The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of outdoor gear

Fox Racing Enduro Knee Sleeve Review

A lightweight and extremely pedal-friendly knee pad with a minimalist approach.
Top Pick Award
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Price:  $60 List | $44.96 at Competitive Cyclist
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Exceptionally pedal friendly, comfortable, lightweight
Cons:  Not very protective, soft material may tear easily
Manufacturer:   Fox Racing
By Pat Donahue ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Jul 1, 2019
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72
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#5 of 8
  • Protection - 30% 4
  • Fit and Comfort - 20% 9
  • Pedal Friendliness - 20% 10
  • Ventilation and Breathability - 20% 9
  • Durability - 10% 4

Our Verdict

The Fox Racing Enduro Knee Sleeve is a lightweight knee pad that is perfect for long rides with plenty of pedaling. These light duty pads are best suited for experienced riders who are simply looking for a little additional piece of mind. These pads earned a Top Pick as a lightweight option. The Enduro Knee Sleeve has an excellent fit and soft feel against the leg. The pad is secure and does not want to shift around on the leg, and they have a tremendously pedal-friendly feel. They scored at the top of the test class as the best knee pads for climbing and pedaling. At $60, the Enduro Knee Sleeve is a decent value. The performance and fit are fantastic, but some might find these pads to be a little spendy for how outstandingly simple they are.


Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards Top Pick Award Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award  Top Pick Award 
Price $44.96 at Competitive Cyclist
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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Star Rating
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Pros Exceptionally pedal friendly, comfortable, lightweightWisely-placed protection, dialed fit, reasonable priceHigh levels of protection, quality of constructions/materials, secure fitWell-rounded, comfortable, solid protectionComfortable, pedal-friendly, excellent fit
Cons Not very protective, soft material may tear easilyNot the most pedal-friendly, sleeve could be longer at topHeavy, not best for substantial amounts of pedaling.Over-desgned in spots, pad lifts off knee at bottom of pedal stroke, styleSmall armored area, some may find aesthetics to be unattractive
Bottom Line A lightweight and extremely pedal-friendly knee pad with a minimalist approach.A high-quality and versatile knee pad that splendidly blends protection and pedal-friendliness.An aggressive, gravity-focused, knee pad that delivers exceptional protection and impressive quality.A reliable knee pad that delivers solid, if not outstanding, performance.A comfortable and pedal-friendly light to mid-duty knee pad.
Rating Categories Fox Racing Enduro Knee Sleeve Leatt Airflex Pro 7Protection Project Knee Kali Protectives Strike Six Six One Recon
Protection (30%)
10
0
4
10
0
9
10
0
10
10
0
8
10
0
6
Fit And Comfort (20%)
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
7
10
0
9
Pedal Friendliness (20%)
10
0
10
10
0
7
10
0
5
10
0
7
10
0
8
Ventilation And Breathability (20%)
10
0
9
10
0
7
10
0
5
10
0
7
10
0
7
Durability (10%)
10
0
4
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
7
10
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6
Specs Fox Racing Enduro... Leatt Airflex Pro 7Protection... Kali Protectives... Six Six One Recon
Weight 99 grams/individual, 198 grams/pair 128 grams/individual, 257 grams pair 210 grams/individual, 420 grams/pair 172 grams/individual, 343 grams/pair 74 grams/indiviual, 147 grams/pair
Padding material not specified 3D molded padding, hardens on impact Sas-Tec kneecap pad with flexible hard cap/polygon foam Xelion Padding, EVA on the sides Poron XRD
Body Material Perforated neoprene Moisture Cool, Airmesh Pro-knit breathable sock Mesh Lycra, stretch mesh
Adjustments? No No Center strap system (top), Velcro from both sides Velcro strap (top) No
Safety Certifications not specified CE EN 1621-1 CE EN 1621/1 CE 1621-1 CE
Available sizes S - XL S - XXL S-XL S - XL S - XL

Our Analysis and Test Results

Analysis and Test Results


The Fox Racing knee pads scored well in some very important categories. Fit, comfort, and pedal friendliness were obvious strong suits. That is what makes these pads such a fantastic option for long hours spent in the saddle. Protection and durability were categories that the Enduro Knee Sleeve didn't fare quite so well. These pads scored very closely with the Troy Lee Designs Speed Knee Sleeve with the Fox pads having an edge in protection and fit.

Performance Comparison



The Enduro Knee Sleeve  confusingly enough  are not really designed for enduro-level terrain.
The Enduro Knee Sleeve, confusingly enough, are not really designed for enduro-level terrain.

Protection


The Fox pads take a minimalist approach to protection. It is clear they weren't designed for charging down rowdy terrain or hucking it big, that was never the intention for these pads. Instead, they offer a dose of protection while remaining extremely light, comfortable, and pedal-friendly.

The padding on the front of the knee pad is soft to the touch, and it extends from the top of the knee cap down the shin a little ways. In addition, there is some added coverage on the sides of the knee, which can prove critical. This padding is not a shell or an exterior armor like the Leatt Airflex or the Six Six One Recon, it's just a cushy sleeve. The layer of padding is quite low profile and not bulky. There is minimal information about the material on the Fox website. It doesn't appear to be a technical layer that firms up upon impact, just some simple padding.


We didn't crash while wearing these pads, but we did some very basic and simple impact testing. While the padding does take the edge off, you can still feel impacts through them. These pads, along with the Troy Lee Designs Speed Knee Sleeve, offer the least amount of protection in the test. They will take the edge off a crash and might prevent some cuts, scrapes, and bruising, that said, it will still hurt, and they won't protect you as well as more robust and protective models.

