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A Revisit

Dainese Enduro Knee Guard V2 Review

Words AJ Barlas
Photos AJ Barlas
Date May 2, 2019

A product that's relaunched before is hits the masses is rare. But maybe I shouldn’t label it a ‘relaunch’ because according to Dainese, they never completely released version one of the Enduro Knee Guard. After hearing media comments from the version one launch, Dainese went home intent on improving the product. Now they're ready with version two and they fired over a set for further assessment.

Enduro Knee Guard Features

  • Anatomical pre-curved construction
  • Hard ABS shell for high-impact resistance
  • Soft pads on the inner leg
  • Sizes: Small, Medium, Large, Extra Large
  • Weight: 520 grams
  • MSRP: 129.99 USD
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Pride Swallowed. Here’s The Result

A close friend once shared with me a thought on the bike industry. His experience led him to believe that North American brands don’t respond to constructive criticism, often shrugging it off completely. But his connection with European brands had proven quite the opposite. He’d found them to more-often-than-not take the feedback as a challenge to improve the product. He may be onto something as that’s exactly what happened here with Dainese.

Being receptive to experiences from media has helped Dainese. In version one of these pads, the aggressive pre-curved design caused pressure points at the shins. And forget walking/hiking with your bike if comfort is of any importance. In my review at the release of version one, I also noted the short thigh extension. It made the pads susceptible to punters gap even with a longer short (the same shorts pictured—not short by any means).

Their updated Enduro Knee Guard looks identical from afar but there are notable differences. The pre-curved, ergonomic shape has been relaxed, improving the comfort in all situations. Dainese also lengthened the thigh extension for version two. While a big improvement, I still found it borderline for gappage during seated pedalling efforts. To be fair, I generally have this problem unless the pad has a trending looonnnng thigh extension. Out of the saddle, there's been no problem.


The new design has a smaller pocket around the knee cap. Version one had heaps of space around the knee and my initial thoughts were they would shift during a crash. Thankfully they proved to stay in place really well and were also quite comfortable. Another update with version two is a shift of the calf straps. On version one I found the calf strap placement ideal but with the strap higher up the leg I’m experiencing a less fitted feel. They haven’t shifted during riding but the new position of the strap doesn’t feel as secure.

Their straighter design allows the pads to sit comfortably on the leg yet, when standing in an attack position on the bike there’s no significant change in feel or fit. Standing tall and relaxed there's a marked improvement in comfort with the previous shin pressure now gone. At full compression through the highest point of a pedal stroke, the pads are mildly less comfortable with the straighter design and less roomy knee. It's a common trait and far better to deal with than the pressure points at the shin with the previous pad. Dainese has struck a great balance.

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Version one featured a short thigh extension that resulted in a large punters gap, even with shorts that rest below the knee when standing.

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The thigh extension on version two is over an inch longer, providing much more coverage and comfort. The extension holds better when riding as well.


The rest of the Enduro Knee Pad includes the same great elements that contributed to the excellent protection experienced last year. During my time wearing version one I took a solid tumble, rattling my head, giving myself mild whiplash, and putting marks into the knee plate of the pads. The pads didn’t move and needed next to no adjustments before I carefully continued down the trail. My knee was oblivious to the carnage thanks to the pad doing its job brilliantly. There’s also plenty of soft protection on the inner and outer sides of them for those knee-knockers.

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Soft pads on the inside and outside of the knee provide excellent protection from smaller knocks. Clanging the inside of the knee off your frame in a crash sure doesn't tickle, making the addition of these very welcome.

Verdict.

Version two of the Dainese Enduro Knee Guard is a solid improvement. They’re more comfortable when riding trail bikes, hiking the bike back up the trail, or standing around heckling your friends. The location change of the calf strap isn’t as positive but honestly, that's me being picky. Version two fit great and have remained secure on the trail. These haven’t been crash-tested (yet) but based on previous experience, I trust them completely. Dainese should be confident releasing these to the masses.

Kudos to Dainese for implementing updates based on media feedback, holding back their original product in the process. Doing so even after two years of initial development can't have been easy but the result is excellent.

More on the Dainese Enduro Knee Guard on their website.

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Comments

kekoa
+3 Tjaard Breeuwer Pete Roggeman Timer
kekoa  - May 1, 2019, 11:42 p.m.

