rift


Best pedal friendly knee pads review


Best known for their steel hardtails and aluminum stems, Chromag is a newcomer to the knee pad world. They've entered the mix with the Rift knee pads, which use RHEON's viscoelastic material to help absorb impacts, with additional foam padding on each side of the knee. There aren't any external adjustments on the pads, but there is a thick strip of silicone at the upper cuff to keep them from sliding down, and an elasticized band at the top of the calf.
Rift Details
• RHEON padding
• Weight: 310 grams
• CE level 1 certified
• MSRP: $125
chromagbikes.com

These pads ended up seeing the most use over that last few months due to their excellent fit and slightly thicker padding. Now, all the pads featured here meet the same certification, but Rift pads do feel a little more substantial, with slightly more padding and coverage than, say, the G-Form Pro Rugged. They do run a little warmer than pads with more open padding designs, something to consider if you're totally adverse to sliding pads down for the climbs. I should stress again just how comfortable these are – they're like little pillows for your knees, and I didn't encounter any chafing or hot spots.

Even though the main pad isn't removable the Rift pads are machine washable, and they've survived my poor laundry techniques very well. There are a few stitches that have pulled out at one of the seams at the calf. It's tough to tell if that was from a pedal pin or sewing mistake, but it's worth a mention.


Best pedal friendly knee pads review
Best pedal friendly knee pads review

Pros
+ Very comfortable
+ Good protection, even on side of knees


Cons
- On the higher end of the price scale
- Slightly warmer than more ventilated options



Pearl Izumi Elevate


Best pedal friendly knee pads review


The Elevate knee guards borrow heavily from Pearl Izumi's popular knee warmer design, with a tall cuff that extends to mid-thigh. D3O handles the impact absorption duties, with holes cut into the padding itself to help promote air flow, and a mesh cover. There are smaller pads on each side of the knee, although they're fairly minimal – I wouldn't mind if these were thickened up a little for more protection.
Elevate Details
• D3O padding
• Weight: 354 grams
• CE level 1 certified
• MSRP: $125 USD
pearlizumi.com

The fit of the Elevate pads was comfortable and unobtrusive, and the airflow through the front of the pads is noticeable. The upper elastic band and the overall length of the pads kept them from sliding down, but the upper cuff fabric seemed to lose some of its stretch over time, creating a slightly baggy fit. Maybe it'd be a different story if I had Dangerholm's legs, but I'm not holding my breath on that happening any time soon.

The main pad sits in an elastic pocket that makes it easily removable for washing. There are a couple stray threads here and there, but all of the main seams are completely intact – the stitches that have given up aren't crucial.

Best pedal friendly knee pads review
Best pedal friendly knee pads review

Pros
+ Well ventilated
+ Extended upper cuff helps keep them in place

Cons
- Pricey
- Upper cuff fabric could be stretchier for better fit





G-Form Pro Rugged


Best pedal friendly knee pads review


G-Form have taken steps over the last few years to make their kneepads more appealing to a wider range of riders while still providing plenty of protection. The Pro Ruggeds use the same SmartFlex material that put them on the map in the first place, except that it's now covered with a layer of Armortex abrasion-resistant fabric that's designed to increase the durability, with the side benefit of making them look a whole lot better.
Pro Rugged Details
• Smart Flex padding
• Weight: 279 grams
• CE level 1 certified
• MSRP: $79
g-form.com

An elastic upper strap with two strips of silicone helps keep the pads from sliding down, and there's also a velcro strap for further fine tuning of the fit.

The positioning of that strap at the back of the leg makes it a little hard to see, it didn't do much to increase the tightness of the cuff, at least for my size. Even though the velcro strap didn't do much, the pads stayed in place very well, and I didn't run into any comfort-related issues. However, the stitching has started to come undone at that same upper strap. All of the pulled stitching is at the bottom of the upper cuff, so the performance hasn't been compromised, but it's still a ding against these pads in the durability department.

My favorite feature of the Pro Ruggeds was the low profile, which makes them work well with pants. They do run a little hotter than the Dainese and Pearl Izumi pads due to the lack of ventilation in the front, something to keep in mind if you're on the hunt for the airiest pad out there.


Best pedal friendly knee pads review
Best pedal friendly knee pads review

Pros
+ Lightweight
+ Low profile design fits well under pants

Cons
- Velcro strap system could use refinement
- Stitching coming undone at upper strap




Dakine Slayer


Best pedal friendly knee pads review


Dakine's Slayer kneepad received a slightly updated design for 2020, and was joined in the lineup by the Slayer Pro, which gets a velcro strap across the top and some additional padding on the sides.

It's the standard Slayer that's featured here, which uses Dakine's DK Impact polyeurethane foam to ward off blows, with a Cordura outer providing abrasion resistance. The upper cuff has a wide elastic band, with silicone dots to help keep it from sliding down.

Slayer Details
• DK Impact padding
• Weight: 359 grams
• CE level 1 certified
• MSRP: $65
dakine.com

The DK Impact foam is on the stiffer side of the spectrum, which can make it a little trickier to pull the pads on and off. Once it warms up it does soften up and becomes more form fitting, with a low profile shape that works well even when worn under pants. The pads do run a little small around the calf area, so riders who typically find themselves between sizes may want to go up a size.

It was the Slayer's resistance to slippage that impressed me the most – once they were on I rarely had to adjust them at all.

Best pedal friendly knee pads review
Best pedal friendly knee pads review

Pros
+ Reasonable price
+ Secure, slip-free fit


Cons
- Stiffness of main pad makes taking them on / off more of a challenge
- A little warmer than more highly ventilated options




Fox Enduro D3O


Best pedal friendly knee pads review

Fox's Enduro D3O knee guards are on the more minimalist side of the spectrum - on the scale they're the lightest out of all the pads featured here. There's still a decent amount of protection at the front of the knee, though, thanks to a D3O pad, which extends an inch or so futher down the shin compared to other pads for a little extra coverage.

However, if you're looking for something that can withstand repeated crashes through sharp rocks you might want to go with something a little more robust.
Enduro D3O Details

• D3O padding
• Weight: 274 grams
• CE level 1 certified
• MSRP: $84.95
foxracing.com
On the flip side, the Enduro pads do breathe well and pack down nice and small, which means there's not too many reasons to leave them at home.

As far as fit goes, the extended upper cuff works very well to prevent them from slipping out of place, although I did find that the fabric around the back of the knee had a tendency to bunch up every so often and cause some irritation. That's something to consider when comparing these to pads with a cut out at the back.

