Motorcycle Gear to Protect Knees: Fluid Pro Knee Brace by Alpinestars
Following news that Ryan Villopoto is "out" for the 2014 AMA Pro Motocross season, it's time to remind you...protect those knees!
Now, I'm not about to tell you that the latest protection I've been wearing from Alpinestars would have saved Villopoto from having go through surgery and miss the 2014 season. Heck, I'm not even going to suggest that adventure riders ever put ourselves through the physical demands that riders like Villopoto do. What I am going to suggest is that, even for everyday casual motorcycle riders, the Fluid Pro Knee Brace from Alpinestars could make a huge difference for you someday.
I just returned to the U.S. after 4 months of working on motorcycle tours like "Discover Colombia" and "Patagonia, Tierra del Fuego & Ushuaia!" and have nothing but good things to report from my first test of the Fluid Pro Braces. Although I had used the Alpinestars B2 Carbon Brace and 2 versions of their Bionic SX Kneeguards previously, the Fluid Pro's are now my favorite because:
Total Comfort - More so than with the aforementioned knee brace models, I've been completely comfortable wearing the Fluid Pro's whether I'm riding, standing, or walking in them. Don't tease me for mentioning this as such an important point first, though. I usually put them on about 5 minutes after I wake up, and could be wearing them for 10-12 hours or more on the longer riding days of our motorcycle trips. Anything that is a nuisance or even a "distraction" during motorcycle travel can pose a serious safety issue, so it's important that protective gear like this be comfortable. They don't bind, slip out of place, or do anything to distract me. It's as though they are "Fluid" like the name suggests.
Excellent Protection - It doesn't happen often (fortunately) but I have had a crash from time to time. My most recent incident actually involved another rider crashing into the back of me while on a Patagonia tour, and I found myself on the ground before I even knew what had happened. Despite my BMW R1200GSA landing on my leg and the rest of my body taking a significant impact, I simply stood up, brushed myself off, and had to wait 10 minutes or so for the "daze" in my head to clear. Again, that's with a 550+ pound motorcycle that could have done a LOT more damage to my left leg had I only been wearing the foam/rubber padding that comes in most motorcycle pants. Many of us tend to think of "Impact" or "Twisting" being the major factors for knee damage while motorcycle riding. Almost certainly though, I have the rigid shape and construction of the Fluid Pro Knee Brace to thank for keeping me from heading to the hospital and/or surgery due to a crushed knee. (Certainly worth noting here is that I was also wearing other protective gear from Alpinestars that I strongly recommend. You can see which gear on this free whitepaper download.)
Easy On, Easy Off - Out of 4 models of knee braces I've tried, the Fluid Pro's have the best system for taking them on and off. Once I went through an initial "fitting" and adjustment of the straps, I found that the 2 center straps are the only ones I need to touch when getting geared up for the day. See the 2 red button-clips on the photo to the right? I just slide my leg down through the brace, plug those clips in, and that's it! Pre-adjusted and fitted for me, I can put them both on in about 10 seconds each day instead of having to play with velcro or other factors.
Fair Price - How much do the Fluid Pro's cost? Less than your knees. Enough said. Wear them.
RIDE Adventures doesn't sell protective gear, we sell motorcycle tours & rentals. So my motivation for writing this product review is simply to help keep you safe. Well, part of what motivates me might be that you'll stay safe and healthy enough to take one of the motorcycle trips we offer, but hey, can you think of a better "win, win" situation for everyone? When you ride, please think about your safety, and make the investment in the right protective motorcycle gear!