Ninja Speed King Knee Pad Review



Words by Drew Rohde  |  Photos by Max Rhulen

Before we get into our Ninja Speed King knee pad review, we’re gonna share the story of how we learned about this company. If funny stories from pizza parlors take up too much of your time, scroll on down to The Dirt for our impressions and no-BS experience in these pads. So, last year our crew was in Klamath Falls, Oregon wrapping up our eMTB Destination Tour. After a big day of riding awesome trails, we headed into town to try the highly recommended Rodeo’s Pizza. While inside we hear a “Hey, aren’t you Loam Wolf?” We turn around and see two guys enjoying some delicious-looking pizza and say, “Yeah, that’s us!” Richard LaChina stands up to introduce himself as the owner of Ninja MTB products. Along with being a very popular MTB skills and coaching provider around the country, Ninja offers a highly popular line of jump ramps found in big box retailers like Dick’s Sporting Goods. “Our headquarters is right around the street! We build all our ramps right here in Klamath and run the factory around the clock! Do you guys wanna come check it out?” Never ones to say know we grab our pizza to go and head over to Ninja HQ.

We learn all about Richard’s evolution as a business owner, his personal growth as well as the impressive growth his business has seen selling these awesome little ramps. Wanting to offer protection at competitive rates to keep his ramp owners and MTB Skills Class attendees safe, Richard worked with some providers to develop a line of protection products. You may remember the Hooligan knee pads Robert reviewed a few months back.

After taking a tour through the production facility, we took off our safety glasses and stepped into the warehouse. Richard showed us his line of pads and insisted we take some to try out. “Don’t BS me, take these and tell me what you think. If you like ‘em let me know and if I can make them better, tell me,” Richard said. We left with a couple ramps, bike storage stands and knee pads. After we wrapped up the tour and got home he started riding in the pads. I took the slimmer, all-mountain and pedal-friendly Speed Kings. I was impressed right away, and also surprised I had never heard of these knee pads or this company’s product line.

DISCLAIMER After those first rides of really enjoying the pads we reached out to Richard with the opportunity to sponsor our eMTB SL Shootout where we reviewed several of the Best Lightweight eMTBs. We like to work with brands who’s products we enjoy and believe in, so the partnership made sense. Now, that sponsorship did not include a positive review, or any kind of product review for that matter, but we wanted to share this in hopes of assuring our readers that any “paid” for bias or endorsement will never be found on our website.


Ninja’s Speed King knee pads accompany a burlier, more DH focused knee pad in Ninja’s line, the Hooligan. While the Hooligan is big and burly, the Speed King MTB knee pads are breathable and lightweight. The 4-way stretch sleeve, with a mesh back panel, is held in place by two silicone strips, one on at the top and one at the bottom. This combination makes for little movement out on the trail, ensuring that your pads are in place when it matters most. The knee pad itself is a CE EN1621-1 Type-A certified piece of foam that is wrapped in Kevlar for long-lasting abrasion resistance.

The seams are all double stitched and the pads are machine washable. They are ready for abuse. Ninja offers free returns and a 12-month warranty. The Speed King Knee Pads come in sizes S/M, L/XL/, and XXL and retail for a price of $79.99.

Ninja Speed King Knee Pad Review


We have reviewed a lot of knee pads here at the Wolf Den, we all have our personal favorites but all staffers agree on a few select pads. One of those pads is the Race Face Indy. I put the Ninja Speed King pads up there with the Race Face Indy in terms of coverage, fit and comfort. The Speed King pads are noticeably more breathable thanks to the holes in the padding material, but I’d say the Indy’s feel a bit thicker, more protective if you’re borderline pushing into DH-bike zone. The Speed Kings don’t quite cross the genre as fluidly into DH territory, but are a better, more breathable option for every day trail riding to aggressive shredding on 160mm bikes and below.

Ninja Speed King Knee Pad exterior mesh closeupThe Wolf’s Last Word

As a minimalist pad, the Speed Kings are fairly slim, making them great for riders who want to put them under pants or don’t want a big and bulky product. The two things that stood out most to the four riders we had wearing these pads were all-day comfort and the breathability. We rode these on some long, hot days filming and none of our crew were desperate to take them off. No chaffing, hot spots or tender areas from overly aggressive silicone placement. Our only real negative would be the white logo on them as we don’t love how loud the name and logo are. As much as we’d love a glossy black logo, we get why white was chosen from a branding perspective.

If you are an all-around trail rider who wants a pad that’s not overly hot, breathes well, is comfortable for all day rides, multi-ride days where you don’t have to take off your pads or seek a minimalist mountain bike knee pad, the Ninja Speed Kings are pretty dang awesome. We have been riding them a ton since our shootout. On anything from aggressive 120mm bikes up to 160mm eMTB days, these pads will work well and are right up there in terms of comfort with the Race Face Indy, one of my all-time favorite pads. They aren’t the thickest in terms of protective padding, so if you’re pushing hard into the enduro to bike park/DH realm, you may want to check out the review of the Hooligan pads, or some of our other knee pad reviews here.

Price: $79.99

We Dig

Very comfortable
Great ventilation
Solid fit
Easy on and off

We Don’t

Would love a non-white logo


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