How to Find the Best Mountain Bike Knee Pads

There is so much new mountain biking gear that is available today. In fact, there is so much that you might not be able to decide what you actually need. One of the things that you will want to check out if you are going to be mountain biking with your child is knee pads. Of course, shopping for knee pads can seem overwhelming and might even seem unnecessary, but they are one piece of protective equipment that you really do not want to forget.

There are different types of knee pads available on the market today and there is a good chance that you will need some explanation about them both to determine which is the right choice for your child and why. The best way to understand the differences is to compare and contrast two of the more popular styles.

Table of Contents

Top Three Things to Consider with Knee Pads

There are three different things that you will want to consider and think about when it comes to knee pads. This is so that you can ensure that you are choosing the best choice to meet your personal needs.

Protection

The first thing that you should consider is the different levels of protection that are available. Depending on what your child is going to be doing, you might need something with a thicker padding and more protection. However, for the basic everyday rider, a lower level of protection should suffice.

Range of Movement

Another thing that you should consider for your child is how much they are able to move with the knee pads. This is important regarding their range of motion. If your child is going to be doing other activities aside from biking, you will want to make sure that they are able to move freely. If your child is just going to be mountain biking you might want to do grab a pair of knee pads that will be more supportive and might not have a very large range of motion.

How They Breathe

Finally, you might want to consider how well the material breathes. This means that you will have to consider the material that the knee pads are made out of. If you are mainly mountain biking in the winter, you will find that having knee pads that do not breathe well might not bother your child. However, if you live somewhere warm or are riding in the heat, you will find that your child will complain of hot or sweaty knees if you do not choose a pair that is breathable.

While you are probably wondering what you can find with knee pads, there are few pads that offer all of these different options in one pair of knee pads. Many find that they are like to have a few different pairs that can be used in different conditions. So, you basically have to discuss the knee pads with your child and choose the pair that is going to work best for them. Talk to them about what you want for knee pads as well as what they want. If you are going to be doing a lot of riding on rough terrain, it is important to choose a pair that offers more protection. Likewise, if you are going to be choosing a pair to use for light rides, then you might want a pair that breathes better or has a greater range of motion.

What if You Can’t Decide?

If you can’t decide, you should consider asking yourself some questions. The following questions can help you to determine which choice of knee pads is going to work best for you. 

  • How long do you think your child will be wearing the pads? The entire ride? Or part of the ride?
  • How much protection are you looking for the pads to have?
  • Are bulkier pads going to bother you?
  • Is it going to be hot or cold where your child is riding?

 Now let’s explore some of these answers.

How Long Do You Think Your Child Will Be Wearing the Pads? The Entire Ride? Or Part of the Ride?

Some people like to hike and ride at the same time. In this case, they often choose to remove their knee pads while they hike so they can have a full range of motion. However, if you are simply doing a big climb while riding, you might find that your child wants to ride up the climb without their pads. Many find large climbs to be difficult while wearing pads. Then they put on their pads on for the descent down the hill.

Of course, if you decide that you would like to wear your pads for the entire ride, you will want to buy different pads than if you are just wearing them while you are riding downhill. If you are just going downhill in pads, you will want to make sure that you choose a pair that is more protective. When you are going to be wearing them both up and down the hill, you will want to choose a pair that offers a greater range of motion and perhaps a pair that is more breathable.  If your child has bulkier pads on for the entire ride, they might get uncomfortable and hot.

How Much Protection Are You Looking for the Pads to Have?

Next, you need to determine what the right level of protection is. There are a few things that can help you decide which is the right choice for your child. The more technical the ride and the higher the speed that your child will be riding will require the thicker and more protective knee pads.

Are Bulkier Pads Going to Bother You?

The bulkier pads are going to be annoying if you are trying to ride uphill for long periods of time. The heavier these pads are, the more that they can get in the way, so make sure that you choose a lightweight pair for your child. Of course, you have to determine what level you want for your child and what you think your child can handle. This can be done by trying on pads and asking your child to move their knees to decide how comfortable they are. If you want a bulkier pad with more protection for your child, just make sure that they can comfortably move in them.

Is It Going to be Hot or Cold Where Your Child is Riding?

There are knee pads that are warmer and those that are cooler. The pads that offer more protection are generally the pads that are going to be warmer. The ones with less protection are going to be cooler. So, as you ride in different seasons, you might find that your child is going to need pads that are both warmer and cooler. Likewise, depending on the length of time that you are going to be riding, you will find that there could be cooler or warmer knee pads to choose from.

Top Five Reasons You Should Be Wearing Knee Pads

There are many different reasons that you should be wearing knee pads and having your child wear knee pads as well. Here are our top five.

