Dainese Enduro 2 Knee Guard Review
Words by Drew Rohde | Photos by Chili Dog
Last year our own Chili Dog attended the Dainese Enduro Knee Guard launch and heli-drop ride at Crankworx Whistler. Based on the feedback received from journalists and others who had ridden in the pads, Dainese took the hard step of pulling back the release of their Enduro Knee Guards and re-evaluating their pad almost as quickly as they launched it. This new second generation is said to address some of the complaints Chili Dog and other testers had so we were excited when two new pairs showed up a few months ago. Sadly, after having four riders test the new pads, it seems our results are mixed at best. Before we get into our personal experiences let’s learn a bit about the pads.
There’s no denying that Dainese put in the work when it came to thinking up their new Enduro knee pads. It is a really cool looking pad and we applaud the use of various materials and the thought process in developing the Dainese Enduro Knee Guards. Dainese’s inspiration for the unique design came from fractals, which they say is the natural language used to create complex structures. Another highlight is the large area of protection offered, specifically around the outside of the knee.
Dainese uses a complex hybrid construction featuring Pro-Armor and impact-resistant ABS plates. The harder, ABS sections cover the areas most likely to take the brunt of energy during a fall, like your kneecap and shin. Pro-Armor, which is a carbon elastomer-based nanometric structure that mimics the construction design of elements found in nature that provide strength to things we see every day. This Pro-Armor covers the surrounding areas with a more breathable, and flexible layer of protection. The outside of the knee coverage is one of our favorite features of these pads. On the bike side of the pad, the Enduro Knee Guard 2’s also feature three Crash Absorb pads to help cushion any impacts with your frame.
The pads have a nice pre-curved fit to them and the elastic leg band grippers ensure the pad won’t move when you don’t want it to. The fit and ergonomics are nicely done. There is also a Velcro strap at the back of the pad to ensure a snug fit before dropping into the rowdiest descents.
Dainese also listened to feedback from so many riders about having a bit more material above and below the knee. The Knee Guard 2 pads extend up into the thigh nicely and ensure they won’t creep down on long pedals, or leave you with the dreaded gaper gap between your shorts and pads.
On the inside of the pad is a thin layer of material that proved to be the cause of our distaste for the pads. We’ll get into that below.