Finding a set of knee pads that are comfortable to ride in all day is a tricky business, especially when you want enough protection for a technical ride. There’s a raft of similar pads to fill this niche emerging, including these from Ion.
There aren’t any straps to keep them in place. Instead an elasticated band runs around the calf, past the knee and to the thigh. A silicone band gives extra grip at the top and bottom.
This ‘Snug Loop’ band does a fair job of keeping the knee pad in place, with the majority of the pad’s support coming from below. Round the calf is snug, but this isn’t reflected up top, where the silicone band is neither tight nor high enough to grip your thigh, so the top slips down and can feel baggy. Thankfully, this doesn’t cause a problem in normal use, thanks to the support from below.
The left/right specific pads don’t feel too bulky. That's despite having a full Sas-Tec foam pad bolstered by a hard plastic shell with a touch of flex for pedalling comfort that extends a touch down the shin. Additional pads offer protection for the side of the knees.
At the back there’s a cutaway behind the knee, which helps limit bunching while pedalling. There’s minimal venting, but an anti-bacterial treatment keeps stink at bay.
This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine.