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Recommendations for elbow and knee pads that don't suck shit

englertracing

Monkey
Mar 5, 2012
392
183
La Verne
Can you give me recommendations for elbow and knee pads that don't suck. If you've only used one brand please refrain from replying to this as that type of feedback would be less than useful
 

kidwoo

Celebrating No-Pants Day
Aug 25, 2003
23,629
3,041
In my pants
IXS knee and elbow pads fit and stay put on on me. I'm talking the full length knee shin ones. They probably the best I've ever used of that variety.

The elbows are still the stupid rock grabbing fabric so nothing special there but they do stay put. I don't wear the arm stuff very frequently.
 

rpet

goofy for life
Jun 9, 2003
3,172
408
El Lay
For knees, I like the 7idp Flex a lot and will be replacing my 2year old pair with the same. I’m hard to fit though, so options are limited.

The ION pads look great too along with the IXS, but they didn’t fit.

If I were you, I’d drive to Jenson and try every pad known to man. I’ve considered doing it a few times.
 
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englertracing

Monkey
Mar 5, 2012
392
183
La Verne
For knees, I like the 7idp Flex a lot and will be replacing my 2year old pair with the same. I’m hard to fit though, so options are limited.

The ION pads look great too along with the IXS, but they didn’t fit.

If I were you, I’d drive to Jenson and try every pad known to man. I’ve considered doing it a few times.
Maybe I should
 

ZHendo

Turbo Monkey
Oct 29, 2006
1,617
84
PNW
I've had really good luck with my Dakine (Slayer?) pads. They are a low profile trail pad but have decent knee coverage, stay put, and breath well. Stitching has held up for over a year which I can't say for most pads I've owned, and the knee material has stayed nicely flexible (unlike experience with POC). They're relatively affordable too.
 

rockofullr

confused
Jun 11, 2009
7,356
914
East Bay, Cali
Not sure which pads Woo is running but I've been rocking the iSX Carve Evo knee pads and they fit and breath really well. They've protected my knees from minor abrasions and bruises but I doubt their ability to protect me from a really hard impact. Also after about a season and a half they have some tears in the fabric due to snagging on pedal pins but that hasn't effected the fit or function.

I'm thinking of buying the Fox Launch Pro D30 pads with the hard plastic protector for big shuttle days or park days where pedaling comfort and breathability are less important. My girlfriend and a few riding buddies have those and like them. Additionally the hard plastic can be removed or even replaced if you manage to mangle it. That might be useful if you want to run hard plastic for park/shuttle days and D30 only for trail days.
 

djjohnr

Turbo Monkey
Apr 21, 2002
2,068
666
Northern California
A couple of seasons ago I ordered ~8 sets trail knee pads and pedaled in them on the trainer for a bit. Wound up with the 7idp Transitions and they've served me well for a couple of seasons of heavy use. The stitching is just starting to come undone on one so I'm ordering a set of the Sam Hills, which are the same thing with some additional padding around the knee. The best feature of these is the sock comes high up the thigh so they stay in place really well with no slipping. I've crashed in them multiple times and they've done their job.

I did the same thing with DH pads and wound up with Dianese Armoform Knees, but I haven't used them yet so I can't comment beyond pedaling fit.
 
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FlipSide

Turbo Monkey
Sep 24, 2001
1,018
312
For lighter pedaling duty, I find that the POC VPD Air Knee is an absolutely amazing product, but the VPD Air Elbow is garbage.

I would buy the knee again without hesitation. It doesn't move and you completely forget about it.

The elbow only stays on if I wear it on top of arm warmers.
 

HAB

Chelsea from Seattle
Apr 28, 2007
10,826
1,103
Seattle
For lighter pedaling duty, I find that the POC VPD Air Knee is an absolutely amazing product
I really like those as a lighter duty trail knee pad too. Wouldn't be my first choice for a DH pad (I've got the VPD 2.0s too, which I like for DH but are a bit hot and not great to pedal in).
 

mykel

Turbo Monkey
Apr 19, 2013
2,254
868
sw ontario canada
Just got in a pair of Leatt Hybrid Ext. I literally just opened the box and finished trying them on.

Quite impressed by the construction, however they gotta go back to NI cause the L/XL are not L/XL enough to get over my injury and winter emaciated thighs, let alone after i put back on some muscle. According to the size chart, I'm dead nuts in the middle of the L/XL size recs, so yea...XXL here I come. Even though they are stretched right out when I did the try-on, the articulation, cut and attention to detail were quite good, not a wonky seam or loose thread to be found.

