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Leatt AirFlex Elbow Guards Review

Leatt Airflex Elbow Guard

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Do you really need elbow guards that promise the moon and stars in terms of protection? Let’s slice through the marketing fluff like a sharp pedal through shin skin—because we’ve all been there, right? Today, we’re diving elbow-deep into the world of mountain biking armor, with a spotlight on the Leatt AirFlex Elbow Guard.

These guards aren’t just another layer of sweat; they’re the sidekick you didn’t know you needed, blending into your ride like a chameleon on a brownie. We’ll unpack the technology that claims to harden on impact like a superhero’s shield, yet stays as cool as the other side of the pillow on those uphill grinds. Buckle up, because I’m about to take you on a rocky ride through the specs, performance, and all the dirt in between.

Specifications

When you’re tearing up the trails, the last thing you want is gear that weighs you down. Enter the Leatt AirFlex Elbow Guard: each guard tips the scales at a feather-light 100 grams—that’s less than the weight of a small apple. But don’t let the lightweight design fool you; these guards meet rigorous CE EN 1621-1 standards, meaning they’ve been put through the wringer to ensure they can take a hit and keep on protecting.

The secret sauce? Armourgel, a non-Newtonian miracle that’s soft and pliable when you’re in flow but locks up under impact to shield your elbows from the unforgiving ground. Wrapped in a sleeve of MoistureCool wicking fabric, these guards are designed to keep you dry and comfortable, allowing you to focus on the trail ahead without distraction.

Size matters in fit and protection, and the Leatt AirFlex Elbow Guard comes in a range of sizes from small to double extra-large, ensuring a snug fit for riders of all builds. The slim 6mm profile is like the ninja of padding, offering protection without the bulk. Whether you’re a weekend warrior or a downhill demon, these specs are designed to deliver performance without compromise, so you can ride hard and stay safe.

  • Padding Type: AirFlex
  • Certification: EN1621-1 Level 1
  • Weight: 8.5 oz.
  • Sizes: S-XL
  • Material: MoistureCool and AirMesh
  • Closure: Slip-on
  • Manufacturer Warranty: 1 year
  • Recommended Use: Enduro / All-Mountain
  • Rating:

    4.0 out of 5 star rating

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Key Features of Leatt AirFlex Elbow Guard

Tackling the trails with confidence means kitting out with gear that’s up to the task. The Leatt AirFlex Elbow Guard is engineered with the rider in mind, packing a punch with features like Armourgel padding—this innovative material is soft for comfort during your ride but stiffens on impact, giving you superhero-like defense when it matters. It’s like having a personal bodyguard that’s only tough when you need it to be.

These elbow guards are tailored to move with you, thanks to their MoistureCool fabric that wicks away sweat, keeping you cool as you conquer climbs and descents. With a design that’s as sleek as it is protective, you won’t feel like you’re wearing bulky armor from a medieval joust. Instead, the AirFlex offers a barely-there feel with a non-bulky fit, so you can weave through singletracks without feeling restrained.

Lastly, the super slim profile of these guards is not just about aesthetics; it’s about performance. They’re crafted to stay put, thanks to silicone printed grips, which means you won’t be distracted by slipping pads when you should be focused on nailing that tricky section. Go ahead, push your limits—the Leatt AirFlex Elbow Guard has got your back… or, well, your elbows.

User Experience and Performance

Hit the dirt with the Leatt AirFlex Elbow Guard and you’ll hardly notice they’re there—until you take a spill, and then it’s like discovering a hidden superpower. Riders rave about their ‘forget-they’re-on’ comfort, a game-changer for those who previously shunned arm protection for being too restrictive. Their lightweight design means you can pump and maneuver without feeling like you’re in a straightjacket, and they’re as home on a casual cross-country jaunt as they are on gnarly downhill runs.

But no hero is without a heel, and in the case of the AirFlex, some find the slip-on design a tad fiddly on trailside adjustments. Sweat management is top-notch, although on the hottest days, some riders long for a bit more breathability. Overall, these guards score high in the real-world arena, where trail grit and gravity are the ultimate judges of performance.

Material and Construction

The Leatt AirFlex Elbow Guard is a testament to the adage “tough on the outside, soft on the inside,” thanks to its use of Armourgel. This high-tech material flexes with your natural movements, yet hardens upon impact to provide unyielding protection. The external layer boasts the innovative MoistureCool fabric, which not only withstands the rigors of the trail but also keeps your skin dry, allowing the focus to remain on the ride.

Craftsmanship shouts louder than words with these guards; the meticulous stitching and strategic paneling mean they’re built to last. Beyond the immediate comfort and fit, the thoughtfully placed silicone grips ensure that these guards stay exactly where you need them—because protection can’t protect if it doesn’t stay put. In the world of mountain biking, where every second counts, the AirFlex is engineered to be a reliable companion, safeguarding without ever slowing you down.

Leatt Airflex Elbow Guard - Back View

A glimpse at the backside of the Leatt AirFlex Elbow Guard, showcasing its sleek design and advanced moisture-wicking fabric for superior comfort and breathability.

Comfort and Fit

The comfort of the Leatt AirFlex Elbow Guard is akin to a second skin – it’s there, but you won’t feel bogged down or itchy after hours on the trail. Designed with the human anatomy in mind, the pads conform snugly around the elbows, with a pre-shaped 3D design that stays true to your arm’s natural curvature. No more incessant sliding down your arm with these guards; the silicone printed grips are the unsung heroes, holding the pads in place even as you bunny hop, carve, and descend with gusto. The AirFlex guards offer a reassuring hug that only tightens its grip when you’re about to take a tumble – now that’s a smart fit!

