• This topic has 28 replies, 15 voices, and was last updated 1 month ago by hazmo.
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  • Rapha Trail Knee Pads review: genuinely great
  • Premier Icon singletrackross
    Full Member

    The Rapha Trail Knee Pads are the first piece of protection from the prestigious cycling brand (their helmet is made by Smith).

    By singletrackross

    Get the full story on our front page at:

    Rapha Trail Knee Pads review: genuinely great

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    Premier Icon johnjn2000
    Full Member

    @Ross Thinking about these as an alternative to my Sam Hill idp pads for normal trail stuff and have a couple of questions:
    1. Would you say these are a lower profile, less bulky alternative to the SH idp offering so it would give a genuine lighter alternative?
    2. When you say

    The bottom of the sleeve sits just on the widest part of the thigh

    Is this a typo and you mean calf? And if so, how does that work with different leg lengths? Do you place it on the widest point and accept if you have short legs it will be a bit bunched up and vice versa?

    Cheers

    Premier Icon Del
    Full Member

    This equates to Level 2, Type B protection

    it would be useful to have some comparison with other pads and an explanation of what this actually translates to. more protection than the poc vpd air, but not as much as the vpd 2, for instance.

    also, what about care? bung ’em in the wash with your other riding kit or brush lightly and never get them wet, let alone put them through the wash?

    Premier Icon pictonroad
    Full Member

    Washing of knee pads needs to be higher up in the review details. Got some great ion pads but the interior protection has to removed to wash and this destroys it as it has to be folded to remove it from the pad. 🤷‍♂️

    Premier Icon dangeourbrain
    Full Member

    and an explanation of what this actually translates to.

    Well that’s easy
    EN1621-1:2012 and EN1621-1:2014 apply. Level 2 is the higher of the two ratings. The difficulty is (as comes up time after time in frame and helmet threads) beyond a pass mark you’ve no real idea how they perform. A pad which is perfect and transmits 0kN will still pass as a level 2, one which transmits 9kN may also be a level 2 despite being significantly inferior.

    Not surprisingly no-one publishes the actual results so more protection than the poc vpd air, but not as much as the vpd 2, for instance. isn’t really assessable unless the others only got level 1.

    Given they’re going to put the details on the pads if it passes though* it shouldn’t be difficult to check the ones you’re interested in as a comparison though but it’s pointless picking a couple of pads from hundreds or more at random for the review because the next reader will want to know how they compare to something else. (an actual database would be good but beyond STW’s scope I’d think).

    And if so, how does that work with different leg lengths?

    Well the reviewer does mention they’re bang on the medium size according to the charts, difficult to test for a different leg length than those they have you’d think?

    Do you place it on the widest point and accept if you have short legs it will be a bit bunched up and vice versa?

    Well what do you do with every other sleeve type pad ever? It’s not like length is some magic 4th dimension that has been recently discovered or marketeer speak invented to make your old pads somehow inadequate.

    Washing of knee pads needs to be higher up in the review details.

    Amen to that.

    I can’t help but think the comments seem overly demanding today. Is it because they’re rapha pads 🤔.

    Sorry I’ve had too much coffee this morning.

    *as protective stuff I’d be surprised if they’re not required to put it on. If it doesn’t say it doesn’t pass would be the usual way to read it. (eg vpd air, no rating, no pass, “no” protection, vpd 2, is level 2 certified)

    Premier Icon dangeourbrain
    Full Member

    Well what do you do with every other sleeve type pad ever?

    Which FWIW in my case is buy a smaller size, despite measuring up as a large for most brands I’m in medium or small because I’m lanky, so the pads never actually reach the bits that supposedly determine the size.
    Length doesn’t vary so much as girth.

    Premier Icon kelvin
    Full Member

    Order two sizes, send one back. Done.

    Premier Icon Del
    Full Member

    Well that’s easy

    useful – thank you.