Best pedal friendly knee pads review
Best pedal friendly knee pads review

Pros
+ Light weight
+ Good coverage over upper shin
Cons
- Fabric can bunch up at the back of the knee
- Not much protection on the sides



Dainese Trail Skins Air


Best pedal friendly knee pads review

Dainese takes a slightly different route when it comes to impact absorption. Rather than using a viscoelsatic pad, they use a rubber that's molded into a shape that they say was inpired by the auxetic materials found in nature. It's called Pro-Shape 2.0, and the design expands when it's hit, dissipating the force of an impact. That shape is also very well ventilated, with plenty of room for airflow.
Trail Skins Air Details

• Pro Shape 2.0 padding
• Weight: 347 grams
• CE level 1 certified
• MSRP: $74.95
dainese.com

Compared to Dainese's apparel, which tends to run small, the Trail Skins Air pads run big, especially around the upper cuff – I'd imagine most riders will need to go down a size. There's also the fact that the Pro-Shape protector didn't conform to my knees as well as the foam padding used on the other pads featured here. Plus, the weight of that rubber pad compared to the light mesh material that its sewn to means it's more likely to shift around.

I'll admit I'm not too worried about my knee pads getting dirty, but if you're obsessed with keeping your gear clean it does take a thorough washing rather than the occasional brush off to keep dirt from showing up in all the nooks and crannies of the main pad.

For riders looking for the airiest knee protection possible the Trail Skins Air might fit the bill, but the fit and the function of the main pad do take them down a notch.

Best pedal friendly knee pads review
Best pedal friendly knee pads review

Pros
+ Excellent ventilation
Cons
- Odd sizing
- Padding isn't as form fitting as other options






Best pedal friendly knee pads review

Top Picks

To a certain extent, choosing the best knee pads comes down to fit. After all, all the magic foam technology in the world doesn't amount to anything if your knee pads don't stay put during a crash. Plus, the more comfortable and invisible a set of pads are the more likely you are to actually wear them in the first place.

Editor's Choice: the Chromag Rift pads were my favorites out of this bunch. They hit a sweet spot when it comes to the level of protection and coverage they offer while still remaining pedal friendly.

Best Ventilation: If ventilation was high on my priority list I'd go with the Pearl Izumi Elevate - the mesh front and open design of the D3O padding makes a difference, and they still offer a good amount of protection.

Minimalist: My pick for a minimalist, low profile option would be the Fox Enduro pads. They're light, offer good coverage, and can still handle the occasional slam.








251 Comments

  • 118 3
 No IXS Flow?
  • 16 0
 This! IXS Flow are the best out of the ones I've tested: Endura, POC, Troy Lee and Roach. I'm on my second pair now. First pair held many years and are backup now for sloppy winter rides.
  • 2 0
 @JanB: agreed, recenrtly got a setup this year after feeling like i'd tried too many other types over the years - should have just gone the the Flows first
  • 3 0
 Was thinking this. I've got a pair of flow evos, they are sooo good.
  • 11 1
 No IXS Dagger. Comfy enough for all day and has a bonus plastic shell so it will not slide off your knee at first contact.
  • 4 0
 Yup, they are the best. I also use them for doing rope-access work. I think the longest I've had them on is 14 h straight without having any problems.
  • 6 0
 Agreed, moved from Dainese to the IXS Flow after hearing so much great stuff on youtube reviews and not disappointed. Obviously they can't review all brands here but surprised to see IXS being missed when there's a lot of other good reviews on them.
  • 1 0
 Love mine too. Super comfy and have saved me a couple of times. Quite small compared to some others though.
  • 2 2
 Love mine but the foam broke in 2 within months of use but since I bought them a few months over the 2 years warranty they weren't cover...
  • 4 4
 @ybsurf: second hand knee pads? Putting a lot of trust in how the first owner looked after them
  • 2 0
 Ever tried the carve evo+? They look similar but withe a longer protection
  • 3 0
 @dark-o: I used the Carve a few years until I wore them out and now the Carve Evo. I prefer having both top/bottom straps to keep the pads in place (like the old 661 Kyle Straits). I wear them all the time on my rides and find them comfy. Have worn them in the hots of Moab, Sedona, Phoenix, etc and here in (less hot) Scotland. No issues.
  • 3 0
 All IXS knee pads I've tried don't stay up on my knees and are really uncomfortable as well, anatomy I guess. My calf are small and thighs are big btw.
  • 4 0
 There will always be some options that get left out of a comparison, so it’s just natural that a lot of people will miss their favorite model.

That said, in this test I’m a bit surprised not to see anything from 7iDP, IXS, Troy Lee, 661, etc., while the much less common products (at least on this side of the pond) from Chromag and G-Form are included. And it always feels a bit strange to me, when the most expensive products (that in this case also “win” the comparison) cost almost twice as much as the cheapest options...
  • 2 0
 @mashrv1: no brand new
  • 1 0
 @ybsurf: ah I getcha now, couldn’t understand the months and years there
  • 1 0
 @JanB: Love mine!
  • 4 0
 @ybsurf: i'd be curious to know where the pads were for the first two years you owned them before you started using them
  • 2 0
 @d0wnhill-d: best kneepads i've ever owned
  • 2 1
 Nah maybe in Europe but over the pond Chromag Rifts and 7iDP Sam Hill or other one
  • 1 0
 @huckschwinn: they were not under a tons of stuff I bought them for my girlfriend but she never used them so I used them when my old knee pads were done.
  • 3 0
 @DenisPonomariov: Mine broke after a few washes. I glued them together and they've been fine ever since, but I now remove the 3do for washing.
Lepage Flexible Plastic Adhesive is what worked.
  • 7 0
 People are keeping the pads in the pockets for washing?? Isn't the whole point of removable pads that you remove them for washing?
  • 3 0
 My calves are massive, but my hams refuse to grow at the same pace, with my knees looking laughably skinny in between, so most pads are either too tight on one end or loose on the other. Any recommendations? (straps don't really work either..)
  • 5 0
 IXS flow with the zipper have been great for past few years- nice to take them off for the longer climbs and can put them back on quickly. They've stretched a little bit out after 2 years of heavy use, not gonna swap out to another though, just gonna buy a new pair.
  • 36 1
 Hi everyone, the headline is "6 of the Best NEW Pedal-Friendly Knee Pads".

We'll be doing some more typical full on gear guide style pieces in 2021, where we'll put our stamp on what we think are the best overall choices. But the purpose of this piece was to take a look at some of the newly released stuff.

The IXS Flows and 7iDP pads are well regarded, as well as some from POC, TLD, etc...
  • 8 0
 I've got the Flow Zips and can attest to how great they are. And the customer service is awesome! After about a year of use the insert in mine split so I went to look for new inserts, but couldn't find any. I got in touch with IXS to ask about sourcing new inserts and they sent a set right to my door. I replaced the cracked one and now I have a spare ready to put into service when the time comes. I'd like to see more companies embrace this slightly more sustainable approach.
  • 2 0
 @CarbonShmarbon: Thank you. May be some day i'll truy to resurrect them. )
  • 2 0
 @LDG: Have you found a pad that works for you? I have the same issue, thigh is big and calf is small so fit can be kind of weird for me on a lot of pads.
  • 1 0
 @vmgscot: Less hot you say?!?!?! Heresy!!! Haahaha
  • 1 0
 @JanB: Lucky you. My pair tore a huge hole in the mesh on the back while putting them on after only a handful of rides. They were pretty comfortable, but I stopped wearing them after that.
  • 5 0
 No Roach? for that reason.....I'm out.
  • 1 2
 Because they're not *new* hence PB cannot convince us to try them and dump $100-$150 US on inferior pads.

