You know that feeling of having a knee pad slipping around, rubbing your skin raw, or attempting to stop any blood from getting around your legs? You don’t? Then there’s a good chance you’re wearing Bluegrass Skinny D3O® Knee Guards.
I have been riding with these for a few months now and overall I’ve been impressed. Considering the €100 price tag this is a good thing.
For your money, you do get large genuine D3O® pads with a bit of Kevlar fabric sewn into the shells for added durability. These give great coverage but are not removable, they won’t move. But some people may not like the idea of machine washing them. Personally, I’ve washed them plenty of times without any issue but it’s something to think about.
The skinnies are held up with none adjustable silicon bands, the lion’s share being at the bottom. They hold the kneepads in position well, but a slightly larger contact patch would have been nice.
The whole construction is tubular which means it’s essential to try these on before purchasing to make sure they fit. I found they came up smaller than I had anticipated. It also means you’ll need to take your shoes off to put them on. In the interest of reducing trailhead faff I’ve been driving to my various rides whilst wearing them, with no discomfort, I must add, even on a regular hour-long jaunt to one of my regular trails.
On the trails climbing, cruising, charging and even walking have all been comfortable affairs. I’ve had a few light scrapes and knocks and the Kevlar reinforced front has not abraided, torn, bagged or bobbled. All in all, it is, as Bluegrass claim, a premium product.
Weight wise these are not the lightest or the coolest, not so heavy much that I felt like I was anchored down, but a satisfying amount of heft that inspires confidence that they will do their job when they’re required. This was something I noticed when I first put them on and then quickly forgot about once I started to spin the pedals. One flaw I found was, that at the rear of the shell, behind my knees, the material was a little easy to tear on the pins of my flat pedals. It’s just a matter of being a bit more careful and not a problem at all for those who ride clipless.
I like them. They are light enough for all-day pedalling and strong enough for charging through rock gardens. The rear is a bit easy to tear but show me a pad where this isn’t an issue. I paid good money for these and I’m glad that I did.