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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm currently looking for some new knee pads for trail riding. I have been using a pair of Dianese Trail Skins 2 for about a year and don't really like them. I hate the Velcro straps and they tend to slide down when things get sweaty. I'm looking into both the 7idp Sam Hill's and the Leatt Airflex Pro's. I like the level of coverage the 7idp's offer, but I'm worried about how warm they'll be in the humid Virginia summer. Anyone have experience with either of these? Both of them?

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I have Leattt's for 1.5 year - I really liked them, they became my knee pads to go everywhere. Definitely do not slide under normal circumstances, it's just when you wear them below +5C on naked skin, they slide a bit. But that is probably due to skin/muscle reaction to cold. I can not comment for very humid weather, but I've ridden them in +30C +35C - knee pads definitely were not a problem then :) I am not sure if you can really machine-wash them, or only hand-wash, but I sometimes I just throw them along my bike clothes in "protective bag" (I am not sure how it is called) - logo's peeling off, but other things seems to be holding still (touch wood...).
 

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Pinkbike had an article the other day about different knee pads work that work for different leg shapes. You might check it out. Some people seem to have way more trouble than others keeping pads in place.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Pinkbike had an article the other day about different knee pads work that work for different leg shapes. You might check it out. Some people seem to have way more trouble than others keeping pads in place.
Nice! Thanks for putting me on to that. Definitely a helpful read. I have fairly large quads, so after reading that I'm wondering if the Leatt's will fit well. May just have to order both and see which fits best.

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I have been using IXS Flow Evo pads for over a year now and they have been pretty good but just ordered the 7iDP Sam Hill pads yesterday due to all the awesome reviews. I will have them tomorrow and report back.
 

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I found the Leatt to fit really small. I had the XL and needed to go up to XXL for correct fit. They didn't get further than trying them on in my lounge room though as they just didn't feel that comfortable and felt hot enough that I wanted to take them off pretty quickly. The material used for the external part of the knee pad felt too grippy for a knee pad....grippy enough that I thought if they hit the ground they would grip and try to rip my leg off instead of slide...yeah, these weren't for me.

The 7iDP pads are fantastic. I have the Sam Hill and the model below (both in large)and they are both the most comfortable that I've worn and not too hot. They do cover more of your leg than most but I think that's the key to them staying in place, they do not move, ever. Had them for a couple of years now with multiple crashes and they are holding up very well. Throw them in the washing machine when they get dirty and they are like new. well recommended.
 

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I have a larger version of the 7iDP, the project, which is made of the same material as the Sam Hill just thicker padding (use them for park riding). I also have a set of the Leatt, which are my go to pads for intermediate to aggressive rides. I've used them in Alabama summer without issue, I think the 7iDP would be too hot. I also have a set of Specialized Atlas that I use for less aggressive rides; these are the most comfortable and light weight of the three
 

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I own the Sam hill pads, and two of my riding buddies have the airflex pro's. I also have airflex elbow pads (same materials as the knee pads).

So far, none of my riding with them has been in warm weather (got them in Oct), so I can't really tell you how they work out in the heat. I CAN tell you that the airflex material is more pliable, and more ventilated than the sam hill.

Additionally, comparing my Sam Hill pads to my buddies airflex pros, the sam hills have more coverage. The sleeve comes up farther up the thigh, and the padding/protection goes further down the shin as well. Personally, both of these have been things I've liked, at least up to this point in time.

I'm pretty certain that the sam hill will be warmer, as it has more coverage, and less breatheable padding material. Whether or not the sam hill pads would be "too warm"... well, I can't answer that question. In the temps I've really ridden with them so far (~35-65f), they've been great.

Good luck making a decision :).
 

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The ventillation on the airflex works well. There are little holes inside some (but not all) of the dimples on the pad - once your knees get sweaty you will feel them working once you get moving fast. I got them as a trail pad as a supplement to my ion kpacts. Thumbs up for the ventillation.
The bottom elastic creeps up my lower leg sometimes bc of my calf muscle, but the upper and knee pad stay put. The gripper material around your knee cap keeps them centered.
 

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My Leatts just came in the mail today. I wore them around the house and rode my bike around the block to test them out and man, are they comfortable. I ended up wearing them for 4 hours without realizing how long I had them on!

