I recent bought some of these at Nashbar since they were absurdly cheap (even if you don’t happen to hit one of their regular free shipping or percentage discount specials). They turned out to be too heavy duty for my normal riding, but if you want to be thoroughly armored they’re certainly worth it.
They run large; the “open back” design is actually a closed back for me, because they wrap around so far.
My faves are still the Race Face Flank knee/shin guards, which are really comfy, though also open back (for real). For the times I care about protecting my calves, I made sleeves from a pair of stretched out winter socks. A slice from the toes to make them a long tube, folded in on itself to make it double, a strategic cut so that it’s triple on the back, single on the front, and voila - plenty to protect you from pedal pins, and comfy enough to not notice anything except that the guards are even hotter than before.
Get the 661 xD. They look sick!
I had the 661 4x4’s which were constantly sliding down and were a bit short anyways IMO. Since my calves are so skinny I sewed the straps to make them shorter. I like that I don’t have to take my shoes off to put them on but they do take a little while. I wish the padding in the knee was a bit better.
To solve my problems I cut off the knees, sewed the tops of the shins, and added some skate knee pads. The plus is I can wear one or the other if I want and w/ the knees, the padding is much better, but they take even longer to put on.
The KH Percussion is supposed to be cooler, better shin protection, faster on/off than the 4x4’s, and they look taller esp in the knee. Since the Rampages are knew I haven’t heard anything about them.
For elbows I use Fox Launch pads and they are great. Not too hot, light, lots of protection, stay put, easy on/off.
Well they are relatively new. I guess it says that they are too expensive. I’m less likely to buy something that expensive without some customer reviews but there aren’t going to be any customer reviews until someone takes that initial chance.
I can’t imagine they’d be that much worse than the 4x4s. It looks roughly the same but with more knee protection.
I have not used the Ramages but I have seen them in person. They look like they are really form fitting and are likely quite comfortable. The padding looks pretty superior to the 4x4s.
The reason that they don’t have any reviews is because they are both expensive and new. We might find out that they are worth the inflated price. Who knows…
As usual, I will be the voice of descent
I have two pairs of knee/shin combo armor and I have not worn them in years. They are hot and they rub my legs raw. One set is 661, the other is some expensive brand that was just as uncomfortable…
I prefer a shin wrap like the Veggie Wraps or Lizard Skins.
Seriously, I rarely land on my knees, more often than not I hit my shin or calf on a pedal or my ankle on a crank, a couple times I’ve landed on my hip.
As to forearm and elbow armor, that’s a huge overkill.
I think the Veggie Wraps can be purchased with a corresponding knee pad, this might be a nice option in case you decide to downsize, at least it’s better than cutting off the knee pads
I’d hold off on the arm armor until you find it necessary.
I strongly recommend a suitable glove/wrist guard, my fav is the Hillbilly short finger, you can get them from UDC.
Don’t forget your bit guard mouthpiece
If you must have knee and shin guard combo, this is the best there is:
POC makes ski race and mountain bike race prtective gear, it’s expensive, but it works and it fits.
These are the knee-shin combo I rode in for a little while, it is as close to bearable as I have found:
Don’t get Protec, their stuff falls apart.
I’m in agreement with Ben. I have had the older kh guards, 661 4x4s, currently have fox launch knee/shin guards and protec shin guards. The shin guards are getting the most use. They are inexpensive (around 25 bucks i think) easy on and off, low profile, they protect my shins and calves, and they don’t make me look like a storm trooper
the only minus is they are sweaty, but since it’s only my shin, it’s not too bad. I’ve worn them all day long and don’t notice them much.
Oh yeah, and I’ve been wearing the protec shin guards for a solid month, there is no sign that they are going to fall apart
Good luck finding a veggie wrap that fits an adult… there are none.
I briefly owned the Rampage guards (and several other knee/shin combos), but sent them back. They were quite comfortable and had padding on the sides of the knee which I was looking for, BUT they would constantly slide down. They were sized appropriately, but I have unusually large quad and calf muscles which make knee shin combos difficult to seat properly. The Rampage guards may work perfectly well for someone else. Meanwhile, I’m stuck using volleyball knee pads and cheap soccer shin guards.
Anyone own these? or tried them out? Are they as well articulated as they appear? It looks to me that the knee/shin joint is made to have a very free, full range of motion, which as you may know, is required for uni riding.
As much as I like the idea of getting away from knee protection and just wearing shin guards I just can’t do it. I’ve taken quite a few falls, both riding street and Muni, that have resulted in me landing on my hands and knees. That was the main reason I switched over to knee/shin guards with a hard plastic front. After I took my first spill with 661 4x4’s and managed to rip through the guard and scrape my knee I decided stronger protection was the way to go.
I’ve tried quite a few hard plastic knee/shin combo’s but so far the most common issues are, 1) the straps slide down directly behind my knee and start itching and 2) there’s not enough articulation in my knee joint for some street tricks to be comfortable. These look like they pretty much eliminate both of those issues. so, do they?
race or comp 661 shin guards
I was wondering, would the 661 race knee/shin guards
or the Comp knee
be any good? they look hard and they are cheap. but are they flexible enough for unicycling?
Dianese is nice stuff. I’ve got a pair of thier shorts for coccyx protection. Not cheap but nice. For leg armor, I would suggest Kris Holm Percussion armor. If you want to go crazy and money is no object, I have done a full review of POC knee/shin separates over on the review board.
I have the 661 4x4 knee/shin protection and they are great for Muni. I have never understood why people complain that they “take a while” to get on. I have never timed myself, but would say it takes about 60 seconds per leg. They stay where they are supposed to and have saved my knees a few times. If you do any type of Muni that involves rocky or rooty terrain, then you are going to want some protection. The 661’s are a very good compromise, because they are light enough that they don’t affect your mobility, but they are heavy enough to offer good protection.
They breathe pretty good, but anything you wear in the summer months is going to get hot. Not much you can do about that except to ride unprotected. Personally, I would rather sweat a little more and not have to worry about a bad injury.
The most common impact areas for UPD’s seem to be the hands and the knees. Having the right protection will allow you to push yourself harder with more confidence.
@unirox13 - Sent you a pm a while back. Still want to get together and ride. You should try to make it to the Muni gathering at the end of this month, too.
661 leg pads
From all these reviews I think I will go with some 661s.
Thanks for all the help!!
I got the 661 4x4s a few months ago. Really liked them. Thought they were providing good coverage. They are comfortable and stayed in place and not too pricey. BUT, after a putting them to the test, I’ve found the knee coverage to be quite inadequate. Twice now I’ve fallen and struck my knee painfully. The knee is actually only covered by a thin strip with gaps between it and the shin & thigh pads. The KH Percussion leg armour does not have this problem, but costs almost 3 times as much. It has a circular knee pad with no gaps between sections. Personally, I’ve gone to Lizard Skin shin guards and Triple Eight knee pads. But everyone is built differently.
Kris Holm just announced a redesign of his leg armor. So all previous comparisons to the 661 and other brands probably don’t apply.