iXS Trigger Knee Guards

Vital Rating: (Spectacular)
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iXS Trigger Knee Guards
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Tested: iXS Trigger Knee Guard

If you find yourself in a crash that ends in high-speed bear-hugging the planet, you’ll want the protection of the iXS Trigger guards.

Rating: Vital Review
Tested: iXS Trigger Knee Guard

The iXS Trigger Knee guards have treated us very well during the testing period and yes, they’ve even hit the ground. From deserts to mountains, we have had these pads in all conditions and they have not failed in comfort or protection. They look great as well, with coverage that helps to minimize the shorts-to-knee pad gap that we have seen with other pads. Notably, these pads stay in place without pinching or bunching up. Let's get into it.

Strengths

Weaknesses

  • Comfort and breathability
  • Easy to wear when pedaling
  • Level of protection
  • Design and features that matter, none that don’t
  • Stay in place very well when pedaling, riding, and crashing
  • More protection than other pads that can pedal all day
  • A little warmer than some lighter pads we’ve used
  • Subtle, but noticeable sound when

The iXS Trigger Knee guards have treated us very well during the testing period and yes, they’ve even hit the ground. From deserts to mountains, we have had these pads in all conditions and they have not failed in comfort or protection. They look great as well, with coverage that helps to minimize the shorts-to-knee pad gap that we have seen with other pads. Notably, these pads stay in place without pinching or bunching up. Let's get into it.

Strengths

Weaknesses

  • Comfort and breathability
  • Easy to wear when pedaling
  • Level of protection
  • Design and features that matter, none that don’t
  • Stay in place very well when pedaling, riding, and crashing
  • More protection than other pads that can pedal all day
  • A little warmer than some lighter pads we’ve used
  • Subtle, but noticeable sound when pedaling

Highlights

  • Great protection for trail riding, enduro, and light downhill
  • Excellent strap placement for keeping the pads in place without any chafing
  • Anti Friction fabric on the inside of the knee cups to keep your knees comfy, even when pedaling for hours
  • Great coverage for safety and minimizing that gap between shorts and pads when pedaling
  • Sturdy construction that should withstand the tests of trail and time
  • Good looks all around
  • Asymmetrical design ensures a great fit and comfort
  • Machine washable outers (simply remove the protective pad and follow washing instructions)
  • Sizes: S-XXL
  • MSRP: $139 USD

Initial Impression

The iXS Trigger pads use an asymmetrical design to better fit and protect each leg, which we found accommodating when first fitting the pads. Helping to make sure the pads don't go anywhere is the Loop Lock closings, two per knee pad, that allow you to cinch the kneed pads down if need be, though we did not have issues with the pads moving round. The actual protection portion of the Trigger pads comes from the X-Matter layer inside them. This is a dense, flexible material that dampens forces upon impact much like offerings of other brands. What makes X-Matter special is the ability to take multiple impacts in a single location in succession, providing maximum protection to the rider. Making sure you don't melt on the trail, the super flexible X-Matter later has 20 "Vortex" vents incorporated throughout. Incorporated with the outer, Aero Mesh layer, the Trigger knee pads promise to keep you cool, something we came to appreciate on trail.

On The Trail

Right off the blocks, we were a little concerned the iXS Trigger pads might feel more like OG PRO-TEC pads than the lightweight trail pads we're currently accustomed to. Those thoughts were quickly dispelled as we put them on and started out on the trail. The Trigger pads use an anatomical cut, folding and forming to the rider's legs, they were immediately comfortable and moved nicely with us as we pedaled. Even after pedaling for a couple of hours, the pads were still in place and comfortable. They can virtually be forgotten when riding, which is a pretty high compliment for protective gear.

The one decent crash we had during the test period proved the worthiness of the protection. After landing firmly on the right pad and hitting both knees on the rollout there was no notable pain or damage to the skin. The pads stayed in place throughout the incident and allowed us to get right back on the trail without a worry. A quick rinse to get the dirt off the pads after that and they were good as new. Should rider's need, the X-Matter padding is removable for a deeper washing of the knee pads.

Things That Could Be Improved

The only little gripe we have with the pads is that there is a subtle noise produced when pedaling. It is likely the sound of the fabric stretching and moving over the knee cup.

Long Term Durability

The construction of these pads is top-notch. We have been riding (and crashing) them for four months and they still look as good as they did the day they arrived. They don’t stink, the stitching is holding up perfectly and the fabrics are holding strong as well. There is no reason that these pads wouldn’t exceed expectations for durability and longevity.

What's The Bottom Line?

These pads are excellent. The fit and ability to be worn all day are a great starting point but the iXS Trigger pads don't stop there. The fact that these knee pads actually protect us in a crash means there is no reason to leave home without them. The stellar durability means that we will happily be riding in them well beyond the testing period. They have become a regular part of our riding wardrobe along with a helmet and a pair of gloves. If we’re getting on the bike, we’re putting on the iXS Trigger Knee guards. We are giving these our top recommendation and five stars. Riders in the market should give the latest pads from iXS a serious look.

Visit bike.ixs.com and thegravitycartel.com for more details.


About The Reviewer

Matt Fisher - Age: 38 // Years Riding: 24 // Height: 6’0" (1.82m) // Weight: 190lbs (86.1kg)

Matt discovered mountain biking in 8th grade. It was a welcome escape from becoming an overweight, TV-addicted adolescent statistic. After a long, slow climb through the downhill racing ranks as fitness and skills improved, he landed in the Pro class and was able to make a go of it for 8+ years, winning some local and regional races and qualifying to race as pack-fill in the World Cup Series. In addition to a lifetime of riding and racing bikes, he has worked his entire career in the bike industry, starting as a shop rat sweeping floors at age 15. From there he has held jobs as a mechanic, salesperson, sales manager, global warranty manager, tech manual writer, demo team manager and more. Now he is a trail rider who doesn’t turn pedals against the clock very often, instead choosing to spend his time seeking out new trails and adventures wherever he happens to be. He'll never give up on going fast and playing in the margins.

Photos by Marc Bergreen

Specifications

Product iXS Trigger Knee Guards
Riding Type Enduro / All-Mountain, Freeride / Bike Park, Trail
Pad Type Soft Shell
Material
  • X-Matter flexible viscoelastic foam pads
  • AeroMesh lightweight and anti-bacterial treated 3D performance mesh
  • LoopLock closings
  • Silicone stoppers
  • Knee/Shin Coverage Knee Only
    Size S, M, L, XL, XXL
    Color Grey
    Miscellaneous Asymmetrical Design
    Left and right specifically and individually formed for improved comfort and fit.

    Vortex
    Large vents are directly linked via channels in the X-Matter pads with multiple vents to keep cool air flowing through the pad, moving warm air and humidity out.

    Anatomical Shape and Function
    The ergonomically formed 3D pad allows for highest flexibility and adapts its fit along with body ergonomics. Its flexible folding zone designed for pedaling.

    X-Matter
    Flexible viscoelastic polymer absorbs forces upon impact without hindering range of motion. The open cell compound is engineered to withstand multiple impacts in the same region while retaining its shock absorbing properties. EN1621-1:2012 certified.

    Removable Pads
    Opening for easy removal of protection pad when washing knee pads.

    AeroMesh
    Lightweight and anti-bacterial treated 3D performance mesh, optimized for breathability and moisture wicking.

    2019 model year release
    Price $139
    More Info

    For more info, visit the iXS website.
    For US purchasing, head over to The Gravity Cartel.

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