With that said, you couldn't pry my IXS flow and carve from my cold, dead hands.
  • 1 0
 I agree! My ixs flows are great! Can wear them for a full day of pedalling, the top does tend to slip down a bit after an hour or so. But only enough that I may have some skin showing between the pads and shorts. Which sucks, cause that’s no bueno! But other then that, love them
  • 2 0
 @suspended-flesh: My kid is now wearing my Roach elbow+forearm pads that I wore back in the mid 90s. I used to race downhill in BC with them, and other than a bit of fraying here and there, they’re still going strong 25+ years after I bought them.

Even so, if something comparable gets released “new”, I’ll be there to buy them.
  • 1 0
 The ixs slide down if you crash
  • 1 0
 @FuzzyL: agree -- love my 7iDP Sam Hill pads after having tried several other brands, these suited me the best
  • 1 0
 Another + for the IXS Flows. Have tried about 6 different 'pedal friendly' pads, and without going to a minimalist sleeve, the IXS Flow's have held up the best (elastic stays strong, velcro strap doesn't break down, almost never have to adjust it, proper padding saved me from some decent slams).
  • 46 2
 You forgot the 7iDP Sam Hill Knee Pad which is 348g/pair and level 2 protection. A little warm but fit and protection is amazing!
  • 6 0
 Agreed, they've been my go to for a few years now
  • 2 0
 Sometimes I forget that I have them on, very comfortable
  • 4 0
 I prefer the 7iDP Transition over the Sam Hill.
  • 4 0
 7iDP Project knee pads for me. Ive had my pair for over 2 years now.
  • 1 0
 Yeah, I think the "not newness" kept them off the list. I really wanted to get the Rifts but I am too big boned for 'em so I got the Sam Hills and love them. They saved my kneecap a few weeks back, all I had was a small scrape on my knee from the friction and a bruise where my thigh pad edge pushed in. What would have been a day ender or worse was just a bit of soreness. Pads paid for themselves that afternoon. They pedal really well and I love them as winter approaches as I can stay in shorts deeper into the year. I do wish there was a strap above the knee to reduce slippage but it is not bad at all.
  • 1 0
 I have had these and crashed in these. They are nice but not perfect. They were about the best you could get but if buying today I'd likely try out the TLD Stages or these Rift pads. The connection between the main pad which doesn't come up high on knee cap, and the lame side padding can leave for a gap in crashes. I've had a few minor crashes that still left me with needless abrasions etc there. The main padding is fairly stiff, even when warm so they can't use it to cover the side areas like D30 in Stages or Rifts. Maybe they aren't any better but prob worth a try.
  • 1 0
 I love the Project Knee Lights. Super comfortable, open behind knee, silicone grippers upper and bottom. They don't move or bunch up. It's like wearing knee warmers that offer some protection.
  • 2 0
 I rock the Sam Hill Lites and they're incredible
  • 2 0
 @Svinyard: just got the Sam Hills and noticed the same about the weird break between the main pad and the foam at the top of the knee. Coming from POC vpd airs, and the Sam Hill’s are much nicer to pedal in, but I do worry about that gap being in such a key area just above the kneecap
  • 23 1
 Best pedal friendly kneepad: Raceface Ambush - just take it off and strap on your bike when climbing.
  • 7 0
 I actually never take them off because they are comfortable enough to wear them all day long. But at least on my legs they don't always stay on the knee during crashes
  • 2 0
 And you can put them on or off without taking your shoes off. Really like these pads.
  • 3 0
 Raceface Ambush or the Raceface Roam are the best kneepads IMO.
  • 19 0
 I find silicon grips with out straps tend to lose their gripness after multiple washs
  • 29 1
 Never wash them
  • 5 0
 I never thought to wash my pads?!?!?
  • 2 0
 If they have contacted poison oak you wash them. Hand wash only.
  • 2 0
 Soak, not mechanical wash.
  • 1 0
 @Woodrats: ewww
  • 2 0
 hand wash only. i actually find dawn dish soap is the best because it really works on the "knee oils" but i've had the same RF pads for years silicon is fine
  • 1 0
 @vandall: I've had my Ambush pads for over 3 years and they've thrown in the washing machine with the rest of my gear after almost every ride. They're still as good as the day I got them.
Trick is to turn them inside out and velcro the tabs together.
  • 17 5
 I suspect most of these thin sleeve style pads will move in a crash and leave you with a banged up knee. I pedaled a whole enduro with my Ion KPact DH pads over my knees and I think they offer a better fit and are more secure than these ones.
  • 6 0
 Yeah, I have the Fox launch pro with the plastic shells and pedal around in them all day long. Can't say I've ever felt like they make pedalling difficult.
  • 4 0
 exactly this. I had the first desighn of the dianese an they where an by the looks of still are a terrible desighn. Very comfy for riding in but, absolutly useless in a crash as the textured surface would grip the ground an move the pad away from the knee, resulting in some pretty hefty grazes. Might as well have not been wearing them at all. I'm over 'pedal friendly' pads an just wear full on DH pads now
  • 2 0
 Completely agree. The elastic, Lycra main body does give that feeling that it would spin or move in a crash. I’ve been using the 661 Rage for around 2 years now, and only now are they starting to show signs of wear and not fitting as tight after they’ve been washed.. I’d take a thicker, sturdier pad over a thin pedal-comfort pad any day.
  • 1 0
 The lighter Ion K-Traze is also really secure, there's more to security than the amount of material involved
  • 5 0
 I use some Leat Airflex Pro and must say they are the most comfortable to wear pads I had till now (in about 14 Years of riding) and they dont move around during crashs or riding.
  • 3 0
 Agreed, I don't buy pads that don't have velcros straps I can cinch down (after owning pads without that moved as soon as I crashed).
  • 6 0
 You suspect? But you have no hard evidence? I've crashed in my POC air knee sleeves and didn't move a mm.
  • 2 0
 Try the 7iDP Sam Hill Knee Pad. The actual protection is so precurved it doesn't move at all in a crash as long as you have the right size! I don't really use pads without sleeves cuz my calf are small and thighs are big so they don't sit well. It feels like my Sam Hill protects as much as mu Ion K-pact when I hit my knees with something hard at home with the kneepads on.
  • 1 0
 Ive had some good crashes using dakine slayers that I probably would have had me off the bike for the rest of the day at least if I wasn't wearing them
  • 1 0
 I've had the opposite experience. With my Raceface Ambush strap ons they have always slid down after an initial impact but now I've got the Fox Enduro Guard sleeve style ones. They pull far enough up the thigh they're held up really well, and once you get a little sweat in there they stick to your skin and don't move at all.
  • 1 0
 @Davec85: THIS! On year three and have a new pair ready to break in next season. Can pedal all day, but once the straps are set they’re actually not hard to pull down, then back up. Just wish I could wash them. D3O is perma sealed in, and that stuff can’t see any kind of detergent or it loses some integrity.
  • 1 0
 Agreed, the knee warmers don't cut it for me, I want as much coverage as possible. My go-to for trail riding (mostly fireroad up for big bombs down) are race face flanks, because I can strap them to my lumbar pack to climb and strap on at top without removing my shoe. My IXS mallets are also strap ons I use for downhill, hardshell, but they slid down on a high speed OTB into loose scree, so I dont really trust them, and they're too short. I also have the sweet protect knee/shins, great shin coverage for my long legs but they're slip ons, so I only wear in fall / winter under pants instead of the flanks when I don't mind having them on for the climb up...my favorites are still both way out of production old schools, 661 long padded neoprene sleeves with straps for trail, and massive roach hardshell ankle length wrap arounds for dh...
  • 13 0
 Have a Look at the POC VPD System Lite. no velcro, no zippers, good ventilation and really good fit, even better than the old VPD 2.0
  • 1 0
 Thanks. Been using VPD2.0, and it's amazing in terms of pedaling ability, confort, and breathability.
Sorry no crash protection comments, since I never used them (touch wood). Probably next will be those System Lite
  • 3 0
 Have you tried the VPD Air? I just ordered a pair yesterday...mostly due to price, but they get solid reviews.
  • 1 0
 Yeah i got a pair of the POC vpd pads at the beginning of the Rona. They were crazy expensive but supply of knee pads were low at shops and the parking lott fit was great. 8 months latter they are the most comfortable knee pads i have had. I have had slayers and g form prior.
  • 2 0
 @unrooted: I currently have VPD 2.0. They are great. When it comes time to replace them, I will go with the VPD Air. I can’t guarantee fit, because that will vary from person to person, but they are quality pads.
  • 2 0
 @unrooted: , mine have almost 3 years. One ride every weekend end and the fabric is starting to rip in some spots. Washing machine after a muddy ride or once per month. Huge comfort after warming up in 10 minutes of riding, it never slips down and protect well enough while you’re crashing. The only con for me? Bit hot and sweaty on summer days. I ll get another pair soon, I think the 2.0 are overkill for me.
  • 1 0
 @Pyres: I have two pair of heavier pads, the Leatt 3df hybrid and Dakine Anthem.. they are both too hot and too uncomfortable to pedal in. This last weekend I rode gooseberry Mesa, which is somewhat rowdy, but to pedally to feel comfortable wearing the knee pads I have on it...unfortunately I caught a tree with my pinky knuckle which caused me to steer my right knee into the tree making me wish I had knee pads on. Hopefully the VPD Air feels more comfortable pedaling in...maybe I just need to do it a bunch to get the back of my knees used to it...
  • 1 0
 I got a pair of POC VPD 2.0 long. Super comfortable, although a little warm. I bought them mostly for the shin protection. And they were the closest thing to Hammer Bodywear that I could find.
  • 1 0
 I have to add, sometimes I forget I’m wearing them after a ride. Which leads to funny comments by random people.
  • 1 0
 @BeKwik: Are they still making Hammer Bodywear?
  • 1 0
 @TheR: I wish. R.L. needs to bring it back.
  • 1 0
 @BeKwik: RL is back and doing some things. Not sure if Hammer will be one of them.
  • 1 0
 Sorry! I wrote VPD 2.0, but it is the AIR
  • 1 0
 @TDMAN: sweet, good to hear!
  • 1 0
 @TheR: you never know...
  • 15 0
 Leatf airflex pro. End of story
  • 1 0
 yep agree!!
  • 3 0
 Agreed! After a lot of research I ordered the airflow pros and the IXS. I was expecting to like the IXS after so many glowing reviews, but they just didn't fit right for me. The Leatt's were comfortable right away. I still put on bigger pads for bike park days, but use the Leatt's for everything else, including 4+ hour epic pedals. They stay comfortable the whole time. I've only crashed in them a couple of times, but they did the job both times. One of them was a high speed low side where I slide for a while and they stayed in place.
  • 9 0
 Hey @pinkbikeaudience It would be great to do a review on body armor protections, and maybe knowing what the pros use in racing EWS/DH, I recently bought from online store a fox raceframe impact d30 and I don't know if it is ideal for the enduro or not, and did not find any advice / review about that.. even Fox Head athletes and otherscdon't show the equipment they use under the jersey
  • 1 0
 Just look at the Fox website: says Level 1 cert for chest and back. Up to you whether that's enough for your kind of enduro/DH riding. Also, that's an over-the-jersey protector, according to Fox...
  • 1 0
 @just6979: It has the level of protection that I was looking for, and i think that the D3o version can be used under the jersey i already have a IXS Carve very comfortable but doesn't offer chest protection.. However it was interesting to know what the pros use
  • 1 0
 @diogocamacho: Depends on the sponsor. I know the Madison Saracen and Cube DH team use Bliss protection as their sponsors, and are likely running one of their ARG back protectors. Added benefit of those ones are they have level 2 back protection and are pretty slim. I think the GT team uses an alpinestars paragon vest, which has level 1 back protection. Commencal used to use the IXS carve upper. I know the specialized team uses the fox D3O back protector with an older roost guard in the front. In general, most pros aren’t wearing much for chest protection other than maybe some foam padding, or maybe custom kits with pads under them.
  • 13 0
 Leatt Airflex Pro... These don't even compare.
  • 11 1
 "if you're looking for something that can withstand repeated crashes through sharp rocks you might want to..."

