Racer wants you to stop pulling your pads off over your shoes.
The French glove and protective equipment company has been around since 1927, making gear for skiing, moto and, more recently, mountain biking. The experience shows in its Motion knee pads. There’s a full length YKK zipper on the side of each pad, in addition to two velcro closures to fine tune fit. The zipper allows you to fully remove, and put back on the Motion pad mid ride without having to take off your shoes.
Racer’s Motion knee pads use the popular D30 T4 material for the main protective pads. D30 material is soft and flexible until impact, when it hardens up to provide stronger protection. Each knee pad has one main D30 pad, which is removable to allow for easier washing.
Motion knee pads also offer excellent side protection, with added protection on the outside and inside of the knee on each pad. Racer uses Cordura stretchable material on the front and side of the knee, adding to the pads strength and durability. Inside, an in less impact-prone areas, Airprene material keeps the pad secure, while helping wick perspiration away from your leg. It also keeps the full length of the zipper away from your leg, preventing chafing or catching loose leg hairs while putting on the pads. On the back, is a lighter, mesh material to help keep the pads cool.
Racer Motion knee pads give good coverage both above and below the knee. The added length helps keep the pad in place, as well as providing extra protection from errant rocks and twigs. A bit of extra length on top also helps close the gap between the top of the Motion pad and the bottom of your shorts, for full coverage (and fashion). Racer Motion knee pads also have excellent side coverage, which is often overlooked on pads.
I appreciated the pads reasonably tight fit. Some pads feel like they’re floating around, or fall down my legs quite easily. Once zipped up, Racer’s Motion knee’s felt like they were secure in place, without being too tight or constrictive. Anyone with monster quads or calves may want to check sizing before buying, though. Two velcro straps add a last bit of fine tuning of the fit.
Removable D30 T4 material centre knee pad makes sure the Motion pads remain effective longer. It’s easy to remove and insert – you’re not going to be wrestling with getting it back in. The design of the pad makes it naturally flex into a concave shape when re-inserted. This creates a pocket of space between the D30 material and the knee. That spaces means the Motion pads avoid placing direct pressure on the kneecap, making them much more comfortable to pedal in.
I’ve removed the D30 pad several times to wash the pads without problem. The side protection does still requires that you follow careful care instructions for the Motion knee pad, which come with the pad and are available on Racer’s website. But multiple washes have kept the pads looking sharp and fresh after months of use.
Racer’s Motion knee pad covers a little lower on the front than some pads, which is appreciated when debris and small rocks magically appear on the trail. It definitely adds a bit of warmth on longer climbs, but the pads are so easily removable, or adjustable, that it’s well worth it for the extra protection. For mid-length climbs, for mid-length climbs, I found myself unzipping the bottom of the pad 1/4 of the way. It was enough to let in plenty of extra ventilation while still keeping the pad securely in place.
If you follow the Enduro World Series at all, you’ve seen these pads on the podium protecting Isabeau Courdurier and her Intense Mavic Collective teammates. The pads combination of protection and ease of removal makes them ideal for long days of riding some of the worlds toughest trails.
Velcro closures let you fine tune your fit
Non-slip silicone bands help keep the Motion knees in place
Zippers are covered on both sides to keep them from catching on skin, or trail
The shape of the Motion pad creates a pocket of air above the knee cap to keep pedaling comfortable
Ligther mesh material lets a bit of air through the back of the Motion pad
Racer Motion knee pads, ready for the ride ahead
Racer D30 pads are are excellently constructed and well thought out. They provide a great level of protection in a reasonably breathable package. The ability to use the zipper to put them on and take them off multiple times in a ride makes them excellent for enduro, or any other ride that varies between long pedals and serious descents. They may be more protection than a casual cross country ride requires, but they’re comfortable enough while pedaling that I was happy to leave them on for short to medium climbs, or on rolling terrain. If you ride any trail that requires extra protection and a long pedal access, the Motion knee is an excellent option.