Official knee/shin guard reviews

I like the tire one and have some opinions on knee/shin guards.

So far I’ve had the 661 4x4s. For me the straps run very long and they run wide. The knee/shin impact is OK, but for streets, a direct impact on the knee you can still feel it. I would recommend these mostly for flat as it has decent back of the leg coverage.

The race face knee/shin guards were cooler (temp wise) to wear and much more narrow fitting. I got the youth large in these and like the 661s, they run a touch short. Not a problem for others, I’m just small. The straps were still a bit long for me. The direct impact on asphalt is equal protection to the 661s. The impact on dirt/trails is much better, better sliding! I would recommend these for muni, hot days and those desiring a more narrow pad.

Neither of these for knees provides as much protection as my s-one knee pads for direct impact on asphalt onto the knee. Unlike other knee pads, the s-ones run narrow. The plastic on the skate pads is much sturdier too as the plastic on the race face is kinda soft and wont last as well. For dirt its fine.

I just tried on some lizard skins shin guards. They have an outward V shape plastic guard. They seem to run a touch longer and fit very well. A touch wide similar to the 4x4s. They did not have my size so cant compare exactly. For pedal bites and flat riding, these are a TON more protective then the 4x4s or race face. They are hot (temp wise). Since the plastic sticks out so much, not sure if a fall onto knee you would really hit the knee. They might be too long, but a bullet proof protection would be these shins with s-one knees IMO.

The two I’ve used are the old roach pads and Hammer shin pads.
Roach pads are hot, no extremely hot. They are the pads to take with you to ride the arctic circle. However, no other pad I’ve tried has ever come to the protection that these offer. I have even kicked things with full force and not felt it through the pads.

Hammer protection bmx pads are the exact opposite. They have just enough protection on them to make a pedal bite feel less like a pedal bite, but they are very comfortable and very easy to take on and off.

My son and I use two different types of shin guards:

661 Veggie Wrap Shin Guard:
This is a neoprene wrap, kevlar and flexible nylon splints covering the shin, three velcro strap around the leg. Coverage is good, unless your legs are really fat, you won’t get any pedal bite to the calf. Shin protection is excellent. You can add a soft knee pad that attaches to the Veggie Wrap with velcro. These are my go to armor for everyday riding.

Lizard Skin Softshell Shin/Knee Guards:
This is a full shin/knee guard. It is highly adjustable and fairly comfortable, though I rarely wear mine cuz I don’t like having the integrated knee pad; the straps bother the back of my knee. A nice alternative to the KH.

KH Shin/Knee Guards:
I tried these once, I did not like the fit, felt very bulky. I think Kris may have changed them this past year.

One thing I would add: All guards fit differently, so try them before you buy. Also look at the design and see if you can dertermine whether the combined knee/shin guard will create a rub point at your knee, since this is the most common complaint.

Yeah, I forgot to add the race face guards irritate behind the knees so not recommended without long pants. I’m going to try the lizard skins and bring the knee pads as I found a place that has youth. I will let you know if this combination is possible as I would like those. But they will be hot.

Azonic Neoprene

I love the Azonic Neoprene Shin/Knee guards. Yes they are hot but worth it.
They are also pretty comfortable. They are the only guards that I have seen that offer good protection to the calves. In addition the velcro attachers are not straps but one withthe guard which makes them very comfortable and easy to attach detach. The only con is that they are now hard to find.


I just bought the Oneal Rocker Knee/Shin guards for muni.

Will give a review on them in 5 days :wink: Big muni event in Molveno this weekend and i will test them there.


Great thread. I’ll add to it.

Fox Standard Knee/Shin Guards

These were my first set of guards. They covered my knee and half of my shin. No back protection which is terrible. They were cheap though - I got mine for about US$20. Very adequate for beginners. The straps tend to be loose really fast though.

661 Race Lites
I’m still using these. Mediums are my size but they cover only about 3/4 of my calves which is terrible. The straps are now loose as well but they did last slightly longer than the Fox ones. There are also too many redundant straps which seem to encourage shifting. The sides are freying as well and in general I think it’s quite unacceptable given these cost almost 2.5 times what my Fox ones did.

