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  1. #1
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    Need info on knee pads!!

    Hi everyone,
    I have a cool project going on right now and am looking to the forums to get some helpful information.
    Iím basically trying to design a new form of protection for mtb riding, whether its enduro, xc, trail riding, whatever you want to classify your riding style as.

    At this point, im trying to get as much rider feedback as i can about what people use, what they like and dislike in current pads, and what could be done better.

    What would your ideal protection from crashing be?
    What do you love about current pads?
    What do you hate about current pads?
    What could be improved/changed?
    Basically, if you could create your ideal pads for riding, what would they be?
    Do you ride with pads at all? If so, can you give me some of your thoughts on them? Do you wear them on extended rides? Only on the descents? Do you have to take your shoes off to put them on/off?
    If you donít ride with any sort of pads, why donít you? What new features or new type of pad would make you want to buy them?
    This is the type of information Iím looking for, i want to develop exactly what us Mountain Bikers want and need so Iím looking to the forums for as much feedback as possible! Feel free to add any questions, comments, suggestions, and concerns.
    Thanks everyone!

  2. #2
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    Here ya go:

    Quote Originally Posted by thehenmtb View Post
    Hi everyone,
    I have a cool project going on right now and am looking to the forums to get some helpful information.
    Iím basically trying to design a new form of protection for mtb riding, whether its enduro, xc, trail riding, whatever you want to classify your riding style as.

    At this point, im trying to get as much rider feedback as i can about what people use, what they like and dislike in current pads, and what could be done better.

    What would your ideal protection from crashing be?Greater level of bike-handling skills
    What do you love about current pads?The padding
    What do you hate about current pads?The padding.
    What could be improved/changed?Better padding.
    Basically, if you could create your ideal pads for riding, what would they be?Knee pads.
    Do you ride with pads at all? If so, can you give me some of your thoughts on them? Do you wear them on extended rides? Only on the descents? Do you have to take your shoes off to put them on/off?Yes. Yes.Yes. No. Yes.
    If you donít ride with any sort of pads, why donít you? What new features or new type of pad would make you want to buy them?N/A.
    This is the type of information Iím looking for, i want to develop exactly what us Mountain Bikers want and need so Iím looking to the forums for as much feedback as possible! Feel free to add any questions, comments, suggestions, and concerns.
    Thanks everyone!
    The suspension of your bike sucks if it's different than mine. Really. It sucks. Big time.

  3. #3
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    smh

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boulder Pilot View Post
    Here ya go:
    Wow thanks for the insight into your riding
    Last edited by thehenmtb; 2 Weeks Ago at 01:49 PM.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by thehenmtb View Post
    Wow thanks for the insight into your douchy-ness. Super helpful to know that you're an idiot.
    Welcome to the Internet, thats not the way to respond to get help. He responded because this isnt rocket science, we want protection that works, but doesnt feel like were wearing it, thats the holy grail. Good protection coverage thats light, doesnt impede movement, ventilates and doesnt look completely dorky. I dont know of anyone who likes to wear pads just for the hell of it, and theres no way about it, it looks dorky. The only people it doesnt look goofy on is Special Forces, but thats because whoís going to tell a Navy SEAL hoisting a M4 and coming down on you in NVGís, hey buddy, those pads make you look like youíre special needs!
    Ok, some of my serious feedback, i like D3O and the like. Stays flexible and pretty soft, but does offer good impact protection. I also like my knee pads that dont require shoe removal, its prob my favorite heavier knees.
    Pads need to stay in place, but not bind and be uncomfortable. Breath well and ventilate is important in my tropical environment. Only time i didnít mind them being hot was when i used them snowboarding.
    I dont mind hauling them around, but if its going to be long trail rides i carry sleeves style, the bigger heavier pads take up a lot of space.

  6. #6
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    I wear Fox Launch knee/shin guards. Hard plastic shell with velcro straps. When I first started riding clipless at age 43, I fell over when I couldn't unclip. My knee landed squarely on a rock, and sustained a really bad bruise and could hardly pedal. It was a 0 MPH crash and my ride was over. I bought pads that weekend and have never ridden without them again. I've seen people hurt badly on the slowest, simplest of falls.

    Quote Originally Posted by thehenmtb View Post

    What would your ideal protection from crashing be? They have to have a plastic shell and protect knee to ankle.
    What do you love about current pads? That they extend from my knee to my ankle. Almost all other pad systems stop above the ankle. I have yet to find another system that extends to the ankle.
    What do you hate about current pads? They are hot in the summer and they need to be more adjustable for sizing, especiallly as the velcro straps begin to stretch.
    What could be improved/changed? Breathability and longer velcro surface on straps.
    Basically, if you could create your ideal pads for riding, what would they be? They would be be exactly like my current pads with more venting.
    Do you ride with pads at all? If so, can you give me some of your thoughts on them? Do you wear them on extended rides? Only on the descents? Do you have to take your shoes off to put them on/off? I ALWAYS ride with pads. I am an XC rider that rides highly technical rocky and rooty trails. I do not jump at all.
    If you donít ride with any sort of pads, why donít you? What new features or new type of pad would make you want to buy them? N/A
    AreBee

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by root View Post
    Welcome to the Internet, thats not the way to respond to get help. He responded because this isnt rocket science, we want protection that works, but doesnt feel like were wearing it, thats the holy grail. Good protection coverage thats light, doesnt impede movement, ventilates and doesnt look completely dorky. I dont know of anyone who likes to wear pads just for the hell of it, and theres no way about it, it looks dorky. The only people it doesnt look goofy on is Special Forces, but thats because whoís going to tell a Navy SEAL hoisting a M4 and coming down on you in NVGís, hey buddy, those pads make you look like youíre special needs!
    Ok, some of my serious feedback, i like D3O and the like. Stays flexible and pretty soft, but does offer good impact protection. I also like my knee pads that dont require shoe removal, its prob my favorite heavier knees.
    Pads need to stay in place, but not bind and be uncomfortable. Breath well and ventilate is important in my tropical environment. Only time i didnít mind them being hot was when i used them snowboarding.
    I dont mind hauling them around, but if its going to be long trail rides i carry sleeves style, the bigger heavier pads take up a lot of space.
    Do you ever wear your sleeves for the duration of the longer rides? Or do you usually carry them in the pack and only put them on for the downhills?

    Thanks for feedback dude, I appreciate it!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arebee View Post
    I wear Fox Launch knee/shin guards. Hard plastic shell with velcro straps. When I first started riding clipless at age 43, I fell over when I couldn't unclip. My knee landed squarely on a rock, and sustained a really bad bruise and could hardly pedal. It was a 0 MPH crash and my ride was over. I bought pads that weekend and have never ridden without them again. I've seen people hurt badly on the slowest, simplest of falls.
    Do you wear those fox launchs' on longer rides too? One feature i think is key to a good pad is protecting the shin and calves too so i can respect you for wearing those Fox pads. Thank you for your response! Its always the simple little crashes that seem to do the most damage, hoping to help fix that issue...

  9. #9
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    Need info on knee pads!!

    I wear knee and sleeves on ďallĒ rides and have for years. Could care less what I look like. Has saved me many times, and a few times Iíve still ended up with scrapes.

    1. What I want is a pad that fits and has some adjustment, not just a sleeve. I love my 7idp Sam Hill lights but they slide after impact and have no side knee protection. I would like a few patches of D30 or similar on the sides and a strip extending down the shin. A Velcro strap over the calf to hold up.

    2. For sleeves I really like the Troy Lee Speed Sleeves. Good coverage and just enough protection. However, I had to get the MIL to custom fit them. A bit more padding in elbows would help (have scars from getting smacked right through the pad). I also like that they cover most of my arms which keeps the poison oak and sun off.


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  10. #10
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    Thanks for your response dude! What exactly was the reason as to why you had to get your Speed Sleeves custom fit?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by thehenmtb View Post
    Do you wear those fox launchs' on longer rides too? One feature i think is key to a good pad is protecting the shin and calves too so i can respect you for wearing those Fox pads. Thank you for your response! Its always the simple little crashes that seem to do the most damage, hoping to help fix that issue...
    We ride anywhere from 8 miles to 15 miles and I wear them every time. There are four of us in the riding group all wearing these same pads on every ride.
    AreBee

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by thehenmtb View Post
    Thanks for your response dude! What exactly was the reason as to why you had to get your Speed Sleeves custom fit?
    Fit. Troy Lee loves the whole xs/s and m/l sizing thing the smaller of two was way too small, the larger size a bit too loose. My mother-in-law, who is very handy around needle and thread, tightened the bicep and I also had her tighten the pads below the elbow joint but above the forearm muscle. This resulted in an almost perfect fit thatís comfortable but stays in place. With so many body sizes out there, it must be impossible to fit everyone. My Fox Launch arm pads are size L and too tight on the bicep.


