O’Neal Dirt Elbow and Knee Pads
Price: Elbow – £34.99, Knee – £44.99
From: FLI Distribution http://www.flidistribution.co.uk/
Tested: 6 months.
Designed to wrap your knees and wrap your elbows. They are aimed at dirt jumpers and other such rough-ians but I’ve been wearing them for everything from messing around at the BMX track to longer cross country rides. Quite comfortable too, obviously I feel freer without them, but there is enough flexibility in the stretchy spandex material to keep you happy. The hard concave shell, wrapped in a tougher outer material, allows your joints to move freely within. Inside is a soft towel material with low profile stitching that never really irritated as such but I was, at times, aware of its presence.
The fit is good; the knee pads having a Velcro strap at the top and bottom, while the elbow pads just one Velcro strap at the bottom, but they do gain rubber grippers. Once in place they stayed there.
Let’s face it, anything wrapped tightly around your skin during exercise will make you hot even with the vented side padding of ‘viscoelastic memory foam’, but on slightly chillier days they kept me nice and warm.
While not receiving any huge crashes they have lasted well and saved me from plenty of minor injuries. One of the reasons I got them was how many times I seemed to bang my knees on nothing at all. The stitching is intact, despite me putting them through the washing machine various times (the label says hand wash only) as these things do get very stinky.
As for size, the knee comes in S, M, and L, and elbow M, L, and XL. As a guide, the top of the medium knee pad has a 36 cm circumference – though it never hurts to try things on.
Overall: A well made, and comfortable set of pads that make you a more confident rider.
Tom de Bruin