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Last updated: February 01, 2021
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Mountain bikes add swag to your personality. That is why your cool neighbor suddenly takes a liking to them, along with sports cars, once he starts facing a midlife crisis. But that is not the only demography that prefers them; mountain biking is popular with people of all age groups because it is a fun and exciting hobby that also helps to shed off calories. However, one misstep can lead to fractures and other serious injuries. That is why you need the best mountain bike elbow pads, knee pads, and a helmet to keep you safe while trailblazing.
We have reviewed the best elbow pads on the market based on essential features such as the material used, available sizes, closure system, and colors, among others. The material used should be breathable, durable, comfortable and thick enough to protect you while having a variety of sizes and colors gives you more options to get the right fit and style for you. We evaluated the closure system to ensure the elbow pad fits snugly, stays in place, and can be adjusted if there’s a need.
Based on reviews from experts and verified buyers, we compiled a list of the best mountain bike elbow pads that have been proven and tested. The review below analyzes each model’s features in detail and ranks their performance in a comparison table. We have also included a comprehensive buying guide consisting of an in-depth exploration of the key features, maintenance tips, and an FAQ section. Finally, we present to you our top three favorite mountain bike elbow pads.
There are a lot of features that make these the best mountain bike elbow pads: effective protection, ergonomic design, light weight, and reasonable pricing, among others.
The pads consist of a well-stitched blend of polyester, polyurethane, and spandex featuring a pull-on closure design with elasticated cuffs and silicone printing which secures the pads and prevents slippage. The absence of straps is a plus because they do not have to get in the way of your arm movements or add unnecessary weight to the elbow pads.
You can freely move your arm since these pads are light in weight despite the thick polyurethane foam which features moisture-wicking meshed perforations that enhance breathability and absorbency of sweat.
Alpinestars have left nothing to chance in designing these elbow guards with a contoured shape which hugs your arm from the bicep to the forearm and feels like a second skin.
With seven different sizes available, and an option of black combined with grey, yellow, green, and red colors, you are assured of getting the right fit and style for you.
The elbow pads are CE certified level 1 which is a testament of their compliance with the required health, safety, and environmental regulations.
Sizing issues appear to be the significant complaint so be sure to confirm your size based on the provided chart.
Aramid is used for ballistic-protective and stab-resistant body armor like bulletproof vests, heat resistant garments like safety gloves and firefighting uniforms. It is the kind of material you can count on when looking for the best downhill mountain bike arm and elbow pads. If it can hold up against fire and bullets, it will undoubtedly have your back, or elbow in this case, if you find yourself hurtling past your handlebars.
Comfort is just as important as safety. These elbow pads achieve this with a towel fabric filled with high-density EVA foams which is soft and comfortable on the skin and breathable to absorb sweat and keep you cool.
The unisex pads feature a Velcro-based closure system with two wide elastic straps which can be adjusted for a snug fit that avoids slippage.
They are available in a large size ranging from 14.1 to 15.7 inches with a four-inch circumference above the elbow. Despite the seemingly singular size, they can fit the majority of mountain bikers due to their elasticity.
The pads may lack variety in size, but they make up for it with their diversity in usage. You can use them as protective gear when skiing, skating, snowboarding, working out, or during a martial arts session.
Anyone who has taken part in extreme sports knows how risky it can be. The potential danger is part of the thrill and these elbow pads ensure you are well-protected for any eventuality. We hope the manufacturer can add sizes and colors for more options.
Aeroprene is a breathable and absorbent fabric whereas polyethylene is known for its high density. When you combine these two materials, you get elbow pads that provide an excellent buffer against abrasion and impact while absorbing sweat and dissipating heat from your body to keep you cool and dry.
To prevent slippage, the pads are secured into position with a Velcro closure system consisting of three straps for the wrist, forearm, and bicep, and the mesh sleeve stretches to allow a full range of arm movement.
Mountain biking is an extreme sport which requires you to protect yourself as much as possible. Unlike other brands which only cover some parts of the arm, these elbow pads cover the entire forearm, from the elbow to the wrist, making them one of the best mountain bike elbow pads.
We love the black stylish Robocop look that is sure to win you envious glances from your fellow bikers. The pre-shaped ergonomic design fits like a glove, stays in place and feels comfortable on the skin.
Once done with the grueling ride, you can safely toss the elbow pads in the washing machine for cleaning.
These protective guards are only available in large/x-large. A couple of reviewers found them smaller than the indicated size but they were able to fit in them due to the stretchy mesh sleeve.
If you are looking for the best economy mountain bike elbow pads that will not put a dent in your wallet, this should be your best bet. Bodyprox is well-known for their protective gear which relieves elbow injuries incurred in extreme sports as well as provides a shield for you.
The pads are made with an abrasion-resistant breathable compression fabric with foam padding which is optimally positioned to absorb any kind of hit and alleviate pain from damaged ligaments and joint inflammation resulting from strenuous arm movements. This design offers support and flexibility for a full range of motion while preventing the pads from slipping.
The elbow pads, which are suitable for both men and women, are available in small, medium and large sizes which are black in color to prevent stains. You can wash and dry them in a machine without worrying about deformation.
