12 Best Mountain Bike Knee Pads in 2017
The exhilarating thrill of racing downhill on a mountain bike can rapidly get cut short by one accident resulting in damage. That is why it is as important to make sure your body is protected by gear that is just as high in quality as your bike.
Smashing knees into rock will not only result in agony but may ruin your chances of getting on a bike ever again.
Our guide is packed with the best knee pads on the market and all of the tips you’ll need to choose the right ones for you.
Top 12 Mountain Bike Knee Pads Comparison Table
|Design||Name||Size Options||Fit||Rating (1-5)|
|1. Alpinestars Men’s Paragon Knee Protector||2XS – 2XL||Slip on||4.6|
|2. POC Joint VPD Air Knee Pad||XS – XL||Slip on with hook and loop closure||4.5|
|3. Leatt Dual Axis Knee Guard||S/M, L/XL, XXL||Strap on||4.5|
|4. Fox Head Launch Enduro Knee Pad||S – XL||Slip on||4.4|
|5. Fox Racing Launch Safety BMX MTB Knee/Shin Pad||S/M, L/XL||X-Strap||4.4|
|6. Leatt 3DF Hybrid Knee Guard||S/M, L/XL, XXL||Slip on||4.3|
|7. G-Form Pro-X Knee Pad||XS-XL||Slip on||4.3|
|8. Fox Racing Launch Sport Knee Pad||One size||Strap on||4.2|
|9. Fox Racing Launch Pro MTB Knee Guard||S/M, L/XL||Slip on with straps||4.2|
|10. Fox Racing Launch Pro MTB Knee/Shin Guard||S/M, L/XL||Slip on with straps||4.0|
|11. Triple Eight ExoSkin Knee Pad||S, M, L||Slip on with straps||3.8|
|12. Webetop 1 Pair Adult Knee and Shin Guards||One size||Straps||3.5|
Always Have a Softer Landing
The only way to reduce the risk of injury is to make sure your protective gear is the very best that you can afford.
Choosing from our list will guarantee you will get the best mountain bike knee pads, but there is also a lot of variety in these products that suit different riders and conditions. Here we will go through these features to help you make a more informed decision.
Fits Like a Glove
You will be able to see on our list that there is a range of size options and various lengths to the knee pads. When it comes to mountain biking, it isn’t just your knee that should be cushioned.
Included on our list are knee protectors and knee/shin protectors. Usually choosing between the two comes down to how extreme your riding is.
There are also four ways that the pad can be placed onto your leg and is described on our list as the fit.
- Straps – This is usually only for knee pads, and the straps go straight around the back of the leg. While this is the easiest pad to get on and off, it can sometimes slip if the straps are older.
- X-Strap – A more secure version of the strap knee pad. It crosses over behind the leg so you are at a lower risk of the pad moving.
- Slip – This is when you have to pull the pad onto your leg like a sock. They are often more secure but once again if they become worn, then they can slip at a crucial moment, which means they are best to replace on a regular basis.
- Slip with Straps – This combines the two styles and offers the most secure fit. You can make sure nothing will move while you are riding.
The Ultimate Protection
There are two basic types of protection offered from mountain bike knee pads.
- Hard Shelled – This is when the outer shell of the knee pad is made from solid materials. It should be worn when you are leaving the ground on a regular basis and if you will be leaving the trail. It should only be worn for high-impact riding.
- Soft Shelled – This can be worn for less extreme riding. It is perfect for trail riding and being used for practice.
For Your Comfort
Comfort is not something that should ever be compromised when mountain biking. This sport requires your total, undivided focus to make sure you have a successful ride.
Choosing knee pads that are well-designed and ones that have more ventilation means that you will not be thinking about fixing the pads throughout the ride, but rather the path in front of you.
Consider the following 3 features that will affect this:
- Padding – This is the most important feature when it comes to comfort. This refers to the thicker protection that covers your knee as well as the lighter padding that will help to make the rest of the knee pads easier to wear.
