A dirt bike knee brace shares almost the same qualities and features that a medical knee brace does. However, dirt bike knee braces are made specifically for this sport, which means that they do come with some extra features and a more advanced built.
If you look back, such knee braces were only worn when someone would had a knee injury of some sort. The times have changed now, people wear knee braces in order to prevent such knee injuries from happening.
It’s not only the times that have changed, knee braces have also evolved since manufacturers are always trying to do more innovative things and deploy features that really change the way your riding experience goes.
Today, I will point out all the features and the benefits that make a dirt bike knee brace stand out from a medical knee brace. So, let’s not wait any further and get straight into the topic to see what these knee braces are capable of.
Top 5 Best Knee Braces for Dirt Bike Riding in 2021
5. Asterisk Ultra Cell 2.0 Knee Protection System
The Asterisk Ultra Cell 2.0 is probably the most advanced knee brace on the market. The price of this knee brace is not as high but also not as low as some other models on the market. Although, this knee brace comes with plenty of features and a one-of-a-kind technology that truly makes it stand out from most other models.
Everything yells premium, starting from the materials that were used to craft the knee brace to the design and far more. Since we mentioned the design, you can get this knee brace in three different color variants such as black which we are currently reviewing, white, and red.
All colors look exceptionally well, but in my opinion, the black model looks more elegant and sort of serious. You can always choose the other colors if you want something more eye-catching.
Anyhow, apart from colors, you can also choose the sizing. Even though almost any knee brace comes with adjustability features, make sure you choose the correct sizing for your knee to get the most performance out of the product. These sizes include small, medium, large, and extra-large.
When it comes to protection, almost all dirt bike knee braces share the same features, with some small differences of course. For instance, every knee brace has features to prevent hyperextension, which is something that dirt bike boots also do. Apart from that, they also tend to protect the knee cap in one way or another.
You get the idea, right? Even though they all tend to do the same thing, each knee brace does its job but in a different way. That being said, let’s now get more into the specifics to see how Asterisk Ultra Cell performs and what is different about this knee brace.
The first thing that got my attention is the frame. Asterisk Ultra Cell 2.0 has a unique construction where the frame is built with anatomy in mind. For added convenience, the frame features a stiff carbon fiber epoxy construction that makes the brace lightweight yet protective at the same time.
One of the most important features to check when it comes to choosing your dirt bike knee brace is flexibility. You’re going to have to bend your knees when maneuvering or braking or turning, so it’s important that the hinge is asymmetric-glide.
That’s exactly the type of hinge that the Ultra Cell uses. What’s so special about this hinge is that it tracks your knee movement throughout flexion and extension. If you’ve used a brace before, then you probably know that every knee brace allows you to adjust the extension range. In addition, in order to make them fit more precisely and accurately, you can use condyle shims.
Moreover, the adjustable retention control will keep your knee and everything else protected in an event of a crash. Other than that, the anti-rotation tether keeps the boot linked to the brace for allowing the lower leg rotation to transfer the force.
The Asterisk Ultra Cell 2.0 is the most well-rounded knee brace on the market with the best knee cap protection out there. Let’s not forget to mention that the knee brace also features a 3-layer telescoping guard that offers optimum protection all around.
4. Alpinestars Bionic 10 Off-Road Knee Brace
Alpinestars is a very popular brand in the motorcycle gear industry. I suppose you’ve heard of it, or you’re currently using some kind of gear of them, but when it comes to choosing your gear, Alpinestars will always be on top of the recommendations. Apart from knee braces, Alpinestars is also quite known and respected in the production of boots, chest protectors, helmets, and gloves.
If you’re someone who is after brand reputation, well the Bionic 10’s would be the ideal choice for you. However, similar to all the other knee braces out there, the Bionic 10’s can also be very hefty, so not everyone can afford them.
The design as well as all the protective and comfort features were provided for off-road riding in mind. It’s actually very interesting how everything is so well-thought-out, and you can’t really find something that will make you hate these knee braces.
