Common Tread

ICON Cloverleaf Knee slider: Smart gear or future prop in a YouTube crash video?

Aug 01, 2014

I was browsing my Instagram feed this morning when I noticed a clip from an absolutely bananas video by the guys over at ICON. The video shows some pretty aggressive track riding by a guy who looks like he's geared up from head to toe. What he's actually wearing are regular denim pants with ICON's new kneesliders strapped to the outside.

ICON Cloverleaf Knee
A quick Google search revealed that the ICON mothership already had a product page live for the Cloverleafs, and Anthony had already done a video breakdown (that guy gets to see everything before us press guys).

With track-spec leather construction, D3O armor, and a replaceable nylon knee puck, this little piece of gear may actually save your knees, should you go down while wearing them, but my first thought was that this is sending the wrong message.

Have the guys at ICON lost their minds? I called them to find out.

SM: So the big question is, why would you guys make something like a standalone knee slider? Obviously, real riding pants are way more protective.

ICON: The thing people don’t understand is that ICON puts more gear on people who normally wouldn’t wear it than any other company. Very few people who go buy a track jacket are making their first purchase. They already owned gear and are just updating. We felt like a lot of the current motorcycle pant offerings didn’t fit that well or put the armor in the right spot. Look at you, we’re never going to make a moto pant that fits those little chicken legs. This way, anyone can have good knee protection, even guys with pathetic little legs like you. This is a comfortable solution you can wear with your favorite jeans, with the added bonus of being able to take them off when you get to work or wherever you’re going.

SM: Fair enough. I definitely know a lot of examples of guys who started with one piece of armored gear, which became a gateway for going ATGATT. Where’d the idea come from?

ICON: We were looking at a bunch of the European bike mags and noticed there were a bunch of really hardcore riders wearing sport jackets, boots, and strapping pucks to their jeans. I’m talking dudes who can seriously ride, both on the track and on the street. If it’s good enough for them, there’s no reason we shouldn’t offer something similar in the U.S. Our option has both the slider and full leather protection for your knee. Plus, this is just one more avenue into teaching people to wear gear.

SM: In an ideal world, what is it designed to be worn with?

ICON: To answer what you’re really asking, the answer is not shorts. They’re designed to be worn with whatever your existing riding pants are. If you already wear armored pants, these will be more protective and also have the addition of a puck. They can also fit over leather pants for guys who bought suits without a place for knee pucks who want to add them. We know they’ll get used by a wide variety of people and over a wide variety of legging options. Our goal is just to help people wear a little more and be a little more protected.

The real question is, will people actually use them as Anthony suggested in the video, to wear while commuting or while otherwise geared up? I would love to think that guys who are riding without leg protection may try these out and move to real riding pants. Unfortunately, most of me thinks I’m about to see a bunch of YouTube videos with guys on liter-bikes wearing Cloverleaf Knee sliders with their Stryker vests while they shut down freeways to do burnouts or fall over while trying to wheelie in unison.

Would you wear these?