6 of the Best DH-Worthy Knee Pads Ridden & Rated

O’Neal Redeema

O’Neal might fly under the radar in the MTB world due to their full line not being offered in North America until recently, but with plenty of experience taken from motorcross, their apparel and protection is nothing to be scoffed at. The Redeema isn’t a moto pad that’s re-targeted for MTB though – it’s built from the ground up with O’Neal’s licensed energy dissipating polymer foam IPX gel and comes in at a reasonable called price of $99.
Redeem Details
• IPX gel
• Easy-on, zipper opening
• Weight: 520 grams
• MSRP: $99 USD
• oneal.com

Like the Race Face Ambush Leg, the Redeema can be installed without removing your shoes. Instead, they use a zipper that runs the full length of the pad, as opposed to the velcro straps on the Ambush pads. They don’t cover the full length of the leg, although there are two small foam areas above and below the main IPX insert.

Around the back of the pad, the light web mesh lets heat exhaust well without bunching up but the built-in lower leg elastic never felt quite tight enough – they have a boxy fit and aren’t tapered as well as, say, the Fox Launch D3O Pro. Up top above the knee, there are two straps that cinch from either side which is an unusual approach. I never found that it was necessary to adjust both and think it might be better to ditch one so the rubber tabs at the end of the strap are more streamlined to avoid snagging on the cuffs of shorts.

The zipper is a handy solution to pulling the pads on and off easily, however, like the Race Face velcro solution, extra material can lead to chafing on long rides. The zipper tends to resist bending with the articulating direction of the knee and wanted to tuck in and out literally to the motion of the knee. It wasn’t actually the zipper itself that rubbed my skin because there is a layer of fabric that acts as a barrier, so it may not bother some riders as much.

Overall, the Redeema is a suitable pad for the bike park, since you typically don’t spend a lot of time pedalling those trails, and there is ample cushion in front of the knee. With some more improvements to the fit and zipper articulation, I also think it would be a great option for enduro days because you could totally remove it for climbing, should your legs start to feel that chafing from the zipper area.

Pro

+ Convenient zipper removal
+ Thick knee pad is effective to reduce shock

Cons

Zipper covering is bulky
Lower opening is large and could be tapered more


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