Dainese Enduro Knee Guard 2

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.

The Lab
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 Enduro 2 on 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.

Dainese Enduro Knee Guard rear

The Dirt
We’ve had four riders wear the Dainese Enduro Knee Guard 2 and although one is somewhat happy with them the other three have developed blisters or raw kneecaps from the chaffing inside. We’ve swapped sizes and tried to see if this is an issue, but all of our riders all complained about the same feeling inside the knee cap. The Airnet material is just too thin and the sharpness of the ridges from the Pro-Armor material creates very noticeable friction points and has sadly, made the pads unwearable for all but one of us. It’s a bummer because we all really like the look and coverage offered.

That being said, our other tester did not have the same issue, at least not to the same degree during his testing. Chili Dog attended the original launch in Whistler and remembers almost everyone leaving the event with shin blisters from the original, pad design, which made them very stiff. The new design solved the original flexibility issue, but he also feels the Pro-Armor material on his knee caps, and when kneeling on the pads we all feel some discomfort from the Pro-Armor material through the liner. Although not very comfortable to kneel in for any of us, Chili Dog did not have any blisters or chaffing like the rest of our riders.

Dainese Enduro 2 Knee Guard lining

The Wolf’s Last Word

We certainly don’t take pleasure in writing these types of reviews, especially when fit and body type can be such an important factor in how a product is perceived. That being said, these pads are definitely not all bad, Dainese has done a lot of neat stuff with the Enduro Guard 2 and it’s worth noting when we emailed them with our concerns they replied by saying they hadn’t heard any such complaints from anyone else.

The pre-curved shape is right on the money and when we put them on initially we all really liked the shape and fit. Also as I mentioned above, I really like the coverage and the placement of the pads inside and outside. The grippers and mesh material also make the pad stay in place without being too hot. Sadly, however, all the pluses don’t outweigh the fact we simply can’t wear the pads without rubbing our knee caps raw. For us, these Dainese Enduro pads are so close, but no cigar.

Price: $129.00
Website: Dainese.com

We Dig

Large Coverage Area
Side of Knee Protection
Look Cool

We Don’t

Thin Liner Inside Knee Cap
Causes Blisters/Rawness
We Can’t Wear Them


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