Dainese Trail Skins Pro feel reassuring when in the correct position, and really well made from quality materials, but doesn’t stay in place enough.
This latest Dainese Trail Skins Pro is the culmination of all their knowledge and packs a lot of features in a mid-protection level kneepad with excellent ventilation and an impact-hardening breathable polymer cap.
The Italian brand has used body mapping to shape the Trail Skins sock to match cyclists’ legs and, on top of that, both upper and lower elastic retention bands are width adjustable using a wrap-over Velcro tab. Inside these cuffs, silicone gripper strips – to prevent pads shuffling about and provide friction against skin – are laid out in a vertical pattern, rather than a continuous circular band like other brands’ pads.
Compared to the very best mountain bike knee pads, Dianese’s upper thigh cuff doesn’t extend as high up the leg, and I also found the upper opening looser than other brands’ large pads. This is even with the tabs cinched tight, and the overall fit elsewhere is nice and tight around the kneecap and calf. This meant that, combined with the perforated knee guard portion being less flexible than it looks, I struggled to keep the Trail Skins in one place.
This was especially true when pedalling seated, where it seems like the continual bending of the protective webbing section continually wriggles the pads lower and lower while riding. I’m not alone in thinking this, as other testers here have had the same issue.
To improve this, I believe the retention cuff at the top needs to sit much higher up and use a tighter fabric with greater tension and compression on the thigh to prevent unwanted movement. Obviously, stopping the Dainese Trail Skins Pro pads wriggling down will ensure all the protective features like well-placed pads on the side and upper shins do their job. Furthermore, while I didn’t crash, it also looks like the perforated kneepad will dig in the dirt rather than slide if you did, and potentially pull the kneepad down the leg.