I’ve been doing a bit of backpack type riding in SE Asia of late and wanted to improve my protection in case of a fall.
A fair bit of my riding has been on scooters at low speed, for this just jeans and footwear and a helmet is about as far as I go despite knowing I really should have a jacket as well. But then I jump on dual purpose bike and go off touring a few days and my gear remains on the ‘lite’ side of things. My helmet is fine. Gloves are the moto-x type and due for update. Jacket is a CE1 airflow mesh type. All offer some protection but my cordura ride jeans have no padding.
I decided I should at a minimum add some knee protection to my kit for these rides even if the speed might only average 30-60kph if I have a skid on lose gravel or fell off crossing a creek then a knee will no doubt hit ground hard.
I tried on a couple of under jean knee protection items at Naps Yokohama and settled on these.
Made by Hyod who produce a fantastic line up of rider apparel. The knee pads fit comfortably and can be worn easily under a ‘straight cut’ pair of jeans. I cannot tell you about the technical side of things except they are fitted with the D30 technical soft molding type of armor, same as BMW use in their gear rather than the hard Knox type armor.
Previous to this I owned another pair of knee pads by RS Taichi that were marketed as under pant armor but too bulky, the knox type of hard armor was also uncomfortable, you could only wear them over the outside of pants. These ones are much better designed, easy to wear under jeans and pack flat so I can squeeze them into my back pack.
plain black version
I wore them every day riding in Nepal. They proved to be all day comfortable. I forgot I had them on after a short while. They also stay in place with no adjustment needed all day so will actually protect if I fell unlike jeans with built in armor that ends up sitting off side of the knee in a fall. These do not twist around or slip down nor ride up and can barely be noticed under your jeans for the fashion conscious.
On my big tours I opt for my BMW pants or my textile pants, but riding in the tropics I think these with my Cordura rider jeans and summer gear will be a good fit and what I was missing before.
Cost was about $50A. I will update again in future how they are working out.
Update 2020 – Still going strong, used on many tours now. I also use these under my BMW summer pants having removed their own pads as these sit better and are in place properly. Really very comfortable, I forget I have them on. Highly recommended. (no affiliation)