Best MTB Knee Pads in 2023 - UpBeatBike (2023)

Do you have a passion for mountain biking and taking on all that nature has to offer? If so, you will need to stock up on the right equipment. Mountain biking is safe, but you can easily land in some hot water as well. Should this happen, it is much better to be prepared and have the needed safety precautions already taken. The best MTB knee pads are an affordable way that will keep you safe when you perhaps fall down. The Fox Racing Launch Pro MTB Knee Guardis definitely one of the best-rated options on the market today.

Having taken many falls over the years, I have seen the damage that is done when you don’t have the needed protective gear. Bruised knees are only the tip of the iceberg, which may also include massive tendon and ligament damage as well. Learning through these mistakes, I found out which equipment items are highly rated to help you make the best possible decision.

My experience gave me insight and I also studied a couple of recommendations from professional doctors who gave me advice. This advice really helped me in the decision-making and to better understand the most important things to keep in mind. However, the top products are readily available and this article should shed some much-needed light on them.

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Best MTB Knee Pads On The Market Today

Whether you consider yourself a beginner or a pro rider, it is important to be protected. Just because you are skilled, does not mean that you are completely immune to potential accidents that may happen. To help you get started, we have selected the best Mountain Bike kneepads to complement your state of the art mountain bike.

Top Pick: Fox Racing Launch Pro MTB Knee Guard

Considering that Fox is one of the leading brands when it comes to extreme sports, it should not be any surprise to see them first. The Fox Racing Launch Pro MTB Knee Guardhas been durably constructed, but the real kicker is the ergonomic fit. With a rubber gripper, the kneepad also remains in place, keeping you protected at all times.

I hate a kneepad that does not have any breathability. Not only does it feel like a build-up of moisture, but you become really uncomfortable. However, the addition of neoprene in this knee guard gives it much needed breathability. Kevlar is used for the hard shell, offering you some of the best overall protection from falls.

The price might be a little expensive for a few people. However, these kneepads will probably be the lasts kneepads you ever need to buy. The fit will never wear out and you simply need to soak it in soapy water to clean. Whether you are a professional rider or simply a beginner trying to build up all of your gear, you should definitely consider this kneepad.

Runner-Up: Alpinestars Paragon Knee Guard

The Alpinestars Paragon Knee Guardis much similar to our leading Fox knee guard. It is really functional and the inclusion of Spandex will make it flexible. Should you be into extreme sports, this will make the knee guard versatile. I have seen many people also use this knee guard for snowboarding, but the original fit and design is made for mountain bike riders.

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Breathability is excellent and I found this kneepad to make life so much more comfortable in comparison to some of the other options. The ergonomic fit will fit virtually anyone and they have a multitude of different sizes for you to choose from. I would also like to mention that the graphic design is actually rather stylish as well.

As for the price, Alpinestars is one of the top extreme sports brands and they have a great reputation. Much like Fox, this is also an expensive kneepad. However, it holds well in every condition and I also appreciate the fact that wet weather does not seem to drag it down. If you like something versatile for your sporting needs, definitely check out this option.

The Versatile Kneepad: Demon Hyper X D30 Mountain Bike Knee Pads

Just mentioning the versatility of the Alpinestars kneepad, we would not have gotten away without mentioning the Demon Hyper X D30 Mountain Bike Knee Pads. These pads are designed for all cycling sports and I have seen many pros choose them for BMX races as well. It also features a stretchable design to help you achieve the best possible comfort when wearing them.

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As for the casing, Kevlar has been used. However, the high-density foam easily absorbs most of the impact you need to endure. Thanks to all these features, the kneepad has a safety rating of CE 1621-1. This rating makes it ideal for snowboarding and many of your other outdoor and adventurous endeavors.

They are slightly less expensive than some of the others we have seen. I believe the price is a true reflection of the quality, and you can definitely use them for quite some time. Additionally, you also receive a limited lifetime warranty, guaranteed to ensure you have some peace of mind. Once again, I would recommend these kneepads for versatility.

Best Value Buy: Demon Tactic Knee, Shin and Elbow Guards Combo Pack

If you have not added some of the other gear items to your kit, this should be an excellent investment. To get you started, consider the Demon Tactic Knee, Shin and Elbow Guards Combo Packwith all the basic things you need. Made from solid materials, you will have some decent protection everywhere on your body, giving you the confidence to ride your best.

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My biggest concern is the PU plastic used for the outer shell. I have no problem with polyurethane, but it does lack some of the overall durability many people might like. However, these pads are extremely comfortable and they include 24 different holes for breathability purposes. This is one of the best options for ventilation and to combat the sweat buildup.

I think the price of these products is actually affordable. They might not be an ideal option for the professional rider, but beginners could use them to get started. I also like the limited warranty that is included, giving you some time to test them. However, I would only recommend these pads for beginners and not the elite riders. You might also like to find the best gloves guards for your mountain bike.

Best Leg Protection Kneepad: Fox Racing Launch Safety BMX MTB Knee/Shin Pad

Often times I have found myself taking massive shots to the shins. Yes, this might not be as painful as blowing out your knee, but it hurts nonetheless. The Fox Racing Launch Safety BMX MTB Knee/Shin Padis a savior since it has been released. Instead of buying two different pieces, this one-piece can cover virtually anything you need coveringyour legs.