Take up golf. Mountain biking might not be for you.
  • 3 1
 Damn, username checks out!
  • 2 1
 @zackdaley: kicking myself I didn't use the "FormerMotoEnduroRacer" or something w/o the dreaded road biking reference so I could have had more cred with you. Next time.
  • 1 0
 @ReformedRoadie: lmao I love road riding, but what really would have nailed it would be "ReformedGolfer" which I actually am
  • 15 11
 Few weeks ago I was at Decathlon and got myself Allsix Volleyball pads for like 19 euros (regular price).

They're great - very light, feature dual density impact foam and have good coverage on the sides too.

Felt a bit tight in the shop, but they were great on the trail.
If you need something comfortable and to take an occasional rumble or
www.decathlon.co.uk/p/volleyball-knee-pads-vkp900/_/R-p-115907
  • 8 0
 are them enduro specific???1!
  • 7 0
 @Becciu: they come in fluoro yellow, what more do you need to know?!
  • 16 0
 How dare you come on Pinkbike and suggest a non-mtb-specific product that isn't over branded and over priced. What is wrong with you?!
  • 4 0
 Sounds good, great recommendation for people just dipping into the sport or on a tight budget!
How do they stand up to weather and dirt, seeing as they are designed for indoor use?
  • 2 0
 @Ttimer: agreed. If you are starting out or on a budget, use what you got... it won’t be AS good, but it’ll be better than nothing.

