Knees pads are a hard thing to get right. I’ve ridden with some great ones over the years… and some really, really bad ones that I thought would have been good. It’s hard to tell how good they’re going to be until you take a tumble. Personally, I feel naked if I don’t ride with knee pads on. My confidence just isn't there and I know that one bad crash could mean f$cked knees for the rest of my life (and knee surgery looks like a total ball ache). I’ve been close to this a couple of times.
One of my biggest pet peeves is knee pads that slip down during a crash. There is nothing worse than buying a new set of knee pads you're stoked on, only for them to slip down your leg during a tumble, doing nothing to protect your knee. It's the worst. So, where does the 100% Teratec plus come in? Well, with a massive silicone webbing covering the inside cuffs on the top and bottom of the pad, these pads stay in place even after the biggest rags. The Teratec Plus work on a tight fit versus straps. This style of tight fitting pad can be hard to put on sometimes, but 100% have been smart and added a small hand pocket/handle for helping you pull the pads up. On top of the small pocket, and around the guard itself, is a thin layer of padding which just adds a little extra protection.
I’ve been using the Teratec Plus as my daily pads for the last few months. They have been on all sorts of adventures and rides, from big hike-a-bike days in the back country to quick loops of my local trails in all sorts of different weather: wet, dry, hot or cold. I went for the medium size as it's the size I normally choose when going for knee pads. Over the first couple of rides they felt a bit tight - the big silicone cuffs caused a bit of uncomfortable friction on my lower thighs. After a few rides, though, they stretched out slightly and the friction disappeared. This seems to be a common theme with compression-fit pads.
The Teratec Plus is aimed at the Enduro end of the spectrum, promising ‘Level 1 Protection’ in a pad you can pedal all day in. I can definitely say that both these claims are true - the protection level certainly lives up to the marketing hype. I've had some massive rags with these pads on and come out the other side with only a bruised ego. I'm a really big fan of the extra bits of pad they have added around the actual knee protector, as these help with awkward little bumps that can hurt a lot more that they should - funny bone knocks but in your knee. The ventilated mesh around the back of the pads do a good job of keeping you cool, but they still run a little hot in comparison to a lot of the lighter weight pads. You can kind of notice the knee pads when you first put them on, but after about half an hour of pedalling you forget you’re even wearing them. They are low enough profile that they easily fit under your shorts, and are long enough that you don't get the dreaded twat gap. They are a good length over all, covering the area you are most likely to hit in the event of a crash.
Over all, I would say 100% Teratec Plus Knee Guards are the best pads I've used in the last few years. Offering great protection, you can ride all day in them if you don't mind a slightly hot knee, with the main thing being that they don't slip down in the event of a crash. I would happily ride laps of the bike park with these on, then head off on a three hour pedal in full confidence that if I have a crash, my knees are probably going to be fine.
Distributor: FE Sports
Words: Liam Friary