Product Report: Asterisk Ultra Cell Knee Braces

ASTERISK ULTRA CELL KNEE BRACE

SIZES: Small, medium, large, x-large

PRICE: $699

The Asterisk Ultra Cell is the next step in innovation from the original Cell brace.

WHAT IT IS:

The Asterisk Ultra Cell knee brace is the next step in off-the-shelf knee brace technology. The new brace features numerous patented designs with the most notably being the Boa Closure System. The frame of the brace is made from a carbon fiber epoxy matrix and boasts an anatomically correct design that is complimented by an Adjustable Retention Control cuff that can be custom fit to the rider by a simple turn of a screw, an Asymmetri-Glide hinge that works with the natural movement of the knee and is adjustable, and a Tele-Tri patella knee cup that offers full knee protection from hard hits. Perhaps the biggest innovation for this brace, however, is the Boa Closure System. The Boa system has been prevalent in numerous other forms of action sports—mainly snowboard boots—but had yet to be used on knee braces. On the Ultra Cell brace, the system evenly distributes pressure to comfortably hold the brace in place. Lastly, the Ultra Cell comes equipped with an Anti-Rotational Tether on both the left and right brace, which attaches to the boots and keeps the braces from rotating, just like the first Asterisk brace.

The Ultra Cell features a new Boa Closure System that makes it easy to tighten the braces down securely and evenly.

HITS:

-The Boa Closure System easily tightens the braces down and holds them in place.

-The Boa system allows the braces to be tightened down much tighter than standard straps and does so evenly on the back of the legs.

-Anti-Rotational Tether works very well at keeping the braces from spinning around.

-Patella cup offers excellent protection from hits either on the bars or in the event of a crash.

-In spite of looking bulky, the Asterisk Ultra braces are actually very slim when gripping the bike.

-Adjustable hinges allow for customization depending on rider preference.

-Adjustable Retention Control cuff allows for customizing the braces for any rider.

-Hinges work very well with natural movement of the rider.

-A.R.C. cuff also allows for further adjustability depending on the rider, making the braces fit very comfortably.

-The Anti-Rotational Tether is only available on Asterisk braces and does an exceptional job at keeping the braces from spinning around.

The hinges are fully adjustable with the simple turn of a screw driver, making it easy to customize to any rider's liking.

MISSES:

-Some testers found that the braces were very bulky and hindered them from completely bending their knees for turns.

-The two large straps around the back of the upper and lower leg are comfortable, but too big, and often times pinched the backs of our knees when sitting down on the bike.

-The button/knob for the BOA system is uncomfortable if hit in the event of a crash.

-We’ve had an issue with the snap closure, found on the back of one of the straps, breaking. Durability may become an issue with the larger straps on the Ultra Cell.

THE VERDICT:

These braces are definitely a step above the old Asterisk braces. They offer numerous updates that easily make them the most advanced off-the-shelf braces available, and the Boa Closure System makes them very easy to put on and take off. And in spite of a few minor complaints about the bulkiness of the braces and some initial durability issues, the Asterisk Ultra Cell will definitely be a staple in our gear bags. It’s comfortable, innovative, and provides great protection.

Visit: Asterisk.com