I’m certainly not going to sneer at any kid (or adult, for that matter) wearing skateboard or paintball padding. That kind of elitist bs just discourages people from embracing the sport.
  • 4 0
 I’ve been riding the Fox enduro for 1 year now. They were good in the beginning but now they won’t stay up on my knees, they fall down and are starting to rip and tear from a few nicks on the pedals. Definitely wouldn’t recommend for long term use.
  • 4 0
 I have been using the Dainese Trail skin pro this summer around 800 miles and they still looked really good. I do think the previous design fit me slightly better, i love the air flow of these. I have taken a couple of big crashes on these on rocks and they stay put and save the knee.; the side padding is excellent. Even Though they seen minimal they do punch way about its weight. Dainese customer service was great to deal with with a warranty with one of their elbows pads that the stitches came loose after two rides and no crashes.
  • 9 1
 Leatt air flex pro. Best. End.
  • 4 0
 I can't read kneepad reviews without impact testing anymore. This article changed how I read these forever:

enduro-mtb.com/en/the-best-mtb-knee-pads-you-can-buy

Mixed into pb reviews are kneepads that are basically paper (g form) with pads that are ce2 rated to stop motorcycle impacts (7idp sam hill) and we're deciding between the two based on how comfortable the mesh is.
  • 4 0
 Bummed the new TLD STAGE pads did not get featured. I guess that's evidence to the commenters that think every feature is driven by advertisers, we advertise, no play...sad face lol. That being said, check them out, pedal friendly, vented, d3O troyleedesigns.com/products/20s-stage-knee-guards-black
  • 2 0
 I use IXS dagger ixs.com/en/bike/mtb-equipment/armours/1470/dagger-knee-guard-black

I put them on before I leave my apartment and take them off when I get back, so I'm wearing them continuously for the entire spin, and I find them pretty comfortable. Summer here can be 30-35 degrees, they do get sweaty when it's that hot but idk, I'm just used to it, I don't really notice them.

None of the "pedal friendly" ones ever felt as secure on my knee. I have had crashes before with other pads where the pad caught on the ground and slipped down, resulting in a bloody knee. Not life threatening stuff but annoying.

I guess it's the kind of thing where everybody has a favourite.
  • 2 0
 I've gone through several minimalist pads like this, and it seems like all share a common dilemma: do you want scratchy velcro straps, or do you want them to move when you crash? Also, why do so few pads not protect the upper shin from flat pedal bites? And I get wanting to make them breathable, but if a flat pedal even looks at the mesh on the back of some of these, it rips.

Sam Hills - sock ripped above the pad in a crash, pad pulled down, knee scraped badly
IXS - straps chafe , pad moves around and chafes upper shin
Fox Enduro Pro - sock ripped at side of pad in a crash, pad peeled back, knee scraped badly.

I'm going to try the new RF Indy, with the calf strap. I'm hoping the calf strap keeps it more secure. The fabric they use for the sock on the front is super soft and smooth - doesn't feel like chafing will be an issue. The back is mesh, so it doesn't tick that box. They're a bit less tall than the Fox, but more than a typical POC.

The Chromags here look pretty sweet - I like the idea of the elastic band more than a velcro strap.
  • 1 0
 I also went through a bunch of these knee warmer pads before recently getting the new G-From E Series pads. They are really a game changer. Far more comfortable and protective that the knee warmer versions.
  • 1 0
 I’ve always wondered why you don’t see much in the way of shin protection in this sport. Just about every mtb’er I know has pedal scars there.

I’m actually thinking of experimenting with soccer shin guards, to complement my knee pads. They should be light and unobtrusive enough, in theory.
  • 1 0
 I had the trail skins v1, not the best protection but very breathable and the mesh on the back does not tear on pedal strikes. Since then i switched to Endura's which offer more protection d3o-like, but the mesh and the back does not forgive anything with pedal strikes. As you said it's a compromise
  • 2 0
 Surprised 100% Teratec Knee Sleeve isn't part of this comparison. I had done my research with those above and chose the 100% Teratec over IXS Flow and the POC VPD Air since it was cheaper and lighter. I didn't regret it one bit.
  • 6 0
 I love my Ion K-PACT ZIP
  • 1 0
 Non zip version is uncomfortable. I'm currently using the zip ones and can't complain.
  • 1 0
 I was a big fan of my K-Traze, then the pad started curling up in the pocket every time I went to put them on (really annoying to sort each time), then the pad simply fell apart inside the pocket.
Got them replaced under warranty but having a look at that the construction of the pad was enough to make me just sell on the replacements.
  • 1 0
 @mashrv1: after a couple of years my pads also fell apart. The lower part of the SAS pad came off. BUT most brands use the pads from SAS so thats not ION specific. But yes - the foam pads of this model where not meant for a lot of bending etc.
I guess it was just not meant to squeze it in the backpack and leave it in when washing them.

Recently I got the new traze zip and it seems the new pads have improved.

I just love the ZIPs and comfort/construction overall of the ION pads is quite good as well.
  • 1 0
 @chri: the pad isn’t foam, that’s why it’s able to fall apart, mine took 3 months.
The pad is little blocks sitting on a really thin plastic feeling backing. So mine just kept curling up until that backing couldn’t take it any more and fell apart.

The IXS’ I replaced them with are the sort of chunky material I had expected to see.

If I still have the photos (they asked me to send) I’ll upload them and you can have a look. It made it very clear why they aren’t removable
  • 2 0
 @chri: this is what the pad looks like

www.pinkbike.com/photo/19815280

www.pinkbike.com/photo/19815279

Don't have a view from the other side unfortunately. They do have a very thin cover over part of the front
  • 1 0
 @mashrv1: looks different then mine that was a couple of years older