Avoid Shin Injuries

If you have been mountain biking for long, then have probably injured your shin. The most common way to injure your shin is when you have your foot slip off of the pedal and your shin is scraped and hit by the pedal. This is a very painful injury and one that often prevents you from riding or from riding in comfortable clothing for some time. Your shin is going to be hurt and you might find that you can not continue your ride. This can be worse or better with different types of pedals. Children, too, have this happen so you can help your child stay protected. Longer knee pads are going to help you from being able to tear up your shins in this way.

Stay Safe on Concrete

When you are mountain biking, you usually aren’t going to have to worry about concrete. Again, this is something that is going to happen every now and then when you are riding and a lot of injuries happen on concrete each year. While you are probably protective of your children when they are on the concrete, making sure that they are wearing knee pads while riding is going to continue to help you to ensure that your child does not injure their knees on the concrete. Make sure that your child is ready for any of these surfaces by protecting their knees.

Listen to the Pros

Pro riders will tell you that they never ride without certain pieces of gear. The pieces of gear that professionals rate as the most important is a helmet and knee pads. Most pro riders fully understand the risks associated with mountain biking whereas individuals and even parents do not realize how bad the injuries can be. Even those who might not seem to have knee pads on could have them on under their pants.

A history of Injuries

Thirty-five years ago parents did not make their children wear helmets or pads while riding. This is because they did not know and understand how serious and even life-threatening that riding could be. If your child is not wearing a helmet and knee pads today there is no excuse, you should already know the very dangers of not knowing these. While many did not have the knowledge before, today there have been a lot of different studies. Plus, you now have access to knee pads for children of all ages.

Remember to Care for Your Knees

There is a wide range of different injuries that can happen to your knees when you are riding a bike. Making sure that you are caring for your knees is very important. This is one reason why every single person who rides a bike should make sure that their knees are protected.

Make sure that you are protected and make sure that you are protecting your child every single time that they get on their bike.

The Basics

There are two basic types of knee pads. The first is a high level of protection knee pad and the second is a light protection knee pad.

High Level of Protection Knee Pad

The knee pads that work for a higher level of protection are knee pads that have more padding. These are generally warmer knee pads and offer less range of motion.

Low Protection Knee Pads

These knee pads have a lower level of protection, but they offer a greater range of motion. They also are a cooler choice for hotter months.

Top Knee Pads for Kids Who Love to Mountain Bike

It does not matter if your child is hitting up the bike park, mountain biking, or racing; you will want them to have a pair of knee pads to help stay protected. Knee pads are also a great idea for any child who is learning how to ride. Sadly, there have not always been knee pads that are made with children in mind. If you had looked for knee pads a few years ago, you would have found that there were very few biking knee pads available in children’s sizes. Thankfully this is no longer the case.

The fact that there are more knee pad options for kids, is due to there being a greater number of children and families who are biking together.  There are great knee pads available for children who are between the ages of 1 and 10 years of age.

Best Choice for Active Children

Bern, $30-40 (can be purchased with or without elbow pads)

Active children love to be able to participate in multiple sports and activities. Bern knee pads were originally created for children who were skaters, but they make a great choice for children who are mountain bikers. They feature a full sleeve design with velcro adjustments to ensure that your child has a secure fit. These knee pads are only available in one size and they tend to fit children between the ages of 5 and 8 the best. They are a great choice for parents who want their children to be protected regardless of the activity that they are participating in.

Pros

  • Perfect for multiple sports.
  • Created for skaters, but perfect for bikers too.
  • Velcro adjustments make sure that these fit every single child.
  • Allows a secure fit.
  • Fit children who are between the ages of 5 and 8.

Cons

  • They only come in one size.
  • Not available for children under the age of 5 or older than the age of 8.

Best in the Heat 

Leatt 3DF 5.0 Kids Knee Guards, $60

These knee pads are quite pricey. They are going to cost more than most choices for children. These are the best choice that you can find for riding in hot weather or warmer climates. They are a solid choice for all children as they have multiple features that make them a really solid choice of knee pads. These are perfect for the hot weather because they are made from a material that is very breathable. They are one of the best choices for summer regardless of where you live. With a velcro strap around the thigh, these knee pads are a good choice for those who have smaller thighs. They are really a great choice for anyone who is looking for their children. They are small enough for children between the ages of 5 and 6 years old and older. They are not appropriate for children younger than this age.

Pros

  • Knee pads are a great choice for hot weather.
  • Very breathable material.
  • Velcro strap around the thigh helps ensure that your child has a secure fit.
  • Perfect for children who are between 5 and 6 and older.

Cons

  • Not a great fit for children who are younger.
  • Not good in cooler temperatures.
  • More expensive.

