Modern mountain bikes are more powerful and faster compared to older bikes. The increased speed and efficiency are mainly due to enhanced features in the bikes. These enhanced features, and therefore increased speed, increase the likelihood of the rider crashing. When you do not keep the rubber side down, there is a high probability that when you fall you will land on your knees, and that's why it is important to have a good pair of mountain bike knee pads.
If you are planning to buy knee pads, there are a lot of things you should first consider, like if you want your knee pads to be wrap-on or pull-on, do you want them soft or hard, and which brands on the market make the best knee pads.
In this article, we will provide you with information on the 5 best mountain bike knee pads, their features, functionality, and price. Before buying knee pads, you should read this article to get an unbiased opinion on the best mountain bike knee pads on the market.
1. What Are Mountain Bike Knee Pads?
These are pads that are designed in a way that when you fall on your bike, they prevent the knee from being grazed and sometimes it even stops the shattering of your kneecap.
2. What Makes a Good Mountain Bike Knee Pad?
Good mountain bike knee pads should be able to be comfortable, a good fit, offer protection, have enough ventilation, and the construction should be sturdy and durable.
3. How Do Mountain Bike Knee Pads Work?
These pads are either wrapped on the knee or pulled on to ensure that if you fall, the knee is protected from impact with the ground.
4. Where Can You Buy Them?
Knee pads can be bought at a sportswear store near you or you can order them online on Amazon's website.
5. When Should You Wear Your Knee Pads?
Knee pads are meant to protect your knees when riding, and you should always wear them whether in practice, in competition, or when just cycling for fun.
How We Reviewed
The following products were reviewed based on the following parameters: Features, Pros & Cons, Price, Where to Buy, and Warranty.
Overall Price Range of This Product
The price of the best mountain bike knee pads ranges from $25 to $130 depending on features and functionality of the pads. Some of the most expensive mountain bike knee pads have advanced features such as hard shell kneecaps, are made with perforated materials, have strategic venting, and have ergonomic fit.
What We Reviewed
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This mountain bike kneecap is one of the lightest on the market, and you can easily forget you are wearing it. The pad is made of Poron XRD, which is a gel-like material and is stitched on the outside part of the pad. It comes with sleeves which are very thin with a hole that is cut just behind the knee joint. Silicone grippers are inserted inside both cuffs and for stability, the knee pad has an extra elastic strap.
It is very comfortable when worn, and breathability is not an issue with this mountain bike kneecap, plus the cut is superb. The padding, however, is very thin and small, hence, not that reliable for protection. Though it comes with some additional wings for protection, they don't fit that well, leaving a very large part of the knee joint exposed to hits.
This knee pad is best used when taking part in off-road biking activities and is not the best knee pad for hard impacts that you might experience during an enhanced downhill performance. In the event that you experience minor injuries, like bruises and debris, this is the best knee pad for you to use.
This product comes with a warranty of 2 years.
The Dainese name has been advancing steadily for a few years now in the mountain bike world due to their products. In this second generation of Trail Skins, they use honeycomb-style material, which is the same as before, for the main pad. Mesh fabric covers the inside of the main pad, hence, the honeycomb design is given leverage for breathability.
Behind the knee, they used a lightweight mesh and Velcro straps, two in number, which are adjustable to get a perfect fit. Inside both cuffs, there are silicone grippers and foam pads, which have been added to provide protection for the knee on both sides.
This knee pad comes with a cut at the back of the knee, but the protector tends to be too loose and proves difficult when you try to close it down. It is best suitable for thinner legs though it still leaves a gap to be closed. The side protection of this mountain bike knee pad is large enough, and this gives the rider confidence when riding.
This product has a 2-year warranty.
This mountain bike knee pad uses a soft, gel-like material to provide protection in blocks that are shaped differently from others. Stitched to a full-length sleeve is the main pad which, for improved breathability, features a mesh rear panel. It comes with a wide padded area and reaches high up on the thigh. This is the main sleeve to create a more stable fit.
It comes with silicone grippers in the top and bottom cuffs, but it lacks an adjustable strap. This knee pad provides the best coverage around the knee joint and is the most suitable mountain bike knee pad if you are riding in a new location or if you are prone to fall on your bike. The overall shape and cut of the protector might need a little improvement, but it gets the work done.
This mountain bike knee pad is flexible, soft, and can easily conform to the shape of the knee but not overstretch. It creates some pressure behind the knee as the central area of the protector stretches only slightly. At the side of the knee, the blocks are a bit awkward, especially if the joint is in a bent position. It does a perfect job of warding off impacts, but it snags easily, shifting the protector out of place.
This product comes with a 1 year warranty period.
This mountain bike knee pad centered its whole design for protection, hence, its features and functionality are on point, making it one of the best knee pads on the market. AirFlex pro features a kneecap pad which is molded, soft, and built around a set of pull-on sleeve chassis. For breathability reasons, this kneecap is built with ventilation holes.
Surrounding the knee joint are thin foam pads which are placed on the sides and up top while the back side of the sleeve has a cut directly behind the knee joint and is made from a lighter mesh material. This cut is impressive, especially on the trail, and still adds to the comfort level. The kneecap area comes with a silicone grip cup and strips on both cuffs with no adjustable straps built in.
To keep the pad in place, there is an elastic band near the calf. This knee pad was built using moisture-wicking fabrics, and the workmanship is of very high quality as compared to other products of the same caliber on the market. Elastic thread was used in stitching throughout the entire protector to ensure and maximize the optimal comfort of this product.
To avoid chafing, the rear cut is madein a special way, and the pad also has the ability to wick away moisture and remain cool and dry when riding. Though the kneecap pad is thinner than some; when it comes to protection, it will not let you down. During a crash, this protector stays in place due to the figure-hugging shape used and the tight cut.
This product comes with a 2 year warranty period.
This mountain bike knee pad was designed for mountain, trail, and enduro use. It is a pedal friendly package using the pull-on design with a D30 pad that is used on the main pad for protection. The knee pad is more flexible than the rest due to the use of small hexagons which are used for impact protection in their unique design.
To ward off impacts, the side has a small foam pad that is found on the inside of the knee joint. While it lacks adjustable straps, the knee pad still has a great fit due to the silicone strip placed cleverly above the calf area and is used to make sure the pads are secure in place when in use. The top cuff has a silicone grip, and the chassis has a rigid screen printed area on the side for stability and resistance to abrasion.
A much tougher material is used on the front side of the pad. This material is slippery when touched, but it helps the pad to glide when faced with obstacles. This knee pad is extremely comfortable when worn, and the fit is generous.
The main knee pad and the internal silicone grippers make sure the pad is held in place even as you exert yourself. Because the main pad is flexible, it is very comfortable. The breathability of the protector is also great, hence, you should have no worries, even on very sunny days.
This product comes with a 2-year warranty.
The mountain bike knee pads reviewed in this article are the best on the market. While they are all useful, many people have different tastes and preferences. If it is your first time to use a mountain bike knee pad, we recommend that you start with the 661 Recon Knee because it is very light; it will help you get used to wearing a knee pad.
For the experienced riders who are used to knee pads, we recommend that you give Scott Soldier 2 and LeattAirFlex Pro a try. If you are after wide and side protection, try G-Form Elite Knee Guards and Dainese Trailskins 2.
Most importantly, go for a mountain bike knee pad that best fits your knees and is friendly to your pocket.