- Ventilation – This is always an issue when you have thicker protection, and you are participating in strenuous physical activity. You want your knees to be protected without getting so wet and sweaty that the pads slip out of place.
- Many knee pads offer perforated padding to let air through while others only cover the front of your leg and not the back. The one you choose comes down to personal preference.
- Weight: Obviously, you don’t want to be limited in mobility and comfort. This is why it is important to get knee pads that can be worn without adding too much weight in the process.
- The best way to determine if you will be able to handle a particular kind of knee pad and their weight with your size is to consult the expert reviews and the manufacturer’s guide.
Top 5 Best Mountain Bike Knee Pads Reviews
The Alpine Stars Men’s Paragon Knee Protector has a lot going for it regarding how it fits, the materials it is made of and the levels of comfort it provides while you are biking. The first thing of note is the lightweight yet durable material.
This is something that helps enhance your riding and keeps you protected rather than adding unnecessary weight. The slip-on design makes these knee pads incredibly convenient with elasticated cuffs to keep the pads in place.
While the padding is lightweight, it has been crash-tested and remains an effective safety solution for you most vulnerable areas. The pads are true to size, and if you normally wear medium pants and clothes in general, then the coordinating kneepad size will suit you perfectly.
POC Joint VPD Air Knee Pads are some of the best mountain bike knee pads money can buy. They are lightweight but still make you feel protected while you ride. They also fit the size you would expect but with the bonus of a sizing strap to make 100% sure they are a secure fit.
The quality of the materials is really what makes all the difference when it comes to these kneepads and this is what makes these a more durable option as you can crash and test the padding without any damage or compromise caused to the pads.
The VDP material inside is also the best of the best. It hardens when you hit something and absorbs much of the impact to reduce any damage to you.
The Leatt Dual Axis Knee Guard is one that is suitable for the most advanced and serious riders as this is knee protected designed for taking on intense impact at higher speeds. For steep includes and higher risk mountain biking, this is the knee pad that you want to be wearing.
In addition to the protection that this guard provides, it is also as comfortable to wear as it could possibly be. It is well-ventilated, so you stay cool and it is lightweight considering how large it looks.
Wearing these kneepads means maintaining complete mobility with the added pivoting joint feature. These knee pads are more extensive in terms of the area that they cover on your legs, but they do leave some of the back of your legs exposed.
The Fox Head Launch Enduro Knee Pad is for mountain bikers that are more interested in endurance and distance rather than speed and incline. These knee pads provide padding and protection without limiting mobility at all.
The fact that they are lightweight and slip on easily means that you are already more likely to wear them than risk going mountain biking without any protection. The knee cap area is padded with an abrasion resistant outer panel to make sure your knees are covered and safe from the scraping that is so common.
As these knee pads do not have a thick hard shell or inches and inches of padding, they are not recommended for extreme mountain biking, but they are perfect for anyone that has taken on the sport as a hobby.
The Fox Racing Launch Safety BMX MTB Knee/Shin Pad is a full coverage safety option that keeps your legs protected from high impact falls and crashes as well as scrapes and abrasions alike. The first thing to note is that these kneepads are designed to stay in place. Otherwise, their effectiveness would be compromised completely.
This is done through a patented X strapping system that means the pads will never get knocked out of place when you ride. In addition, the hard shell casing also keeps you protected from the impact force since it absorbs a lot of the energy for you.
In terms of comfort, you could not ask for more. The joints and the way the hard shell pieces have been placed together mean that you are free to bend and extend your leg without restriction.
Opt for Certified Pads
There are lots of things you need to consider if you are getting mountain biking knee pads, but the most important one is that they will stand up to any terrain, crash or challenge. While there are a variety of certifications out there that indicate the quality of the knee pads, you should trust products that have been CE certified above all else.
This is the most highly trusted certification, ensuring your knee safety at all times. Whether the knee pads are CE certified or not, you should also read expert reviews to get first-hand accounts of how they really performed from the people that know best.