First published in Singletrack magazine issue 95
Leatt’s new all-day knee pad is made from Armorgel, which is a non-Newtonian, shear-thickening gel. Rather like custard powder and water, it’s dilatant, so it increases in apparent viscosity at high shear strain. To you and me, that means that it’s all squishy until you hit it with something, at which point it becomes harder – a definite bonus for knee pads.
The (perforated for breathability) pad parts are attached to some thin Lycra slip-on sleeves, the back of which is made from a wicking mesh fabric to keep the back of your knees cool. There are silicone grippers at the thigh end and on the back of the pad itself to keep them firmly in place. They’re certainly unobtrusive, and they are nicely breathable. It’s easy to fit them at the beginning of the ride and forget about them – they feel rather like wearing some slightly bulky three quarter-length shorts. And they look subtle but burly once on the bike, too. Plus they’re only 211g per pair.
However, a few rides in on our pre-production pair, I managed to tear the fabric on one pad at the interface between it and the pad when adjusting them mid-ride. One of them had dropped down a little, and so I grabbed the top of the sleeve and pulled, as one might. But the silicone gripper at the back of the pad was clearly too grippy – the pad stayed stuck to my knee, and the fabric above it ripped. I sent them back and received a (production) replacement pair, which so far have proven immune to such abuse – so hopefully it was a one-off problem. The production ones apparently have improved stitching.
I’ve luckily not fallen too heavily since testing them, but the one proper spill they had they rode out with little damage to them or my knees.
Good, unobtrusive, wear-all-day pads. Hopefully the tearing issue was a pre-production one-off.
|Product:||Knee Guard 3DF Airflex knee pads|
|Tested:||by Barney. for Three months.|