seems like its this one
www.sas-tec.de/en/products/sc-1-ka-new

the new traze seems to have a more solid one, not sure which as it can't be taken out any more
  • 1 0
 @chri: for what it's worth they break even when you remove them to wash the pads. I think you need to warm them up a bit to make them more flexible.
I managed to find replacement pads for my K-lites online, but they now smell so bad I'm looking for something with more ventilation! The fact that they use solid neoprene with no perforations means you have to wash them more than you would a wetsuit.
  • 1 0
 I've ridden 661 (not great), alpinestars (not enough sizes and not great) seven (good but chafed) and finally found the ones for me with ion. They fit great, offer really strong protection and wash well. Now just need to find elbows that stay on without cutting bloid flow to the hands
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer - you called out the G-Form for working well under pants. What about the Fox pads? They seem at least as low profile. Also curious if the Dakine Slayers would work, I have the last generation and it seems they may be too thick.
  • 1 0
 Yes, both of those options would work well. Realistically, all of the choices shown here are relatively low profile, and fit under most DH pants.
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer: thanks!
I was thinking less DH, more trail type pants. I had been looking at the Troy Lee Speed sleeve too.
  • 1 0
 haven't worn any of these, however my brother just got the fox pads and they are definitely not as good as the TLD stage knee guards i have. surprised not to see those in here. switched to them from G-form and its night and day. g forms wouldn't stay in place until my legs were sweaty, the TLD ones dont move at all.
  • 1 0
 Great update to the options out there. The PI pad has some promise. If they found a way to integrate it with their liner shorts, like some sort of easy connect system, that would be rad. I'm not aware of any of the other companies here being as much into apparel as PI and I think that could help set them apart. Not sure if the breathability over their Summit pad is worth the bulk and price. Removable pad for washing would sure help them last longer though.
  • 2 0
 Spent the whole season with the Pearl Izumi's and they're definitely my new favorite! Some of the trails I ride aren't just a climb then descend setup so I like to keep my pads on the whole ride and these are great for that!
  • 2 0
 Knee pads without a velcro strap don't work for me. They will not stay in place. Likely not designed for those of us who can't wear skinny jeans. Also, an open back behind the knee I find helps prevent overheating.
  • 1 0
 For winch and plummet rides can’t beat the convenience of zip style pads. Currently using Ion K Traze AMP zips and love em. On when you need, off when you don’t. But they’re super comfortable on all day epics if you do choose to keep them on.
  • 2 0
 @yale986 I agree - living in Colorado we have lots of "climb to the top, bomb allll the way back down" style rides. Can't beat a zipper style pad for that. That said, Ion's sizing is so bizarre. I have the largest size (XL), and while I am reasonably fit, these pads are entirely too small on the thighs. I am 100% confident that there are plenty of cyclists with bigger quads than me. Not sure who they used to model their sizing, but these need some work, or they need to add an XXL to their lineup.
  • 2 0
 When those wear out check out the G From E Series. They also are very easy on and off, although they are comfortable enough that I don't bother taking them off for climbs.
  • 1 0
 Since I switched from shorts to pants, one unexpected upside is that knee guards with minimal attachment stuff stay perfectly in place. I'm actually more comfortable pedaling in shin-length Fox Launch I got for BMX (older model, full plastic shell) than even in the RF Ambush pads I've always thought were pretty good. If you can break away from that image of the enduro rider with the knee-length shorts, knee guards, crew socks pulled up, and precisely 5 cm of calf showing, the newest gen of long pants that are like 50%-50% moto/yoga pants are really comfortable.
  • 1 0
 I also like that the knee pads and your legs don't get covered in mud.
  • 1 0
 I've found the fox ones (the non D3O ones that I got for pennies) to be SO great in SW USA summer heat compared to anything else I've used, though I wouldn't think they would be that great for more than "gnarly" XC stuff tbh.
  • 1 0
 Love to see some manufacturers combine a soft compression knee brace with protection, I would be all over that. I run Compex Trizone kneebrace mainly it keeps my right leg tracking well (i have no ACL). It also helps with the onset arthritis and that fun stuff that comes with aging. But I need to choose between protection or riding longer with less pain.

(Yes kids. that's what you have to look forward to after years of high impact sports and general tom foolery skiing and snowboarding.)
  • 1 0
 The gastroc straps on the Chromag and the Dainese pads are key, but it's very weird that Chromag attaches it to the very stretchy mesh, making it kind of useless, and the Dainese strap doesn't seem effective either as it looks to be too loose.
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer As a couple other people said - how do these stand up against the Leatt Airflex Pro, in terms of pedalability, heat/sweat management, and protection? Other than needing to size down from their chart, they have been excellent for me.
  • 2 0
 Race Face Ambush all day, everyday! A bit on the burlier side but great protection front and sides and I put them on and take them off without having to remove my shoes. Never a problem with fit or comfort.
  • 1 0
 The review is helpful to a point. But how do they perform in real crashes. Isn't that why we all wear these things? I get the standard tests, but as many others have pointed out whenever these things are reviewed, their actual performance in a crash can be markedly affected by their design. What would be really helpful I think would be survey results of our experiences of various pads in real crashes.
  • 3 0
 A joule is a unit of force now..? 2020 really has been crazy.

Jokes aside, great to see a review put the effort in to explain certification levels.
  • 3 0
 Many people don't know that you're not supposed to wash D30. So if it's not removable, don't get it.

www.d3o.com/media/1162/d3o-consumer-care-instructions.pdf
  • 1 0
 The older style weren't removable. I had to cut the fabric to get the 3do out to repair it, and now to wash. The updated version is removable.
  • 1 0
 The Fox Enduros reviewed here (actually called Enduro Pro) are my absolute favorite pedal-friendly knee pads and I've personally owned Poc VPD Airs, G-Form, Specialized Atlas, and Dakine Anthems. I've ridden with these on every ride for two seasons and they still stay in place wonderfully. I've already bought a second pair for backup whenever the originals wear out.
  • 1 0
 The previous version was called the Enduro Pro, the new version is the Enduro D30... Same design, slightly different label
  • 1 0
 Stay away from dainese. The fit is great. Super comfortable. I use them for DH and bike parks and they have protected me in one crash. The downside, durability is absolute garbage. I'm not sure how but the fabric is tearing at the stitching on both pads and I have random holes and tears from less than a dozen rides. They are covered in shoe goo to hold them together. This isn't my first pair of soft shell knee pads. My Troy Lee's still looked brand new after 5 years. My dainese are ready for replacement after a couple months.
  • 1 0
 My Slayers began to slip after 6 months or so as the elestic deteriorated.. My Fox enduro elbow pads, however, lasted a good 3 years before the elastic got too stretched out. The 7idp sam Hills still are going strong after 2 years of use. I have friends who use them as their DH pads btw.
  • 1 0
 Maybe because I’m in the market for new pads, I noticed that @mikelevy was sporting a pair of slick-looking and minimalist Dainese Trail Skins Lite during the Field Test in Squamish. I know Dainese sponsors PB but I figure it’s a pretty strong endorsement if they’re good enough for these aggressive trails,. Plus they look like they pack small and include a strap so you can hang them off of one of your tubes when you’re on the blue flow runs. Smart.
  • 1 0
 There are a lot of good pads out there. I’ve had the race face Indy, sweet protection and currently have the chromag pads

I find the chromag pads to be the least noticeable when pedaling. I haven’t used them yet when it’s been hot as I only got them in September.

