Effectivness of knee armor in textile pants?

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by Mobiker, May 11, 2013.

  1. Mobiker

    Mobiker Long timer

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2003
    Oddometer:
    1,904
    Location:
    Missouri
    So when knee armor is positioned correctly when sitting on the bike, it tends to hang low when off the bike. Given this much movement, I'm just wondering how effective it will be if you go down. Anybody who's been down care to comment?
    Thanks.
    #1
  2. AzItLies

    AzItLies Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2013
    Oddometer:
    347
    That's a good question, glad you asked it.

    Seems that no matters if the pants are textile, mesh, jeans, etc etc The armor appears it *could* move before or even during impact.

    Looking to the (unfortunately) experienced on this one...

    Cheers
    #2
  3. ABHooligan

    ABHooligan The Flying Mythos

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,189
    Location:
    Chattanooga
    Any time you go down, chances are your legs will be bent and not straight,so the kneepads oughta be in about the right place. Every tumble I've had, my knees, elbows, and shoulders do most of the contacting.
    #3
  4. Schannulleke

    Schannulleke Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    Oddometer:
    210
    I've had first hand experience with this in a negative way.
    The knee armor is always able to move a little bit around compared to the knee. During touch down the armor moved a bit to an unnatural position and got blocked between tarmac and knee which -while sliding- caused extra pulling force on the textile pants (in which the armor was inserted). This might have caused the pants to rip open with the consequence of the knee directly to the tarmac.... Road rash and open knee. Knee is still recovering after 1 month.

    I don't know what the result would have been without the armor but I tend to think that the pants wouldn't have ripped open. On the other hand both knees would have gotten a way bigger impact hit. My guess is that the result would have been worse without knee armor at all.

    My protective gear is... euhm was: pants (with knee armor), jacket (with elbow and shoulder armor), heavy duty and high boots, helmet, gloves, armored vest for torso and back protector (vest under jacket).
    Pants, jacket, gloves, helmet are too damaged and need to be replaced and I am rethinking what sort of gear would give me the best protection still being comfortable.
    #4
  5. chasssmash

    chasssmash Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,782
    Armored pants are the most effective protection you can get. I crash a lot - and my legs always get hurt unless I am wearing armor.
    Whether the knee pads fit perfectly or not you will find that they do their job somehow. On my current textile pants the pads are really big so I feel confident.
    #5
  6. yzedf

    yzedf Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2013
    Oddometer:
    84
    Location:
    W Greenwich RI
    Different gear for different riding. Most textile gear is junk. If it can move around a lot it will during impact. Out of position gear is useless. On the street leather is king. Off road its armor underneath clothing mounted such that it can't move around much. Personally I'm moving towards the off road mentality of gear.
    #6
  7. Rango

    Rango Phaneropter

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,203
    Location:
    Kingdom of Belgium
    Totally agree.

    I never felt comfortable in riding gear. I never had one with all the pads exactly in the right spot nor firmly fixed in the proper spot.
    Therefore I adopted armor jacket permanently. Snug fitting armor feels so much more secure. Doesn't and will not move around. Added bonus, any clothing can go on top if and as circumstance dictates.
    #7
  8. rcf2

    rcf2 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2009
    Oddometer:
    66
    Had the same question on my riding pants with the knee armor always out of proper posititon. I took them off and start to use a Dainese armored underpants and pretty happy with it. Got from Cycle gear for below hundred bucks.
    #8
  9. Kommando

    Kommando Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2006
    Oddometer:
    7,507
    Location:
    Spacecoaster FL
    I fall offroad and armored pants have worked fine for me. If you have time to change though, separate armor is generally more secure. Armored pants are MUCH better than no armor though.
    #9
  10. triplenickel

    triplenickel Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,432
    Location:
    Campbell River, BC. Fantasy Island
    Seperate armor = no brainer.
    #10
  11. hamiamham

    hamiamham Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2010
    Oddometer:
    306
    certainly any armor is better then any no armor. that being said - from personal experience - unless armor is tight to the body - whether its via a pressure type suit or something is secured via velcro type straps is superior to armor that is in a pocket of a jacket or a pair of textile pants. If I were to do it over again I would get something like the forcefield action shirt and action pants and put over it an un-armored abrasion textile or leather suit.
    #11
  12. davidji

    davidji bike curious

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,121
    Location:
    california
    What pants and did they fit properly? Pics?

    Heal up!
    #12
  13. PeterW

    PeterW Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,820
    Location:
    Gold Coast
    Not very good in my experience. Something strapped to your legs is better, even 'quite inexpensive' somethings can make a big difference.