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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Structure View Post
    Fit. Troy Lee loves the whole xs/s and m/l sizing thing the smaller of two was way too small, the larger size a bit too loose. My mother-in-law, who is very handy around needle and thread, tightened the bicep and I also had her tighten the pads below the elbow joint but above the forearm muscle. This resulted in an almost perfect fit thatís comfortable but stays in place. With so many body sizes out there, it must be impossible to fit everyone. My Fox Launch arm pads are size L and too tight on the bicep.


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    Thanks for the more in depth explanation! Still not sure how I'm going to tackle the beast-of-an-issue that is "Sizing", but you're mother in-laws handy work has given me some ideas! Thanks again, really appreciate it.

  14. #14
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    If I had a wish list for new pads it would be custom sizing. Take a set of measurements. Send that in. Have the sleeves or knee pads custom sown to that specification. I suppose there could be 3-4 sleeve sizes manufactured in Asia, but then the final stitching would be done by hand to order. Would cost more for sure, but I think I'd happily pay $20-30 more for a pad if I knew the fit would be perfect. This is for sleeve style pads (TLD Speed series, 7idp Sam Hill series, Fox Launch, etc.). I think it would be too hard with thicker pads that use straps.

    Typically, when I measure my below knee and above knee circumference according the the manufacture's recommendations at least one measurement is between sizes, and often the lower or upper measurement is closer to a size up or down. For example, my below knee measurement suggests a M but my above knee a L or vice versa. Trying them on doesn't much help either since I really need to put a ride or two in with them on to know and I often still feel between sizes. (Got some nearly new POC 2.0VPD and Ixs Carve that are slightly too small if anyone wants to buy them!)

    I think that experience is pretty common. I'm a very normal proportioned 6' tall 175 lb guy yet finding sizing pads super difficult.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Structure View Post
    If I had a wish list for new pads it would be custom sizing. Take a set of measurements. Send that in. Have the sleeves or knee pads custom sown to that specification. I suppose there could be 3-4 sleeve sizes manufactured in Asia, but then the final stitching would be done by hand to order. Would cost more for sure, but I think I'd happily pay $20-30 more for a pad if I knew the fit would be perfect. This is for sleeve style pads (TLD Speed series, 7idp Sam Hill series, Fox Launch, etc.). I think it would be too hard with thicker pads that use straps.

    Typically, when I measure my below knee and above knee circumference according the the manufacture's recommendations at least one measurement is between sizes, and often the lower or upper measurement is closer to a size up or down. For example, my below knee measurement suggests a M but my above knee a L or vice versa. Trying them on doesn't much help either since I really need to put a ride or two in with them on to know and I often still feel between sizes. (Got some nearly new POC 2.0VPD and Ixs Carve that are slightly too small if anyone wants to buy them!)

    I think that experience is pretty common. I'm a very normal proportioned 6' tall 175 lb guy yet finding sizing pads super difficult.
    I think custom sizing is definitely something that's do-able for sleeve style pads, it just seems like people really like having optional adjustability. The big issue with sleeves is that after a few rides, they begin to stretch. So even with custom sizes/fit you still run into the issue of "stretching out" after a few rides, so i'm not sure that perfect fit would last, unless it had some sort of adjustability in it as well. I actually just ran into the same problem that you have when it comes to being in between sizes. I just ordered a pair of IXS Carve Evo+ knee's and my "above knee" measured as a XS and my below knee measured as S, so it's really frustrating to spend the money before-hand while not knowing if it will even fit. These are my first pads though, so we'll see how the fit is! Thanks for giving me your opinions and feedback @structure, I really appreciate it! Hopefully I can bring something NEW and BETTER than whats currently out there.

  16. #16
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    I ride mostly trail/all mtn in the pnw, and wear knee pads climbing and put on the elbow pads for the downhill. Have tried a ton of pads through the years and currently use and like raceface ambush pads.

    I like that they donít slip or need shoe removal to put on. I like that they actually protect you from hard falls. The fit is great as they have elastic Velcro straps for adjustment. Only thing I would improve is making them a bit less bulky and adding a hard outer cap.

    I havenít really found a favorite elbow pad yet. The ambushes are ok but a little too bulky for me. I would love to see a lighter weight one with adjustable straps on both ends and a tough plastic outer cap that articulates well with the elbow. Understated graphics would be a plus. I hate looking like a billboard.

