For dirt bike riders, there’s no question that the knees are one of the most complex and vulnerable parts of the human body. The knee is an integral part of proper movement on and off a motorcycle and one of the most stressed joints in the body, which means it is also more susceptible to injury. Motorcycle riders constantly use the knee joint when shifting gears, activating the rear brake, gripping the bike with their legs, or hanging their legs out in corners for extra balance. The resulting conditions mean knees are more susceptible to impacts, twists, and hyperextension.
Okay, we already know knee protection is a must, but with so many options available, how one chooses the proper knee protection can become a complicated decision. Should you wear knee pads? Or knee braces? The following article provides an overview of knee braces versus knee pads and the pros and cons of both that will help you make a more informed decision.
Designed to prevent potential or reoccurring injuries by adding stability and strength to the knee and leg, knee braces provide the best of both protection and performance. Knee braces also limit lateral torsion, hyperextension, and provide an extra layer of impact protection.
Back in 1985, EVS designed, developed, and produced the first off-the-shelf motocross-centric knee brace. Each EVS knee brace is designed to be as small, light, and strong as possible. Patented technology such as EVS’ Tru-Motion Hinge System is designed to anatomically mimic the natural motion of the human knee. The result is increased comfort and connectivity with the motorcycle.
Through the years, EVS has continued to improve, advance, and expand its knee brace line, and the result is today’s comprehensive line of braces. We understand choosing a knee brace model may be overwhelming at first, but you can rest assured EVS has a model to accommodate your desired level of protection. With six different models to choose from, EVS is sure to have a knee brace option for any rider with any budget. With that in mind, what are the pros and cons of wearing knee braces?
Knee Brace Pros
- Knee brace design offers a host of preventative benefits
- Help prevent hyperextension
- Help prevent twisted knee
- Offers an added layer of superior impact protection
- Both with Knee cup and frame structure
- Provide the same pro-level protection worn by top professional and amateur racers
- Tru-Motion 2.0 Hinges mimic knee movement to provide a more natural stance
- Rebuildable, simply replace parts as needed and keep your braces feeling like new
- CE 1621-1 and EN 1621-1 (K) Level 1B Certified
Knee Brace Cons
- Heavier than knee pads
- Higher initial cost
- In some cases, braces can damage riding pants or bike plastics
Before the invention of the off-the-shelf knee brace, there were knee pads. Knee pads are ideal for those without pre-existing knee injuries, weekend hobbyists, and racers looking for lightweight minimalist protection. By design, knee pads have a built-in crossover aspect that allows them to be used for mountain biking, pit bike riding, and others action sports activities. The ideal choice for a rider like Travis Pastrana, who’s always doing something that requires protection and who practically lives in his TP199 Signature Knee Pads.
When first starting out, the vast majority of riders choose knee pads over knee braces. Riders with a limited budget appreciate the more budget-friendly cost of knee pads. Purchasing a set is as simple as walking into your local dealer or logging on to your favorite web shop. EVS is at the forefront of knee protection and continues to improve the functionality and protection provided by knee pads, such as the all-new Hex Pro. That said, what are the pros and cons of wearing knee pads?
Knee Pad Pros
- Lower initial cost
- Strong impact protection
- Abrasion-resistant materials
- Will not damage riding pants or bike plastics
- Used and endorsed by Travis Pastrana
Knee Pad Cons
- No hyperextension protection
- Will not prevent a twisted knee
- Cannot be rebuilt
Whether you choose knee pads or knee braces, EVS is at the forefront of knee protection. We have a wide range of product offerings for every rider’s situation and budget.
Written by Dale Spangler