Dainese appeals to my inner anime geek and all those live action Japanese shows I watched as a kid. I am tempted by these but if I buy any more pads off the internet without trying them on, my riding buddies will beat me with the aluminum top tube from a Mongoose Rockadile circa 1995...

Glad they fixed them.

Reply

AJ_Barlas
0
AJ Barlas  - May 2, 2019, 5:25 a.m.

Haha. Avoid the beating at all costs! Seriously though, trying a pair on prior to purchase is ideal.

What anime were you into? I also grew up watching a selection. Often tried to draw my own too but my style didn’t work as effortlessly with anime.

Reply

kekoa
+1 AJ Barlas
kekoa  - May 2, 2019, 3:12 p.m.

Growing up in Hawaii I was subject to the original Japanese version of the Power Rangers and other equally odd 'people dressed up as weird looking bad guys' on a weekly basis. Always liked their armor. Hahaha. Then when Robotech was being shown on TV after school....

Reply

kekoa
0
kekoa  - May 2, 2019, 3:12 p.m.

Growing up in Hawaii I was subject to the original Japanese version of the Power Rangers and other equally odd 'people dressed up as weird looking bad guys' on a weekly basis. Always liked their armor. Hahaha. Then when Robotech was being shown on TV after school....

Reply

cyclotoine
+1 AJ Barlas
cyclotoine  - May 2, 2019, 7:36 a.m.

Those look fantastic. I’m still riding the original Trail Skins with no good reason to upgrade. I’ll definitely be sticking with this company for the quality and thought that they put into their products, when it comes time to replace.

Reply

xy9ine
+2 Metacomet Saša Stojanovic
Perry Schebel  - May 2, 2019, 9:02 a.m.

i have both the original & new trailskins. i found the old ones a little clunky in fit; the new ones are super svelte and a good bit more refined by comparison. certainly the coolest pad i've tried - the breeze flows right through the knee cap. not the same level of impact protection of the above pad, of course, but great if you're into a more pedal happy (without having to wear your pads on your ankles) minimalist alternative.

Reply

Sashaman
0
Saša Stojanovic  - May 2, 2019, 12:29 p.m.

Similar experience here. 2 years on each version average 5 days per week rain or shine. Later version has better fit, more rafined and great durability. Might need replacement in a month or 2.

Wilder rides get burlier Dakine Hellion or IXS Cleaver when going full savage. All great pads in their category. 

Enduro Knee seems like a good replacement for both when the time comes.

Reply

DanL
0
DanL  - May 2, 2019, 9:12 a.m.

Great to see. I always wore Dainese when motorcycling and their products and body armour were/are rock solid and led the pack - having Rossi as a sponsored rider helped as well. I was really hoping that they would be able to apply their years of R&D to bikes instead of just paying lip service. 

(Short of going through a motorcycle store, are there any Dainese suppliers around?)

Has anyone tried the scarabeo kids/youth armor? I'm intrigued by the extendability idea.

Reply

AJ_Barlas
0
AJ Barlas  - May 2, 2019, 9:36 a.m.

If you're on the west coast of Canada, it looks like Evolution and Fanatyk in Whistler sell their product. There are also a few stores in Vancouver but they appear to be motorcycle stores. You can check your area here: https://www.dainese.com/fr/en/corporate/store-locator/

Reply

AJ_Barlas
0
AJ Barlas  - May 8, 2019, 1:14 p.m.

Vancouver locals. I just got word that Dunbar Cycles is "stocking heavily".

Reply

Endur-Bro
0
Endur-Bro  - May 2, 2019, 9:40 a.m.

I need to find Dainese stocked locally. My POC VPD are getting long in tooth. New style doesn’t fit my lower leg(too big)

Reply

andy-eunson
0
Andy Eunson  - May 2, 2019, 11:35 a.m.

Does the protection extend above the knee? I’m running some IXS Carve and they have a gap right at the knee cap and a thin strip above the knee. And yes I did smote my knee there last year.

Reply

THELEGENDMTB
0
THELEGENDMTB  - May 2, 2019, 12:02 p.m.

Hey AJ just an FYI your link at the bottom is too the older Enduro Pad not the V2.

Reply

AJ_Barlas
+1 THELEGENDMTB
AJ Barlas  - May 3, 2019, 6:19 a.m.

Thanks for the catch! Now updated. 👍🏼

Reply

THELEGENDMTB
0
THELEGENDMTB  - May 3, 2019, 3:43 p.m.

BTW love your avatar.

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