Leatt Knee Guard AirFlex Hybrid Pro review: skid plates for knees!

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These Leatt Knee Guard AirFlex Hybrid Pro knee pads combine hard shell elements with gel padding for protection you can pedal in.

  • Brand: Leatt
  • Product: Knee Guard AirFlex Hybrid Pro
  • From: Hotlines UK
  • Price: £129.99
  • Tested: by Hannah for 3 months

Leatt Knee Guard AirFlex Hybrid Pro Pros

  • Nicely protective – I really like the hard shell element
  • Flexible enough to pedal in
  • Tough enough fabric to withstand vegetation and sticks

Leatt Knee Guard AirFlex Hybrid Pro Cons

  • Quite warm
  • Sizing might not fit everyone
  • No fit adjustment

I’ve been wearing some Fox Enduro Pro knee guards for ages now, but they’re finally reaching the stage of having enough holes in them that they’re really due for replacement. I wear kneepads every time I ride a mountain bike, so I’m looking for something I can pedal in, and that’s suited to all weathers. Comfort is key – but I also want decent protection.

Yes, if I’m going to a bike park I know I should be gearing up, but you never quite know where a local ride is going to end up. I don’t want to find myself in little more than knee warmers if I’m pointing at steep tech. So, comfortable and protective: do these Leatt Knee Guard AirFlex Hybrid Pro fit the bill?

On paper, the features look promising. AirFlex gel padding with a hard outer on the most vulnerable surface – great for skidding hits. A pull-on sleeve style fitting with silicone grippers at either end of MoistureCool and AirMesh wicking fabrics. And an extra bit of padding above the knee, just where your handlebar seems to catch you when you take a dive.

The medium: a little pinchy

I seem to sit slightly between sizes, and the absence of adjustment or Velcro straps means there’s no middle ground on fit. The size medium felt a bit pinchy in the changing room, while the large felt more comfortable. I opted for the large, but after a few rides these seemed to give and slip a little so I switched to the medium.

These were indeed pinchy, and even after a more rides they lack the comfort that I’d want for pedalling. For uplift it’s ok, but not so much for anything where I’m turning my legs. The calves are just too tight, especially across the extra supported section at the back of the calf where there’s a silicon strip to help keep them in place. I do think I have fairly big calves proportionately to my thighs, and I have experienced similar fit problems with other kneepads before. But it seems especially pronounced here, and matches up to some Leatt elbow pads I tried where they were way too narrow at the forearm compared to the bicep.

Perhaps whatever size database they’re using has different proportions to me – and maybe they will match your vital statistics.

This back of the knee/calf strip became uncomfortable.

Little pinch-y fold-y tight spots only get worse as you warm up too – and these knee pads are rather warm. Not so much of a problem in cold weather or if you’re not generating a lot of heat, but I was certainly glad to peel these off – regardless of size – at the end of a sweaty summer ride.

The edge of the padded protection

Protection wise, I think they do the trick. I managed to crash and scrape the plastic knee cover without actually realising and put a knee down at all. Impressive. The side protection isn’t as extensive as on some kneepads, but I think there’s enough there for most purposes.

Overall

If these fit your proportions then I think you’ll find them protective. I fell on mine and didn’t notice I’d even touched a knee to the ground, which is likely about as good a recommendation on the protection side as you can get. However, to my mind they’re better suited to cooler duties – uplift riding, winter, or perhaps ebikes. They seem a bit tougher in the sleeve than the Fox Enduros I’m used to wearing, and if you’re the kind of rider that’s tired of having your kneepad fabric torn to shreds in a few rides you might well value this durability over the venting that you’d get with something lighter. Worth considering.

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Review Info

Brand: Leatt
Product: Knee Guard AirFlex Hybrid Pro
From: hotlines-uk.com
Price: £129.99
Tested: by Hannah for 3 months
Author Profile Picture
Hannah Dobson

Managing Editor

I came to Singletrack having decided there must be more to life than meetings. I like all bikes, but especially unusual ones. More than bikes, I like what bikes do. I think that they link people and places; that cycling creates a connection between us and our environment; bikes create communities; deliver freedom; bring joy; and improve fitness. They're environmentally friendly and create friendly environments. I try to write about all these things in the hope that others might discover the joy of bikes too.

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