There is nothing more important than protection when it comes to riding moto. Wearing the right pieces of gear can be the deciding factor on whether you end up broken or walk away relatively unscathed in a crash. While helmets are number 1 on the list, knee guards and braces take the number 2 spot in my opinion. When it comes to protection, it is hard to not include Leatt in the conversation, with a catalog that covers riders from head to toe. Today, we are covering their Dual Axis knee and shin guards, designed to add some ligament protection for those unfortunate times your legs meet terra firma.
Leatt’s Dual Axis knee and shin guard is a CE-certified impact knee protector with dual pivots that mimic the knee’s natural movement. The anatomically correct knee and shin guard uses Leatt’s 3DF ventilated foam for impact absorption, which is wrapped in a hard-shell chassis. The hard-shell plates are ventilated allowing for maximum airflow, and Leatt slimmed the shin plates down to fit inside moto boots for maximum comfort. The Dual Axis knee and shin guards are kept in place with the use of a 3-strap system. Each of the 3 straps can be adjusted individually to get a proper fit and tightening, and a set of plastic clips hook these straps into the hard-shell plates. These knee and shin guards are available in 3 sizes: S/M, L/XL and XXL; and come in three colors: Black/Red, White/Black and Lime/Blue. The Dual Axis knee and shin guards are the last stop before stepping into full blown knee brace territory.
I am a very stubborn person when it comes to trying new things, especially when it applies to replacing something that is not broken. For example, I had been wearing the same set of IXS Dagger knee pads for a decade and never sought out a replacement, until a fall in some lava rock had me wishing for something more. I am not a big fan of the restrictive element of knee braces, so I had Leatt send out their Dual Axis knee and shin guards, which resemble a hybrid combination of knee pad and knee brace.
Setting up the Dual Axis knee and shin guards was a breeze – with the guards on and clips hooked in, it was just a matter of adjusting the Velcro straps to the desired tightness. I could not believe just how comfortable the guards were, with the smooth range of motion blowing normal knee pads out of the water. One of the benefits to the dual axis, in addition to the smooth range of motion, is that the straps stay in place and do not rub the backs of the knees wrong, helping them to stay firmly in place.
I have had the unfortunate pleasure of having to put the Dual Axis guards to work on a few occasions. The guards do a great job absorbing impacts – even those directly on to rocks – and have left me unscathed. With the coverage and secure fit the guards provide, they were able to keep my knee from twisting when I found myself contorted under my moto and hanging down a hill on some rocks. What could have been a nasty outcome was instead lessened to a slight tweak and the ability to continue riding. A full knee brace may have prevented my knee from being tweaked at all, but the guards did a fairly good job considering their lesser restriction. As a result of that fall the Dual Axis guards did receive some battle scars, leaving them pretty scuffed up, and the middle hook/buckle broke in half, but these are simply indications that they did their job. The buckles are easily replaceable, or the straps are long enough to allow you to undo the Velcro and wrap the strap around your calf in reverse to secure it. I do have one gripe: when wearing the knee guards with just moto socks and no long johns, the end of the guard would dig into my shin when in the standing position. This issue was not experienced when there was a little extra cushion between the guard and shin, however it is a point that could be improved.
Leatt’s Dual Axis knee and shin guard are an excellent piece of protective gear, offering the protection found in standard hard-shell knee pads combined with the mobility of a knee brace. The guards are comfortable and do a great job of reducing impact forces to knees from most falls. The strap “buckles” may be the weakest link, but you also must fall just right on them for them to break, and they are easily replaceable should the worst happen. Between the comfort, mobility, price, and amount of protection provided, Leatt makes it easy for me to recommend the Dual Axis knee and shin guards to those in the market.
Colors: 850 grams / pair
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