Dainese showed off their 2017 line in Crankworx Whistler.

Dainese showed off its 2017 product line at Crankworx in Whistler.​

With a moto heritage, Dainese understands the science of protection. They focus not only on the absorption and dissipation of impact, but also on fit and articulation. They know that even with the most protective materials available, they are more effective if they are fitted close to the body and conform with all joints through all the movements of the mountain biker. And finally, they focus on weight and breathability. The less protection interferes with a ride, the more likely the cyclist is going to wear it and be protected during those crashes that nobody plans on.

Very pliable material conforms to knee.

Very pliable material conforms to knee.​

Dainese is thrilled to see the trend of wearing protection become more widely accepted in mountain biking. It is simply too obvious to them coming for a motorcycle background, but they understand that it takes time and several iterations to get widespread acceptance.

With the rise of all mountain riding, Dainese had a runaway hit in their hands with first Trail Skins knee pads. But even as that product was flying off the shelves, they already wanted to update it with a more form-fitting option that's lighter and with better articulation. Now we see the next generation of Dainese mountain bike protection.

Great ventilation and articulation on the new knee pads.

Great ventilation and articulation on the new knee pads.​

Trail Skins 2 Knee and Elbow Guards

The successor to the Trail Skins, the second generation steps up in breathability, ergonomics, and protection. This new pad articulates very well, as it delivers good pedaling and all-day comfort, while still meeting European standards for impact protection. Additional side padding protects the critical points including a high, frame-side pad that guards the inner knee from the bike.

For elbow pads, unrestricted arm movement and all-day comfort while still meeting European standards for impact protectors is the end result. Micro-adjustable elastic bands placed at the top and bottom openings ensure a customized fit for every rider, for elbow pads are trickier to keep in place than knee pads.

Inside is very comfortable.

Inside is very comfortable.​

Features

  • Extra wide elastic bands with silicone grippers
  • Crash Absorb soft memory foam
  • Jersey Hole breathable, run- resistant mesh
  • Pro Armor knee pads Crash Absorb side pads
  • Homologation: EN 1621.1
  • Trail Skins 2 Knee guard: $85
  • Trail Skins 2 Elbow guard: $75

The Armoform knee pad protects and articulates very well.

The Armoform knee pad protects and articulates very well.​

Armoform Knee and Elbow Guards

These new articulated hard-shell kneepads is for heavier duty riding. The articulated joint allows the guard to extend when the knee bends, hence following joint movements well, ensuring the pads to stay in place.

We've been using these pads for a couple of months and we noticed two things. One is they are some of the best pedaling 'hard' pads that we've used. The plates sliding inside each other without much contact results in freedom of movement. And even in the most bent position, there is no unprotected area of the joint left by gaps.

The second thing we observed is the hard shells dissipate energy very well. To test it, we took a hammer and hit the pad very hard against our knee cap. It felt like getting hit with a soft blunt object, as the hammer blow was dissipated across a large area, and the inner pad cushioned the blow.

Side protection is excellent as well.

Side protection is excellent as well.​

Features

  • Elastic bands with silicone grippers calf power strap
  • Jersey Hole highly breathable, run-resistant mesh
  • Crash Absorb soft memory foam
  • Polyethylene knee/shin plates Crash Absorb side pads
  • Homologation: EN 1621.1
  • Armoform Knee guard: $100
  • Armoform Elbow guard: $90

Continue to page 2 for more protection from Dainese


The Armoform Lite version has added shin protection.

The Armoform Lite version has added shin protection.​

Armoform Knee Guard Lite Ext

Featuring the same hard-shell design of the Armoform Knee Guards, these lightweight pads utilize an open-back design for simplicity and ease of use. An additional shock absorbent memory foam extends coverage to the lower shins for aggressive riding.

This gives even more protection, especially on the shin area from rocks and flat pedals. Straps are not as high end as the Armoform, which results in a lower price.

Features

  • Elastic adjustable bands
  • Polypropylene knee/shin plates Crash Absorb shin pad extension
  • Homologation: EN 1621.1
  • Armoform Knee Lite knee guard: $90
The fabulous Doug Barnett demonstrates how well the jacket fits and articulates with movement.

The fabulous Doug Barnett demonstrates how well the jacket fits and articulates with movement.​

Rhyolite 2 Safety Jacket

We used the original Rhyolite jacket in Whistler and put it to good use as we ran off the side after one of the big jumps on the Crank it Up More trail. The jacket protected our upper body and we came away unscathed.

The Rhyolite 2 makes the jacket even lighter and more conforming to the body, especially the joint areas. It uses the new Pro Armor soft pads that ventilate very well but offer good protection. The back pad is a dual layer piece that allows some slip movement, as one piece conforms to the back and the outer piece can take the exterior shock.

Back articulates very well.

The back articulates very well.​

Features

  • Removable sleeves
  • Crash Absorb soft memory foam
  • Jersey Hole highly breathable, run- resistant mesh
  • Pro Armor elbow pads
  • Pro Armor shoulder pads
  • Flexagon Technology back protector Crash Absorb chest and rib pads
  • Homologation: EN 1621.2 level 2 EN 1621.1
  • Rhyolite 2 jacket: $300

Back protection is configurable.

Back protection is configurable.​

Trailknit Pro Armor Tee

Finally, here is a base layer that offers protection, the Trailknit Pro Armor Tee. Providing the benefits of a traditional next-to-skin base layer, including temperature regulation and muscle compression, the Trailknit Pro Armor Tee eliminates the need for wearing multiple layers by incorporating protection directly into the structure. This allows very close fitting of the armor to the joints and it ensures the protection stays in place during impact.

Features

  • Seamless construction
  • Bacteriostatic, hypoallergenic and anti-odor
  • Abrasion resistant, tear-resistant and anti-pilling
  • Dryer material
  • Pro Armor shoulder pads
  • Multi-layer Crash Absorb back protector
  • Homologation: EN 1621.2 level 1 EN 1621.1
  • Trail knit Pro Armor Tee: $190

For more information visit www.dainese.com.