The pull-on closure design is an excellent feature because it guarantees a snug fit which will not slip or come off when you are speeding through the terrains. Velcro closure can open due to aggressive arm movements associated with extreme sports, or lose their stickiness after a while.
Low pricing, protection, comfort, and mobility have made this one of the best-rated elbow pads on the market. Some buyers found the size bigger than specified while others found the padding slightly thin.
Looking for the best Enduro mountain bike elbow pads? This pair from Fox Racing will do the trick. They are reliable, comfortable and affordable. As one buyer who fell and landed his elbows on rocks points out, their light weight may make you underestimate them, but they are practical and tough. This is attributed to their construction with neoprene, a foamed synthetic rubber which is also known for its elasticity, thus ensuring a snug fit. It is perforated to increase breathability while the moisture-wicking mesh keeps you dry and cool. The pull-on closure system ensures the pads remain in position.
Enduro riders will find these the best downhill mountain bike elbow pads because their light weight and minimalist approach is specifically designed for downhill racing. Some buyers were disappointed by the thin padding, but when you are riding downhill, you need as little weight as possible on you. For tougher trails, you should look for thicker padding.
You can obtain the Enduro elbow pads in grey or red color, and small, medium, large, or extra-large size. A sizing chart available on Fox Racing website will help you to identify the right size for you. If you are still in doubt, it is recommended to go a size bigger since they run small.
The pads can be safely washed in a machine. A couple of reviewers noted poor stitching which ripped so you may need to reinforce the stitches for better security.
What we liked:
Ideal for Enduro riders
Breathable and absorbent
Multiple sizes available
What could be better:
Things to Consider
This guide serves as an excellent shopping reference that equips you with everything you need to know about mountain bike elbow pads. We explain why they are a necessity, delve into their features, maintenance, and diverse usage, and provide more answers on them in the FAQ segment.
Why do you need elbow pads and when else can they be used?
Elbows are probably one of the most exposed parts of your body when you are riding a mountain bike. Their tendency to stick out when you are riding or when your arms reach out to break a fall makes them an easy hit for branches, thorns, and debris along the trail and the unforgiving ground. The constant friction on the joints as you ride can also cause inflammation, soreness and strain on your elbows. The best mountain bike elbow pads support the joints and cushion your elbows from abrasion and impact. They also absorb sweat from your body to keep you dry and comfortable.
In addition to cycling, elbow pads can be used in activities that require striking out, reaching out or frequent arm movements, such as martial arts, skating, skiing, skateboarding, wrestling, hockey, and volleyball.
Features to consider while choosing mountain bike elbow pads
There is a slew of features to evaluate when shopping for the best mountain bike elbow pads, but the following should be paramount in shaping your decision.
Elbow pads feature different types of materials with each having unique qualities that make them suitable as protective gear. Nylon, polyester, chiffon, foam, rubber, and Velcro are the most common kind. Nylon is durable; polyester is elastic, breathable and easy to clean; chiffon is light, breathable and stretchy; foam is soft and an excellent padding; rubber is a low-cost, sturdy and durable buffer; and Velcro is an adjustable fastener. Some brands, such as Webetop Motorcycle Elbow Pads use Aramid fiber for its high resistance against impact.
Material also varies according to the intended usage. For instance, Fox Racing Launch Enduro MTB Elbow Pads are the best mountain bike knee and elbow pads for Enduro racing due to their thin padding, but the same padding may be inadequate for tough trails.
Whatever the material, ensure it is tough to minimize abrasion and impact, well-padded to absorb trauma, soft, stretchy and breathable for comfort, flexibility, and right fitting, and sturdy for longevity.
A brand that offers a variety of sizes increases your likelihood of choosing your perfect fit because it provides you with more choices. It also enables you to buy matching elbow pads for your team, friends or family.
Manufacturers provide sizing charts that you can use to select the right size that will not keep slipping or restrict your blood circulation.
Elbow pads may simply need to be pulled on the arms for a snug fitting or feature a closure system that uses Velcro straps, silicone or cinchers to adjust and secure the pads in position. Each method has its strength and drawback. A non-closure system eliminates the need for extra fabric, but it makes it harder to get a right fit if the material overstretches and loses its elasticity. On the other hand, Velcro straps are more flexible and adjustable but can lose their stickiness and effectiveness.
The high-density nature of foam provides a thick padding that can cushion you against abrasion and absorb the shock if you fall. For an additional layer of protection, you should look for elbow pads with hard-shelled armor plates which have more resistance to abrasion and impact.
All the elbow pads featured on our list are made of breathable fabric which allows free circulation of air and heat dissipation from your body.
The following three models vary in their construction material, form of enclosure and available colors and sizes, but they all share the qualities you expect to see in the best mountain bike elbow pads such as protection, comfort, flexibility, and durability.
When it comes to effective protection, convenient closure system, breathability, heat dissipation and a multitude of colors and sizes, Alpinestars Paragon Elbow Guard delivers. The EC-certified elbow pads will easily match your size, style and personality.
Webetop Motorcycle Elbow Pads made it among our top choices with the high impact resistant Aramid fiber which combines with high-density EVA foams to form a formidable protective barrier for you that fits like a second skin.