Best for Kids Who Are Serious About Riding Trails

G-Form Pro-X Youth Pads, $30-35

The G-Form Pro-X Youth Pads are perfect for those kids who are starting out as serious trail riders at a young age. These pads cost a bit more than the others on this list, but the quality is top notch. They are the perfect choice for your young rider that wants to spend the bulk of his or her days on the trails. They are a high-quality product that is easy to care for. Thankfully these pads are machine washable and very soft. They are comfortable and easily stay in place. They are made for children who are 4 years old or older.

Pros

  • Perfect for children who are more serious riders.
  • High quality.
  • Mid-Level price.
  • Easy to care for.
  • Machine washable.
  • Very soft and comfortable materials.
  • Made for children aged 4 and older.
  • Comfortable.
  • Stay in place.

 Cons

  • Made for long days on the trails.
  • Not as easy to get on or off.

Best Choice for Toddlers and Younger Children

Strider Knee Pads, $20 (comes in a set with elbow pads)

Strider is best known for its production of the balance bike. These bikes are the perfect training bikes for children. They teach your child how to balance which prepares them for easily riding bikes. Children as young as 1 will love riding a balance bike. Strider makes the perfect protective knee pads (and elbow pads). These pads are velcro closure which allows them to fit on children who are a variety of different sizes. They have a hard plastic exterior and a comfortable padded interior. Thanks to the open back design, they are cool and never too hot as well.

Pros

  • Meant for very young children, aged 1 to 5.
  • Velcro closure for a perfect fit.
  • Plastic exterior for additional protection.
  • Comfortable pads that are going to ensure that your child is comfortable.
  • Allow for your child to be cool in warm weather.

Cons

  • Not protective of the leg around the knee.
  • Not intended for children over the age of 5.

Best Choice for the Smallest Riders

IXS Protective Pads, $70-100+

These pads are the most expensive pair that made our list. While they cost more than five times the amount of some of the other choices on this list, they are a great choice for those who want something that is going to fit the smallest riders. They are a favorite of parents because they can accommodate smaller sized children. They are not overly bulky even on the smallest child. The IXS Protective Pads are a great choice for those who are riding downhill. They are also a great choice for someone who is going to switch between activities like running and biking.

3Pros

  • Available to fit the smallest riders.
  • Can easily accommodate smaller children.
  • Slim design.
  • Very protective for downhill rides.
  • Perfect for switching between running and biking.

 Cons

  • Very expensive.

Best for Climbing and Descending

Troy Lee Protective Gear, $43

The Troy Lee brand of products is not really designed for kids. In fact, these products have been researched and made primarily for adults. Today they offer children’s sizes but these are made with the same high-quality standards and attention to detail as the adult products. The Troy Lee Protective Gear knee pads are a great choice for those who are going to be riding in the mountains with their children. This means that they are great for climbing and descending up and down the side of large hills and mountains. There is no shortage of quality with these and the design has not been changed in order to make these more of a high-quality product for children. These are a great choice for those who have multiple children and love a good hand me down. The youth version of the knee pads is made with children who are aged 5 years of age or older in mind. This means that smaller children or children who are petite might find that these do not fit them right. 

Pros

  • Trusted Troy Lee brand now made for children.
  • High-quality standards.
  • Attention to details.
  • Perfect for children who are riding alongside their parents.
  • Great for climbing and descending.
  • Made for children 5 and older.

Cons

  • More expensive than most.

Best for Those on a Budget

Fox PeeWee Titan Pads, $13

The Fox brand is well known and quite popular right now. Children everywhere love being able to wear Fox brand items. These are a pair of knee pads that children will feel cool wearing. In fact, many children would prefer this brand and would prefer wearing knee pads from a brand that they like. These knee pads start small and would fit a child between the ages of 2 and 4. They allow children to wear them for many years to come until they are about 8. This means that you are not only getting a great pair of knee pads for a great price, but you are getting a pair that is going to last for years to come for a great price.

Pros

  • Very affordable.
  • A brand that kids think is cool.
  • Available for children as young as 2 or as old as 8.
  • Long lasting.

Cons

  • Not as many features as others.

A Quick Look at Protection for Mountain Biking

One of the first things that you are going to notice about mountain biking is simply how much fun this sport is. It is a sport that you will enjoy for many years and one that you will be able to enjoy the entire time. With that said, the ground is hard and you can be severely injured when mountain biking.

If you are an experienced rider, you will find that you have collected your protective gear by now. However, if you are new, you probably need to know what protective gear is essential and what you want to buy to ensure that you can ride without risk or fear of injury. When you look around you while mountain biking there are a few pieces of gear that everyone will be wearing. One of these is a helmet and the other is knee pads. You want to make sure that you are protected from head to toe.

Here are a few of the basics for protecting different parts of your body.

