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Hallo! I want to buy some new knee pads, that offer (ordered by priority):
  • adequate protection for enduro racing
  • comfort for 3-4 hour riding
  • good breathability for temperatures 25-35 celsius (77-95 fahrenheit)
I came down to 3 contenders:

  • raceface ambush
  • ion k pact amp
  • poc joint vpd 2.0
Any experience with these and what do you recommend?
 

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I own the Race Face Flanks which are the same as the Ambush with extra shin protection. They're very comfortable and stay in place. They're not as breathable as some of the lighter duty pads but the Ambush covers less area so they might be alright.

I actually have some Alpinestars Paragon pads for lighter duty but they fit terribly. I actually considered the Ambush or Indy knee pads for lighter duty riding since I like the Flank so much.
 

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I have 661 Evo pads and like them. They stay put, offer good protection (tested) and I forget I have them on. Breathable? Hardly! Think you're asking a loot there.
 

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Dakine Slayers.

Enough protection for pedaly rides that involve tech, they stay put and breathe well.
 

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I'm a big fan of the Alpinestars Paragon but they may be to "minimalist" for you. They aren't expensive and I can wear them all day long without thinking about them
 

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I'm currently using RaceFace Indy. I haven't been hurt yet using them. I routinely ride in 100+ degree heat. Though, I am pretty high temperature tolerant.
 

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I'm currently using RaceFace Indy. I haven't been hurt yet using them. I routinely ride in 100+ degree heat. Though, I am pretty high temperature tolerant.
Do these press against your knee cap while you ride? I've discovered this causes issues with an old knee injury.
 

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Do these press against your knee cap while you ride? I've discovered this causes issues with an old knee injury.
Worst problem I have is rubbing against my knee on really hot days (again, triple digits). But on those days I use BodyGlide stick.
 

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- VPD2.0 is not breathable, and can be hard/uncomfortable at the start of a ride. Its narrow straps can dig into flesh. I can't wear these.
- RF Ambush is warm, but a solid pick.
- No opinion on the Ion, except that it looks nice. Wish its lower strap was higher.

I've sacrificed protection for comfort, sticking to the tried and true 661 Kyle Straits. I've fell on them a few times, getting bruises and "road-rash" level abrasions, as if almost the entire impact went through. They're better than not wearing pads though. It was hard to tolerate the hot spot with the VPD2.0. Ambush might be warm, but it's not spotty about it.

I've tried some of 7idp's stuff, and found that the more protection you add, the less comfortable the pads are, which seemed obviously straightforward. They seem to encourage choosing how much protection you want based on your ride. Could customize their Covert's protection level, similar to a helmet with removable chin guard. It impressed me quite a bit. I got the next level up, the Flex Knee, as a compromise, but the hard shell was a bit much. I like it, except when I'm trying to walk around, since the pre-curved hard shell starts to dig in.

I have to make a disclaimer: I wear all my knee pads with the lower strap just below the knee, above the calf, never around the thick part of my calf. That's the primary way I keep knee pads from slipping down. If something fits uncomfortably because of that, I rated it so.

General turn-offs:
- loose fit and thin stretchy straps/fabric tend to lead to pads slipping on crashes. I want the least amount of stretch as possible, that still allows movement. This knocks out most sleeve type pads, like G-Form (unless they reduced the spandex content in their pads)
- thick non-breathable absorption material. VPD is like insulation. Thinner D30 has okay heat transfer. Thick's okay if it's perforated, like Dainese TrailSkins2 or Forcefield Grid
- big hard shells. They say dress for the slide, not the ride, but I'll pass on the storm trooper look...
- thick silicone leg grippers. These tug on my short leg hairs and make them in-grown, leading to rashes
- pads that leave a gap of pale flesh shown between the knee and shorts
- price. I'm reluctant to go out and find the most expensive pads, expecting to get what I pay for. If you have $180 pads, tell me what makes them worth the price
 

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I've sacrificed protection for comfort, sticking to the tried and true 661 Kyle Straits.
They look quite similar to the 661 Evo. The Evo has a cut-out behind the knee and the impact protection looks like it might be slightly thicker but pretty similar.
 

