The Rally DH line from Roach features a thicker foam padding than its FR counterpart, as well as a proprietary hard shell. Whether you're a pro level downhill racer or a hardcore freerider looking for the ultimate in protection, Roach's Rally line has got you covered - literally.
a Weekend Warrior
from Athens, Greece
Date Reviewed: February 24, 2008
Strengths: This armour is really solid. It locks on you securelly without any play, yet it doesen't interfere with pedaling.
Weaknesses: Now, i cannot really get this. I mean.. what the hell ALL the manufacturers of protective pads i've used so far are thinking (Dieneese, FOX, 661 & RaceFace). Does this lining they all use around the inner padding of those products has REALLY to start & end, creating this.. "abracive "detail" at the side of the knee? Hey! This is the part of a rider's body that moves most of all. And it's not only the lining, but the thread as well (works almost like those files for soft metals!). All i can say about these pads is that they are good but yoyr knees will get deep scratches at the sides as the lining is working from the first pedal strokes, making pedaling painfull. I'll experiment, as i've done with all the rest of my pads, with some aditional soft material sewn over the problematic area.
These pads are good but the problem with the lining (common to many other manufactirers) makes those pads almost unbearable to wear. The manufacturer has to take care of this problem, afterll all we need those to protect our skin as well.....
Favorite Trail: Infamous 10, The 5, Kalopoula trails, Goura
Duration Product Used: Less than 1 month
Purchased At: CRC
Similar Products Used: Dieneese, FOX, 661
Bike Setup: MC SIN, Marz 66 (180mm) front, Full XT drivetrain, Custom Bush ring, Shimano XT (first generation) diskbrakes, DMR revolver hubs, DMR 60mm stem, TITEC collapsible seatpost, Nokian Gaza 26X2,6 front, Nokian NBX 26X2,5 rear, ChrisKing steelset ahead set, WTB saddle, etc.
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: September 12, 2007
Strengths: Rock-solid (and fairly rock-proof) protection. Stays in place well.
Weaknesses: Chafes round the knees. Not just minor irritation and pinkness; we're talking full-on post-ride scabby wounds.
You wear armour for protection unless you have a heavy Darth Vader fetish. These pads offer superb protection from big knocks as well as irritating - and often still painful - minor knocks and scrapes such as shin grates on your flats.
However, comfort is still a crucial requirement, particularly where lack of comfort discourages you from wearing the protection (I smashed my shin while not protected because I was still covered in sores from earlier chafing from reviewed pads).
In British climes heat isn't a severe problem. I'm stocky (i.e. thinly veiled euphemism for verging on overweight) and find the ventilation pretty reasonable considering the snug fit. Below the knee I forget I'm wearing these pads (they really fit beautifully here) - but on the other hand that could just be because of the distraction from the trouble slightly higher up. No, not that high. I'm talking knees - and back to the chafing.
The first time I wore the pads I broke the skin 400m out from the trail head car park (steady climb). The material, stitching and overall design of the edges of these pads all conspire to part skin from flesh by nipping, rubbing and grinding.
After just a couple of rides I started experimenting with women's stockings. Oh yes. Cheapest ones I could find. While it's still vaguely warm here I roll a chopped-off short tube of nylon round the knee and roll the spare over the top of the fastened pads. Works well. Still get the occasional pink patch but a good compromise. Room for experimenting with coloured lycra underneath when it gets a little cooler.
The wrap-around mesh at the back is pretty much a complete waste of time. Offers no appreciable protection and adds unnecessary clamminess, and makes armour harder to put on, flapping around. Raceface/Roach have done away with this I believe, in the latest models. Good move.
Now that I have my womens' tights routine down to a fine art, I'm pretty satisfied with this armour. I feel better protected in the shin area than from MotoX boots I've worn in the past for motorised off-road, and that's saying a lot.
It has to be said that these are nominally DH pads. The troubles I've had are probably down to using them for doing more than a fair share of uphill. Even when pedalling hard, downhill, the chafing doesn't appear to be a problem. Suspect I should have got the FR variety and I wouldn't be moaning as much.
I tried some Kona and 661 pads before buying the Raceface stuff. These alternatives weren't in the same league for quality of protection and staying in place. They were even less comfortable at the outset (but nothing like as abrasive!). They were almost half the price of the Raceface stuff, but I'm happy to pay the extra for more confidence my knees, shins and elbows will be kept intact.
Summary - top-notch protection but you'll probably need an intervening layer of softer material between your flesh and the armour to avoid chafing scabs. Would have got a resounding hotter-than-vindaloo rating without the abrasion problem.
Strengths: The best for most type of crashes! They don't move. I could wear them with a side stabilizing knee suport under (after crusiate operation)!!
