Until you’ve suffered a knee injury while off-road or motocross riding, strapping on a seemingly bulky pair of articulated braces under your pants before every ride might seem like a classic case of overkill. But a split second after a crash or bobble sprains a ligament or strains a muscle, you’ll wish you’d been wearing them after all. We promise; we’ve been there. The knee is particularly vulnerable in dirt riding because such off-road work requires using the foot and leg as a balancer, a stabilizer, or even a pivot while you’re in motion. And in a bobble, a near-crash, or an actual crash, the knee can be hyperextended or suffer lateral forces that the joint isn’t capable of resisting no matter how strong you are. In this case, an ounce of prevention really is worth a pound of cure. And so here are three good options.
Give your young rider a gift they’ll thank you for later in life: strong, healthy knees. The gift starts with excellent riding instruction or what we’d refer to as “active safety”—the skills to avoid an accident. Secondarily comes the “passive safety” protection afforded by boots, a helmet, and other gear, including these POD K1 Knee Braces for kids. Available in two sizes, the braces utilize a low-profile frame for an unobtrusive fit and better feel for the bike; four straps per brace ensure a snug fit. The gray and orange design looks professional too.
When it comes to knee protection, the Mobius X8 is a serious bit of kit indeed. Billed as “the most protective, comfortable knee brace on the market,” these braces use a “Continuous Cable Routing System” (CCRS) to externally reinforce the knee’s essential cruciate ligaments. Interestingly, the single continuous cable is routed around the knee joint in two interconnecting loops, thoroughly protecting the knee from ligament-damaging external forces. The gray and red braces are available in various sizes.
This versatile brace is designed to protect athletes from knee injury in a wide array of aggressive sports such as football, snowboarding, soccer, and more. In addition, the DonJoy Performance Bionic Fullstop ACL Knee Brace is intended to protect knees that are already unstable or otherwise compromised by sprains, hyperextensions, or other injuries. Its hinge features a clever “dampening cycle” that is said to train the wearer to stay out of “at risk” knee positions. The brace also incorporates a compression feature, while an “anti-migration” design keeps the unit in position.