A good performing pad with loads of protection for a decent price
The 100% Fortis Knee Guard is unusual — it’s no slip-on, instead you wrap two big Velcro straps all the way round the back of your thigh and calf.
Then there’s a third, smaller strap between the two that cinches the pad up even closer, just where you calf narrows below the knee.
This gives the Fortis some advantages right from the off, most obviously you can pop it on without taking your shoes off — perfect for those who like to pad up only when they reach the top of a descent. More than that though, the Velcro-close straps are no little nylon bands, they’re huge, and an integral part of the pad itself, meaning you can get an incredibly close fit with the neoprene chassis. The Fortis comes in two sizes, and together with the superlative straps every rider should get a comfortable fit. The silicone grippers backing up the straps ensure the Fortis doesn’t budge an inch when you’re riding.
The main protection comes in the shape of a curved, injection moulded, hard plastic shell that sits nicely on the your kneecap without chafing. The shell is backed up by well-placed foam pads around the side and stretching down the outside of your leg. It’s the shape of the shell that lets the Fortis down though, it’s not quite ergonomic enough — rather than mirroring your knee, it’s too wide and doesn’t have enough curvature resulting in a plastic shell that protrudes too far from its neoprene chassis. It’s almost as if 100% has optimised the space to better display its logo rather than better encompass your knee. It leads to a pad that’s too bulky and that snagged my shorts from time to time, bunching them up.
The Fortis stays firmly in place when you’re riding, it’s cool enough thanks to the cutaway design at the back and its perforated neoprene chassis, while the CE-certified Level 1 protection and light weight make it ideal for trail riding. The bulky plastic shell does take the shine off it, but overall this is a good performing pad with loads of protection for a decent price.