    Most important thing for me though is a pad that works. Iím not looking for a glorified knee or arm warmer. I want something that protects me from a hard and fast fall onto rocks and roots.

    Hope this helps. Good luck with the project.

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    Quote Originally Posted by beefmagic View Post
    I ride mostly trail/all mtn in the pnw, and wear knee pads climbing and put on the elbow pads for the downhill. Have tried a ton of pads through the years and currently use and like raceface ambush pads.

    I like that they donít slip or need shoe removal to put on. I like that they actually protect you from hard falls. The fit is great as they have elastic Velcro straps for adjustment. Only thing I would improve is making them a bit less bulky and adding a hard outer cap.

    I havenít really found a favorite elbow pad yet. The ambushes are ok but a little too bulky for me. I would love to see a lighter weight one with adjustable straps on both ends and a tough plastic outer cap that articulates well with the elbow. Understated graphics would be a plus. I hate looking like a billboard.

    Most important thing for me though is a pad that works. Iím not looking for a glorified knee or arm warmer. I want something that protects me from a hard and fast fall onto rocks and roots.

    Hope this helps. Good luck with the project.
    Thanks so much for you're reply! The straps and adjustment on the Raceface Ambush are a sweet feature, do they ever slide down your leg on crashes though? Also, how long of rides do you go on while wearing those knee pads? Thanks again dude!

  18. #18
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    I havenít had them slide down on me on a crash. Itís a pretty secure system in my experience. And I donít have to uncomfortably cinch them for them to stay in place. I usually go on 2-4 hour rides but wouldnít hesitate to wear the knees for longer. If they were slightly slimmer with a hard cap theyíd be my ideal pad.

    Please focus on elbow pads, too. I realize theyíre out of fashion but Iíve seen a few hardcore elbow injuries that likely would have avoided major surgery if they had been wearing pads.

  19. #19
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    I'm currently using Raceface Indy knee and elbow pads. I like the adjustment band, lightweight and flexible D3O foam, nice sticky silicone ring on the inside upper/lower part of the sleeves to prevent them from slipping. The only thing I don't like about the knee pads is that I need to remove my shoes to put them on/off. Argh.

    I ride to the trails from home and prefer to put on the pads when I get to the trailhead on a hot summer's day. Though these are pretty breathable and comfy to wear, it's still another layer to collect sweat.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by thehenmtb View Post
    I think custom sizing is definitely something that's do-able for sleeve style pads, it just seems like people really like having optional adjustability. The big issue with sleeves is that after a few rides, they begin to stretch.
    I think the Fox did a great design job integrating the sleeve AND two crisscrossing velcro straps on their Launch elbow pads. After three years they still rarely slide down except in crazy bumpy descents. Not sure if I would like the sleeve on a knee pad though. I do like not having to take off my shoes to put them on, especially in the winter!
    AreBee

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by beefmagic View Post
    I havenít had them slide down on me on a crash. Itís a pretty secure system in my experience. And I donít have to uncomfortably cinch them for them to stay in place. I usually go on 2-4 hour rides but wouldnít hesitate to wear the knees for longer. If they were slightly slimmer with a hard cap theyíd be my ideal pad.

    Please focus on elbow pads, too. I realize theyíre out of fashion but Iíve seen a few hardcore elbow injuries that likely would have avoided major surgery if they had been wearing pads.
    Thanks again for the feedback! I'm focusing on elbow pads as well, its just that knee pads have a slightly different problem to solve and I wanted to create something unique there and then carry that into the elbow pads.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trinimon View Post
    I'm currently using Raceface Indy knee and elbow pads. I like the adjustment band, lightweight and flexible D3O foam, nice sticky silicone ring on the inside upper/lower part of the sleeves to prevent them from slipping. The only thing I don't like about the knee pads is that I need to remove my shoes to put them on/off. Argh.

    I ride to the trails from home and prefer to put on the pads when I get to the trailhead on a hot summer's day. Though these are pretty breathable and comfy to wear, it's still another layer to collect sweat.
    Definitely seems that people are looking for something they can use without having to remove their shoes, so its great to hear that! Thanks for the feedback I really appreciate it.

  23. #23
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    Iím a Clyde with big legs and canít find anything that fits right that wonít eventually slide down.
    2017 Surly Ogre

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