Keefer Tested

Knee Pads Or Knee Braces?

Comments (6)
  1. I wear simple Shift racing plastic knee pads and they work just fine. I’ve crashed many times and they always do their job. I’ve tried the tp199 pads and they are too bulky for me. I think Ryno is 100% correct and he deserves some credit for bringing this topic to light.

  2. Great article! I switched from wearing knee braces while riding snowmobiles and snowbikes to knee pads as few years ago, but still wore knee braces for motocross. Main driver for this was at the end of a long day out in the backcounty my legs and knees would be sore. In chatting with a physiotherapist friend, she noted that knee braces inhibit the use of the stabilizer muscles around the knee which could be the reason for the soreness, the knees were just weak. I didn’t notice this fatigue while riding motocross as I wasn’t in the braces all day, only for a couple hours while riding. After switching to the knee pads for a winter riding snowmobiles, the next summer I noticed my knees were significantly stronger and had less pain. When I switched from motocross to off-road racing, I completely switch to knee pads full time, and I feel my knee health has never been better. I contribute this to mainly strength of the knee verses the braces holding the knee in place.

  3. I’ve worn knee braces for about 15 years, since I did my MCL in a skiing accident. Started out in Asteriks and now have EVS Pros. Asteriks felt good and very protective, remember one incident where I know they saved me from a hyper-extension of the knee. I’ve had the EVS braces for about a year and they are bomb proof, more protective and better fitting than the Asteriks IMO BUT they are much more bulky and are a tight fit under my KLIM Dakar OTB pants. When I ride a DS bike I wear knee pads for the comfort and maneuverability, but never ride without braces on my dirt only bike. I’m also a 65+ yr old rider who does trails now, no racing anymore so that makes a difference too.
    Portland, OR

  4. Knee Guard shoot out? yes please! Thanks for the great info as always. Leatt Dual Axis, EVS TP 199 and Alpinestar SX-1

  5. Years back I tried to wear knee braces and just couldn’t get used to them. During a trail ride I severely twisted and hyper extended my knee,
    Luckily I didn’t pop my acl, but my knee swelled up like a football. Once back on the bike I forced myself to wear the knee braces and now I fell naked without them. I ride extreme hard enduro type stuff where I’m dabbing a lot and sometimes put my legs in sketchy situations to keep myself and the bike balanced up right. So, I’ll never ride without them, I know for a fact that in many situations if I wasn’t wearing the braces I would have injured my knees.
    But to each his own.

  6. Left ACL/Meniscus 12 years ago. Been wearing braces since (CTI, Asterisk, Pod, EVS) with my muscular legs no e fit great, hinge always feels its in the wrong place and binding, always sliding down, and on multiple day trips I end up with scabs where they’ve worn through.

    Fast forward 4 months ago and Ryno’s theories and my experience pushed me over to tey the TP199 as my “soft brace”’. Just like the article, I felt relieved, more maneuverable, lighter, faster. I loved them. I felt a little less protection, but it was worth it!

    3 months later POP! Right ACL/Meniscus…. It was in a straight squat motion on a slow get off, no twisting, nothing! Doc said he doesn’t think they would have helped??

    I can’t stop questioning my decision now…. Especially when I can start riding again in 6 months since I just had surgery.

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