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LAST UPDATED: October 5, 2019

Best Mountain Bike Knee Pads: Protect Your Joints From Impact

Save your knees from the injuries of high speed crashes with some of the best mountain bike knee pads

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PUBLISHED ON October 5, 2019

It’s not uncommon to fall off a mountain bike, and the hands and knees are the most vulnerable points of injury. You can protect your joints from serious damage, including a shattered knee cap, as well as minor grazes by wearing knee pads. Here are a few of the best knee pads for riding a mountain bike.

  • Best Overall
    Demon Enduro Mountain Bike Knee Pads  
    Summary
    Summary
    A pair of ultralight knee pads that are well-cushioned to keep your skin and knees safe.
    Pros
    Pros
    Available in a variety of sizes. Features anti-slip bands at the top and bottom. Made of well-ventilated material for increased airflow. Slim enough to fit underpants. Has a tough knee cap cover. Easy to slip on.
    Cons
    Cons
    May start to peel off around the padding. May not be a comfortable fit for everyone. Small calf area.
  • Best Overall
    Demon Enduro Mountain Bike Knee Pads  
  • Best Value
    Bodyprox Protective Knee Pads
    Summary
    Summary
    A pair of durable knee pads with a unisex design that keeps your knees warm and protects them from injuries.
    Pros
    Pros
    Affordable. It offers a non-slip grip. Keeps the skin dry and comfortable. Features shock-resistant padding around the knee. Offers a flexible fit. It comes in a small/medium and large size. Increases blood circulation. 
    Cons
    Cons
    The padding may wear down to nothing. It feels hot and may make you sweaty. The small size may pinch your skin.
  • Best Value
    Bodyprox Protective Knee Pads
  • Honorable Mention
    G-Form Pro-X Knee Pads 
    Summary
    Summary
    A pair of high-quality and sleek knee pads that offer a comfortable fit for youths and adults.
    Pros
    Pros
    Stylish design. Sleek enough to fit under your sports gear. Absorbs 90 percent of shock. Feels soft on the knee. Made of breathable fabric. Flexible and allows a complete range of movements. Machine washable.
    Cons
    Cons
    Poor quality elastic band. Poor stitching around the edges. May feel tight around the thighs and calves. 
  • Honorable Mention
    G-Form Pro-X Knee Pads 

    It’s not uncommon to fall off a mountain bike, and the hands and knees are the most vulnerable points of injury. You can protect your joints from serious damage, including a shattered knee cap, as well as minor grazes by wearing knee pads. Here are a few of the best knee pads for riding a mountain bike.

    Best Mountain Bike Knee Pads Reviews & Recommendations 2020

    Best Overall

    This pair of ultralight knee pads is well-cushioned and will keep your skin and knees safe. They're intended for mountain biking as well as snowboarding and other activities. They feature a 10 mm EVA foam cushion and are constructed of well-ventilated material for increased airflow and breathability.


    The knee pads are available in a variety of sizes. They feature anti-slip bands at the top and bottom. They are slim enough to fit under pants and have a tough Kevlar knee cap cover that protects your skin. They're also easy to slip on. The weight is minimal, and the pedaling resistance is nonexistent. The pads provide adequate protection on BMX bikes and sliding on gravel landings while downhill mountain biking.


    One downside is they may start to peel off around the padding. Also, they may not be a comfortable fit for everyone and have a small calf area. In addition, they don't provide any side coverage.

    Best Value

    These inexpensive knee pads are durable and feature a unisex design that keeps your knees warm and protects them from injuries. They come in two sizes: small/medium and large. They're manufactured with a high-density foam, are super lightweight, and are ergonomically designed for maximum movement.


    The pads feature a non-slip grip, and they keep your skin dry. They have a shock-resistant padding around the knee, are flexible, and increase blood circulation to reduce stiff joints and muscles. They're easy to slip on and are so comfortable you may forget you're wearing them. Also, they don't require much readjusting once they're on.


    However, the padding may wear down to nothing over a short period of use. They may also be too hot and may make you sweaty. Another issue is that the small size may pinch your skin.

