In recent years, kneepads have advanced to the point that they’re light, flexible and comfortable enough for all-day rides, meaning there’s very little reason NOT to wear them for aggressive trail riding. There’s an interesting discussion going on in our forums about how frequently mountain bikers wear kneepads while riding.
Some riders have become so accustomed to wearing kneepads that they feel naked without them—like riding without a helmet—and never leave home without them.
“I don’t even go put air in the tires, as I prepare for the ride, until I’ve put on my knee and elbow pads! With modern gear the comfort level is so high I don’t see the reason not to use them. To paraphrase this old line from dentistry (only floss the teeth you want to save)….only put a kneepad on the knees you want to continue to use!” one rider noted.
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Other riders only reach for them for really technical terrain or when riding in bike parks, and some riders don’t wear them at all. Some non-kneepad riders point to the fact that they rarely crash or don’t like how kneepads feel, especially when riding in hot temperatures.
Another mountain biker mused that the times you don’t wear kneepads are the times you really wish you had.
“I lose the urge, then it’s fine for a while, then the pedals put a hole in my shin, then I go clipless for a while, then back to flats, then put a hole in my shin, then use the pads, then lose the urge, then put a hole in my shin…”
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What about you? How often do you wear kneepads while mountain biking? Share you comments below or in our forums.