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Race Face Ambush Elbow Pad

Average User Rating: (Very Good)
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Great fitting pad with excellent protection

Rating: Featured Member Review
The Good:

Great protection, comfortable, and durable

The Bad:

On the warm side. Can feel a little bulky

Overall Review:

Elbow protection is my white whale. I've looked endlessly for the "perfect" set of elbow pads only to be denied. I realize elbow pads are out of fashion, but I put them on the same level as knee pads if not more. Almost every crash has put my elbows in harms way so I want a level of protection that is more than what is currently offered with the sleeve/glorified arm warmer design but not full blown downhill protection. I would put the Ambushes in the middle with a slight bias towards DH protection.

With so many different brands and body types, finding the right fit is almost impossible unless you're able to try them in the store. I wasn't able to try these on before purchasing but fortunately the size guide worked (which is not always the case). The Ambush's offer a sleeve design with light mesh in the center and a velcro adjustment strap on the bicep. Raceface's D30 is surprisingly soft and there is a little bit of extra padding in the interior. This all makes for a comfortable feel against skin and not a hard feeling like I've experienced with IXS pads and even POC airs to some extent. I also like the length of these pads. Not too long and not too short. They are on the warm side if you live in a hot climate, but where I live in the PNW it's not an issue.

On the trail, they feel a bit restrictive at first but soon "warm" up and arm flexibility is pretty good. I don't feel them after a while. I've taken a few falls and they've held up fine and have stayed in place for the most part. The D30 works to keep the elbow protected. They sometimes migrate down the forearm every once in a while, but I'm yet to find an elbow pad that doesn't do that.  I've had them for about 3 years now and they've held up to the wash, the stitching is still holding strong, and there's no tears in the mesh.

What could be improved: I wish they made a slightly lighter profile version of this pad with a velcro adjustment strap not only at the bicep but also at forearm. If not, at least have some silicon on the forearm part to prevent slipping. The hook and loop should be reversed, too. As of now the strap part is the loop (soft) side which leaves the rest of the pad with rough hook side which snags on shirts and jackets. There's no chance that the hook side would touch skin for those between sizes so it's a no brainer to switch orientation. 

Conclusion - The Race Face Ambush is the best elbow pad I've found to date, and I've used and tried on many only to return them unhappy. In its current form, it's a really good pad. With a few small updates it could easily be the white whale I've been looking for. 


Product Race Face Ambush Elbow Pad
Riding Type Freeride / Bike Park, Downhill, Dirt Jump / Slopestyle
Pad Type Soft Shell
Forearm Pads D30™
Sizes S - XXL
Color Black
Miscellaneous Comfortable elbow pads that stay put throughout the ride.
Featuring D30™ high performance shock absorbing foam.
Perforated Neoprene enhances venting and moisture control.
Terry lined for wicking and comfort.
Soft mesh panel at inner elbow to keep cool.
Woven upper elastic strap and lower Neoprene comfort strap.
Branded rubber grab tabs.
Price $79.99
More Info

​​Race Face website

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