    Honorable Mention

    This pair of high-quality and sleek knee pads provides a comfortable fit for both youths and adults. They are made of breathable fabric and feature UPF 50+ compression and moisture-wicking fabric. The pads are machine-washable and are designed with SmartFlex pads and shock-absorbing XRD protection.


    The pads feature a stylish design and are sleek enough to fit under sports gear. They absorb 90 percent of shock and feel soft on the knee. They are flexible due to their ergonomic design, which provides a complete range of movement. They stay in place and do not impede mobility. The pads are less bulky than some rival knee pads, and you can wear them in both cold or warm weather.


    One problem with the pads is that they feature a poor-quality elastic band and have inferior stitching around the edges. They may also feel tight around the thighs and calves.

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    Benefits of Mountain Bike Knee Pads

    • Protect your skin. One of the best ways to protect yourself on rocky terrain is by investing in the best MTB knee pads. Downhill mountain bike knee pads provide a layer of protection on the thin layer of skin on your knees.
    • Avoid injuries. Both amateurs and professionals can benefit from using the best knee pads for mountain bikes. Crashes and accidents can occur whether you're a beginner or an expert rider.
    • Be part of the team. It's becoming more and more common to see mountain bikers wearing knee protection. The best mountain bike knee and elbow pads will ensure that your ride is both fun and safe.

    Types of Mountain Bike Knee Pads

    Shell Caps

    This type of mountain bike knee pad features shell caps that are specially designed to protect your kneecaps. They are typically constructed of high-density materials like plastic, gel, rubber, or carbon fiber. The interior of the shell is usually elastic in nature for comfort and an improved ergonomic fit. Hard shells are heavy-duty and necessary for more serious MTB riders who race, perform tricks, or ride down steep trails at high speeds and require a high level of protection. However, they tend to be heavier, bulkier, stiffer, and more expensive than other types of pads.

    Foam Padded Caps

    This is one of the most basic styles of mountain bike knee pads. They feature soft and durable foam padding that protects your knees from injuries. They are lightweight and flexible, and the foam can be made from a wide variety of materials, such as polyurethane (PU), ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA), nylon, or neoprene. These lightweight knee pads are great for everyday riding and protect against minor falls. However, they do not provide much protection in a serious downhill impact or wipeout.

    Hex Pads

    This type of knee protector is popular among trail riders. These pads feature a honeycomb design that enables them to conform better to the shape of your knee and leg. They usually include impact-absorbing foam. If you're looking for superior comfort and flexibility on long rides, consider this type of knee pad.

    Top Brands

    Leatt Protectives

    This South African company was founded in 2001. It manufactures a wide range of neck braces, helmets, body armor, and other protective gear for thrill-seekers. One of its popular products is the Leatt 3DF AirFlex Knee Guard.

    Bodyprox

    Bodyprox is a Canadian brand that designs products strong enough to withstand serious training. They are comfortable for everyday wear and offer good protection. Many of its products are made from durable, stretchable, and breathable Neoprene. One top seller is the Bodyprox Protective Knee Pads.

    POC

    The Swedish company POC was founded in 2005 with an initial focus on the ski racing market. The company currently develops products for gravity sports athletes and cyclists. One of its popular products for impact protection is the POC Joint VPD System Knee Protector.

    Demon United

    Two brothers created Demon in 1999 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Their aim was to manufacture the best protective gear for athletes. They currently sell more than 150 products, including the Demon Enduro Mountain Bike Knee Pads.

    Mountain Bike Knee Pads Pricing

    • Under $25: The best budget mountain bike knee pads are ergonomically designed and allow a good amount of movement and flexibility for the amount of protection they provide. They tend to be the lightest type of pads and work well overall.
    • $25-$50: If you spend a little more money, you will get better quality knee pads for the bike park. They will usually provide a superior grip and non-slip features. They are easy to put on and are comfortable.
    • Over $50: If you are really serious about mountain biking, you want a knee pad than can stand up to potential abuse. Products in this category have the same features as less expensive pads but they usually have additional top and side padding for even more protection.