Since we brought up the design, you can only get the Bionic 10’s in black and red color on Amazon, but once you see them, I doubt that you’ll ask for something different. The design is very eye-catching, it carries a futuristic look that really gives a great appearance to the overall aesthetics of the braces.
When you buy shoes, the first thing you want to check out is the size, right? Well, it’s the same with knee braces, if you want to get optimum performance from your knee braces, you have to make sure that you’re getting them in the correct and proper size for your knees.
That being said, you can get these knee braces in 4 sizes, so make sure you find the correct size for you. These sizes include extra-large which is basically 2XL, small, medium, and large. Unlike some other models, the price doesn’t change based on the size you’re getting, so no matter what you choose, the Bionic 10’s will still come at the same price.
The Alpinestars Bionic 10’s are probably the most lightweight knee braces out there, and what makes them really special is their hybrid construction of carbon composite followed by an advanced fiber-reinforced polymer. What you’ll mostly see is only knee braces made of stiff carbon, but that’s not the case here since the construction is a mix of two, which logically not only adds more protection, but also more quality.
All you need to know about the design is that it truly provides an ultra-low profile knee cap. In addition, you also get access to adjusting the hyperextension, and for the most part, it’s very easy to do. Basically, hyperextension can be adjusted through a range of easily replaced, screw-in end stops.
What’s really impressive is the impact-resistance that the knee cap has, while on the other hand, for more convenience there’s a dual-pin hinge that does a great job at tracking and keeping movement exactly as it should.
Before we end, I also want to point out the fact that the quick-release straps carry a one-of-a-kind Alpinestars design, similar to the POD braces that we’ve seen, but only far more advanced and intuitive.
The Bionic 10’s are made with the latest technology and innovative features to not only protect your knee, but to also fit comfortably with optimum flexibility for even the longest rides. The open cup will prevent your knees from getting sweat since it allows for exceptional airflow concentrated around your knee.
3. POD K8 Motocross Knee Brace
POD K8 ranks amongst the most premium motocross knee braces out there. There’s a lot to talk about, features, construction and design, comfort, and so much more. When I first got into dirt biking, I always wanted the best gear and clothing because I thought it would make me look more cool.
Now that I think about it, it’s not just about looking cool, but it’s also about having optimum protection, and being comfortable while riding. If you’re wearing something that makes you lose focus or discomforts you in some way, then that gear has got to go, because undesired scenarios can occur.
It’s important to note that the POD K8’s are probably the most expensive knee braces out there, not only the most premium. So, if you’re really considering purchasing the POD K8’s, then you should know that budget is something you should really consider. You don’t want to spend all of your extra savings for gear, but if you do, the POD K8’s will remain your lifetime knee brace purchase.
I’m saying lifetime because I doubt that you’ll be needing to replace them in any case since they’re durable, made of highest-grade materials, and they have all the latest technologies infused in them for delivering optimum comfort and protection.
To start with, let’s first mention what makes these knee braces be so special. The POD K8 features a full carbon fiber frame that enables the knee braces to be super lightweight yet strong and very rigid at the same time. This carbon construction means that the shape of the braces is very advanced and unique, which also allows for an unparalleled upper leg fit.
In addition, another appealing feature is the combination of hi-tech and the smooth action hinges that allows for optimum comfort even after you’ve worn the braces for long periods of time.
The company itself calls the hinge “Human Motion Hinge” since it’s made with synthetic ligaments made from Vectra Fibers. We haven’t really noticed this feature in the other products that I’ve mentioned, but the hinge housing here provides a smooth surface contact against your knee which prevents abrasion.
These are probably the most important features that you should look out for when searching for knee braces. Since we reached this point, it’s also important to mention that the knee cap is CE impact tested and certified to provide full coverage and protection against heavy contact. Although, that’s not the best part, they are easily removable and you can use them for other purposes as well, which brings up the point that they’ll be your lifetime investment since they’re multi-purpose.
Furthermore, the cuffs are adaptive and they carry a very unique design that allows them to conform to various leg shapes while adapting to muscle movement. This is probably one of my favorite features of this knee brace since it reduces the risk of skeletal fractures.
