As a dirt biker, it is almost inevitable that you will take a fall in your development of the skill and even as a fully-fledged rider. You need knee pads for dirt biking. The injuries consistent with motorcycle crashes are not to be underestimated, and knees seem to take the brunt of every dirt bike fall. Like for shoulders, the head, and chest, you need maximum protection with ease of movement for your knees during those trail rides.
Knee pads reduce the impact felt by the knees and come in varying styles, from those that mainly offer impact protection to models with cutting-edge hinge mechanisms to improve mobility and ventilation. In addition to safety, reputable motorcycle apparel brands like AGV Sport develop protection with dirt rider comfort in mind, guaranteeing that the pads are comfy and adjustable for the perfect fit.
Do I Need Knee Pads for Dirt Biking? Find Out Here!
Let’s do a real-quick rundown of our top 3 guards to protect your knees from suiting your budget and riding mode.
|Top Pick||Best Bang for Buck||Best Budget|
AGVSPORT Delta Knee Guard
AGVSPORT Echo Knee Guard
AGVSPORT Phoenix Knee Guard
|● Sold in pairs
● CE Level 1 certified
● Breathable upper extended frame
● Ventilated with a perforated surface
● Asymmetrical slim ergonomic body
● Hook and loop dual strap lock mechanism
|● Hardshell and 3DF ventilated impact foam
● Slim shin guard
● Very lightweight design
● Anatomically correct, pivoting design
● CE tested and certified for impact protection
● Perforated plates for ventilation
|● One size fits most
● Perforated bio-foam chassis
● 3-piece hinged, floating patella guard
● One-time adjustable position-lock strap
● Full knee, shin, and lower thigh protection
● Asymmetrical left and right design
More on the above items below, but first, a slight distinction between motocross vs. dirt biking and knee pads/guards vs. knee braces so that you know the difference and buy from an informed standpoint.
Motocross vs. Dirt Biking
Motocross is the sport of racing laps around a track or circuit with off-road terrain characterized by jumps, bermed corners, and other dirt obstacles. In contrast, dirt biking refers to the general riding of off-road capable “dirt bikes” on rugged terrain.
Technically, a motocross bike is a dirt bike although there are other subsets of the same type of bike called trail bikes. Suspension components on a trail bike are typical of lower performance.
This indicates that the suspension travel is limited or that they have limited or no adjustment options. With that stated, a trail bike can leap, but because the suspension is softer, it will bottom out (or max out) more readily. Bottoming out the suspension is difficult on both the dirt bike and the rider.
Motocross riders prefer knee braces over basic pads for added protection due to the higher skill level required and the difficulty of the track, which increase the chances of a crash.
Here is the distinction between braces and guards for knee protection with regard to dirt biking.
What Is the Difference Between Knee Guards and Knee Braces?
Knee guards provide basic knee cap protection and shin protection in some cases. They are the most basic and widely preferred knee protection for bikers. They’re popular because of their low cost and lightweight, unstructured designs. Knee guards are very comfortable for any rider to wear.
On the other hand, a knee brace is made to absorb and disperse the impact and limit the range of motion in your knee to prevent injury. They also contain knee and shin cushioning; however, their primary purpose is to avoid the dislocation of the riders’ knee joint. Knee braces are good for preventing ACL and other knee injuries from occurring in the first place.
Generally, braces have more sophisticated locking mechanisms that are really not that difficult to master but spice up the rituals of pro racers. On the other hand, if you want lighter gear, less fatigue, and more mobility when riding you will find the knee guards exciting.
It’s a tough call when it comes to picking between knee guards and knee braces. Realistically, it all boils down to cost, as braces are considerably more expensive. They offer more protection and support than knee pads, a factor reflected in their pricing.
Our Top 3 Recommendations of the Best Knee Guards for Dirt Biking
As listed earlier, here are the most favored knee pads for dirt biking, considering budget and level of protection.
Echo Knee Guards
The Echo Knee protector is designed to lower the impact and severity of knee injuries in the event of an accident by preventing hypertension. It features a poly-centric hinge design in this lightweight yet durable protection that allows natural knee movement.
The ergonomic guard is a high-performance polymer alloy and blends for maximum flexibility and safety, while the well-vented cushioning offers amazing airflow cooling.
Delta Knee Guards
The Delta Knee Guards are breathable and comfortable, with two pivot points that allow them to bend more appropriately with the knee’s natural movement. Even when completely bent, they cover the knee, lower thigh, and most of the shin.
The CE impact safety standard to which they are certified demonstrates excellent impact protection. Polypropylene covering, with a perforated bio-foam inner, enhances padding and ventilation. The strengthened hinge system provides full coverage and comfortable knee mobility.
Phoenix Knee Guards
The Phoenix Knee Guards offer lower thigh, knee, and entire shin coverage. A dual pivoting bio-mechanic hinge and a floating kneecap (patella) guard connect the various parts of the system. This guard features an elastic strap and locking buckle mechanism, along with the breathable neoprene strap that keeps the soft-shell knee pads from sliding down.
It provides central, stay-put protection over the whole dirt bike motion spectrum.
You will need knee guards for dirt biking to be safe. Whether to choose AGV Sport’s Echo Knee, Delta Knee or Phoenix Knee guard should be guided purely by the level of riding you are partaking in and the level of protection you need as opposed to buying cheap. With these three products more than anything, you will get what you pay for.
A shattered knee is a painful injury that necessitates a lengthy rehabilitation period and a significant financial outlay. After a catastrophic knee injury, you’ll almost never be 100% again, and in rare situations, it might put a stop to your riding days for good.
Don’t be among the riders who shy away from investing in a nice pair of dirt riding knee guards just because they don’t have a prescription or can’t spare some money for protective gear.
About the author: Michael Parrotte was the Vice President of AGV Helmets America, and a consultant for KBC Helmets, Vemar Helmets, Suomy Helmets, Marushin Helmets, KYT Helmets, Sparx Helmets. In addition, he is the founder and owner of AGV Sports Group.