Endura MT500 Lite Knee Pads | Review

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Wil gives us his review of the new Endura MT500 Lite Knee Pads

Just two months ago, Endura released several brand new protective products under the venerable MT500 label. These included a very lightweight, (as in, 640g lightweight!) full-face helmet equipped with Koroyd protection, and two brand new knee pads.

Designed with input from the Athertons, the new knee pads are split into two versions; the MT500 Hard Shell, and the MT500 Lite. Both pads feature a slip-on style, with flexible D3O padded inserts designed to shield the rider’s knees.

endura mt500 knee pads
Endura has two new sets of knee pads for 2019, including these; the MT500 Lite.

The MT500 Hard Shell is the burlier option of the two, and it receives a plastic moulded cap that sits over the D3O pad for additional armouring against the sharp and pointy things that gravity-based riders are more likely to encounter. In comparison, the MT500 Lite is the lighter, more breathable and more flexible option, and it’s this pedal-friendly version that I’ve had on test for the last few weeks.

Endura MT500 Lite Knee Pad Features

  • Lightweight, flexible and pedal friendly slip-on softshell knee pad
  • CE certified as impact protection [EN1621-1]
  • D3O protective insert
  • Side PU foam padding
  • Abrasion-resistant impact panels
  • Jacquard loop and Velcro strap system
  • Silicone cuff lining to reduce slip
  • Lightweight mesh back panel
  • Sizes: S-M, M-L, L-LX
  • RRP: £69.99
endura mt500 knee pads
The MT500 Lite places the emphasis on breathability and flexibility.

Slip-On Style

As with many modern knee pad designs, the MT500 Lite features a tube-style construction that sees the pad built as one continuous fabric tube. Kind of like a really hardcore knee warmer. That means you’ll have to remove your shoes in order to slide the pads over your feet when fitting or removing them.

This differs from the standard MT500 and the SingleTrack knee pads, which use an open design that allows you to fit and remove the pad while leaving your shoes on. There are obvious advantages to an open design, particularly for riders who prefer to tackle climbs without knee pads.

That was something I noted when I tested the Endura SingleTrack knee pads, though I did find them the dual-strap construction to be less comfortable for pedalling. They were also quite poorly ventilated, which led to a lot of sweating and more chafing overall.

Personally, I prefer a knee pad that’s comfortable and breathable enough that I can just leave on and forget about for the entire duration of the ride. And that’s exactly what the MT500 Lite is designed for.

endura mt500 knee pads
The MT500 Lite uses a tube-style construction with a single Velcro strap at the top.

One Velcro Strap, Three Sizes

Whereas the MT500 Hard Shell has two Velcro straps, the MT500 Lite gets just one Velcro strap to hold it in place. It is quite a wide profile strap though, and with good elasticity to it, you can snug the strap down nice and tightly over your thigh.

The whole pad is made of stretchy fabric, and both the top and bottom cuffs are reinforced with extra elastic bands to secure the pad in place. These are then finished off with internal silicone grippers to help the cuffs to better stick to your skin.

There are three sizes available in the MT500 Lite; the S-M, M-L, and L-XL. Being a medium in most knee pad designs, I went for the M-L size.

endura mt500 knee pads
Internal silicone grippers help the pad to stick to your skin, particularly when you’ve got a bit of a sweat on.

Endura does have a sizing guide on its website, which recommends measuring the circumference of the widest part of your thighs in order to determine the correct size knee pad. If that comes out at less than 52cm, go for the S-M size. If it’s above 60cm, go for the L-XL size. My thighs measure around 53cm, which puts me into the M-L size bracket, albeit at the smaller end.

It’s worth noting here that Endura does offer a 90-day guarantee with its MT500 products, including these knee pads. So if for whatever reason you’re not happy with the fit after riding with them for a few weeks of riding, then you can return them for a different size or an exchange. Check out Endura’s Returns policy for more info there.

endura mt500 knee pads
The D3O pad is perforated for additional breathability.

Perforated D3O Protection

Of course the heart of the MT500 Lite is the bright orange D3O protective insert. This insert has been pre-curved and moulded in a way that wraps around the rider’s knee cap, while also extending partway down the shin bone.

D3O is a familiar material used across protective products from various brands, and it’s something we’ve seen used in other knee pads such as those from Troy Lee Designs and SixSixOne. The magic of D3O is its ability to remain flexible and pliable under normal use, which makes it ideal for a knee pad that sees a lot of back-and-fourth flexion.

When you give the D3O insert a whack though, the molecules lock together to firm the material up – a bit like silly putty. When the material firms up under impact, it’s able to distribute that force over a broader surface area, which helps the knee pad to absorb the impact in the first place, so your knee doesn’t have to. It’s clever stuff, and it’s a well-proven technology.

endura mt500 knee pads
The armour is pre-curved for your knee cap, but is also bendy enough to flex while pedalling.

To assist with flexibility, Endura has added perforations in a tessellated pattern across the D3O insert. These perforations also help to bring cool air through the pad and over the rider’s knee, which reduces heat build-up while helping to evaporate sweat before it causes chafing and discomfort. The outside section of each knee also gets an open mesh panel that provides a clearer pathway for air to enter through the pad.

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Review Info

Product:MT500 Lite Knee Pads
Tested:by Wil Barrett for 7 weeks

Comments (4)

    I’ve just used a pair of these in the Alps for a week and was really impressed with them, I did some big climbs in them and they weren’t too sweaty and we’re unobtrusively comfortable, They stayed in place well and I founded them far superior to my Dainese trail skin 2’s I was using previously.

    do they not fillup with mud?

    I’m more worried about that pointed sharp rock that one day is bound to fit through one of the holes in the knee pad as you hit the deck than a but of mud!

    Bit odd that the review ignore the elephant in the room that is the open/mesh front. Surely the mesh is a huge weak spot in terms of tears when you do fall on them, and the holes are prone to filling with grit and mud? I went through trying on a bunch of different pads recently, ended up with Dakine Slayers, but I ruled these out without even trying them, because that open front seems like such a dumb idea.

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