XC\Trail knee protection: Dainese Trail Skins 2 vs 7idp Sam Hill?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    New question here. XC\Trail knee protection: Dainese Trail Skins 2 vs 7idp Sam Hill?

    I'm new to the forum, and to mountain biking in general.

    I'm looking for a pair of knee pads that I'll want to wear all the time. If I get into the sport more and want some more DH specific pads, I'll get those later. For now, I'm looking for a more XC/Trail set, but some that have actual protection, not just a knee warmer.

    I've read like a billion reviews, and have narrowed it down to a few models. Sadly, I can't find anywhere local that stocks either of them, so I can't really go try them on and see which one I prefer, so I thought I'd ask here.

    What are your thoughts on the Dainese Trail Skins 2 vs the 7idp Sam Hill knee pads? Are there any others in the same category that I should be looking at as well? I'm especially curious to hear from people that have owned either/both of them, as I've not met anyone locally with either of these yet.

    Thanks for the help everyone .

    About me, if it helps any:

    Right now, I ride a 26er hardtail XC bike (2012 Focus Black Forest 4.0, 3x10, 100mm fork with lockout). I've gone proper "mountain biking" perhaps 4 times now, but I grew up riding a 20in Haro street bike all over the neighborhood, and also spent a fair bit of time riding pretty tame dirt bikes in the same timeframe (trail, not motocross). I'm pretty comfortable on a bike in most terrain, but still can't manual to save my life.

    As of right now, I mostly cycle to stay in shape. So I ride the hardtail around the neighborhood for cardio during the week, and then swap back to knobbies for the few times I have gone out to the trails this summer. So its mostly XC style rides, with some moderate downs. So far I've enjoyed blue trails the most.

  2. #2
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    Have a look at this article.

    Best thing you can do is try on as many pairs as possible. Both options you mentioned are likely good.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by PUNKY View Post
    Have a look at this article.

    Best thing you can do is try on as many pairs as possible. Both options you mentioned are likely good.
    Thanks for the link. As it happens, that was one of the better group comparison reviews that I found. Another similar review I found (EDIT: Found it) is what put me onto the 7idp Sam Hill.

    I just can't seem to find either of these models locally to try on. So even though they both seem to have good reviews, I'm still a bit hesitant to order them for whatever reason. I'd love to hear if anyone has experience with them, and if they still use them, or have moved on to something else, etc.

    Thanks again .
    Last edited by ocnLogan; 08-17-2018 at 09:18 AM.

  4. #4
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    I own the Trail Skins 2. While I love the breath-ability, I hate the velcro: they're impossible to put on without the itchy strap touching the back of my legs and irritating me on the ride. For my legs, I'm not happy, but there are plenty of people who like them a lot.

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    Quote Originally Posted by trombs21 View Post
    I own the Trail Skins 2. While I love the breath-ability, I hate the velcro: they're impossible to put on without the itchy strap touching the back of my legs and irritating me on the ride. For my legs, I'm not happy, but there are plenty of people who like them a lot.
    Thank you for the info sir. I'd been starting to lean away from the Trail Skins 2 recently, partially because one of the reviews mentioned the Velcro causing issues due to the way its facing. I had wondered if that was an isolated incident, and you answered that. The alure of the super breathability of the dainese is tempting, but if I didn't want to wear them, then that does nothing for me.

    I just wish that somewhere local had the 7idp to try on, and that it had a velcro strap or two (like their transition wrap model).

    Thanks again .

  6. #6
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    G forms are great.

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    I've been using the Sam Hill's for a couple of months. They fit great, don't slide down and I don't notice them when riding. I like how long they are (I have a 36" inseam) . They don't gap my baggies at the top and give upper shin protection on the bottom. I got them from Jenson and they have a good returns policy if you don't like them.

  8. #8
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    I'm deciding I don't like my trail skins. I can't get the velcro to stay fastened regardless of what shorts I wear and I find that the top sags down. On the plus side, they are breathable and they don't pop apart in the wash like the first gen trail skins.

  9. #9
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    I have the Kali Strike pads. Had them about a year and they virtually disappear when riding in them. I have crashed in them, they stayed in place and show no sign of impact.

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    I got a pair of Dakine Slayers, and a fall demonstrated their value to me and told me I bought the right set. Trails in my area are too wet to ride so I wore them on a street ride. While climbing a ramp in a parking garage, my chain popped off the chain ring and I went down hard. My left knee hit hard but the pads saved that part of my body. My left shoulder has a big berry, and I have to replace my helmet because it cracked. But the knee pads worked fine and didn't move out of place. (The impact was so hard that the plastic mount for my taillight broke even though it didn't hit anything.)

  11. #11
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    I have been obsessing over lightweight knee pads over the past few years because I haven't found a pair that is great in all categories. Here is my input for the lightweight pads I have.

    7idp Transition Wrap knee pads. The good: Padding is excellent (heat molding), you don't have to take off shoes, pretty breathable, fairly comfortable. The bad: Strap design is too complicated and a little annoying to put on, the lycra wrap around the leg is weak, don't think they will last long.

    Dakine Slayers: The good: Sturdy, Dakine's version of 3DO padding is tough. The bad: Warm, not very comfortable and have hot spots where it is irritating the skin.

    Fox Enduro: The good: The most comfortable lightweight pads, well made. The bad: Not enough protection for more gnarly rides. It would be great if they just added a 3DO padding or heat sculpting padding like 7idp then I would consider them the best.

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    Following this thread for personal benefit.

    Iíve been using the Troy Lee speed sleeves and I have taken meaty chunks out of both legs now from falling and them sliding down. I highly recommend against them and I am Throwing mine in the garbage as soon as I find better knee pads

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by MOONER718 View Post
    Following this thread for personal benefit.

    Iíve been using the Troy Lee speed sleeves and I have taken meaty chunks out of both legs now from falling and them sliding down. I highly recommend against them and I am Throwing mine in the garbage as soon as I find better knee pads
    I did end up purchasing the Sam Hill knee pads almost a month ago, but, this past weekend was the first time I was actually able to test them out.

    I rode a combined total of... 17-18 miles, and maybe half of them where while wearing the sam hill knee pads.

    Overall, the fit was pretty good, as was the coverage. The top of the sleeve easily tucks under my riding shorts elastic/silicon grippers, and the bottom comes down far enough that it covers my crew length riding socks.

    I've never owned a pair of knee pads before, so I'm not sure I have much of a benchmark here. However, at the first location, we rode up 1k ft in ~3 miles, and at the top I put them on. Standing around at the top waiting to go down, I could definitely notice the pads on, but it wasn't that annoying. On the way down, they disappeared. Didn't crash, so can't speak to their protection ability.

    After the ride down we hit another spot, where I sessioned a few short trails for another 5 miles, where I wore the pads full time.

    At times while pedaling around, I could feel the fabric bunching a bit behind my knee. They were also a touch warm, but not too bad (temps were in the low 60f range though, so maybe not a valid statement).

    Overall, I'm pretty happy with them. For actual XC type riding, I think I'd look for something lighter weight, like maybe the Leatt Airflex pros (I have their elbow guards, and those are much less noticeable than the knee pads). But for a general use, do many things type of pad, so far I'm happy.

    I'll try to remember to update this if/when I get to test their protection.

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