With age comes wisdom, or so we hope. I rode motorcycles for decades before wising up to wearing knee braces when venturing off the pavement. I started using them about 10 years ago, and they have protected me on several get-offs since then. But my original braces were never that comfortable, nor easy to fit to my legs. I put up with their quirks and wore them religiously, yet couldn’t wait to remove them at the end of the day. Enter the Leatt X-Frame knee braces: light, easy to put on and adjust, and all-day comfortable.
Designed to reduce both anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligament (ACL and MCL) injuries, as well as meniscus damage, the X-Frames are Leatt’s top-of-the-line offering in double-hinged braces. They are certified to CE standard Knee EN1621-1 for impact protection, and they meet EU and U.S. standards for medical devices.
Made from injected carbon composite, the lightweight X-Frames feature a narrower inside hinge to keep your knee close to the bike and use metal hinge gears to ensure long life and precision movement. The Leatts come with two sizes of hinge pads to tailor the fit over your knees, and a package of spacers to set your preferred hyperextension limit from zero (straight) to 20 degrees in 5-degree increments. Built-in hyperflexion stops are there to prevent meniscus injuries.
Putting on the braces is a three-part exercise outlined in the slim but helpful instructions. First, slip the included comfort sleeves over your legs up to mid-thigh, then attach the X-Frames (left and right are clearly marked) using four hook-and-loop straps that are numbered in the order in which to fasten them. Finally, fold the excess sleeve length at the top and bottom over the braces to prevent the liners from slipping down. When removing them I found it helpful to re-attach the straps to their mates to avert a hook-and-loop nightmare for the next ride. Sizing is from small to 2XL, based on measurements explained on Leatt’s website.
A searing (106 degrees at times) eight-day trip to Nevada provided an excellent test of the X-Frames’ comfort. I wore them all day, every day, even while setting up camp, without discomfort. They fit easily inside my boots, and I seldom had to adjust their position while riding, a big improvement from my former set. With braces as comfortable as these, I can see myself wearing them on any extended ride, whether street or dirt, with the peace of mind that I’m doing the most I can to protect my knees.
Top quality knee protection doesn’t come cheap – the Leatt X-Frames are $269 for a single brace and $499 per pair – but healthy knees are priceless.
For more information, visit leatt.com.