Ready to try trail knee pads? Here's why I use the POC Joint VPD System Knee Pads!
Enduro riding has changed so much about the mountain bike world that we all know and love! All of a sudden knee pads are all lighter, more durable, and more breathable than ever before! Thats great new for us, and it means that we have to compromise a whole lot less!
Case in point, the POC Joint VPD System knee pads. These knee pads are intended to be worn while you climb, descend, enduro race, or go for a long all day cross country ride. That can be a lot to ask from a knee pad, but, I think POC hit the nail on the head with this product, and they have officially won me over and are my "go to" for knee protection.
First, let's talk about the actual protective portion of the knee pad, what POC calls VPD. It's extremely flexible nature, makes these knee pads super wearable for those rides that seem to go up (...and up, and up) more than they go down! So flexible in fact, that I forget Im even wearing them. It moves with the actual bend of your knee, and as a result, I never feel like my movement is restricted. The VPD material hardens on impact, which gives these lightweight knee pads a ninja-like style of protection, which is great for those inevitable falls! (speaking from experience over here) On a more critical note, I think the VPD material could be a bit more protective. Because of its lightweight, breathable nature, the pad isn't quite enough for super hard, more direct hits. I think it offers enough protection for me to still ride aggressively and I would still wear this knee pad at any DH or gravity park. Bonus, its still the same knee pad I would wear if I were to go on a 20 mile trail ride!
The fit of these knee pads is the shining star of their review. The elastic bands that hold the knee pad up have a few thin lines of silicone on the inside. I've found that this totally does the trick at holding the knee pad up on my leg, without pulling or irritating my skin! They do slip a bit after a few years, and they start to stretch over time. However, I find that these knee pads fall down a whole lot less than other, similar, pads I've worn. Ther extra material above the actual pad also has a few benefits; more fabric means more protection from abrasions or less threatening falls. It also covers the area between your shorts and where a knee pad would normally stop. Having the knee pad come up a bit higher also relieves any pressure points that I tend to get when the pad stops too close to the top of my knee. Overall the fit for me is a 10.
The POC Joint VPD System is a pretty high end pad that come in at $150, a bit more than is competitors, but in my opinion, worth the money for the comfort.
Finding the right knee protection is so hard, but hopefully this review helps you to make some decisions about style and gives you some options to consider! I would highly recommend this knee pad to every style of rider!
See you on the trails!