I am using plastic guards that cover knees and shins, like the ones displayed here:

knee pads

My problem is, when I am riding, they sometimes slip down, reducing protection of my knees. This mostly happens because of vibration, while I am riding down (it's when I need them the most), but sometimes also when I am pedaling up.

If I fall down when my guards have slipped, it's as if I had no protection at all.

I noticed that on some days I get lucky with my straps and they sort of "stick" to my legs and don't move, while on other days I constantly readjust them, and they slip all the time.

How can I fix this problem?

I am willing to buy a different type of guards if that would solve my problem (however, I don't want soft/flexible guards - plastic has better protection).

  • What sort of riding are you doing? Aggressive downhill bombs with insane amounts of risk? Or just normal MTB/offroad ?
    – Criggie
    Dec 13, 2015 at 21:21
  • 1
    Normal MTB (though "normal" is a subjective definition); including drop-offs and possibly (in future) gaps
    – anatolyg
    Dec 13, 2015 at 21:27

2 Answers 2


The top strap should go above your calf muscle, and it should be tight enough to not fall down. Don't depend on stretchy elastic.

Do they reach down to your instep or do they sort of float? You might get some benefit by tucking the bottom of the guards into your socks.

Another option is tape - http://www.hockeymonkey.com/hockeytape.html would do the job.

The only knee guards I wear are sports style tube ones, not armour. However I do wear thin gloves all rides, and have worn elbow pads in a MTB race.

  • Please elaborate on your "hockey tape" idea - I have absolutely no idea how it could help. It seems hockey players use it to hold protection in place (?), but how?
    – anatolyg
    Dec 13, 2015 at 21:32
  • From the link "Ideal for securing and stabilizing protective shin guards." It literally straps around the shin guard and around the back of the leg, so its doing the same job as the elastic bands but there's a lot more tape. Its single use only so you throw it away after each ride. This is focussed on ice hockey newtohockey.com/shin-guard-shin-pad-guide-hockey-players but talks a bit about holding on shin pads.
    – Criggie
    Dec 13, 2015 at 23:21

This is a hard problem. I've changed 4 knee pads through 3 years in order to find the best ones which stay in place.

So, to answer your question, in order to have the pads stay in place you need:

  • proper knee pads (some have a silicon line inside to prevent slippage)
  • proper fit
  • moisture (sweating helps)

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