    I can’t help but think the comments seem overly demanding today. Is it because they’re rapha pads 🤔.

    maybe! meh. it’s raining and i’m bored. context is informative though, no?

    Premier Icon Rubber_Buccaneer
    Full Member

    I can’t help but think the comments seem overly demanding today. Is it because they’re rapha pads

    I have the same kind of questions and it’s not because they are Rapha it’s because they cost a premium over apparently similar pads but this is the third review I’ve read that has praised their comfort and ability to stay put so I’m perilously close to buying some.

    Premier Icon jimmy
    Full Member

    I can’t help but think the comments seem overly demanding today

    It does seem quite a light review. Fair enough, if they’re comfy, fit well and you haven’t fallen off to actually judge the protection, the rest could be fluff.

    To me, they look like a good level between my Race Face “leg warmers with thicker bits on the knees”, and POC VPD airs. Would that be right?

    Premier Icon jam-bo
    Full Member

    I have some of these. Very comfortable, thigh gripper works really well. main pad seems effective. No coverage of the side of the knee like some others.

    really easy to take the pad out and wash them.

    Premier Icon Gribs
    Full Member

    I have the same kind of questions and it’s not because they are Rapha it’s because they cost a premium over apparently similar pads but this is the third review I’ve read that has praised their comfort and ability to stay put so I’m perilously close to buying some.

    They’re expensive but actually slightly cheaper than the equivalent TLD or Sam Hill pads at RRP. For what it’s worth I’ve got a pair of TLD stage pads that are comfy and stay put, enough that I’ll wear them for most rides.

    Premier Icon LMT
    Free Member

    I’ve got a pair, I downsized as my fox endura pads in med started to slip so went for small, the outer material is like rapha bib shorts material and fits really well, they stay up all ride, thankfully haven’t crashed yet…the only downside for me is they obv stick out more than my fox ones and as I tend to grip the frame with my knees when biking I’ve rubbed the frame on my bike. Other than that they are wear and forget, very comfy, now to find something to protect the frame arm on my stumpy..

    Premier Icon singletrackross
    Full Member

    Morning all.. thanks for reading the review and for the comments. In answer to your questions (as best I can!):


    @Johnjn2000
    – I haven’t tried the IPD SH pads I’m afraid. The Rapha ones aren’t the thinnest of pads – thicker than the Fox Enduro and Enduro D30 – but then they do offer a good amount of protection for the size. Not sure it will help you but my ‘not very accurate’ measurement of the the pad itself has them at 11mm thick across the thickest part that would cover your patella. Overall pad size is 235mm x 130mm when the pad is in it’s natural pre-curved shape. And yes, it was a typo, thanks for pointing out! They sit just on the thickest part of my calf.


    @Del
    – I think @dangeourbrain has covered the protection side of things for me! Not all manufacturers publish this certification for each pad so make of that what you will! Regarding washing, Rpaha state to wash them with pads. out. I’ve washed them a few times and have done it with pads both in and out. Getting the pads in and out is easy as they are already shaped and are really flexible. So far they don’t seem to show any issues from washing (pads and outer). But I’m not one for washing pads after every ride!


    @jimmy
    – they are definitely a step above some of the ‘lighter’ pads on the market that just have a foam on the front. They don’t have any additional side protection but they fully cover the knee cap and drop a good way below onto the top of the shin. As mentioned, I’ve not used the POC VPD Air, but these ‘look’ to offer more overall coverage, and also state the protection unlike the POC.

    Hope this helps.
    Cheers

    Premier Icon johnjn2000
    Full Member

    @dangeourbrain

    Well the reviewer does mention they’re bang on the medium size according to the charts, difficult to test for a different leg length than those they have you’d think?

    I am not 100% on this but I think the S/M/L sizing relates to the circumference of the leg not the length. Normally they instruct you to measure x distance from top of knee and measure circumference to determine size. My question about length related to the comment about it fitting perfectly on the large part of the calf, this is different for every person and I was wondering if the point was that they have a different fitting process to hit that perfection for Ross. Turns out from Ross’s answer it was a bit of luck, and because I have short legs these will be bunched up like the others.