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My recommendation is the Scott Grenade Pro II EVO Knee pads. If you can afford them that is, as they are in the higher price range.

I've got 0 complaints. I've been riding mine for the last 3 years. Crashed a few times but never ever had any knee injuries. These will do the job and still feel super comfy in most weather conditions.

The main pad uses D30 technology. This stuff is no gimmick but LEGIT protection. In fact if you don't want these knee guards then I HIGHLY recommend getting any protection that has D30 protection. It's that good.

2502240001_155472_png_zoom_3.jpg

https://www.scott-sports.com/us/en/product/scott-grenade-evo-knee-guards

If you want more than just my opinion check out these reviews:

https://dirtmountainbike.com/bike-reviews/shoes-helmets-etc/scott-grenade-pro-2-knee-pads.html

https://www.vitalmtb.com/product/guide/Knee-Shin-Pads,56/Scott/Grenade-Pro-II,12896

Scott Grenade Pro II knee pads review - BikeRadar USA

https://www.pinkbike.com/news/Review-Scott-Grenade-Pro-II-Kneepads.html
 

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Those Scott Grenade Pro 2 Evo were the exact pads I had my eye on trying next.
 

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My recommendation is the Scott Grenade Pro II EVO Knee pads. If you can afford them that is, as they are in the higher price range.

I've got 0 complaints. I've been riding mine for the last 3 years. Crashed a few times but never ever had any knee injuries. These will do the job and still feel super comfy in most weather conditions.

The main pad uses D30 technology. This stuff is no gimmick but LEGIT protection. In fact if you don't want these knee guards then I HIGHLY recommend getting any protection that has D30 protection. It's that good.

View attachment 1177422

https://www.scott-sports.com/us/en/product/scott-grenade-evo-knee-guards

If you want more than just my opinion check out these reviews:

https://dirtmountainbike.com/bike-reviews/shoes-helmets-etc/scott-grenade-pro-2-knee-pads.html

https://www.vitalmtb.com/product/guide/Knee-Shin-Pads,56/Scott/Grenade-Pro-II,12896

Scott Grenade Pro II knee pads review - BikeRadar USA

https://www.pinkbike.com/news/Review-Scott-Grenade-Pro-II-Kneepads.html
My only concern with these Scott pads is the length above and below the knee area.
Do they bunch ? How hot is it to wear these for extended hours in summer ?
 

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Dakine Slayers.

Enough protection for pedaly rides that involve tech, they stay put and breathe well.

Yeah, I have these. Good protection with their version of the D30 padding. They did take a while to break in and now they are better. However, they do get hot in summer and at times squeak when the kevlar rubs against the padding when pedaling.
 

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I can only give you my experience and that is they fit perfectly and never slide down even after long 2-3 hour rides.

I wear these all year long even in 90° weather and they never bother me. Obviously, Scott and other brands make lighter, thinner knee pads which is geared towards more XC riding that will help keep the knees cooler but u sacrifice some protection.

My original knee gaurds were the cheap Deamon pads which sucked. Not only after one day at the bike park the left pad chaffed the back of my knee and I noticed slight red marks and scratches. Which annoyed me while riding as it made it itch. After 2 crashes the stitching on it came apart and exposed the plastic pad underneath. They didn't last a whole season.

Next was the 661. Got them on sale and was excited. Slapped them on and yeah they kept sliding down. So I had to really tighten the straps. Never crashed in them but the over tightening sucked.

3rd were my raceface knee gaurds. Crashed and yeah they didn't help much since i struck my knee on a log and the knee gaurd slid down so I got a nasty bruise. I did like them though and maybe if they didn't slide down my knee would have been protected. Who knows?

After getting the Scott knee pads from all the positive reviews and online feedback of DH riders I pulled the trigger and bought them. If they ever get damaged I'll buy another pair that's how much I like'em.
 
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