The VPD 2.0 DH Knee Pads were tested on multiple rides in the Netherlands, temperatures between 15 and 25 degrees, and in a number of longer trails in Spain, Pyrenees and mountains in the Alicante provinvce. The rides in Spain were invariably between 2 and 3 hours, riding at temperatures between 30-35 degrees celsius.
Last year I tested and reviewed the VPD 2.0 Knee Pads, the difference with the Knee Pads of this review being the “DH” in the name, which stands for Down Hill. The most striking difference is the hard shell knee cap on the DH Knee Pads. This hard shell helps reinforce the knee pads just that little bit more and helps to “to reduce friction against the ground in case of a fall” according to POC. Certainly when riding really rough terrain with hard and often sharp rocks the knee cap will add more protection.
Under the hard shell the knee pad is made of the same VPD (Visco-elastic Polymere Dough) material. A material that is flexible and can mould itself to the shape of your body, but stiffens at impact and absorbs the enrgy of the impact. The deformation at impact is not permanent, meaning the pads are also durable, and can handle multiple impacts in its lifetime. I have multimple tubles with the “soft shell” knee pads and one with the DH kneepads and can attest that in none of these I felt any pain to my knees and didn’t incure any injury to my knees.
The key to effective protective gear, in a way, is that they are comfortable to the level that a rider is happy to wear them: freedom of movement should be maintained and no discomfort should be added.
I always wear the knee pads, because they are that comfortable, and an accident can happen at any moment, and normally happens quite unexpectedly. The hardshell of the VPD 2.0 DH pads does not in anyway lessen the comfort of the soft shell VPD’s. There is actually no difference in the way they feel.
The fit and feel is next to perfect. The stretch fabric sleeve works really well, ensures a seemless fit, there is no friction anywhere. Even in very warm and sweaty weather, the knee pads never bothered me in the least.
The velcro adjustable straps are all but unnecessary, providing just that bit of extra fit. So the comfort is really quite good.
I like most things designed by POC and this includes the kneepads. Nothing fancy shmancy, black all the way, with the POC logo and the VPD 2.0 in green off-set colour. Simple but nice.
After my first experience with POC knee pads my expectation of the DH knee pads were quite high. And I have not been dissapointed. Just really great knee pads, makes you want to wear them. Provides really high level of protection while offering comfort and freedom of movement at the same time. Next to a helmet these kind of kneepads should be a basic part of the outfit of every MTB rider.