    Key Features

    Comfort

    When you're shopping for top-rated mountain bike knee pads, comfort should be one of your top priorities. If they don't feel comfortable on your knees and legs, you're less likely to wear them. They need to conform to the shape of your leg because if they don't, they can make pedaling miserable.

    Fit

    Just because a pair of knee pad feels comfortable doesn't mean they’re the best fit. You need to make sure the product doesn't slip off your knee. This can be problematic during an impact. Several brands tout the anti-slip properties of their knee pads, so make sure they fit well for maximum protection.

    Ventilation

    This is another important feature, particularly if you like riding on hot summer days. Look for products that are breathable and provide a bit of airflow. Even though products with extra layers may be more protective, you need to find the right balance between abrasion resistance and ventilation so you don't turn into a sweaty mess.

    Other Considerations

    • Attachment Type: The best enduro mountain bike knee pads typically have one of two types of attachments. Some you pull up onto your knee like a sock. Others are attached by clips and Velcro straps. The latter do not require the rider to remove their shoes should they decide to put them on halfway through a ride. Knee pads with clips are also heavier and warmer.
    • Style: This is a personal preference. The best knee pads for mountain bike trail riding come in a wide variety of colors and styles, so you have a lot of options. While black is the most common color, there are products available in other hues that can match your clothing or bike.

    Best Mountain Bike Knee Pads Reviews & Recommendations 2020

    Best Overall

    This pair of ultralight knee pads is well-cushioned and will keep your skin and knees safe. They're intended for mountain biking as well as snowboarding and other activities. They feature a 10 mm EVA foam cushion and are constructed of well-ventilated material for increased airflow and breathability.


    The knee pads are available in a variety of sizes. They feature anti-slip bands at the top and bottom. They are slim enough to fit under pants and have a tough Kevlar knee cap cover that protects your skin. They're also easy to slip on. The weight is minimal, and the pedaling resistance is nonexistent. The pads provide adequate protection on BMX bikes and sliding on gravel landings while downhill mountain biking.


    One downside is they may start to peel off around the padding. Also, they may not be a comfortable fit for everyone and have a small calf area. In addition, they don't provide any side coverage.

    Demon Enduro Mountain Bike Knee Pads}
    Amazon

    This pair of ultralight knee pads is well-cushioned and will keep your skin and knees safe. They're intended for mountain biking as well as snowboarding and other activities. They feature a 10 mm EVA foam cushion and are constructed of well-ventilated material for increased airflow and breathability.


    The knee pads are available in a variety of sizes. They feature anti-slip bands at the top and bottom. They are slim enough to fit under pants and have a tough Kevlar knee cap cover that protects your skin. They're also easy to slip on. The weight is minimal, and the pedaling resistance is nonexistent. The pads provide adequate protection on BMX bikes and sliding on gravel landings while downhill mountain biking.


    One downside is they may start to peel off around the padding. Also, they may not be a comfortable fit for everyone and have a small calf area. In addition, they don't provide any side coverage.

    Click Here to See Prices on Amazon

    Best Value

    These inexpensive knee pads are durable and feature a unisex design that keeps your knees warm and protects them from injuries. They come in two sizes: small/medium and large. They're manufactured with a high-density foam, are super lightweight, and are ergonomically designed for maximum movement.


    The pads feature a non-slip grip, and they keep your skin dry. They have a shock-resistant padding around the knee, are flexible, and increase blood circulation to reduce stiff joints and muscles. They're easy to slip on and are so comfortable you may forget you're wearing them. Also, they don't require much readjusting once they're on.


    However, the padding may wear down to nothing over a short period of use. They may also be too hot and may make you sweaty. Another issue is that the small size may pinch your skin.

    <strong>Bodyprox Protective Knee Pads</strong>}
    Amazon

    These inexpensive knee pads are durable and feature a unisex design that keeps your knees warm and protects them from injuries. They come in two sizes: small/medium and large. They're manufactured with a high-density foam, are super lightweight, and are ergonomically designed for maximum movement.