What made me list this knee brace in the first place was the progressive dampener system. The idea behind this tech is pretty simple, but it does much more than you expect it to. As your leg extends, this tech makes sure for the system to increase the amount of pressure to slow the extension down. Therefore, this plays a huge role when it comes to your leg’s safety.
To make up for the expensive price, the manufacturer provides every buyer with a 5-year warranty, while on the other hand, the company also places a warranty on damaged product. This level of confidence basically tells how quality the POD K8’s are.
2. POD K4-2.0 Motocross Knee Brace
Here we go with yet another POD knee brace. I suppose you already know how quality and well designed POD knee braces are, as we just reviewed the POD K8’s above. What’s better this time is that the POD K4 is not as expensive as the K8’s while they share similar specs and features.
Well, you can really deny the quality of the K8’s, but the POD K4’s are like the smaller brother that are following the steps of the bigger brother.
In terms of the design, you can only get the Graphite/Black model on Amazon, and with Medium/Large sizing. However, you won’t really have to worry about the size since they’re highly adjustable, so you can shape them perfectly to fit different knee sizes.
There are other color variants available, but the Graphite/Black is my favorite for various reasons. Just as the name suggests, dirt biking will get your dirt bike as well as your clothing and gear very dirty, especially when riding on the trails. The Graphite/Black has a unique construction made of the highest-grade materials that truly prevent the surface from getting dirty or dusty.
In addition, the antimicrobial frame liners will not only enhance comfort while riding, but they also tend to reduce odor plus capture the interior straps and clips to anchor the brace to your leg, and stop brace migration during your ride. This is probably the most appealing feature of this knee brace, and for the price, that delivers a great deal of value for money.
Just like I mentioned above, the POD K4 shares similar specs and features with its bigger brother, the K8. So, it’s important to note that this particular model has adaptive cuffs that were designed to conform to various leg shapes, while adapting to muscle movement.
Since we mentioned the construction a couple of times, let’s point out the fact that the Carbon Composite in the main shell enables the knee brace to be as light as possible. If you combine this hi-tech material cuff with the construction, the end result is exceptional flexibility with shock-absorbing capabilities and incredible protection.
How POD mainly gained its reputation is by providing customers with innovative and intuitive features. This is where their ingenious hinge system comes into the spotlight.
What makes the hinge system special is that inside those components, the manufacturer has created a bio-mechanical ligament structure that tracks and mimics the human knee. For more convenience, the two-piece knee cover that makes the hinged joint has a much lower profile than most other three-piece models out there.
Moreover, when it comes to setting them up, it’s pretty easy and it takes only seconds since the knee braces have quick-release straps. Once you find the setting that matches your preference the most, you release the buckles and the next time you use the braces, there’s no need to configure that setup again.
Don’t let anyone fool you by saying that the POD K4’s are budget-friendly, because they’re not. However, they are far more cheaper than some other expensive models and yet they don’t sacrifice quality nor performance for it.
1. Leatt X-Frame Knee Brace
Leatt is a corporation specialized in manufacturing braces. In fact, the Leatt-Brace was an award-winning invention that was specifically made for helmet sports including dirt biking, mountain biking, motocross racing, and so on. This Leatt X-Frame Knee Brace is no different, it’s intuitive and it provides optimum protection, comfort, and flexibility at a far more cheaper price than the other products that we’ve mentioned.
The price that the Leatt X-Frame Knee Braces carry is the recommended starting point if you’re on the lookout for such products.
The first impression that I got from this model is that the brace is very practical. Unlike most other knee braces out there, the Leatt X-Frame allows for adjustment in leg width using the pads. But that’s not all, apart from leg width adjustments, the Leatt X-Frame also allows for angle adjustability at which the brace locks out.
Versatility is one of the strongest points of this knee brace. For instance, if your knee is already injured, you can make the knee brace from extending to entirely straight, and that’s very technical which really shows how well-designed the product is.