Weaknesses: Not enough cover above the knee. Stiching came loose on the knee cups after one month. Hardly fit inside any pants. Didn't come in size small, only M & L. Hot (but safe).
Get these if you won't wear them under your pants. Might try the FR model next time for better ventilation. If they improve the stiching quality, come in small, but more importantly, go higher up on the knees, they will be the safest out there!!! value: -1 chill for high price (75euro's) -1 chill for bad stiching overall: -1 chill for room to improve safety
Similar Products Used: Dainese kneeguard plus (suck).
a Weekend Warrior
from Everett, WA
Date Reviewed: March 15, 2006
Strengths: Hard plastic shell, comfort.
Weaknesses: Didn't buy them sooner.
I simply do not ride without these anymore, unless I'm commuting. Cross country, freeride, trials, Whistler, I always have them on. They're comfortable, breathe (at the back), and I forget they are there until landing on a pointy rock with my knee/shin. Then I laugh. They have joined the helmet, gloves, and Camelback as an item I won't ride without.
Similar Products Used: None ridden with, but lots tried on.
Bike Setup: Santa Cruz Bullit, Orange Mr. O, Kona Chute, GT Zaskar LE, Kona trials bike.
Date Reviewed: December 22, 2005
Strengths: They cover the whole lower leg/knee, and wrap around nice and tight. The actual pads are tough, and provide good coverage and protection from impacts. The're also comfortable.
Weaknesses: The fact that they wrap around the whole leg means they do get hot. But theres no way around that problem if you want full protection.
After falling off the side of a ladder-bridge and bailing knee first onto another, lower ladder-bridge (padless) - I decided to try and start preventing mashed-up, puss-riddled knee scabs, and swore I'd get some good pads. The rally downhillers are those pads, and more. I've fallen onto them a few times and bearly felt a thing. The legs are so prone to a battering when riding that these really are worth their weight in gold.
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: September 4, 2005
Strengths: Super thick outter shell, tons of knee and shin coverage, and comfortable inner padding.
Weaknesses: Rubbed on the top of my knee for about 3 rides or so and then the rubbing went away.
These pads are awesome and paid themselves off within the first few rides that I had them. Every time that I have neglected to take them with me I have paid the price dearly. They get a little warm but you can definatley tell that the vents are functional with cool air coming through them. I use these pretty much for trail riding and have no complaints with them for climbing as well. I would recommend these for anyone who likes going fast DH as well as anyone who prone to falling alot like myself.
Similar Products Used: raceface, exact same thing basically
Bike Setup: Stock Haro x1
from Orlando, FL USA
Date Reviewed: February 24, 2005
Strengths: Shells from hell!!! They rock! They stay in place as well.
Weaknesses: I'm 5'6" and they are a little big. Roach doesn't make a small.
Great protection! You get every pennies worth with these pads. Pick up a pair of these pads if your in the market for some good freeride or downhill armor. Only 4 flamin' chillis for the overall rating because they need to make a small.
Strengths: Great impact protection, so compfortable, big
Weaknesses: It Takes some time to break them in.
These are by far the best pads I have ever owned. I have had them for just over three months and have crashes tons and never got hurt. The only complaint I have is they take a while to break in, about ten hours. The one thing I never expected, they are not hot at all. And once you break them in you forget they're on. Also they fit my big legs.
Similar Products Used: 661 (crap), Knucklebone (good product but sizing not the best for tall riders)
Bike Setup: for riding
from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Date Reviewed: September 3, 2004
Strengths: Big, very protective as it covers all of your leg, mesh backing is great for riding DH, lots of straps to secure it
Weaknesses: Practically none, read down for minor complaints.
These are fantastic pads, I've had a few good crashes as of late, and these things protect me from everything. The soft Indy's I had just didn't cut it for me when I was dh'ing. Obviously they're not the coolest (temperature wise) pads out there, but that is to be expected for such a protective full-backed pad. Only problem I have is they rub a bit on my right knee, not too big of a deal. Personally they're a tad too short for me (I'm 6'5, using the XL) they tend to move down a touch when riding hard, exposing a little bit of my knee. But 98% of you won't have that problem anyways.
Strengths: Very light, breathes well and saved my ass in Big Bear!! Great looking pads!!
Weaknesses: I've tried many different knee/shin guards and these are the only ones that have rubbed the skin right off my legs while pedaling! I loosened up the top strap, but it still rubs.
These are great pads, however, like I said, they are very uncomfortabe while having to pedal, which I really don't like doing anyway. I'll try to dial them in a bit more, but I've already done everything except coompletely undo the top strap. Fyi, I'm 6'4" and am using the XL.