Bluegrass have recently launched a new swathe of protection and the knee and shin options are now many and varied. These are the Skinny D3O, but they are available without D3O and there are more substantial versions in the line up as well.Buy Body Armour on
The main padding is the D3O material which hardens on impact and this is curved into the knee protector which includes the upper shin. This is covered with a Kevlar material to increase durability. The back is a lightweight and breathable fabric and the whole pad is held in place with elastic silcon grippers at each end.
A lightweight pad that still offers decent protection is a difficult balance. Some can be too sweaty and leave you feeling as though you might as well take a downhill pad, whilst other offer so little that you needn't bother.
The Skinny D30 attempts to get this balance right, and in most cases suceeds. The padding on offer is thick enough and robust enough to give confidence going into nasty rock-strewn trails while not feeling cumbersome. I felt happy in these riding some full-on trails and they instilled confidence that other lightweight pads do not.
The fit is exceptionally good, and the curved padding nestles perfectly around the knee; I had no rubbing at all. The rest of the pad is very thin and stretchy allowing for as much ventilation as possible. The high top keeps gaps at bay and the silicon is a full strip rather than a pattern for maximum grip.
D3O does its job and stays flexible until an impact at which point it hardens and reduces the force transfered to the body. One downside is that in cold conditions the material stiffens, yet since it is a lighter weight pad it will probably be used more in summer, and even in the cold, they soon warm up and soften.
There are other lighter pads out there, but few that manage this level of comfort combined with protection that is much more than a glorified knee warmer.
These are my new favourite pads, giving excellent fit, believable protection, and all combined in a lightweight package. They are not the cheapest, but this is a quality product that your knees will thank you for.
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By Ewen TurnerEwen Turner is a self-confessed bike geek from Kendal in the Lake District of England. He runs a coaching and guiding business up there and has a plethora of knowledge about bikes with an analytical approach to testing. His passion for bicycles is infectious, and he’s a ripper on the trails who prefers to fit his working life around his time on the bike.
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Dan, Joe and Edgar