Best Mountain Bike knee Protection

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Shredding over rough terrain is what mountain biking is all about, and yet no one wants their ride to end in a trip to the emergency room. The right mountain bike knee pads can help you avoid getting seriously hurt, and even help offset the chance of longer term injuries. 

A few scrapes and scratches are expected when out mountain biking, but it only takes one slip or fall in the wrong place for a more major injury to call an end to your fun. Knees can take a battering from branches and rocks as well as in crashes. Finding the right knee pads can protect the inside and outside of your joints from strain, abrasions or more serious impacts and injuries. 

Why should you wear knee protection?

In a crash, your knees are likely to be one of the first body parts to take a hit, putting them at significant risk of damage. When you’re riding hard on the trails, your knees also take plenty of impact from trail debris, jumps, and general riding. 

While we have some built in shock absorption to our knees naturally, knees are easily injured and can take a long time to rehab, so it’s important to protect them. Whether that’s more hardcore impact protection for riders doing tricks and whips, or a combined impact and abrasion resistant guard, using D3O® knee pads will help disperse the force of any impacts no matter how you ride. 

How to choose the best knee protection

There is a huge range of knee protection options out there, so to find the right ones that will keep you safe and comfortable, it’s important to look at features such as: 

  • Impact protection. The most critical element of any knee guard is the impact protection padding. Choosing a guard with an integrated D3O® knee pad means you’re getting lightweight and flexible protection without compromising on your safety. For riders wanting more pedal-friendly pads, D3O® Ghost™ is the thinnest and most flexible solution while still providing CE-certified protection. For those who want something that’s breathable and also shaped to their knee while going downhill, D3O® LP1 is the ideal pad. Whatever your style or need, you never need to compromise on your impact protection with D3O.

  • Joint support. As you stand on your pedals for downhill racing or land a stomp, your knees will take the majority of that force. By supporting the joint with flexible and shock absorbing materials, knee guards can help to prevent ligament or tendon damage. 

  • Materials. When you’re looking for mountain bike knee pads, the materials used should be lightweight and breathable to ensure any sweat is wicked away and doesn’t irritate your skin. They should also be durable and weatherproof enough to withstand rain and mud, and offer abrasion resistance from wear and tear on the trails. 

  • Comfortable fit. Knee pads should feel supportive, but not so tight that you have no freedom to move. Check the measurements of your legs against the size guide before you buy. If you want to tuck in your shorts or wear the guards under or over your trousers, you should also take this into account when looking at the size. 

Best mountain bike knee protection

With so many knee guard options out there, you might wonder which brands you can trust to offer you high-quality protection. Here are some of the brands that D3O works with to bring mountain bikers the best knee support. 

Fox Racing

For pull-on protection options, Fox Racing’s Enduro and Enduro Pro knee pads are lightweight, with an open-mesh design and D3O® impact-absorbing inserts allowing riders to move comfortably while staying protected. The Launch and Launch Pro range steps up the safety and is particularly rated amongst riders for its high level of D3O® impact protection. Both ranges feature CE-certified D3O® impact protection and moisture-wicking materials for all-day rider comfort.

Race Face

Race Face knee pads come in a variety of lengths and protection levels and feature CE-certified D3O® impact protection. Race Face’s range of knee protection has something to suit every rider.  While the Convert and Charge knee pads are lightweight and give protective coverage to almost all the lower leg, the Roam and Ground Control designs have extra padding for heavy-duty impact absorption. 

Troy Lee Designs 

This range of sleeves and guards gives riders a selection of protection levels to choose from. Tried and tested to keep mountain bikers feel safe and comfortable while on the trail, Troy Lee Designs has been keeping riders safe for years. Their flagship knee protection, the Stage Knee, includes CE-certified D3O® impact protection that is soft, flexible and breathable.

Pearl Izumi

Made from breathable, abrasion-resistant fabric, Pearl Izumi’s unisex Elevate Knee Pads are a great option for trail riders. Featuring D3O’s breathable LP1 pads, these CE certified knee guards also feature a TPU skid plate and a calf tension band to give mountain bikers extra support as they ride. The Summit Knee pad is a lower-profile option with more flex and stretch, without compromising on the all-important D3O impact protection.


SCOTT’s Grenade and Soldier knee guards are built with D3O® impact protection as standard to keep riders safe. The Grenade Evo Hybrid Knee Guard combines CE-certified D3O® impact protection with abrasion resistant and ergonomic materials.The Soldier 2 Knee guards offer a slimmer fit and more lightweight feel, while still providing CE-certified D3O® impact protection. 


Full-length, pull-on, and strapped knee pad options are available from RACER. Made from flexible, lightweight materials, these guards come with a range of extra technologies such as D3O® impact protection, non-slip silicone strips and stretch reinforcements. For the slimmest fit, opt for Smart Skin, but for a more typical style, the Profile Knee has it all. All RACER knee guards feature CE-certified D3O® impact protection. 


Featuring the latest in D3O® impact protection, from the ultra-breathable LP1 knee guard to fit-and-forget Ghost™armor, ENDURA takes the combination of protection and comfort seriously. The MT500 range includes Lite and Ghost™options - both easy to fit, with breathable materials and CE certification. You’ll be sure to find knee pads to suit your needs at ENDURA


SixSixOne’s New Recon and Recon Advance knee pads keep riders secure and cool as they ride. The New Recon offers a minimalist look without compromising on safety, with built in D3O® Ghost™ pads for the ultimate pedal-friendly impact protection. Advance Recon knee pads include LP1 protection, and go a step further too, offering the option to add extra hard shell outer knee caps for additional coverage from strikes or punctures. 


A combination of Air Mesh, Kevlar, and D3O® LP1 protection, BLUEGRASS Solid knee pads protect the most exposed areas of the joint while maximizing airflow. With extra soft and lightweight D3O® impact protection, the close-fitting and zip-on designs mean mountain bikers can keep riding hard without worrying about safety. 

Protect your knees with D3O

At D3O, we work with a range of brands to develop mountain bike protection that enhances riders’ experiences on the trail by keeping them both safe and comfortable. This includes knee pads with lightweight, impact-absorbing technology that keeps riders fully protected. Tried, tested, and scientifically developed - you can trust in D3O® technology to keep your knees safe from impact.