New New Knees for Armored Combat

corby's picture

Sometime at Sapphire Joust, my right Alpinestars Bionic Knee Guard cracked in two places. It didn't break enough to immediately lose protective integrity, but it will if I keep using it. I think this comes from fighting on my knees. Not bad for two years use, I suppose, especially since they aren't designed for what we use them for! At University I found out that both of Turgeis' have cracked too. He's got more weight on him, so more stress on the knees when he's legged.
So I set out to buy a new pair. But I looked around first, especially because I knew I wouldn't get them from the Motorcycle Superstore again.

Answer alpha knee guards for armored combatI found the Answer Alpha Knee Guard and it is better than the Alpinestars in all but one way. Generally heavier duty, it has real kinda-Chicago screws holding the upper and lower together. This is better than the odd proprietary aluminum pivot and c-pin on the Alpinestars. The Answers also have two pivots on each side of the knee for better articulation. The knee cop is made of nylon and the upper and lower are polycarbonate, all heavier than the Alpinestars.

They're bigger, so should offer more protection, though most of that protection is on the shin where I already wear something. But they could be a shinsaver for anyone who doesn't already wear a greave or gaiter.

The straps are more adjustable and have physical snaps into the body of the upper and lower, so they should stay in place better.

Very importantly, they are much more comfortable when kneeling. This was the biggest drawback to the Alpinestars.

Oh, and they're cheaper than the Alpinestars by at least $10, if not $20!

The only thing that was better about the Alpinestars is that they were a little deeper. I need to add a small piece of leather or plastic to protect the top of my fibula on the outside of my calf just below the knee. This also means that mesomorphs like Turgeis may not fit into these without other additions.
OEMcycle.com also shipped these in record time, a full week or more faster than Motorcycle Superstore. The guy on the phone was helpful enough to steer me to the Answer knee guards after I initially wanted a pair of Reflex Knee/Shin Guards, which are exactly the same and the same price, but out of stock. Ok, they're different colors. You can also get those Answer Knees at Amazon.

If you buy some based on my recommendation, you must promise me that I'll never see them visible during a tournament. Put them under your damn pants!

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Play tested?

Sir, Thanks for the effort in researching this product. From reading your entry, I take it you have play tested these and are happy with them? I mean it reads as though you are, so I guess my real queation is: Have you taken a good hit in them as part of the testing? The sides of the knee is what I am most interested in. Again, thank you for researching this.

corby's picture

Fresh from the Mail

I just received these yesterday and haven't fought in them yet.

They're more substantial than the Alpinestars, so I'm pretty confident they'll protect better, but no test yet. I'll post something after I fight in them.

PING!

Sir, I am plannig on going to Caer Mear tomorrow night. Do you think that you might be able to attend and provide a status report on the New New Knees?

Turgeis

corby's picture

Alas

I've got house guests and a room full of people coming for dinner tonight, so no chance of seeing me there.

And last Thursday's practice was rained out, so I still haven't fought in them.

corby's picture

Four years and going strong

These knees are now about to celebrate their 4th year of use. I've been hit, knee walked, run the woods, an generally used the hell out of these knees.

They are not perfect, but they are very very good. And while I still have concerns about fit for anyone with thick knees, they should work fine for anyone with normal knee joints.
corby's picture

Pics of the fibula cover piece

Just a piece of 12 ounce leather scrap previously used for teaching someone how to carve leather.