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Reviews > 2010 Season Kit Review: RaceFace FR Leg Armour

SUMMARY: Offers great protection, however the durability is poor.

I have used RF armour for several years now, purely because I love the protection it offers. The armour is very robust, offering protection from the ankles up to above the knee, and wrapping around the side of the legs, offering protection to the vulnerable sides of the knees and calves. The armour is held in place with 3 straps below the knee and two straps which wrap around either side of the knee, and feels very secure once in place. I have fallen in this armour dozens of times and have never had it shift on impact. The solid plastic which covers the front of the leg is split just below the knee, offering a flexible joint which lets the knee move, this works well for going down hill but is way too inflexible to allow pedalling for any distance. If you are foolhardy enough to try this, then I find the results to be serious chaffing and rapid exhaustion as you fight against the material.

Some pictures of my repair jobs:

The padding and plastic of these pads are very durable and mine are two seasons old with barely any damage. It is just a very great pity that Raceface couldn’t have given the rest of the armour the same level of durability. Within a few months of purchase, on each of the three pairs I have owned, the straps and buckles which hold the lower leg in place have come adrift. The fault seems to be with the stitching which is either rubbing and fraying, or rotting with the sweat. Either way it is unacceptable. The other fault I have found with these pads is the fit; I ordered the largest size and find that they only just fit around the calves. I have cyclists legs but I certainly don’t have calves like a singlespeeder! The same problem exists with their arm pads, they are just too small for anyone with mans arms.

I think that these pads are worth a buy, they are fairly light, not too expensive and offer good protection. I would advise that you check the fit before you buy them though. The buckles can be sewn back on, it takes a small cordless drill, a huge needle, a thimble and some sailing thread, about 30minutes a buckle and invariably a small amount of blood.

  + Protection – great coverage and stay in place during crashes. + Reasonably light weight and a good price, considering the protection offered.

– Durability of the stitching is very poor for a pad which otherwise has such great quality.

– Very uncomfortable to pedal in. I thought this was “moon on a stick” stuff but my POC’s are fine for moderate uphills.

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