I was also looking at the Sam Hills and Scott Soldier 2, but ended up with the Leatts after I got a 1 time use 35% discount code from Leatt at Sea Otter so I bought a pair for my son and a pair for me.
 

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Quick update:

I went out on a quick 10 mile ride on Saturday with climbs and tech. The Leatts are very comfortable. I basically forgot that I was wearing them since I usually ride without knee pads. I would recommend these to anyone!
 

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I have a few rides in now with my Sam Hill 7iDPs. They are very comfortable and they stay in place really well. They seem to breathe as well as my old IXS Evo pads did but they are a lot longer so there is more coverage. Not crazy hot here yet but it doesn't seem to be an issue as far as I can tell at this point. I did a 22 mile ride with over 2000 ft of elevation gain in them and never thought about them once. The pad wraps around nicely and provides decent side protection. It also goes down your leg quite a ways providing upper shin protection as well. So far my only complaint is they are a little bit more work to get on than my old pads because they are so long. Almost have to put them on before you put your shorts on.

As far as sizing goes, 7iDP just uses the circumference of your thigh 6" above your knee. My measurement is 19" so I ordered the medium which they recommend for 17-19'. The Large is 19-21. I am right in between sizes which is the story of my life. I feel like I made the right decision on the medium though. They don't feel overly tight and they stay in place really well as I already mentioned.
 

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I have a few rides in now with my Sam Hill 7iDPs. They are very comfortable and they stay in place really well. They seem to breathe as well as my old IXS Evo pads did but they are a lot longer so there is more coverage. Not crazy hot here yet but it doesn't seem to be an issue as far as I can tell at this point. I did a 22 mile ride with over 2000 ft of elevation gain in them and never thought about them once. The pad wraps around nicely and provides decent side protection. It also goes down your leg quite a ways providing upper shin protection as well. So far my only complaint is they are a little bit more work to get on than my old pads because they are so long. Almost have to put them on before you put your shorts on.

As far as sizing goes, 7iDP just uses the circumference of your thigh 6" above your knee. My measurement is 19" so I ordered the medium which they recommend for 17-19'. The Large is 19-21. I am right in between sizes which is the story of my life. I feel like I made the right decision on the medium though. They don't feel overly tight and they stay in place really well as I already mentioned.
Hey man, I'm in the market for some trail pads after getting thrashed a bit using the Alpinestars paragons and getting hurt still (knee bruise on impact and bad upper knee abrasion due to pad slide down). Are you missing your ISX Flow Evo's at all? People seem to rave about those and apparently their XMatter stuff is super protective compared to Leatts Airflex stuff (which performed pretty bad in Enduro mags impact testing). I like the idea of a cooler pad of the Flow but not sure if they truly are protective enough for every day riding (I rarely am in the park and would use something burly their). 7iDP sound pretty sweet but man, the do seem to be a big leg warmer. Curious as to what you like today.
 

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I have both. IXS flows and Sam Hill 7iDP. They are very similar in protecting your knee cap.

I like the IXS flows when it's hotter because they are shorter and I like the 7iDP when I am using flat pedals because they have a little more protection.

In hot weather 90+ they both feel like too much and I have been interested in Kali pads for those conditions.

Can't really go wrong with either. I have crashed in both and my knees have been fine.
 

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Hey man, I'm in the market for some trail pads after getting thrashed a bit using the Alpinestars paragons and getting hurt still (knee bruise on impact and bad upper knee abrasion due to pad slide down). Are you missing your ISX Flow Evo's at all? People seem to rave about those and apparently their XMatter stuff is super protective compared to Leatts Airflex stuff (which performed pretty bad in Enduro mags impact testing). I like the idea of a cooler pad of the Flow but not sure if they truly are protective enough for every day riding (I rarely am in the park and would use something burly their). 7iDP sound pretty sweet but man, the do seem to be a big leg warmer. Curious as to what you like today.
I really don't notice the 7iDPs being any warmer than my IXS pads were. I still have the IXS pads but I don't wear them any more. IMO the 7iDPs are more comfortable, stay in place better, and have slightly more protection as the pad wraps around the side of you knee a little further. They are a bit on the long side but they breathe really well.

As far as the foam and big impacts go, I have not have one decent crash in the IXS pads and one HUGE crash in the 7iDPs that was probably the worse crash of my life including 20 years of riding MX. Both seem to do what they were intended and my knees were good to go. I could wear either one without having any big complaints but I do prefer the 7iDPs.
 