Protection Level

The Leatt AirFlex Elbow Guard doesn’t just whisper safety; it screams protection. Armed with CE Level 1 certification, these guards meet high safety standards, which means they’ve been subjected to rigorous impact tests to ensure they can absorb shocks like a pro. They are engineered with a keen eye on industry benchmarks, offering a fortress for your elbows with their Armourgel padding that hardens on impact, distributing and diminishing the force like a well-trained bouncer. This level of protection is designed not just to meet but to exceed the trials of trails, giving you the confidence to ride harder and riskier.

Leatt Airflex Elbow Guard - Protection Score

A comprehensive rating system assessing deflection, knee cup, shin, and side protections for superior safety standards.

Price and Value

In the realm of elbow guards, the Leatt AirFlex stands out, not just for its protective technology but also for its competitive pricing. When you stack its cost against the advanced features like the non-Newtonian Armourgel, the lightweight construction, and the CE Level 1 certification, it’s clear that these elbow guards punch above their price tag. It’s an investment in high-end protection without the high-end price, offering value that can go toe-to-toe with pricier counterparts. So, if you’re measuring worth in safety per dollar, the Leatt AirFlex Elbow Guard is a shrewd choice for riders who want top-tier protection without breaking the bank.

Comparison Of Leatt AirFlex Elbow Guard With Other Brands

In the bustling market of MTB protectives, the Leatt AirFlex Elbow Guard claims its territory with unique features like Armourgel technology. When pitted against the likes of Fox Enduro and G-Form Pro Rugged, the AirFlex shines with its super-slim design and CE Level 1 impact certification, a notch above the standard protection offered by the competition.

While Fox Enduro elbow pads offer a trusted brand name and comparable protection, they often come with a heftier price tag and a bulkier build. G-Form’s offering, on the other hand, champions comfort with its body-mapped padding, yet it may not boast the same level of impact absorption as Leatt’s Armourgel. Riders who prioritize a balance between high-level protection and reasonable pricing might find the Leatt AirFlex to be the goldilocks of elbow guards.

For those interested in exploring different styles and protection levels, our in-depth look at the Troy Lee Design Speed Elbow Sleeves offers another perspective on MTB elbow pad options. Additionally, dive into our review of the 7iDP Sam Hill Lite Elbow Pads, renowned for seamlessly blending elite comfort with top-tier protection, for riders seeking an informed choice.

MTB Elbow Pad Showdown: Leatt AirFlex vs Fox Enduro Pro vs G-Form Pro Rugged
Features Leatt AirFlex Fox Enduro Pro G-Form Pro Rugged
Material MoistureCool, AirMesh, AirFlex padding Cordura, F3 Armor Body-mapped SmartFlex pads
Closure Slip-on Slip-on with reinforced skid plate Compression sleeve with silicone grippers
Protection Area Elbow Elbow Elbow
Certifications CE Level 1, EN1621-1 EN1621-1 Level 1 CE certified, EN1621-1
Available Sizes SM, MD, LG, XL, 2XL Adult sizes S, M, L, XL
Additional Features 6mm protective pads, Silicone printed grips Moisture-wicking micro-Lycra sleeve, D3O elbow inserts Armortex technology, Ventilated mesh back, Machine washable

User Reviews and Feedback

Riders have hit the forums and review sections to shout out their love for the Leatt AirFlex Elbow Guard, with kudos for its barely-there feel and second-skin fit. They’re celebrating the end of the dreaded ‘armour slide’ during epic descents, thanks to those grippy silicone prints. But it’s not all high-fives and trail mix; a few have murmured about wishing for a bit more airflow on those scorcher summer days.

Overall, the roar of approval from the MTB community is loud and clear: when it comes to balancing protection with comfort, Leatt’s got the recipe down.

Is Leatt AirFlex Elbow Guard Right for You?

The Leatt AirFlex Elbow Guard is a symphony of innovation, comfort, and protection, harmonizing to keep you safe on the trails. With its lightweight, non-intrusive design, CE-certified protection, and moisture-wicking materials, it’s a hit with riders who refuse to compromise on freedom of movement or safety. Yes, there may be a chorus of calls for more breathability, but it’s a minor note in an otherwise rhapsodic review.

Ideal for the trail-blazer who dances with roots and rocks, or the enduro enthusiast who demands full protection without the bulk, the AirFlex is your guard in shining Armourgel. Ready to ride? The Leatt AirFlex is ready to protect.

For a wider selection and more options to tailor your gear to your specific riding needs, explore our comprehensive guide on the best MTB elbow pads.

About the Author

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Tony K

Senior Technical Writer, MountainBikeExperience.com

Tony K is a technical editor at MountainBikeExperience.com. He has a focus on downhill bike riding but still loves xc bikes too.

With more than ten years of mountain biking experience and more than 5 years testing mountain bikes, Tony has ridden and tested hundreds of different bikes and products, everything from XC to enduro bikes. Tony regularly competes in mountain bike races while seeing how long those compontents can hold up which gives me a lot of insight.

When he isn't shredding down a mountain or camping out, he is writing reviews for Mountain Bike Experience.

Rides: Surly Lowside, Canyon Exceed