POC Oseus VPD Knee Pad

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Where To Buy
Free shipping on orders over $50 (continental U.S. only).
International shipping available. Some exclusions apply.
Free shipping on orders over $50 (continental U.S. only).
International shipping available. Some exclusions apply.
$150.00
Free shipping on orders over $50 (continental U.S. only).
International shipping available. Some exclusions apply.
Tested: POC Oseus VPD Knee Guard
One of POC's latest knee guards mixes all-day comfort with high levels of protection.
Rating:
Vital Review
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The best protection is the one you’re willing to wear when you ride. Much of the work done by protection companies over the past few years seems centered around this concept, as the race is on to produce guards that can be pedaled around in all day yet offer enough protection to make a difference when you actually crash. POC’s Oseus knee guard falls straight into this category, with a level 2 certified pad housed in a comfortable and pedal friendly slip-on design. As part of our ongoing and seemingly never-ending search for the perfect pair of kneepads, we’ve had the Oseus out on the trail for a while to see what gives. Read on to find out!

Strengths

Weaknesses

  • Very comfortable
  • Stable and secure in use
  • High level of impact protection
  • Dedicated lateral protection pads
  • Slim profile
  • Pricey
  • Lacks adjustability, may slip a little during longer rides

POC Oseus VPD Highlights

  • Slip-on design
  • Oseus VPD material for main protective pad and auxiliary lateral pads
  • Main VPD pad is perforated for better breathability
  • Broad operating temperature range
  • Wide top hem silicon grippers
  • Abrasion resistant fabric around the front
  • Certified to CE EN 1621-1, Level 2
  • MSRP: $140 USD // €140 EUR

Initial Impressions

As we’ve become accustomed to with POC gear, the Oseus showed up looking like a million dollars. The materials and workmanship are top-notch, and the minimal branding and aggressive shape of the guard conspire to produce a very purposeful look. The price tag is no less purposeful, placing the Oseus firmly in the realm of the most expensive options out there.

The Oseus is built around a soft, slip-on sleeve equipped with stronger, abrasion-resistant fabric up front. The main protective pad is made from flexible VPD material, which is also found in two small, auxiliary pads down the side of the knee joint. The main pad is certified to the CE EN 1621-1, level 2 standard. Level 2 in this context signifies a higher level of impact absorption capability than level 1 (not to be confused with the CE EN 1621-2 standard which was written specifically for back protection). Level 2 protection is fairly unusual to find in a knee guard, so it’s worth underlining if you worry about direct hits to the knee.

There are no straps of any kind on the Oseus, rather it relies on a wide silicon gripper at the top hem as well as the elasticity and cut of the main sleeve to stay in place. The VPD pads cannot be removed for washing, but the guard can go in the washing machine if need be (cold water, gentle detergent, no tumble drying).

On The Trail

Slipping into the Oseus for the first time, “comfort and cut” are the two first words that pop into mind. The flexible fabric of the main shell feels very soft on the skin, and the size and shape were spot on for this tester (at 1m84/6’0” and 88 kgs, the size L was perfect). Even though there is no cut-out behind the knee, the thin fabric remains comfortable even when bunched up, and the main protective pad hugs the kneecap thanks to its curved shape. The result is a guard that feels very confidence-inspiring without any excess bulk.

Pedaling with the Oseus feels very natural, and the guard soon makes itself forgotten in action. There is an extra layer of articulation in the fabrics between the main pad and the sleeve, which provides all the range of motion needed to accompany your every move. The silicon strips at the top of the hem are reasonably grippy, although not as much as some others we’ve tested. On the other side of that equation, they also don’t pull your leg hairs out by the roots with every pedal stroke…

Over the course of longer rides, the Oseus does a good job of staying in place. We found it would eventually slip down on the leg just a little bit, not to the point of becoming detrimental to performance but just enough to you can feel the top of the main protective pad on the top of your kneecap. A small extra elastic strap positioned above the calf muscle would likely alleviate this issue for good, but this is an individual observation and it may well be that your particular calf shape works differently here (try before you buy, if you can). Since there are no Velcro straps or other adjustments available on the Oseus, it’s crucial to get the fit just right for your anatomy with this one.

