Alpinestars has a lengthy history of manufacturing protection for motocross heroes and household names of Formula1, but it's Alpinestars Paragon Plus knee pad that’s aimed at the trail and enduro disciplines of mountain biking.
Can Alpinestars compile this wealth of knowledge and produce something worthy of the best mountain bike knee pads? Keep scrolling as Bike Perfect finds out.
Slim in profile and low in weight the Paragon Plus knee pad from icons Alpinestars is designed to offer a good balance of all-day comfort and proper protection - to do this it uses a stretchy elasticated sleeve design to house a Level 1 CE-certified knee protector pad. Alpinestars states the Knee protector pad itself is contoured in shape to offer a comprehensive, anatomical fit. The pad is also perforated and secured in a mesh pocket to enhance breathability and help keep core operating temperatures cooler. However, it’s worth noting the pad isn’t removable from the material sleeve which may mean washing and drying is trickier and more time-consuming than some of the best knee pads on the market.
The Paragon Plus uses a series of carefully placed rip-stop fabric reinforcements for added durability to help keep things together should the inevitable happen. We’ve spent our testing period traipsing through the often sharp summer foliage and they’re yet to show any sign of ripping or tearing, so the fabric appears to perform as stated.
There are silicone strips placed at the top opening and around the calf, but unfortunately due to their small size and lack of stickiness, it’s these that hinder the Paragon plus’ performance, comfort and overall protection.
At the point of installation, the Paragon Plus pads feel dialed - their extended fit offers great coverage and the shape of the pad naturally conforms to your knee providing a cupped-in feel. This feeling is exaggerated in the on-bike position as you’re greeted with awesome leg-conforming comfort, but unfortunately, this is soon forgotten within the first few moments of a ride. Within minutes of pedaling, the top of the pads begin to move around, roll over and shift from side to side, causing the knee pads to annoyingly slide down this tester's legs. We put this down to the size of the small and narrow upper silicone strap not being secure or sticky enough to provide the required hold. If you’re between sizes going smaller may help, but we think the fundamentals are missing for this to be the total cure.
Due to us not crashing the Paragon Plus pads during testing we can’t comment on how they’d stay in place if you did hit the deck, but the hindered security when pedaling or hammering down the roughest tracks is enough to give us doubts.
These Alpinestars pads have potential - the fit is good, the flexible construction is comfy, and the $54.95 / £50 price tag is rather appealing. With updated silicone straps we don’t doubt these Alpinestars Paragon Plus pads would be up there with the best knee pads on the market.
While they appear to be well made, offer good coverage and contain a safety-rated pad, due to the simple fact they just don’t say in place when pedaling or rallying down rough terrain makes the Paragon plus knee pad hard to recommend, especially when there are so many top-performing knee pads currently on the market.
Tech Specs: Alpinestars Paragon knee pad
- Price: $54.95 / £50
- Sizes: XXS, XS, S, M, L, XL, XXL
- Colors: Black, Yellow, Red, White