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  1. #1
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    a little OT, leg armor

    After collecting lots of cuts and scrapes, that just don't heal as fast as they use to... and a real good whack on the knee cap yesterday- I think it's time for some leg armor. But I do a lot of pedaling in these trail systems so I am a little worried about dh style vs protection.

    Didn't see a good forum to ask so I figured I'd ask the peeps that ride the same bike I do.
    Any suggestions? Nothing local to try on so I am stuck buying online. Competitive and universal have discount codes so I am hoping to buy from one of them quick.

    thanks for opinions in advance.
    note to self, do not read rider down forum.

  2. #2
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    For trail riding, I use skinny volleyball knee pads. I avoid the super fat ones. I have a couple of different ones so I can throw them in the washer. They are pretty comfortable, even in the heat of the summer--and they keep the mosquitoes away from the back of my knees. They can chafe on very long (> 3 hours), very hot rides. I have smashed my knee on a rock with them and was able to continue riding without pain! The disadvantage is that occasionally I'll smash my knee on my frame above the pad; also, there is no shin protection.

    I have Rock Gardn LZMX Knee/Shin Guards for downhilling and I have to keep pulling them up for upper knee coverage as well. Even though I know someone who uses these for x-c riding, I don't, as I didn't find them to be comfortable while pedalling. They are great for downhilling, but the constant rubbing while pedalling was very uncomfortable.

    Check out this thread: most comfortable knee/shin + elbow protection. It looks like they like Race Face Flank knee/shin pads.

  3. #3
    No dabs.
    Reputation: Robo SD's Avatar
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    I spent well over an hour trying on various brands in a local shop. There was one standout, and it's served me well for a couple years:

    http://www.the-industries.com/tksg-01.html

    Zero annoying rub, even on 8 hour rides. Very cool considering the amount of protection. Looks like THE now has a two piece model as well. I couldn't believe how noticeable the straps or material rubbed on other models like 661 and Fox. This is a very personal fit situation though, so your results may vary.

  4. #4
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    The POC VPD kneed pads, and 661 evo are comfortable to pedal with. That said i they don't protect my shins.
    The Troy Lee Brian Lopes pads despite being hard shell are very comfortable and protect knees and shins.

  5. #5
    Slothful dirt hippie
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    Been pedaling in 661 Kyle Straits after landing on a knee a few times early in the season, sometimes for 5-6 hours of back country beating. The knees seem to work better when they're warm anyway.
    "...Some local fiend had built it with his own three hands..."

  6. #6
    Mojo0115
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    I ride THE Storm Knee Guard for DH and really burly AM trails and use 661 Kyle Straight Knees for every other ride on my Mojo. The Storm knee shins protect better above the knee in crashes and the shin protection is key for DH trails. The 661 kyle straight is perfect for all other of my riding.

  7. #7
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    I highly recommend the POC joint vpd pads. I don't think you need any of the dh or racing level protection of a full hardshell pad.

  8. #8
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    I wear the Fox Launch knee/shin guards. they're hard amors. they do rub and can blister you if the rub is extreme and prolonged. However, I wear thin lycra pants under these armor and all rubbings go away. Furthermore, lycra underneath also prevents my bare skin from sticking to these armors when I'm sweating. I climb in them for 3-4 hours at a time without issues, whether in-seat or out-of-seat pedalling. Longer than 4 hours, and I'm sure i will be worn out! But most of my rides don't last 4 hours. I also have a reconstructed knee so these armors actually do help keep the knee warm and tight (just what I want anyway!).

    But I must say, the 661 Kyle Strait soft armors look to be ideal for AM riding.

  9. #9
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    thanks everyone, I picked up a set of poc vpd and a set of THE just b/c fit on knee/shins is so hard to get right.
    note to self, do not read rider down forum.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by chauzie
    I wear the Fox Launch knee/shin guards. they're hard amors. they do rub and can blister you if the rub is extreme and prolonged.
    I have those and they gave me knee blisters from all day DH shuttle riding, and got dust/rock underneath them as well. They are OK for quick rides, and snap quickly into place (sometimes strp to my mojo and wear them for the down part), but I replaced them with Raceface Rally FR pads which don't move at all, protect better and don't let rocks in (has back mesh). MUCH better for all day DH.

    I wouldn't want to pedal with those all day tough. Sounds like soft knee only pads might be good there...

  11. #11
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    Looks like I'm late to the game here, but I wear pads on plenty of my gnarlier rides, and my buddies and I really like the 661 2x4 elbow/arm pads. Very light and comfortable and easy to stow away, yet have saved by skin many times.

    For legs I like Specialized Kani. Also very light for their level of protection, and don't bug me when pedaling, but if I do a long ride in them I wear knee warmers or tights underneath to reduce knee chafing. I strap them to my downtube facing front tire if the ride starts with a big climb.

    If you want to go REALLY light and unobtrusive for knees, the 661 EVO Lite are extremely comfortable, easy on/off, and stowable. But I'd much rather crash in the Kani's.

  12. #12
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    race face flank

    I don't have extensive experience with such protection, but I have had good results with Race Face Flank (they now make a knee only with d3o).

    If you haven't seen d3o material, it's realtively soft and pliable (easy pedaling)... until impact, when it magically becomes a shell. I used them in Whistler XC and DH, and was fine in all my crashes. Doesn't exactly speed up ones pedaling, but I did not find it that obtrusive.

    Curious to hear any thoughts from others who have used standard pads and d3o as well.

    http://www.raceface.com/protection/legs/flank-leg/

  13. #13
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    I bought the 661 EVO Lite XC set(knee and elbow). I never used them and was about to sell them until I entered a six hour Super D event. I put them on in the morning and didn't think about them once until the race was over. I now wear them on about half of my rides and they are truly comfortable and have held up great.

  14. #14
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    Phoenixsun,

    So how did the two pads fair? Basically in the same market currently, and looking for your experience with the new pads.

  15. #15
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    T.H.E. are horribly designed as far as closure placement.
    Tried them on and was very disappointed.

    The POC are comfy and well laid out.
    They are pricy and also temp sensitive but on the nastier trails I am glad to stave off some of the bruises and cuts.
    note to self, do not read rider down forum.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by phoenixsun
    and also temp sensitive
    As in too much for a hot day, or bad in the cold?

  17. #17
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    I didn't get to wear it on a 100F day with high humidity, but, I have worn lots of knee/shin pads in the paintball days in such weather and only the comfort of the straps / fasteners affected comfort.

    The pads come with a warning about temperature. I don't want the dough to be damaged but I have worn them in the low 30s (F). I did leave them in the warm car, get everything ready, then throw them on and jump on the bike and go. Legs kept the dough nice and soft when I checked them. Any lower temp I have used full riding pants and no pads.
    note to self, do not read rider down forum.

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