Protecting the Upper Body and Back

It is important that you wear a rash guard so that you are protecting your entire upper body and back. Just make sure when you are buying this piece of upper body armor that you have something that you can freely move and be comfortable in. This is one choice that is going to help you to be able to stay on track. Choose a top that is flexible enough to move, thin enough to be a comfortable temperature, but thick enough to offer you the protection that you need.

Protecting the Upper Legs and Hips

Understanding how to protect the upper legs and hips is something that is going to keep you well protected. There are shorts that are made with targeted padding to help protect you in the case of falls. These undershorts are meant to be comfortable. They are slim and flexible so that you can move freely. These should cover your hips, thighs, and the areas up to the waist.

Protecting the Neck

The neck is an important area to protect if you or your child are going to be doing more active rides. The neck braces work with full face helmets so they are not something that you will need for light bike riding. They are made for the most extreme mountain biking. They allow for one to protect their necks for those extreme rides so that they do not end up with permanent damages from an accident.

Protecting the Head

There are a few different types of helmets that you can buy. A traditional or standard helmet is typically the best choice unless you are going to be in extreme circumstances. This is something that you can find with a full head helmet.

Protecting the Elbows

Protecting the elbows is another important choice. You can find elbow pads to be able to cover up this area of your body and offer you full protection from the possibility of injury.  There is a wide range of different brands and manufacturers who produce elbow pads. You can either choose a pair that is slipped on or through different closures.

Protecting the Ankles

There are a number of injuries that can happen to the ankles. Ankle supports are important for both adults and for children who are developing and growing. It is important to note that you should not allow your child to wear ankle supports when they are not riding as it could cause them to have a number of additional injuries and problems with their growth and development.

Protecting the Hands

It is equally important to protect the hands. In fact, the hands are the most commonly injured body part when mountain biking. One of the things that can happen is that you might even injure yourself on your handlebars if you are not wearing gloves. Gloves will protect your hands from handlebar issues and will help you to ensure that you are going to have protection in the case of falls or accidents.

Protecting the Knees

Since the knees are so commonly injured and a knee injury can leave one with lasting effects and problems, it is essential that the knees are protected when mountain biking. Knee pads allow for the knees to be protected with the idea of comfort in mind. Knee pads have a wide range of different coverage and the type of materials that they are made from are that the pads could be uncomfortable. The best thing to remember is to follow these tips to find a pair of knee pads that are going to work for you or your child.

Why Wear Mountain Bike Knee Pads?

Mountain biking injuries are not uncommon. However, you can prevent most injuries with the right precautions. Some of the injuries that can occur at the knees include smashed kneecaps, pulled knee tendons, and scraped knees. The level of pain greatly varies by the extent of the injury.

If you are going to be a mountain biker, you will understand that you are taking some risks. Allowing your child to be a mountain biker means that you are going to allow your child to have some level of risk. If you are cautious, you will find that you are not likely to have an injury and your child is not likely to be injured.

It does not matter how careful you are or how well you monitor your child, an emergency or injury could still take place. Of course, each child is going to need to have the right protective gear to help keep them safe. One of the most important pieces of gear, aside from the helmet, are the knee pads. This is because knee injuries are the worst injuries, next to head injuries, of mountain bikers.

It does not matter if your child is just learning to ride or if he/she has been riding for years, they still need to have their knees protected with knee pads.

Basic Facts of Mountain Biking Safety

Dirt Can Hurt…Bad!

Many people do not think of dirt as being hard. This is because they are comparing dirt to other materials like concrete and bricks, which are much harder. One of the most dangerous things that happen when mountain biking are fallen onto hard dirt. These are the places where many have broken bones and ended up with severe injuries for something that seems quite minor.

Today much research has been done on riding injuries. This research shows that those who participate in mountain biking are likely to have a major injury at some point in their riding career. There were a lot of risk factors that needed to be determined. The most common injuries are soft tissue injuries and fractures. By wearing knee pads, your child can reduce their risk of injury.

The popularity of mountain biking is part of the reason that products, like knee pads for kids, are being developed today. It is likely that between fifty and ninety percent of all riders have been injured at some point during a ride. These could be something as minor as a scrape or abrasion or something as major as permanent bone or joint damages. Typically these injuries happen on downhill rides. Thankfully, death is very rare in these cases.

Progression of Mountain Biking

Mountain biking seems to increase in popularity each and every year. There are a lot of different reasons for this, but the main one is that people are able to enjoy their time with their families being active in the outdoors. Mountain biking provides a way for entire families to be able to enjoy physical activity together. When you are mountain biking, you are doing something that many other families enjoy taking part in together.

Finding a great pair of knee pads for your child who loves to mountain bike used to be something that could be a struggle. Today you can find a wide range of products and even find choices in price that make these both affordable or expensive. So, regardless of your needs and the needs of your child, you will be able to find a pair of knee pads that are going to work best for both of you!