    The pads feature a non-slip grip, and they keep your skin dry. They have a shock-resistant padding around the knee, are flexible, and increase blood circulation to reduce stiff joints and muscles. They're easy to slip on and are so comfortable you may forget you're wearing them. Also, they don't require much readjusting once they're on.


    However, the padding may wear down to nothing over a short period of use. They may also be too hot and may make you sweaty. Another issue is that the small size may pinch your skin.

    Click Here to See Prices on Amazon

    Honorable Mention

    This pair of high-quality and sleek knee pads provides a comfortable fit for both youths and adults. They are made of breathable fabric and feature UPF 50+ compression and moisture-wicking fabric. The pads are machine-washable and are designed with SmartFlex pads and shock-absorbing XRD protection.


    The pads feature a stylish design and are sleek enough to fit under sports gear. They absorb 90 percent of shock and feel soft on the knee. They are flexible due to their ergonomic design, which provides a complete range of movement. They stay in place and do not impede mobility. The pads are less bulky than some rival knee pads, and you can wear them in both cold or warm weather.


    One problem with the pads is that they feature a poor-quality elastic band and have inferior stitching around the edges. They may also feel tight around the thighs and calves.

    Honorable Mention: G-Form Pro-X Knee Pads

    <strong>G-Form Pro-X Knee Pads</strong>}
    Amazon

    This pair of high-quality and sleek knee pads provides a comfortable fit for both youths and adults. They are made of breathable fabric and feature UPF 50+ compression and moisture-wicking fabric. The pads are machine-washable and are designed with SmartFlex pads and shock-absorbing XRD protection.


    The pads feature a stylish design and are sleek enough to fit under sports gear. They absorb 90 percent of shock and feel soft on the knee. They are flexible due to their ergonomic design, which provides a complete range of movement. They stay in place and do not impede mobility. The pads are less bulky than some rival knee pads, and you can wear them in both cold or warm weather.


    One problem with the pads is that they feature a poor-quality elastic band and have inferior stitching around the edges. They may also feel tight around the thighs and calves.

    Click Here to See Prices on Amazon

     Tips

    • In addition to wearing knee pads, you should also wear elbow pads and a helmet when riding to protect yourself from injury. Also, buy comfortable riding gloves to keep your palms blister-free. 
    • Knee pads are more comfortable when you wear them underpants. They stick better to the skin, and you avoid expanding them if you put them over your pants. Also, you get less sweaty that way. 
    • Wash your knee pads according to the manufacturer's recommendations. Then turn them inside out, and allow them to dry out in the sun to kill the bacteria. 
    • You can also wear your knee pads as elbow pads if they are a comfortable fit and conform to the shape of your elbow. 

    FAQs

    Q: Do knee pads relieve joint pain?

    A: A heavily-padded knee pad with extra straps at the knee can help relieve pressure at the joint and reduce muscle strain to relieve pain. However, you should consider other options for relieving knee pain if it's caused by your cycling habits. You may want to take medication or ice your knee on a regular basis to reduce pain. 

    Q: How tight should mountain bike knee pads be?

    A: They should feel snug and not too loose or too tight. If they’re too tight, they may reduce blood flow around your knee area, and you may sweat a lot when cycling. If they’re too tight, they may curl up behind your knee and pinch your skin.

    Q: Do knee pads protect against broken bones?

    A: Knee pads can cushion the impact of a fall, prevent scratches, and reduce the chances of dislocating your knee cap. They don’t, however, protect against broken bones since the knee pads don’t keep your feet stiff. Knee pads are a padded piece of clothing that don’t stand a chance against an external force that may break your bones. 

    Final Thoughts

    We chose the Demon Enduro Mountain Bike Knee Pads as the best mountain bike knee pads. They have a minimal look and do a great job of keeping you comfortable as you ride. They’re best for cross country, trail, and casual mountain bike riders. 

    A more affordable option for keeping your knees cool, comfortable, and protected is the Bodyprox Protective Knee Pads