Highly recommend. And it’s a local whistler company! Gotta like that.
  • 5 3
 people make fun of my kyle straight 661's but man do they take a punch of the whoops. they might be heavy and not breath well but they sure do save my knees when a screw up.
  • 5 0
 Why would someone make fun of the best pads? 661 Kyle Straight's would cost less than $50 and last a few years of regular slams. I spent $70 on the first iteration of g-forms, they literally lose padding every single fall, within a year they were completely useless (same story with other friends).
  • 1 0
 @Mugen: cause they are crazy I guess. They are good for park and for moderate all day trails
  • 4 1
 Dakine products are just on point, well thought out at reasonable prices and look sleek - always on my watch list
  • 3 0
 Agreed. I have the previous version slayers and they are excellent. I never have to shift them and I don't even notice they are on. Bought them based on a ridden and rated here on PB a few years ago.
  • 3 1
 Yup. The Slayer should have come out on top of this test. Can pedal in it all day, super comfortable, and only $65. The “hard to take on and off” is a super weird con. Maybe for a 4 year old? Lol.
  • 3 0
 I’m really happy with the DaKine Slayer Pro knee pads. Super comfortable and they stay in place for all day pedaling. Did a 21-mile ride with 3700 vertical feet of climbing last weekend. Had the Slayer Pro knee pads on for the entire ride and forgot about them.
  • 1 0
 I have the Dakine Anthems which are easy to put on trail side...but are not at all comfortable pedaling..
  • 3 1
 Thanks for the support. We also have the Slayer Knee Sleeve which is even more low profile and pedal friendly than the Slayer or Slayer Pro. www.pinkbike.com/photo/19817136
  • 1 0
 @dakine: do you still make the slayer knee sleeve? They aren’t on your website.
  • 1 1
 @unrooted: looks like we are sold out, but should get more in the next couple of months.
  • 2 0
 Dakine stuff is always awesome value for money
  • 5 0
 What about shin pads?
  • 1 2
 The 90s called...
  • 1 0
 So true, reviews of combined knee and shin protection is thin on the ground. Given the number of times my front wheel has spit a sizable rock into my shin with serious force, I'd never ride full speed without lower leg protection.
  • 1 0
 Generally the knee/shin combo pads are not very pedal friendly, but you do have some options. Ion makes a kpact knee/shin with level 2 protection, Bliss makes team knee/shin, but its level 2 protection only on the knee and some EVA foam on the shin. Bliss also makes an ARG COMP knee/shin pad which has better shin protection, but are probably the least pedal-friendly option. Sweet Protection makes a knee/shin combo pad with good protection too. POC makes a VPD 2.0 knee/shin as well. Personally, I would use a dedicated knee pad and combine it with a dedicated shin pad. There are some BMX shin guards but most of them are just high density foam pads that don't carry a CE rating, if that matters to you. Scott makes a grenade evo shin pad that has D3O pad in it, and 661 makes a COMP AM shin pad with a CE level 1 rating. I'm sure there are more options, I haven't looked too far into them. Good luck!
  • 3 0
 Pearl Izumi also offers the Summit knee pad, its an even lighter version thats more pedallable and is cheaper as well!
  • 1 0
 Amazed that IXS are not in the list, IXS put many other brands to shame, high quality, amazing fit and solid protection and competitive pricing. Seriously who doesn't include them in a review like this?
  • 1 0
 Has anybody tried shadow conspiracy pads with mountain biking? I used to love them for BMX, haven’t had a set of knee pads for a while. I’m thinking about getting a pair again.
  • 1 0
 Just got a pair of Demon Enduros for $35. They stay perfectly in place and work great. I’ve slammed my knee into my stem and also taken a digger with them and they definitely saved me some pain and skin already.
  • 4 0
 Race Face Indy?
  • 1 0
 I've been wearing Indy's for about 6 or 7 years. On my 2nd set, which is getting pretty old. They work well for me. A little hot on warm days, but tolerable.
  • 1 0
 I've had two sets of both knee and elbow pads. The cuff fabric is quite fragile and I've had the knee pads rip apart above the pad while crashing, allowing them to move around and let dirt in. The D3O stuff is solid although better designs exist that cover the side of the knee more. I've since retired them and got ION K-pacts instead. A bit more bulky but so much more comfortable and they actually stay in place when crashing. Looking to replace the elbow pads too before next t-shirt season
  • 3 3
 Does anyone ever hit their knees? 30 years of riding and I've broken my arms and elbow (that was horrific), cracked a few ribs and smashed a helmet but barely a scratch to my knees
  • 2 0
 Both my knees have long lost it's original skin :/...
Technically they are both just two big scars, luckily my skin heals very well so its not perceptible.
Last time I crashed I wasn't wearing knee pads because it was supposed to be a light ride, I ended up crashing on a low speed, low traction, very steep downhill section. and guess what was the only thing that got a new scar? Yup, my knee Smile .
  • 1 0
 My knees almost always have a scab on them...both are torn up after this last. weekend’s trip to southern Utah, and one of those was from going down with a knee pad on...But I look like someone glued extra long chop sticks together to make me...
  • 2 0
 Not often, but when I do I love the padding. My lack of skills sometimes has my left knee over my down tube when hitting drops and on the DJ, so the pads help with that dumb bruise as well. Hip, shoulder, knee, head is the impact progression for me. Big bones keep the upper intact, pads keep the lower body moving. Age has be adding armor bit by bit.
  • 2 0
 Several years ago my mate and I came round a corner at Fox Creek in the Adelaide Hills (dry dusty with lots of sharp rocks embedded in and beside the trails) to find a couple where one had just crashed. He had gone down on his knee with no knee pads on. I made the mistake of looking closely at his injury. It looked like he had torn the patella off from the outer side exposing the underlying bone. I have never not worn knee pads (POC VPD 2.0) ever since that day. They have saved my knees on at least three occasions.
  • 1 0
 @OldOtter: Yeah, you would would think after literally splitting my elbow in half I would at least wear some kind of elbow pads. But no.
  • 1 0
 All day everyday. I have so many rides where I've slid on my knee pads, gotten up, and kept riding.
  • 2 0
 I would love to read review of no pedal friendly knee pads for dj and freeride
  • 3 0
 Geesh, my OG 661s beat out any of these cuties, day in and day out.
  • 1 0
 Anyone have recommendations for someone with 53cm (measured about a hand width above the knee) thighs? Seems like most pads top out with an XL around 45-48cm...
  • 1 0
 Ive got some big thighs and would recommend taking a look at the POC VPDs. Im an XL (or larger) in pretty much everything I try on so I almost always go straight to that size without taking measurements. The POCs in XL I was just barely able to tighten up enough to stay on. My Ixs flows in XL I am on the opposite end of the spectrum where I can just barely get the strap to the velcro so the POCs were clearly much better.

