Knee protection for sporty mountain bikers
Kneepads are not only worn for downhill or enduro, but also for all-mountain, trail and freeride. In addition to the head and hands, elbows and knees are the body parts where mountain bikers receive the most light and heavy injuries. Cyclists instinctively put out their knees for support when the bike starts to slip from under them. This can quickly lead to grazes or in the worst case broken bones and torn ligaments.
Sturdy knee protection for downhill and touring pads for all-mountain
Mountain bikers go for different protectors depending on the route and their riding style. Sturdy kneepads for downhill come with added plastic caps. They provide optimal protection against impact and abrasion, but are not very breathable and too heavy and bulky for MTB tours. But for high-speed MTB downhill they are an absolute necessity to minimize the risk of serious knee injuries.
However, all-round mountain bikers can find lightweight models from protection manufacturers, such as IXS, POC and ION, that are sturdy, sit very comfortably and provide reliable protection against knocks and abrasions without a rigid cap. Foams are getting thinner and lighter whilst becoming more durable and able to absorb more and more energy. These sort of protection is easy to carry in a backpack. This allows you to ride up to the top of the hill without sweaty protectors on and then put them on for the challenging ride down.
Knee pads for long tours and fast descents
Knee guards have long been standard in bike parks and on trails. However, many mountain bikers still fail to wear the appropriate protective equipment for long tours in the mountains, multi-day tours or alpine crossings. Lightweight knee guards and shin protectors are a good idea for long, unfamiliar routes. Most mountain bikers wear back protectors or backpacks with integrated back protection. And knee pads are worth the extra few grams to protect your knees.
As with downhill helmets and back protectors, MTB knee pads give you an added feeling of safety when riding downhill. When you can rely on your equipment you don't have to worry about getting hurt and can concentrate on the challenging course ahead instead.