I'm betting shipping is gonna hurt from Canukistan to Northern Ireland (CRC), but these things ain't cheap enough to just toss into the back of the closet.
 

englertracing

Monkey
Mar 5, 2012
392
183
La Verne
one pair for both uses?
When it's cool out and I feel like getting crazy on the DH I usually wear a ballistic Jersey which makes me look cool as fuck:jester:. I tore my right ACL and never got it fixed, on that knee I wear a CTI brace on the DH.

so basically I just need some trail gear, which I might use on the DH if it gets really fucking hot
 

schwaaa31

Monkey
Jul 30, 2002
909
404
Clinton Massachusetts
Race Face Ambush have worked well for me for trail riding.
I've used these for DH for the last few years, and really dug them. I love the ability to take them off/put them on without taking off my shoes. They've always stayed in place great as well. They're getting a little tattered after 3 years, so I'm going to get another pair, or try out the Ion K Pact zip.
 

Da Peach

Outwitted by a rodent
Jul 2, 2002
12,861
2,426
North Van
I’m on the 7idp Sam Hill’s at the moment and they’ve held together with a lot of use and washing over the last year and a half. Not many crashes but they’ve been comfy. They start to slip after about 2 hours out riding, but can be reset and will stay in place again for a while.

I had the Flex before them and they were awesome. Hard shell, stayed in place, the strap over the calf and a “hammock” for the kneecap made them really comfy for pedalling. The fabric/neoprene below the knee cup disintegrated after a couple of years of use and being pulled on. It made them too loose after that happened so I chucked them out. They did their time. I’d likely get those again over the Sam Hill model.

I also liked my RF Dig I had previously. Similar to the flex but somewhat less refined. I liked the fact they stayed in place, could be tensioned up tight if needed, and didn’t require shoe removal. They eventually started to give me hot spots on the kneecaps on long rides after they had aged a bit. The Ambush might be a bit better, but I’m not a huge fan of d30 stuff.
 

Jm_

Turbo Monkey
Jan 14, 2002
10,349
2,537
AK
Endura MT500 knee pads have served me well on long rides and the name sounds like "enduro".
 

StiHacka

Compensating for something
I've used these for DH for the last few years, and really dug them. I love the ability to take them off/put them on without taking off my shoes. They've always stayed in place great as well. They're getting a little tattered after 3 years, so I'm going to get another pair, or try out the Ion K Pact zip.
Skip the Ion as the zip falls apart in no time and also gets fucked up by tree sap. The Ambush is far far better. Mine got a bit funky and started irritating my underknees so I bought another pair but a good wash solved the issue and their pair is still like new.
 

Katz

Monkey
Jun 8, 2012
271
489
Arizona
Don't have any particular recommendation on knee pads, but I recommend Amazon Prime if your LBS doesn't have pads you want to try.

If a set you bought doesn't fit, simply print the return label and send them back. Rinse & repeat until you find the ones you like.
 

wiscodh

Monkey
Jun 21, 2007
815
94
303
A couple of seasons ago I ordered ~8 sets trail knee pads and pedaled in them on the trainer for a bit. Wound up with the 7idp Transitions and they've served me well for a couple of seasons of heavy use. The stitching is just starting to come undone on one so I'm ordering a set of the Sam Hills, which are the same thing with some additional padding around the knee. The best feature of these is the sock comes high up the thigh so they stay in place really well with no slipping. I've crashed in them multiple times and they've done their job.

I did the same thing with DH pads and wound up with Dianese Armoform Knees, but I haven't used them yet so I can't comment beyond pedaling fit.
The Sam hills are super warm and they bunch in the back of the knee. They slipped the first crash I was in. Shredded knee. I would not recommend.
I'm still on the hunt myself for a good pad
Sounds like pads are super personal. Sounds like I should go to the shop and try shit on and not read the internet. Vital said the Sam hills were too good. So I followed the heard
 
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djjohnr

Turbo Monkey
Apr 21, 2002
2,068
666
Northern California
Sounds like I should go to the shop and try shit on and not read the internet.
That's the key right there. Fit is completely personal. I had a set of the Ambushes mentioned in here multiple times and they were very uncomfortable and I wound up selling them. Now whenever I need new helmets or pads I just order one of everything, keep what fits me best and send the rest back. It's cheaper than buying something, not liking it and then buying something else later.
 