The sleeve itself is relatively long. It covers the leg from the short line down to the high shin area and delivers an element of sun protection. Also, this provides a bit of protection from thorns or branches that you might brush up against on the trail.

If you need a step up in protection but want to retain a pedal-friendly fit, the Six Six One Recon and the G-Form Pro X2 pads have a bit more protection. The Editor's Choice Leatt Airflex Pro offer the best blend of protection and pedal-friendliness.

These pads offer an excellent length and more protection than the Troy Lee pads.
These pads offer an excellent length and more protection than the Troy Lee pads.

Fit and Comfort


The Enduro Knee Sleeve offer a great fit and high level of comfort. The long black sleeve is pleasant against the skin. It isn't scratchy or irritating in the least. The pads are snug without feeling too tight. They don't cut off circulation, but they are tight enough to feel like they will not move. There is no excess or bulky material, and the fit appears to be well-designed and well-executed.


While the softer and thinner armored pads may detract from their overall protectiveness, they are exceptionally comfortable. Some of the other pads are a bit stiff and scratchy on the inside where they sit against the knee. Pads like the Kali Strike and Leatt Airflex Pro have a firm feel inside. The armored plate style pads like the G-Form Pro X2 and Six Six One Recon have somewhat of a textured and plated feel against the knee. The soft and foamy feel of the Enduro Knee Sleeve pads is exceptionally comfortable whether you are standing around or spinning the pedals.

Pedal Friendliness


The Enduro Knee Sleeve pads are tremendously pedal-friendly. These pads are our Top Pick for bigger and longer rides. If you are looking to do substantial amounts of climbing, these are the pads for you. They are comfortable, light, and do not restrict the pedal motion in the least. Another fantastic choice for top-notch pedal-friendliness is the Troy Lee Designs Speed Knee Sleeve. The Troy Lee Designs pads have a slightly shorter fit and don't offer the same levels of protection, that said, they are still exceptionally pedal-friendly.


One quirk about the Enduro Knee Sleeve is at the top of the pedal stroke. The one-piece pad doesn't quite sit flat against the knee cap at the top of the pedal stroke and it kind of squares off on-top of the knee cap. It is quite visible when looking down at the knee from the saddle. This isn't a serious problem, but it is a bit of a quirk. Since the knee pad is soft, this doesn't irritate the knee or cause any abrasion. It would be interesting to see if a multi-piece pad design negates this issue. The Troy Lee Designs Enduro Knee Sleeve share this problem to an extent, but they attempted to use a shaped pad to negate this. Since the pad is larger on the Fox, the issue is more noticeable.

Ventilation is impressive  the rear mesh allows heat to escape while the foamy padding on the front allows small amounts of air to pass through.
Ventilation is impressive, the rear mesh allows heat to escape while the foamy padding on the front allows small amounts of air to pass through.

Ventilation and Breathability


These pads offer decent ventilation. The stretchy material on the sleeve wicks moisture away from the skin. If you catch a breeze in the right direction, you can feel some wind coming through the rear of the pads. The soft padding in the front of the pad allows more airflow compared to the hard shell options.


Given the nature of knee pads, they will never be as airy and cool as not wearing anything. That said, these pads have solid ventilation and given their lightweight construction, are cooler than the other pads we have tested save for the even more slender Troy Lee Designs Speed Knee Sleeve.

Durability


Throughout the testing period, we observed no signs of seams or stitching failing. The pads look the same way they did when they were brand new. We have no reason to believe these will not hold up for the long haul under normal use.


We do have serious concerns about how these pads will hold up in the event of a crash. The soft material and soft pads seem likely to rip and tear if you crash at speed. The majority of other pads in our test have some hard, outer layer in the form of a hard plastic cup or a plated style plastic armor. These materials can survive being dragged on the ground during a crash. The soft fabric on the Enduro Knee Sleeve or the Troy Lee Speed Knee Sleeve will not stand up to crashes as well as more robust models.

The pads can be taken on and off over your cycling shoes. It takes a strategic approach, but they are stretchy enough to get a shoe through. We recommend being careful as trying to shove your shoe through clumsily can put too much stress on the seams and fabrics.

Comfort  breathability  and pedal-friendliness are the hallmarks of the Enduro Knee Sleeve.
Comfort, breathability, and pedal-friendliness are the hallmarks of the Enduro Knee Sleeve.

Best Applications


The Fox Racing Knee Sleeve is a great choice for riders who want to do substantial amounts of pedaling but seek a small element of protection. These are best suited for trail riders who aren't riding heavy doses of gnar and have the skills generally avoid crashing.

Riders who like the sound of a pedal-friendly knee pad but want some added protection should check out the Six Six One Recon or the G-Form Pro X2 pads. Want to take a serious step above that in terms of protection? The Editor's Choice Leatt Airflex Pro are killer pads that have far superior protection but can't come close to matching the pedal-friendliness. Generally, the more protection found in the pads, the less pedal-friendly they are.

Value


At $60, the Enduro Knee Sleeve are a decent value. Some folks may evaluate these pads and notice that they are straightforward and there isn't much to them. They are about as basic as can be. That said, they work well and offer great pedal-friendliness, which helps justify the slightly higher price tag.

The Enduro Knee Sleeves are a pedal friendly option that provide moderate levels of protection.
The Enduro Knee Sleeves are a pedal friendly option that provide moderate levels of protection.

Conclusion


The Fox Racing Enduro Knee Sleeve are a great choice for trail riders seeking a lightweight and pedal-friendly solution. People who plan on grinding uphill for substantial periods will love these pads. Also, riders with the skills to keep the bike upright and their knees off the ground will especially love these. A notable downside to these pads is that they may not stand up to more than one crash given the soft material used in their construction.


Pat Donahue