Alpinestars Fluid Pro Knee Brace Set
Disappointing Braces from Alpinestars
I had both ACL's repaired a while ago and I had custom-fit Donjoy's made in the mid-nineties but they don't fit me anymore. My knees are generally fine now but I thought I could use some extra support for off-road riding. Rather than deal with getting new custom braces made, I thought I would try some off-the-shelf units. I bought these and another brand at the same time. These are going back.
On the positive side, these are good looking, very light, quite comfortable, and nicely ventilated. They would probably flow a good amount of air and keep my legs nice and cool on hot days.
And that's about all I like about these knee braces.
To even call them knee braces is a stretch. They are more like knee pads with a 4 point attachment system grafted onto a flimsy plastic frame. The braces offer very little in the way of support against varus and valgus force (leads to lateral and medial collateral ligament damage respectively), and essentially zero torsional rotation resistance (combined with a hard impact leads to anterior cruciate ligament injuries). What's more, the lockout stop to prevent knee hyperextension feels very soft and in a major impact I'm not sure it would hold up. Conversely, having a completely rigid brace isn't good either probably, but these things are extremely soft and are easily deformed by hand with minimal effort.
The other concerning red flag issues are the lack of sizes and no designation of right and left! There are only two sizes - the rest of the fit is made up by essentially shimming with foam padding. That doesn't exactly make for a quality positive fit and if you happen to be on the smaller side of a particular size, fitting a bunch of extra foam inserts in there to take up the slack will only exacerbate the poor support issues. The other bizarre thing is no indication of right and left that I could identify. I guess it's obvious when you put it on your leg which one fits better but it seems like a strange omission by Alpinestars.
I know the evidence supporting the use of knee braces for the prevention of injury is mixed, but if you are going to bother wearing them (and spending this much money), you might as well buy something that might actually help. I would strongly recommend looking elsewhere. For not much more, you can find a competitors brand of braces that is far and away better in every meaningful way.
May 30, 2014
lightweight low profile
I bought these as a replacement for my asterisks knee braces, however after three rides I am back using my asterisks. I ride cross country so 3 hrs on the bike is typical, what I found was that the condyll pads are too flimsy and there is a pressure point on the side of my knee against the bike.
Another point on the fit and finish, the fabric pads of the patella protection will pull out of place and you have the hard velcro exposed, this feels like a rock or some grit against your knee, distracting to say the least.
I contacted Astars to ask some questions about how I can improve the fitment, they have not responded after two weeks.
What I do like though, they fit in the boot much nicer than asterisks, they have better airflow and are lighter.
April 16, 2014
Great Product and not so hot
The braces are great, easy & out. I was worried that they might be too hot but thats not the case. Straps are comfortable but sometimes they shift a bit close to the knee fold so I need to pull the brace up. The only thing that really could be improved is patella protection, this will not hold up in a crash.
January 27, 2014
Awesome fit. Amazing price.
These are my first knee braces and the price was unbeatable. I almost got the Asterisk that were $100 more for the pair, but these seemed lighter and better built than the Asterisk. They fit out of the box for me, but there seems to be a good amount of adjustable points. The quick releases are a nice feature and when worn with the Fox knee brace socks I forgot about them when I started riding. I don't know how I used to ride without knee braces, they are so confidence inspiring I wear them on aggressive street rides now too!
October 16, 2013