Leatt Enduro Knee Guards Review
For sometime now Leatt have been leading the way in the neck brace market and taking their range forward the South African brand have developed protection products to keep the skin attached to the rest of your body.
Knees are one area we are all prone to losing claret through, annoyingly they take ages to heal as you rub off the nice big scab when sweaty pads are removed or legs bend when riding. Personally I have always used pads with a soft front, I prefer the flexibility and solid caps always seem too chunky and make you feel like a robot not a rider.
Leatt’s 3DF pads have such a soft covering and those have been pretty good so far but can suffer a high speed flaw. With pads like this, when you do stick your knee into the ground or a nice spikey rock they can grip what ever you hit and be pulled down priming you for a scrape. That said, it’s not always the case and they can stay put but on more that one occasion I have been picking dust and crap from behind knee pads post bike ejection.
Leatt have come up with their new ‘Enduro’ pads from a new angle. I’m not sure there is any real need to call them Enduro pads but for this much protection they are pretty light and feel so when you get them on. They have a plastic cap over the knee then a second plate that covers the upper shin so if you do bail to knees you are more likely to slide than fill your pads with mud and crud. They look like they should be heavier but the pair only gain 126g over the soft faced 3DF pads and I didn’t notice at all, if anything they felt lighter as they looked bigger if you know what I mean?
The new pads have two hard shells mounted in rubber and stitched to a layer of 3DF foam, this is all fixed to the main body of the pad with a silicone gripper at the top and stretchy elastic ‘sock’ with an opening at the back of the knee to keep the sweat away. The front plates are vented and the rubber that the knee cap protection sits in wraps around the side of the knee giving some extra protection if you dump it sideways. Everything is held in place with two decent straps that run through loops that are easy to grab from behind your knee’s when putting them on. They also have a knee cap locator piece inside the pads that my knobbly knees fitted into a treat!
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For pads with a plastic cap setup they are shorter than offerings from IXS, POC and Troy Lee but for me that worked out. It’s a good balance of coverage and protection, pads covering the whole leg for me getting too hot riding all day. Although the lower section didn’t cover all the scars from the meeting of pedal and skin the added protection would come in handy if you had a big off or sent your pedal shin-ward.
First ride conclusion
I’ve been wearing these for the last couple of months and spent most of the day in them when the temperature was around 26 degrees, first impressions are good. They are light for their size and fitted me well, I’ve got average sized pins and a 32″ inside leg, the L/XL’s fitted fine.
Venting is good, not that you feel the breeze through them but they were definitely less sweat inducing than some others with a fully padded front. The pads feel solid once they’re on and the straps do their job without me needing to over tighten them. The open section behind the knee keeps things cool out back and overall they are well built with big, tightly spaced stitching keeping them all together.
For the price they are about mid range and if they survive like the soft fronted 3DF’s have then I would be more than willing to spend that on these. I’ve yet to nail myself and test these pads out fully but as soon as I do I’ll report back on the skid factor of the hard shell and let you know how they go.