Forcefield Zeus Knee Protectors
Forcefield fan. Zeus, not so much.
I have been using Forcefield Strap On Knee Protectors almost daily for the past year. Finally got tired of the stretched elastic straps (had to shorten them by sewing up the slack, three times), and trying to get the sweat stain/smell off using fabric cleaners. After a couple of weeks of using Zeus protectors, here’s my observations:
The new Net Armor on the Zeus is rubbery-pliable, and completely honeycomb-perforated. Tried out the Zeus and the old Strap-On against a hard kitchen corner in a totally unscientific test, and the semi-hard Nitrex armor on the Strap-On is the clear winner.
The Zeus armor itself (on size med.) is about the shape and size of jacket elbow/shoulder armor: 4 ¾"x8" (approx, measured from the front, unflattened). The Nitrex on the Strap-On is 5x11, surrounded by another inch of hard foam. The Zeus has 2inch flaps on both sides, made of soft, thin foam similar to what goes for back protection on low-end jackets.
Zeus Comfort and Ease of Use:
The tube design on the Zeus makes it more cumbersome to put on, in comparison to the Strap-On. The velcro sticks to the tube material, making it worse. On my first use, I thought the elastic tube will keep it in place, and kept the straps moderately loose. Walking around after the ride, one side dropped down to my boot.
There is a left and a right, although the difference is subtle, just like the tags themselves.
The single most annoying thing that I experienced is that the bottom ends on both sides came to a thin and hard edge that really irritated my shin when walking. Solved this by trimming away the hard velcro edge.
Although the Net Armor is perforated, the front of Zeus is not. The elastic material only goes around the back, so that when you are standing up, the knee-bulge will still be there.
Maybe it will change over time, but I personally find the Forcefield Strap On Knee Protectors slightly more comfortable, less obtrusive, and much better value overall.
October 14, 2012
noticeable & semi-uncomfortable
I was under the impression that these could be worn all day, without even knowing they are there. While walking around, I feel them there and they can easily be seen underneath baggy pants.
The elastic at the top and bottom dig into the skin (probably to keep it in place); however, the protection moves even though the straps are firmly secure.
-I love the CE certified.
-Definitely more comfortable to wear while riding than walking.
-I wish it came in smaller sizes.
-When product is compared to previous, strap-on, knee protectors, it wins in all categories, especially comfort; but, you will have to pay for it.
August 10, 2012
The most comfortable knee protector I've tried
I've tried a number of different knee guards, both hard shell and soft. Many fit poorly and move around under use, others are terribly uncomfortable or plain don't fit, e.g. the Glider series.
Forcefield make a good product in terms of protection, I have a number of their products and no complaints about them.
I've only had a chance to wear these knee guards once so far but for a full day of off-roading in 90+F temps under mesh off-road pants.
So far I've found these guards good enough to consider wearing them for on-road rides in the summer where your mesh pants don't offer great protection.
July 30, 2012
Big improvement from 1st gen limb tube
Years back I got what (I presume) was the first generation of knee limb tube - the one with the single elastic strap to supplement kevlar jeans for light duty rides.
Though I knew they were good for me, they were always a touch of a hassle. The single elastic tended gather and pinch behind the knee and the whole thing might roam a bit.
All that seems to have been resolved with the Zeus. They are a big improvement. I've got about 250 miles on them now of light off road, paved and a bit of stomping about on foot.
These have proven to flow more air, be more flexible, more comfortable, don't seem to wander at all and seem more robust.
The new generation of impact material has a much more open, flexible construction than the previous Grey/black iteration from T-Pro. As a result you can feel air flowing to your skin even in to most protected areas.
The flexibility of the new yellow material makes the Zeus much more comfortable to wear as well. The previous model was flexible but a bit stiff when walking around. The new is really not noticeable when walking around. No sense of something floating around on your leg or pushing back at full extension.
The first ten was made partly of stretch material supplemented by an elastic band with velcro to hold it in place. While it worked fairly well, as noted the single strap tended to gather behind the knee and irritate. If appears that later limb tubes moved to a two strap set up that the Zeus follows. The Zeus chassis is slightly stretchy with additional stretch material at the top and bottom. These internal elastic areas also have silicone dots around the interior to help them 'grip' and stay in place. All that's supplemented by adjustable elastic bands at the top (thigh) and bottom (top of calf). With all that they stayed in place though many times on-off the bike, a bit of walking around, some stand up riding etc etc. They didn't move a touch.
The over all construction is beefed up. Previous model was just stretch material, meshy stuff and a bit of elastic with a pocket for the armor. The Zeus retains that as an under layer and builds on it. The back is still a breathable mesh, the front adds a layer of abrasion resistant nylon canvas and some padding. The 'wings' to the left and right have a thin layer of padding build in.
Lots and lots of improvements from the first iteration - but it's not perfect. The Forcefield and Zeus logos are 2-3mm thick rubbery things. Though it wasn't a big deal, they did tend to catch the lining of my pants and make them just a bit akward. Overall these are really nice, well thought out knee guards, but these bits left me wondering. There's plenty of Forcefield logos on them in the elastic bands so they could have left that off and saved some cost and bulk. Ok, you want to brand the new items with it's own mark, got it. But why not screen or embroidered? Oh well, nothings perfect so this is their fault - which can probably be dealt with via a knife or scissors.
All in all, a good buy. If you're trying to decide between the limb tubes and these - pony up for these.
July 26, 2012