Since we mentioned the design, it’s important to note that the Leatt X-Frame comes in 5 different sizes from which you can choose from. These sizes include small, medium, large, x-large, xx-large, so it’s only a matter of decision for you to find the right size for your knee.
Although, you should take sizing seriously because the size plays a huge role when it comes to comfort as well as protection. Color-wise, you can only get the knee brace in black color on Amazon, but I’m not really sure of what other colors are available on different sites.
To continue, the knee brace is made of carbon composite materials which helps keep the weight of the product as light as possible. Following the design, what is more appealing is the full knee-cap protection system that absorbs all the force in an event of an impact.
Other construction features include the metal hinge components, which are far better than the plastic hinges, obviously.
The Leatt X-Frame is the most budget-friendly of all the premium knee braces out there. Price is not the only factor that made me list this knee brace, the Leatt X-Frame comes with plenty of intuitive protection and comfort features that really make it stand out from the other similarly priced products out there.
For example, the hinges are metal and not plastic, the carbon composite shell, the full knee cap protection and for the most part, the anatomical design that accommodates your knee perfectly.
Overall, the Leatt X-Frame is also FCA certified which means that if you get a knee injury you can supply your insurance company with a billing code from the certificate.
What Do Motocross Knee Braces Do?
Knee braces are not only used in dirt biking, many athletes use knee braces to prevent knee injuries. Whether you’re on the trails, a football field, or some other sport, knee braces all have the same role, to protect your knee.
Well, the reason why they are so widely used is pretty simple. If you didn’t know, the knee holds a highly-sophisticated collection of ligaments within, soft tissues and joints. Even though the knees are strong and they’re built to carry the weight of your body, they were not really made to encounter all the impact force and the stress that most sports cause.
As a rider, you already know that motocross is a sport that puts a high amount of pressure on your knees. This is where a knee brace comes into the spotlight. A motocross knee brace absorbs all the pressure and the lateral forces felt by your knee when you’re riding on rough terrains.
The most premium knee braces prevent all sorts of knee injuries from happening, even when things go really wrong. The other way to explain this is that knee braces act like an external skeleton which prevents damage that can come from hyperextension or any other force that can knock your knee sideways.
Why You Should Wear A Knee Brace
What I have learned over the years is that every rider should wear a knee brace and dirt bike boots in order for them to protect the most sensitive parts of their body.
Protecting your knee joint will save you the pain and the health care that you’d have to go through if you ever happen to damage it. So, it’s better to consider such things earlier than later.
Knee joint strains are probably not new to you, because I believe everyone had some kind of knee injuries while growing up, whether it was on a field, playing football, basketball, or some other sport.
That’s the same kind of things that can happen while dirt biking, only that this time far worse because some kind of riding styles in dirt biking are far more extreme than just running in a field.
Knee damage is not something that can be easily repaired, in fact, knee damages are mostly permanent. That being said, by now I believe you have enough facts to come up to a decision.
What To Look For:
When searching for knee braces, there are a couple of things you need to consider if you want to end up with a good product. Some specific features will not only protect your knee joint, but they’ll also play a huge role when it comes to keeping you comfortable.
Therefore, in this giant buying guide, I made sure to include the best knee braces for this year that have all the necessary features for optimum protection, comfort, and durability.
Important features that make a knee brace functional:
- A lightweight construction
- A low profile design
- Adjustable stops for hyperextension
- Adjustable width fitting
- An anatomically designed hinge system
These are all the features that a fully functional dirt bike knee brace should have. Each of them is as important as the other, and you’re going to need all of them to get the most performance out of your knee brace.
As we got all of the product reviews along with the informative articles out of the way, by now I think you have everything you need to come up to a decision.
My top pick for today is the Asterisk Ultra Cell 2.0 Knee Brace. It may be more expensive than the others, however, it comes with the latest technologies and the most premium features for protection and comfort.
Another less expensive option you can go with is the Leatt X-Frame Knee Brace. It has a unique design with plenty of interesting features that do a great job at protecting your knee joints.