Jm_

Turbo Monkey
Jan 14, 2002
10,349
2,537
AK
That's the key right there. Fit is completely personal. I had a set of the Ambushes mentioned in here multiple times and they were very uncomfortable and I wound up selling them. Now whenever I need new helmets or pads I just order one of everything, keep what fits me best and send the rest back. It's cheaper than buying something, not liking it and then buying something else later.
2nd. That's how I came upon the Enduras, by trying on a bunch of pads at multiple shops before a trip to WA.
 

rockofullr

confused
Jun 11, 2009
7,356
914
East Bay, Cali
Do you guys find the Transitions/Sam Hills to be overly hot? I'm a sweaty guy in a hot part of the country and those look like they have a lot of extra material.
 

djjohnr

Turbo Monkey
Apr 21, 2002
2,068
666
Northern California
Do you guys find the Transitions/Sam Hills to be overly hot? I'm a sweaty guy in a hot part of the country and those look like they have a lot of extra material.
I had similar reservations before I bought the Transitions, but I've had no issues with them through the last few east bay summers. The sock material is pretty thin and breathable. They do smell like a homeless encampment now though...
 

djjohnr

Turbo Monkey
Apr 21, 2002
2,068
666
Northern California
Do you guys find the Transitions/Sam Hills to be overly hot? I'm a sweaty guy in a hot part of the country and those look like they have a lot of extra material.
Just got the Sam Hills. The sock material is thicker than on my Transitions. Haven't ridden in them yet, but trying them on they feel warmer. Not sure if new Transitions are the same or if they use the older material.
 

wiscodh

Monkey
Jun 21, 2007
815
94
303
Do you guys find the Transitions/Sam Hills to be overly hot? I'm a sweaty guy in a hot part of the country and those look like they have a lot of extra material.
they are hot as fucking hell. If you are a sweaty bastard, then find something else. I sweat in about 2 min after putting them on and start pedaling. I cant wait to fucking take them off.
 

OGRipper

back alley ripper
Feb 3, 2004
9,854
290
NORCAL is the hizzle
My experience with the Sam Hills for trail riding has been mixed. I like how the extra long upper sleeve prevents punter's gap, and the extra soft pad coverage around the perimeter is great for avoiding top tube smacks. (Keep those knees together yo!) However they are hot, and I'm getting some chafing on the inside of my knees on long pedal days. As a DH pad they're probably pretty solid for most folks but for that stuff I like a hard shell to avoid the dreaded catch and slip. I loved them over the winter on cooler days with a knicker underneath but for long hot days, I'm in the market again.
 

mykel

Turbo Monkey
Apr 19, 2013
2,254
868
sw ontario canada
Anybody have any thoughts on the ION K-Pact stuff?

Specifically the rare K-Pact Select Knee and Shin?

After comparing the Leatt Hybrid EXT I ordered (too small) to my old beat Nukeproof Criticals, the Leatt seem to be a side-step rather than an advancement. They have the fancy shock absorbing foam, but coverage is better on the old Nukeproof.

Too bad IXS has not revamped the Cleaver to use shock-foam. That would be the best of both worlds,

Maybe I should just grab a pair of RF Flanks and be done with it...


...and before anybody asks, "local" shops really don't carry Knee/Shin and what they do have is very limited and usually more XC level knee only and that very rarely in my size.
 

rockofullr

confused
Jun 11, 2009
7,356
914
East Bay, Cali
IXS Carve Evo knee pads ftmfw
That's what I'm running and the'yre surprisingly comfortable and cool. I don't even notice I'm wearing them. Most other pads I've worn I can't wait to take them off.

Only issue is that I doubt they will save me in the case of a truly heavy hit to the knee.
 

Lelandjt

Turbo Monkey
Apr 4, 2008
1,800
200
Breckenridge, CO/Lahaina,HI
For DH my preferences are protection, durability when being dragged on the ground, and they have to stay up for 5 minutes at a time.

For trail I want comfort and they have to stay in place for at least 30 minutes between adjustments. Protection has to be better than nothing and it would be nice if they held up well enough to their first fall to be around for another.

So, I really can't imagine using the same pads for both. I use G-form for trail and Fox Impact for DH.
 

zdubyadubya

Turbo Monkey
Apr 13, 2008
1,253
61
Ellicott City, MD
bump.... anyone have experience with the TLD speed sleeves? knee versions only.

Their weaknesses surround the size/weight (which is a plus to me for all-day pedaling), the amount of padding (i havent had an issue yet where they didnt do their job), and the woven fabric (which I find to be super soft). I like them. Alot. But both Vital and RideMonkey's general opinion is to just get the 7iDP Sam Hills.