    Collected the end of a log on one ride, didn't pay much attention at the time, stopped to fuel up, to one step and fell on my face :lol3. The leg guard had been spun around by the impact and my knee couldn't move.

    That's one area I do tend to wear extra armour when I'm riding off road.

    Pete
    #13
  14. Patrol

    Patrol VALE 46!

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,366
    Location:
    Little Mogadishu, Canada
    Ditto. The vast majority of knee and elbow armour either move out of the desired position prior to impact or during. Klim and some companies have figured this out and now wrap the armour 3/4 of the way around the joint, so that even when it moves you're still getting some of it.

    The armour does virtually nothing to lessen the impact, other than disperse the force over a wider area, which cardboard could do almost as well (not well at all). The real benefit, and it is a significant benefit, is keeping your skin attached. Many of the products out there will actually melt and bond to your skin in a crash situation and there is no means to separate the synthetic (often marketed as ballistic) material from your skin, so everything gets removed. Leather is still king.

    Opt for what will slide (leather or good synthetic) and less about armour. Sorry about being all know-it-all, I had to do a study a while back for a government agency on just this topic.
    #14
  15. AceRider01

    AceRider01 Fully Loaded

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    653
    Location:
    Brisbane Australia
    to my knowledge, BMW NP armor is the only with adequate "wrap around" coverage - dont forget the armor is there only to take the initial impact, - secondary impact is not what they design for for loose fitting armor - armor in leather, yes. everything else bascially no
    #15
  16. Schannulleke

    Schannulleke Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    Oddometer:
    210
    Revit Horizon pants size medium with long trouser sleeves.
    I was completely satisfied with the fit of the pants in general and the position of the knee armor.
    I will make a picture when I go back to the garage where the pants are at the moment.
    #16
  17. Mobiker

    Mobiker Long timer

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2003
    Oddometer:
    1,904
    Location:
    Missouri
    Good responses. Kind of what I figured. I'm primarily concerned with performance on the road. I asked the question because I just bought a pair of Firstgear mesh tex pants on closeout. I really like the way the pants fit. They really do fit like jeans. The knee armour, however, appears pretty useless to me. They flop around to the inside of the knee. I don't see any way they'll do a lot of good in a crash. I'm considering trying to tack the inner liner to the outer liner to stabilize the knee pads or just take them out all together. I figure that even if I take them out, the pants will still be better than jeans and probably be cooler too.

    I have a pair of Fieldsheer Titanium air 4's also. The knee pads in them fit much better and move around a lot less. With them I think there is at least a chance they will be somewhere close to where they need to be.

    I've always wore jeans (since '73!). The idea of more abrasion protection - and impact too - is appealing. Coolness is a big factor to, since in the hot and humid dog days of summer in Missouri, jeans kind of suck anyway.
    #17
  18. Schlug

    Schlug JockeyfullofBourbon

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2006
    Oddometer:
    7,581
    Location:
    put something on and stay in that position.
    I wouldn't dismiss armour in textile pants so easily. I took a hell of shot in my Darien pants to my knee and to my elbow while mucking around on my XR400 on the street. It takes a hell of a lot to wear through a pair of Dariens by sliding on the tarmac and the pad definately helped save serious injury. Both were sore, neither were trashed. I've crashed on a road bicycle at 35mph and know all about unprotected knees and elbows. I can show you both scars if you're curious.

    Leather is and will always be king. A good, expensive set of textile gear (look at the crash damage to roadcrafters-- the only textile suit allowed on some tracks) will do a good job.

    I suspect the best protection aside from custom fit leathers is hard armour worn under leather, then hard armour worn under 600 or 1000 dernier textile or Kevlar.

    But if you can pull off a 6,000 mile trip in 11 days wearing hard armour through the heat of summer, you're a special sort of rider.

    I'm watching this thread out of interest.
    #18
  19. Mobiker

    Mobiker Long timer

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2003
    Oddometer:
    1,904
    Location:
    Missouri
    As an ex-bicyclist, all I can say is ouch. 35 is bookin' on a bicycle.

    As a motorcyclists, I've though about my days on a bike wearing thin lycra and lots of bare skin. Hit 50 mph downhill a few times and that's flying on a bicycle.
    #19
  20. Schlug

    Schlug JockeyfullofBourbon

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2006
    Oddometer:
    7,581
    Location:
    put something on and stay in that position.
    And I didn't wear a helmet when training unless it was raining or I was riding with a group I didn't know. I though I was being prudent. I had a nice Cinelli Casque (hairnet) that I wore when my mum cursed at me.

    I think I was wearing a Brancale XP5 that day. So hot it could induce a seizure. Maybe that's what happened. :lol3
    #20