ENDURA MT500 KNEE PADS REVIEW
HARD SHELLS FOR HARD KNOCKS
By Drew Rohde / Photos Dusten Ryen
We first got our pair of Endura MT500 knee pads to review from as part of a knee pad shootout we did a few months back. We have been lucky enough to team up with the folks at CompetitiveCyclist.com and when we asked for a whole bunch of mountain bike knee pads to test, they loaded up a huge box and shipped them out. One of the pads that instantly caught our eyes was the Endura MT500 Hard Shell knee guards. Backed with a 1-year warranty and Endura’s 90-day satisfaction guarantee, customers can rest assured that if they are not pleased with their purchase, they have got the brand’s assurance to stand behind their product. So, months after our initial review, how have the pads lasted and are we still sold? Read on to find out.
Built around D3O’s non-Newtonian protective material the Endura MT 500 knee pads are the brands more aggressive and downhill capable knee pads. Developed with the help of the Athertons and other downhill athletes, these knee pads offer fully CE EN 1621/1 certified protection and are ready for the most extreme terrain. We test lots of knee pads here and many of our favorites use D30 protection because we love how the pads remain soft and comfortable while pedaling yet stiffen up to absorb impact in the event of a crash.
Further adding to the protective qualities of the MT500 knee pads is extended side panel PU foam padding. These help provide protection on the sides of the knee while a hard molded shell doubles down the protection over the kneecap. We like hard shell-equipped pads as they help protect us from sharp impacts while also letting the knee pads slide across the ground when crashing on harder terrain.
Keeping the Endura MT500 pads in place are two large hook and loop Velcro straps. The straps do a great job of helping to keep the pads in place and adjusting the snugness for climbs and rowdy descents. These pads are built to be more aggressive and as such are not the most breathable however they are still able to be pedaled in without making you too sweaty. The material used is comfortable to the touch as well as on your leg and as held up to several months of use. One thing we did notice was that the fit was a bit snug, so do your diligence on measuring your leg and check the sizing chart. If you are torn between sizes, we suggest sizing up.
Aside from some slight discomfort caused by us selecting a size medium instead of large, we really didn’t have anything to complain about with these pads. In most pads I wear a medium however I felt that the mediums were a bit tight in the Endura MT500s. These are designed primarily as a downhill or aggressive enduro knee pad, however I spent most of my time testing them riding longer travel eBikes and putting in big miles. Even on longer days when I would be in the pads for five to six hours I didn’t feel that they were overly hot or uncomfortable besides the snugness from the sizing issue. Granted I’m a rider who prefers a more secure and robust knee pad, so my barometer is slightly skewed to the minimalists who may prefer the thinnest, most breathable pad out there. These are not those, but they offer a whole lot more protection, something I am willing to trade some moisture for.
During the course of testing, I took several light to medium falls in a variety of dirt from soft loamy soil to hardpack rock gardens. Each time I stood up dusted myself off and was quite impressed to see the knee pads had held up and that the hard shell had done its job helping me slide rather than come to an immediate stop. The pads stayed in place very nicely thanks to the pre curved shape and secure Velcro strap and I never had any concerns that they wouldn’t be where I needed them to be.
I would definitely say over the course of my testing I took these pads well outside their intended application and spent way more time pedaling big miles then most will in such a downhill specific knee pad. Nevertheless, I was very impressed with the comfort the decent breathability they offer an the impact protection and will continue to wear these pads in the future. Endura has done a great job with the MT500 knee pads. Anyone looking for a burly EMTB, enduro, or downhill mountain bike knee pad will be pleased with the stylish looks, quality construction and will have no complaints about the protection either.
Disclosure: Our team selects all of the products we review and do so with honesty and objectivity in mind. Some of the products we receive come directly from Competitive Cyclist, who also value our readers and have offered them a 15% discount (exclusions apply) on their first purchase by using LOAMWOLF15. Through this program we may also receive a small commission at no cost to you. Thanks for your support, TLW.