    Premier Icon dangeourbrain
    Full Member

    @johnjn2000 if they’re bunching they’ll likely move a lot more than you’d want if they’re used in anger so from a protective point of view as well as comfort you probably need to try a smaller size that grips your legs at the full length of the pad, (which will probably be a lower narrower part of your calf as they’ll be a very similar length even in xs) rather than the “correct” point for them to fit.

    Premier Icon johnjn2000
    Full Member

    Dangeourbrain, That’s not a bad shout actually, especially if they have a decent free returns process. Being blessed with short but tree trunk legs is truly a wonderful thing in all things clothing and protection 🙂

    Premier Icon singletrackross
    Full Member

    @johnjn2000 – FYI regarding sizing.. I’m 183cm tall with a 33″ – 34″ inside leg (yes, I know metric and imperial!) and as mentioned the pads fit me well and go from mid-thigh down to the widest part of my calf and I don’t get any ‘bunching’. When on and stretched out a bit the pads are around 405mm in overall length. Hope this helps.

    Premier Icon johnjn2000
    Full Member

    Damn you normal sized people and your ability to buy things that fit 🙂 Cheers for the additional info Ross

    Premier Icon lewzz10
    Full Member

    Used mine for the first time Sunday. Early days, but first impressions after a leisurely 25mi/3500ft, and ~11 hours wearing them would be that they’re by far the most comfortable knee pads I’ve ever used, and they stayed in place great. No chafing/rubbing/bunching (I’m a slim 5’11” and in a S so it’s definitely a circumference thing rather than leg length) and they stayed pretty cool too.

    Pleasantly surprised by the protection they offer for a ‘lightweight’ pad too, I happily wore them for typical enduro riding on DH trails etc. I’d only think about something burlier for full on uplifted DH I think.

    Worth noting I normally ride in trousers, don’t know how well the ‘sleeve’ would hold up to brambles/pedal pins etc if you really abused them.

    Didn’t pay RRP but without choice I think I would have been just as satisfied regardless.

    Premier Icon jam-bo
    Full Member

    Worth noting I normally ride in trousers, don’t know how well the ‘sleeve’ would hold up to brambles/pedal pins etc if you really abused them.

    I’ve snagged mine in a couple of spots. Small hole/tear in the sleeve but it’s not spreading. Rapha do free repairs don’t they?

    Premier Icon lewzz10
    Full Member

    Rapha do free repairs don’t they?

    They do on most stuff I think, IIRC offer of free repairs was conspicuous in its absence from the knee pad web listing.

    Premier Icon jam-bo
    Full Member

    i looked it up and while they aren’t specifically excluded but kneewarmers are, so given they are just bulky kneewarmers, i guess they are probably excluded.

    Premier Icon rootes1
    Full Member

    Been using a pair for a while. Was undecided on small vs medium as in between. Went with medium, most comfortable pads owed so far, though they have given a bit so perhaps should of gone with the smalls.

    Premier Icon kelvin
    Full Member

    I ordered both sizes. They’ve arrived. Both seem to fit fine in the house. Need to pick one before I ride…

    Premier Icon kayak23
    Full Member

    Need to pick one before I ride…

    I think you’re supposed to wear two?

    Premier Icon kelvin
    Full Member

    Thanks, I’ll take that advice onboard… now… which pair, if both feel okay? Are these likely to get looser or tighter on the bike?

    Premier Icon dangeourbrain
    Full Member

    Are these likely to get looser or tighter on the bike?

    How much cake intake per ride do you average?

    Premier Icon hazmo
    Full Member

    Are people buying direct from Rapha, or are there any local stores with a supply?

Viewing 29 posts - 1 through 29 (of 29 total)

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