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I have both. IXS flows and Sam Hill 7iDP. They are very similar in protecting your knee cap.

I like the IXS flows when it's hotter because they are shorter and I like the 7iDP when I am using flat pedals because they have a little more protection.

In hot weather 90+ they both feel like too much and I have been interested in Kali pads for those conditions.

Can't really go wrong with either. I have crashed in both and my knees have been fine.
I have the Kali Strike pads, they were great at first but after about a month or so, they started to slip down like crazy. I'm about to toss them in the garbage and go back to my IXS's.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
OP here. FWIW, I ended up going with the 7idp's and have been loving them. Sure, they get a little warm in the peak of summer heat, but they stay in place insanely well and offer a ton of protection. I haven't taken any bad spills with them so far, so I can't comment on how well they do when really put to the test, but they are confidence inspiring.

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I have the 7idp sam hills. I'm on my second pair of them in just shy of 18 months. My knee pads see a ton of usage. I ride 3-4 days a week and I almost never ride without my knee pads on and I wash them pretty much once a week.

I used to wear knee pads far less because they were too hot, too bulky or just too uncomfortable, however that changed with the 7idp pads. I ride in socal heat and I don't find them too hot for 11 months of the year. For the one month of the year where it's 95-100+ or when I'm doing xc racing, I'll ride without em.

For better or worse, I've crash tested these many, many times. While there are bulkier pads that provide (what seems like) more protection... I find the sam hills stay put as well while crashing as they do while riding. That is, they don't move at all. The reason I have two pairs actually is that about 7 months into owning the first pair, I had a terrible wreck. They ended up ripping where the padded area meets up with the knee sleeve. I don't blame the pads for failing in this wreck, I was lucky to walk away from it without having to spend months off the bike. The pad stayed put but ultimately gave it's life as I tumbled down a rock waterfall, in order to save my knees. I guess you could say, they died doing what they loved. :cool:

I honestly can't say enough good things about these pads. I wear them for just general trail riding on my 100mm travel trail bike all the way to park days at mammoth and N* on my enduro rig and they are appropriate in both usage cases. They are comfortable as hell, stay put (especially when locked in by a bib cuff) and are the least hot of all of the pads I've worn.

I actually like them so much I have a 3rd brand new pair in the closet waiting for pair #2 to bite the dust. For what it's worth, I'm 6'2", 34" inseam with a 32" waist. I followed their sizing chart which put me on the top end of the medium and they fit great. They have stretched out a smidge in the course of 6 months or riding and washing, not significantly where they slide down, but enough where a Large would certainly be too big after break in.
 

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High praise minimus, I think I'm going to grab the Sam Hills and Ion K-Traze and return the ones I don't want. I think the K-Traze could be a dark horse here but I like how the Sam Hills seem to have a bit of extra side coverage of the knee. Not sure if the K-Traze have that. If I'm wearing pads, they might as well do some good and have some decent coverage. If they aren't too warm, they could be the ticket. Thanks!
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I have a few rides in now with my Sam Hill 7iDPs. They are very comfortable and they stay in place really well. They seem to breathe as well as my old IXS Evo pads did but they are a lot longer so there is more coverage. Not crazy hot here yet but it doesn't seem to be an issue as far as I can tell at this point. I did a 22 mile ride with over 2000 ft of elevation gain in them and never thought about them once. The pad wraps around nicely and provides decent side protection. It also goes down your leg quite a ways providing upper shin protection as well. So far my only complaint is they are a little bit more work to get on than my old pads because they are so long. Almost have to put them on before you put your shorts on.

As far as sizing goes, 7iDP just uses the circumference of your thigh 6" above your knee. My measurement is 19" so I ordered the medium which they recommend for 17-19'. The Large is 19-21. I am right in between sizes which is the story of my life. I feel like I made the right decision on the medium though. They don't feel overly tight and they stay in place really well as I already mentioned.
hey man, i have these exact problem !
my girth is exactly 48 cm (19inch) which is at the top of the Medium spectrum !
im on the skinny side
are you comfortable with your size or should i go with the Large ones ?
im scared that Large ones would slip after a while or if the Medium ones are too tight !
 
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