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Why Wear Knee Pads When Mountain Biking?

mountain biking through the woods

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Even the best mountain bike riders crash occasionally. It’s inevitable, and mountain bike knee pads can help when things go a little sideways on the trail.

A knee pad is a piece of equipment that is worn on the knee to increase the protection and comfort when doing outdoor sports. They are used for physical activities like mountain biking, skiing, hiking and rock climbing.

Wearing a knee pad has multiple benefits. It helps protect from bumps and bruises, it reduces the pressure on both knees and it keeps you from falling over by reducing shock absorption.

When mountain bikers wear a knee pad they reduce muscle strain and joint stress while they improve pedaling efficiency by allowing the muscles in their legs to rest while still providing support during harder impacts.

You should wear knee pads when mountain biking to protect your knees from falls and also to help support your knees as pedaling and hitting rocks and such takes a toll on your knees.

Do I Need Knee Pads?

Mountain biking knee pads are not a requirement for mountain biking, but they are highly beneficial.

Because of their versatility, the benefits of wearing knee pads can’t be missed. They protect your knees from bruising and grinding when you hit rocks and roots, they provide padding against impacts from obstacles or crashes and they keep your pants from getting torn.

If you’re new to mountain biking or have never worn knee pads before, it might be overwhelming to know what benefit you’ll get with them. The best way to get comfortable with your new gear is by just giving it a try out on the trail.

If you’ve ever stubbed your toe on furniture, you know it can really hurt. Now imagine that in your knee. That’s why you need wear mtb knee pads.

There are many mtb knee pads that are very lightweight and you can barely tell you are wearing them while having high level of protection.

How Knee Pads Protect You From Damaging Injuries

When riding a mountain bike, wearing knee pads can be a crucial part to preventing injuries. Whether you are new to mountain biking or not, it is important to wear these pads for your safety and for an overall safer ride.

One of the most common injuries if incurred on a mountain bike is the patellar tendon injury. It occurs when one of the tendons in your knee gets overstretched and torn. This injury can be caused by a sudden stop or impact while riding, like when coming off a jump or hitting something unexpectedly on the side of the trail. Wearing these pads can help prevent this type of injury from occurring. Mtb is fun, and as we all know once you are injured you are not riding for awhile, so the best bet is to avoid injury when possible.

Just make sure you pick a well-made pair of knee pads that protect your knees, and ensure your mtb knee pads fit properly, and you’ll protect knees and shins without even realizing you’re wearing them.

Even beyond blunt hits into rocks from your knees, knee pads can help you against side hits into the knees or even scrapes if you fall off your bike. Even beyond that, knee pads and knee sleeves help give you knee support so you can attack the trails with confidence.

The Importance Of Protecting Your Knees When Riding A Mountain Bike

Whether you’re riding on cross country or downhill terrain, the MTB knee pads make sure that you’re knees stay safe and protected.

The knee is one of the most active joints when pedaling, so it can be incredibly difficult to find a product with the right features to protect it. Many knee pads have straps that dig into your knees when you pedal, but this product doesn’t have any straps at all. It’s also made from durable ABS plastic which is flexible in all directions and provides an excellent grip to your bike.

Knees are not just used for pedaling – they are also active when twisting or turning during a ride. This product can be a good option for mountain bikers who want to keep their knees safe and sound during their rides. As you can see, knees are heavily used when biking so you need to protect them to ensure you can continue biking.

How Knee Pads Came To Be Used In Mountain Biking

Mountain-biking is an activity that requires you to keep your knees and a lot of other joints safe. The first knee pads were made back in the ’70s and were made specifically for this sport.

Back then, they were just very simple, thick pads with a hard plastic outer layer, softer inner layer and a stiff cardboard crossbar. But over time, they got more advanced with the knee pads getting thinner and more flexible as new technologies came about.

Knee pads are now incorporated into mountain biking gear with the help of technology like Gore-Tex or Kavu rubber to provide protection for riders against abrasions or impact injuries.

Knee pads are now lighter and provide more protection and many of them you can wear without affecting your biking at all. The only real maintenance you need to do on modern mtb knee pads is to wash them periodically.

What Knee Pads Are Good To Buy?

When you’re looking to buy a pair of knee pads, it’s important to keep in mind what kind of riding you’ll be doing. Will it be downhill riding? Freeriding? Will they need to hold up on steep climbs?

With the wide variety of options out there, it can be difficult to pick the best found in the market. Here are some things to help guide you that you should consider before purchasing a pair:

  • How much protection do they offer?
  • Is the fabric or material breathable and comfortable or will they cause heat buildup on long rides?
  • Are they waterproof or able to withstand sweat and water buildup for high intensity rides?
  • What are their sizes and does that seem like an accurate representation of their size range or does it seem too small or too large for your body

As you can see, there are a lot of variables and questions to answer. It may seem like a daunting task to look at all of the pads out there and have an idea what is good, so I put together an article on some good choices for mtb knee pads and why they are good choices.

About the Author

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Tony K

Senior Technical Writer,

Tony K is a technical editor at 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