I didnt like the POCs all that much but the fit just wasnt great for my leg so that was likely the issue, lots of people swear by them.
  • 1 0
 Gustav Gullholm, is that you?
  • 2 0
 The headline of the review says "pedal friendly" but there is no mention of how they are to pedal in?
  • 2 0
 I found the Fox to run small, I'm 5'10" and not a big dude and I couldn't get the size L over my calves.
  • 1 0
 I had the same problem so I returned them and got the Pearl Izumi Summit pads, but they had a stich seam down the center that rubbed terribly so I returned those as well. I am currently using the Alpinestars Paragon Pros and I really like them, especially with the cutout behind the knee. I have also used the TLD Speed Knee Sleeves (and still do occasionally) and generally they are fine but I don't like how the material bunches up behind the knees.
  • 1 0
 @erkkilaurila: i just sized up to the XL, the length of the sleeve is a little long and tends to scoot up my calf a little, but i don't notice, it just looks big on me. Either way, if i'm wearing the biggest size, there's nothing for actual big people to wear unless they're twigs
  • 1 2
 GFORM will always be mental protection for riders over the age of 40. I just don't take them seriously at all, and it will take massive athlete investment on their end in order to get me to consider even looking at them seriously.
  • 1 0
 Not true man! I'm 38!
  • 1 0
 Hey PinkBike, how do the Rifts compare to the TLD Stages? Any preference between the two for a mid_level pad? Also how do the Same Hills compare to these?
  • 1 0
 Anyone know of a good strap-on pad that goes on quick? Need something for quick, not crazy DJing etc that I don't have to take my shoes off etc.
  • 2 0
 These pictures are worthless! Let's see a video before, during, and after the ride?
  • 1 0
 Chromag pads are hands down the most comfortable pads I’ve ever had and they feel like they have plenty of protection. Can’t say enough about how awesome those pads are
  • 1 0
 Plan on purchasing a new set of Fox enduros every season if you go that way... They tear more from pulling them on then they do from crashes.
  • 1 0
 Just in time for the holidays! Everyone I know is still searching for those perfect knee pads...
  • 2 0
 i agree: 7idp sam Hill .......perhaps better!
  • 3 1
 That's some hard hitting journalism right there.
  • 1 0
 You're right - while some if it had me gripped, a lot of it felt padded out.
  • 1 0
 I feel I kneed protection from these terrible puns.
  • 1 0
 Bought the Fox Enduro, stitch came undone when trying to put them on, immediately returned it.
  • 1 0
 Yeah dainese do have odd sizing. Had to Size up on my armoform knee guards.
  • 2 0
 I've been using bubblwrap. Leaves me more $$$ for beer Smile
  • 1 0
 IXS Flow or POC VPD’s.

Best pedal friendly pads out there.

Dainese Oak 3/4 pads for the shuttle days.
  • 2 0
 The Chromags are the best pads I’ve used and it’s not close.
  • 1 0
 Have you used the Same Hills? Wondering how they compare
  • 3 0
 @Svinyard: I haven't used the Sam Hills. People say really good things about them.

I've tried the POC VPD Air, which I hated almost everything about. They're too short both above the knee and below, they stayed up poorly, and the gripper material at the thigh would cause chafing.

Next, a pair of Dakines, maybe the Hellions? I didn't like the open back design, it felt weird. Also, they got clapped out to the point that the material felt thin and didn't stay up pretty quickly. Required constant readjustment.

After that, POC VPD 2.0, which were better coverage, held in place better with the two velcro straps, and are generally much burlier than the Airs. Better side coverage too. They have the same gripper material that I hated on the Air, but for whatever reason, it didn't cause the same issues—probably a function of them staying in place better. But, they're hotter, heavier and bulkier than what I wanted.

Then I had a pair of IXS Flow Evos that have gotten a lot of positive mention in this comment section. For me, I think I'm maybe kind of between sizes? The smalls, trying them on at the shop were like, I could barely get them on, so I bought the mediums. But it didn't take long for them to stretch out and become too baggy up top. The calf strap would hold the pad generally in place, but the top would slide and bunch up and just generally make me way too aware of their presence.

The Rifts are straight Goldilocks territory for me. The fit is perfect in a medium, they stay in place unlike anything else I've ever tried, they're comfortable to the point that I don't think about them at all when riding, and the padding, both centrally over the kneecap and medially to the inner knee/thigh is highly effective without being oppressive to pedal.

I think Chromag keeps selling out of batches of the Rift. I keep thinking I should pick up a backup pair for when these eventually need to be retired.
  • 1 0
 @BrambleLee: I've found the same on many of the ones you've tried. I also didn't care for the Flow Evos...its not an ideal design for mass fitment but not horrible. I wish these Chromags weren't so dang expensive tho. The TLD Stages are like 85$. I'll still drop the cash on them when the time comes to replace my Sam Hills (which aren't perfect but definitely did better than anything else I tried 2yrs ago).
  • 1 0
 I second this. They seem like pads designed by actual riders!
  • 2 0
 i love my race face roam knee...
  • 1 0
 I ordered the Chromag Rift a couple days ago. I can’t wait to give them a try .
  • 2 0
 Have been using Rift pads for a little over a month. A little warm for Australian conditions but very comfortable yet robust. They really stay in place too.
  • 1 0
 Would be great to have a level 2 pad round up for those of us who don't want to brake anything again.
  • 1 0
 I usually don't plug a product but the fox ones are great if you have thick legs. They don't move around and stay put.
  • 1 0
 Wait, you didn't include the pads I use?! Wah.

While we're at it, why didn't you include MY bike in the field test?!
  • 1 0
 ive been using tsg tahoe knee pads for over 3 years, lots of crashes and they are perfect!
  • 2 0
 I may try one of these if Leatt ever discontinues their Airflex Pro
  • 1 0
 My turn to say, hey what about the pads I own and love!

Leatt Airflex Pro. Soooo good Smile
  • 3 2
 I'll buy some for ya missus for chrissy. Wink
  • 1 0
 Please insert the "You forgot the XXX form YYY" below:
  • 1 0
 where's the fellas thighs gone?
  • 1 0
 Ha ha right!
  • 1 0
 Thought they were his elbows.
  • 1 0
 ????????????
  • 2 1
 Are any of them machine washable?
  • 1 0
 Chromags are machine-gunnable , I think
  • 2 0
 I have not actually checked the label, but I wash my Airflex Pro from time to time and they are not looking any worse for it.
  • 1 0
 Can any of them take an arrow??
  • 1 0
 Sad there's no Kali Strikes here.
  • 1 0
 Suggestions for a thick calf?
  • 1 0
 My G-Forms fell apart in about 15 rides. Was pretty disappointed in them.
  • 1 0
 i just bought a pair of leatt airlfex pro, and they are excellent.
  • 1 0
 What about 7iDP's Sam Hill's pads?
  • 1 0
 Would be nice to see these compared in a huck to flat test.
  • 4 6
 If Chromag could start making XXL clothing/pads, I'd be all over it, but it looks like they're still just sticking with gear for the skinny dudes....
  • 1 0
 Agreed.
  • 1 0
 Chromag clothing is top notch . Some of the best gear I’ve owned .
  • 1 0
 Have you tried their Rift pads? I have pretty big quads and ended up sizing between L and XL. For better or for worse I sized down to large anticipating stretch over time. I can *just* squeeze into XL Fox Enduro Pro pads, barely.
  • 1 0
 @SoddenDeath: I went off the sizing on their website .
  • 2 1
 POC Joint VPD 2.0
  • 1 0
 New POC ones are great.
  • 1 0
 What about Leatt?
  • 1 0
 Great also
  • 1 0
 TLD Raid, end of story
  • 1 0
 no ION???

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