Build quality is great on Race Face Roam Knee Guard, and attention to detail is superb, from the soft terry towelling inside to the ripstop outer material.
The Race Face Roam pad uses a TPU skid plate to protect your knee, it’s half way between a solid plastic shell and a soft pad and the idea is it’s both flexible for improved comfort and tough enough to protect you in a crash.
Backing that skid plate up is a Kydex pierce-proof layer to stop anything sharp burying itself in your knee, and a high-tech D30 pad to absorb the energy from a crash. Finally there’s a conventional foam pad on both the inside and outside of your knee. It’s a formidable level of protection, one that covers all bases and offers some of the best protection out there.
Race Face has designed the Roam to be as easy as possible to use, as such there are sturdy Velcro tabs running down the outside so you can take them on or off without whipping your shoes off too. This is a good concept because you can tweak the fitting and get it exactly how you want it. If you live somewhere with very big hills it also makes a lot of sense to ride up without them on and just strap them to your knees just the once at the top. If you ride somewhere with dozens of little ups and downs though, it’s less useful.
The Roam is a little too bulky though, you might struggle to fit it under some riding pants and the hem of some short legs repeatedly hooked up on the top of the pad. I was never completely happy with the fitting system either, some shorts got stuck to the exposed Velcro.
There’s no denying that the Race Face Roam Knee Pad offers great protection for your knees, and it’s a reasonably comfy pad to wear. I like the fact you don’t have to take your shoes off to pop them on, but what you gain here you lose in the extra faffing you need to get the fit just right.
Race Face has been making good knee pads for years and it really shows.