ION Products K_Lite R Knee Pads 2017 Mountain Bike Review

ION Products K_Lite R Knee Pads 2017

Reviews / Body Armour

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At a Glance

The K_Lite R is an evolution of last years K_Lite model, the addition of the letter R denoting the input of one Richie Rude! With full control over the development of these pads, he has created a high performing and lightweight enduro knee pad. Foregoing the hard shell cap, the new versions have only a closed cell foam insert to keep those precious knee caps safe, and the addition of the top Velcro thigh strap is a welcome addition as the previous ones tended to slip slightly.

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As with the predecessor, the styling is spot on and features the excellent gripper strips on the top and bottom bands, which aim to reduce movement, and Super Perforator Neoprene keeps things comfy. The back of the pad is cut away behind the knee to provide as much ventilation as possible and keep the weight down.

On The Trail

With a lightweight pad, the greatest praise probably comes from the ability to forget you are wearing any protection. With an easy slip-on style, the K_Lite R is an instantly comfortable and snug fit, giving a feeling of support in all the right places. Although lightweight, this accurate fit helps to reassure you that it will do its best to protect your knees, despite the knowledge that it lacks heavy duty armouring. The addition of the velcro thigh strap is great, though it does get lost into its sleeve between uses and is fiddly to extract.

Comfort on long rides has been exceptional, and these have become my go-to pads for long days in the saddle, or a blast round the local loops, only choosing to upgrade to more robust pads for uplift days or other more gravity orientated days. The HD Memory Foam is pliable in all but the most frozen of conditions, something that the previous SAS-TEC versions struggled with. The only limiting factor with these pads is the level of protection they offer, but this is always a trade off against weight and comfort.

Overall

Some of the most comfortable and best all-day pads I have ever used. The top Velcro strap is a great addition but isn't quite perfect, yet I'm being very pernickety there. They may not offer weapons grade shielding for your knees, however with this level of comfort you are far more likely to wear them - which can only be a good thing!

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By Ewen Turner
Ewen 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.

Tried this? What did you think?