Does anyone have anythign to recommend for horribly humid weather?

well i love my KH percussion stuff :slight_smile: even though the velcro is a little too long on them, the shin ength and everything is perfect, there are a lot of holes in them that would be holes in my legs if i wasnt wearing them, ive landed on loads of things on them and barely felt a thing, they’re perfect for me, if a little sweaty :wink:

Review O’neal Rocker:

Overall Rating: 4.5 / 5 (cause there can always be better protections)

Sizing: M fits perfect for me (my shin from kneecap to foot is around 40cm)
My KH size is L / SixSixOne 4x4 is M too.

Protection: Very good. If you hit a stone or whatever, you just slide away and the guard stays in place. It never sliped or moved sideways.
Back protection: Its ok. There are 3 big straps in the middle. KH Percussion is better in that point.

Feeling: The guards are hot (comparable to the KH, nearly the same). When riding, you don’t feel the guards and you don’t feel any hits when you land on them :wink:

Word on the Roach shin guards anyone?

Does anyone have any recommendations for comfortable knee pads? I’ve always worn my 661 4x4s for all riding, but recently have been getting into the habit of just wearing knee pads for road or easy xc, especially in hot weather.

But my cheap knee pads are pretty uncomfortable to wear for more than an hour or so (dig into the back of my knee) so I’m thinking about looking for some nicer ones. Any opinions?



Has anybody worn or seen these used before?

Any opinions would be great :slight_smile:

I just put an amazing gash in my shin. I think it could possibly use stitches but I am not going to go get any, it will be fine.

I will now order some shin guards…


I don’t think that it would have very good protection to your calf. But it does look to have decent padding on the front. I also dont think it has a hard plastic gaurd over your shin. I have not worn these so I may be very wrong.

I’ve never seen that black Shin Guard before, but I have saw Soccer Shin Guard Protector, Knee Protective Pad and Sports Knee Protector and bought a pair of Elastic Knee Support for my boyfriend. :slight_smile:

The only ones I ever used were the 661 4x4’s.

Good back of leg protection

Take forever to get on/pff
Hot as a sumbitch*

I wanna give the new Race Face’s a stab when they come out.

*This con leads to a pro at the end of a ride, when you take those things off it feels soooooo nice!

i was going to get something stronger than 661 4x4 until recently. it got really cold and i needed to wear jeans with the 661’s on top. turns out i really like 4x4s+jeans. i feel no falls.

i will continue to wear 4x4s + jeans, even in the summer. i get soaked with sweat regardless in the summer anyway. the protection is well worth it


Here’s a bit of background on the Percussion armor. I rode with original Canadian-made Roach pads for years (no longer made); 4x4’s are a cheaper copy of these. They worked OK but were lacking in ways specific to unicyclists. These were the issues I had with bike pads and that I addressed when designing the Percussion armor:

I wanted pads that had:

-medium level protection with minimum bulk - e.g. less bulky that DH bike pads and better back of the leg coverage than XC bike armor.
-knee design that extends far enough up the knee that it doesn’t peel forward and expose your knee when you crash
-knee padding that doesn’t sag over the front of the shin after extended use.
-softshell design but with knee plastic inserts that are shaped and protected so they don’t cut through the fabric (like they do on 4x4’s)
-knee velcro straps that both wrap to the outside of the knee, so they don’t catch on the fork and come apart, after extended use
-knee design that tucks closely on the inside, so it doesn’t catch on the fork crown, and that extends far enough around the inside of the knee to give some inner knee protection without compromising knee flexibility
-abrasion protection for the inside of the calf, both to protect your leg and also to increase armor durability
-back of the leg protection that’s non-bulky and that only covers the areas of likely impact, to increase ventilation and make the armor cooler (e.g. that doesn’t extend up the back of the knee)
-minimal seams to improve durability
-soft, cottony elastic straps that don’t irritate the back of your knees.
-quick and easy on-off
-better quality fabric and lining than 4x4’s and more protective foam on the shins.
-CE certified (European 3rd party quality certification for personal protective gear)


I thought Race-Face stopped making the soft-shell kind that were based on the old Roach pads; I can’t find them anymore and their web site doesn’t list them. Are they coming out with new soft-shells?

As far as I know, that’s correct for softshells. Raceface also stopped using the Roach brand due to a trademark conflict in Europe.

Are 4x4’s sold still in Europe? I understand there were some problems obtaining CE certification for them because the impact protection was insufficient.