We’ve thankfully avoided any major crashes while reviewing the Oseus, but testing the main pad by the “jump down onto your knees” method yielded very positive results. The level 2 certification translates to less impact force transmission to the knee, and it certainly feels that way with our unscientific testing methods. The low profile and tight cut of the Oseus should also mean that it will do a good job of staying in place as you roll around in the dirt. Additionally, we’re always happy to see auxiliary lateral pads being used as they can make a difference when you hit the top tube or crash to the side. Compared to one of our recent favorites, the Leatt Airflex Hybrid, the Oseus delivers a higher level of certification and more padding along the sides, while the Leatt has the upper hand when it comes to all-out comfort and does a marginally better job of staying in place during longer rides. Comparing the Oseus to the 7iDP Sam Hill Knee, they both offer very similar levels of protection with level 2 certification, with the Sam Hill holding the clear price advantage.

Things That Could Be Improved

As we previously alluded to, the Oseus slipped down just a little bit during longer rides for us. We could see the benefit of adding an elastic strap just above the calf muscle as in our experience, this is the best way to ensure bomb-proof retention. This is not a big issue but just something worth pointing out in this section.

As with many POC products, the price is at the highest end of the scale. Whether you feel that it’s worth it is mainly a personal question - we can definitely say that the levels of workmanship, performance and protection on offer do justify a premium here.

Long Term Durability

We’ve not had all that much time on the Oseus yet, but all signs point to many trouble free miles ahead. There are no tears or loose threads to report, and the fabrics have held their shape well so far. We’ll keep using the Oseus and will report back in the future if something untoward should pop up later.

What’s The Bottom Line?

Finding the right pair of knee guards for you is all about balancing different features and aspects against your specific requirements and preferences. The Oseus VPD aims to please a large potential group of riders, for anything from backcountry epics to days in the bike park. The slim profile and high comfort factor make these a great choice for anybody who pedals their bike a lot but still wants the peace of mind of proper protection when needed - they are also easy to fit under pants. CE EN 1621-1 level 2 protection is not commonplace in this category, something to bear in mind if that criteria is high on your wish list. Yes, the Oseus VPD price tag puts it right among the most expensive options available, but you do get a very well finished product that delivers above average protection in the category.

More information at: www.pocsports.com.


About The Reviewer

Johan Hjord - Age: 48 // Years Riding MTB: 16 // Weight: 190-pounds (87-kg) // Height: 6'0" (1.84m)

Johan loves bikes, which strangely doesn’t make him any better at riding them. After many years spent practicing falling off cliffs with his snowboard, he took up mountain biking in 2005. Ever since, he’s mostly been riding bikes with too much suspension travel to cover up his many flaws as a rider. His 200-pound body weight coupled with unique skill for poor line choice and clumsy landings make him an expert on durability - if parts survive Johan, they’re pretty much okay for anybody. Johan rides flat pedals with a riding style that he describes as "none" (when in actuality he rips!). Having found most trail features to be not to his liking, Johan uses much of his spare time building his own. Johan’s other accomplishments include surviving this far and helping keep the Vital Media Machine’s stoke dial firmly on 11.

Photos by Johan Hjord

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Specifications

Product
POC Oseus VPD Knee Pad
Riding Type
Dirt Jump / Slopestyle
Downhill
Enduro / All-Mountain
Freeride / Bike Park
Trail
Pad Type
Soft Shell
Material
Soft shell with perforated visco-elastic VPD padding
Knee/Shin Coverage
Knee Only
Size
S, M, L, XL (size guide included in product photos above)
Color
Black
Miscellaneous
  • Certified to EN 1621-1, level 2 standards, protection
  • Tested across a large temperature range (-20°C and +25°C)
  • Extra protectors on the inside of the knee protect against knocks from the bike frame
  • Slip-on design with wide elastic grippers for all-day comfort and security
  • Provides extreme flexibility with no resistance against leg movement
  • Price
    $140.00
    More Info
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    Where To Buy
    Free shipping on orders over $50 (continental U.S. only).
    International shipping available. Some exclusions apply.
    Free shipping on orders over $50 (continental U.S. only).
    International shipping available. Some exclusions apply.
    $150.00
    Free shipping on orders over $50 (continental U.S. only).
    International shipping available. Some exclusions apply.
    Knee/Shin Pads

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