Dainese Enduro Knee Guard V2 Review
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
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.
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.
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.