A lot has changed in Sam Hill’s equipment since moving his focus to the EWS, pulverising his competition there instead of the World Cup downhill circuit. Seven Protection has developed a knee pad especially for hard enduro stages, the new Sam Hill Knee, and we’ve had a chance to review them for you.
What do you do if you are one of the best riders in the world and can’t find the right equipment? You create your own signature product. In the case of Sam Hill, in addition to grips and pedals, you’ll be able to get knee pads now too. He worked side by side with the guys and girls of Seven Protection. They took the Transition Knee and developed it further, becoming the Seven Protection Sam Hill Knee. The goal: a lightweight knee pad that offers a lot of protection, is well ventilated, and can be worn all day long without slipping.
With the Sam Hill Knee, Seven Protection got rid of the Velcro straps, using a long sock made of stretch material instead. Together with silicone strips that “stick” even to sweaty skin, the Sam Hill Knee is prevented from slipping. Even when pedalling for hours or in the event of a crash, the snuggly fitting protectors remain in place. The pressure of the thin material is distributed evenly over a large area and after a few turns of the cranks, you’ll forget that you’re wearing them.
When you first put them on, the edges of the protective pad made of visco-elastic foam are somewhat unpleasant, but once you warm up, your body heat helps them to take the shape of your knees. All around the foam is an additional ring made of protective material, which is particularly useful in protecting the inside of your knees when smacking them into the top tube of your bike.
On super hot days, it can get a bit steamy under the Sam Hill Knee, and the length of the sock, which extends approximately to the middle of the thigh, doesn’t help with ventilation. A shorter version for warm weather would have been nice. But at least you won’t get the unstylish gap between your shorts and kneepads. The thin protector also fits under full-length bike pants, or jeans when you’re at the pump track.
While wearing the Seven Protection Sam Hill signature pads won’t make you as fast as the living legend, at least you’ll be well protected when you crash trying to take the inside line. The most important thing about a knee pad is to wear it. The Seven Protection Sam Hill Knee is comfortable as well as stylish, and you will forget you’re wearing them after a few turns of the cranks.
– don’t slip, even when you crash
– available in four sizes
– the length of the socks can get annoying
Weight: 340 g
More info at: 7protection.com
Price: € 89.99
Words & Photos: Felix Stix