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The combination of Kevlar and hard shell plastic does make a massive difference. These might be a little heavier than many people expect, but they won’t let you down. Since this can be quite warm, Fox has integrated a decent ventilation system and their patented design should also tell you how great these pads will look when riding.

Since you once again receive like a combo pack, this will be a little more expensive than many people might expect. However, I would definitely recommend these pads for the value and to keep your leg fully protected. Combining this with the state of the art Fox Racing Proframe Helmetwill make all the difference in the world.

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Things To Consider Before Buying The Best MTB Knee Pads

Most of the kneepads are really similar and finding the best MTB knee pads will rely on how you feel. Here are a couple of the things I think you should keep in mind before you buy to ensure the optimal level of comfort.

Comfort Level

Why wear something that is uncomfortable? When looking at a new kneepad, you should focus on looking for comfort first. The materials play a massive role and things like Spandex will make a huge difference to help you accomplish this. Any material that stretches will be really comfortable for anyone to use.


The protection level is generally split between either a shell made from polyurethane or Kevlar. Kevlar might be a little more expensive, but tests have proven it to be the most durable option. Unfortunately, this will be slightly heavier as well and some have complained about feeling bogged down.


Finally, we have the ventilation aspect that needs to be looked at. When choosing kneepads, having decent ventilation is always important. This can be in the form of materials like neoprene, or simply a few holes that have been drilled in the materials. I definitely recommend looking for some form of breathability when shopping.

Wrap Up – Best MTB Knee Pads

Knee guards are important and there is no way around this fact. Having decent knee guards will make you feel safer and you have more confidence, especially if you have fallen a few times. I would recommend all of these options and they should help you get started. However, Fox is one of the top brands and I believe you should start with them.

We would like to thank you for reading this article. The best MTB knee pads are not always something we think about. However, you now have the knowledge to understand them a little better and perhaps even buy the best fit. Leave your comments below if you think we might have missed any of your favorites.

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How do I choose mountain bike knee pads? ›

So look for a pad with good protection, and a hard shell. It should also have protection around the inside of the knees to protect them from frame strikes. And then make sure it's easy to get on and off without taking your riding shoes off.

Are knee pads worth it in MTB? ›

Much like wearing a helmet that offers increased coverage and protection, donning the best MTB knee pads before you set off will make a significant difference to your confidence and approach to technical sections of trails with bigger jumps and drops.

How do I choose the right knee pads? ›

Use a tape measure to find the right knee pad size for you. Measure your leg circumference 4"/10 cm above the knee cap (3) and around the calf (4).

How tight should MTB knee pads be? ›

Knee pads should fit snugly. They should be tight when you pull them on and take them off. But not so tight that they cut off your circulation while you're standing or riding.

What are the 2 types of knee pads? ›

Knee pads - what you should know
  • Type 1 – Knee pads that are fastened around the knee independently of other protective clothing.
  • Type 2 – Knee pads that are not attached to the body, but which you place as needed.

Are gel knee pads better? ›

Foam is vulnerable to damage by abrasive surfaces and tends to compress over time. With gel-foam knee pads, the padding reverts to its original shape and is usually covered by fabric, so these knee pads tend to last longer.

How long do MTB pads last? ›

In general, I agree with your friend. I generally easily get 3,000 or more miles out of organic pads, and sintered pads last a lot longer. However, it completely depends on the weight of the rider, the terrain being ridden, the weather conditions when riding, and the road or trail surface.

Why do mountain bikers only wear knee pads? ›

That's because your knees are generally one of the first – and most painful – parts of the body to hit the ground in a crash. As a moving part, your knees are also vital to protect, and wearing pads is one of the best ways to keep you on your bike, rather than resting on the couch.

Which is better open patella or closed patella? ›

Braces with an open patella allow relief of knee pressure and extra knee cap support with proper movement and tracking. Closed patella braces, on the other hand, offer compression at the knee cap with the same pressure as the rest of the knee and additional support.

How thick should the knee pads be? ›

Knee pads which are unaltered from the manufacturer's original design/production which are worn over the knee and under the pants and shall be at least 1/2 inch thick or 3/8 inch thick if made of shock absorbing material.

Is MTB hard on knees? ›

These added obstacles create an added layer of “vibration forces” that both the mountain bike and rider's body experience. Over time, the stress to the mountain biker's knees increases the risk for an overuse injury.

Should MTB shoes be tight or loose? ›

Just like hiking shoes, bike shoes should be snug but not too tight. Make sure that you have enough toe room to wiggle your toes. A good test is to try standing on a steep incline, if your toes remain comfortable and don't slam into the front of the shoe, then most likely you have a good fit.

Are there sizes for knee pads? ›

SizeKnee Circumference (inches)Knee Circumference (centimeters)
S12 - 14"30.5 - 35.5cm
M14 - 16"35.5 - 40.6cm
L15 - 17"38.1 - 43.1cm
XL17 - 20"43.1 - 50.8cm
2 more rows

What is the ideal knee angle for bike fit? ›

Purpose: Bike-fitting methods based on knee kinematics have been proposed to determine optimal saddle height. The Holmes method recommends that knee angle be between 25° and 35° when the pedal is at bottom dead centre in static. Other authors advocate knee angle of 30-40° during maximum knee extension while pedalling.


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