The Fox Enduro Pro is unobtrusive and lightweight, but still offers good impact protection thanks to the D3O insert
The best knee pads come in all shapes and sizes, with heavy-duty, articulated DH pads at one end of the scale and lightweight sleeves at the other. Naturally, they’re designed for different riding styles, so when looking for the best mountain bike kneepads it’s essential you first figure out exactly what you want them for. DH racing? Enduro? Bike park laps? The Fox Enduo Pro knee guard is lightweight so intended for trail use, it comes with a D3O insert, so offers smart protection and a tailored fit.
The sleeve is made from micro-Lycra, which is a little thicker and harder wearing than the stuff used for shorts, but it still dries fast. To stop the Enduro Pro knee shifting out of whack, there’s a silicone gripper on the inside of the upper hem and above the calf. Protection comes from a large D3O insert. This is a smart material which means it conforms to your shape when riding, but hardens if you hit the deck. This insert is also removable, because D3O doesn’t like being put through the washing machine. To ensure a precise fit, the Enduro Pro comes in six individual sizes and is also labelled left and right. Quality is excellent, but then we’d expect that for something costing £90.
First time riding with the Enduro Pro I noticed a bit of chaffing on the back of my knee right where those dots are, and by the end of the ride this area was a bit sore. There were also some red welts on my thigh where the silicone gripper had been pulling my skin. To stop this I’ve started to put the upper hem over my shorts, so that the silicone doesn’t sit directly on my skin, which seems to work. The guard has also stretched a bit, so it doesn’t rub as much at the back.
I’m a big fan of lightweight sleeves, because they offer good protection and low bulk. I can easily slip the Enduro Pro guards under a pair of trousers and still feel safe. I also like that you can wash them easily and there are no straps to fray or pull apart. What I don’t like is the high price, and while I can see Fox has splurged most of the budget on the D3O insert, I’ve tested plenty of similar guards with regular inserts and they’re just as effective.
I’d opt for something meatier on an uplift day, but if you want lightweight protection and unrestrictive movement, the Enduro Pro is a good if expensive option.