POD K8 Knee Braces
Price: $399.95 (single); $799.95 (pair)
Sizes: Small – Extra, Extra Large
The POD K8 knee braces are the latest take on protection by the Australian company. A forged carbon fiber frame and adaptive cuffs handle fit, durability, and energy dispersion while synthetic ligaments made of Vectran fibers, a material that claims to be five times stronger than steel, is used in the synthetic ligaments to mimic the natural motion of the human knee through the joints. The braces boast a number of certifications, including CE certification against impact via the knee cups and medical certification for prevention prior to and support after injury, and an antimicrobial liner that is safe for contact against surgical wounds.
With five frame sizes and the adjustable Velcro straps, it's easy to get the K8 brace to fit almost any leg. The Quick-Loc cuffs on the top and bottom straps allow the wearer to set the straps one time and clip into place every following time.
The overall design of the K8 braces is slim and unrestrictive—from the carbon fiber frame to the thin liner pads—which allows for a direct connection to the bike at a key area. We actually know one top rider who converted from flimsy knee cups to full knee braces, thanks to the K8s!
From motos on the track to long rides on off-road trails, we never felt the braces migrate up, down, and out of position. This is due to the simple straps that wrap around the leg and the soft liner pads that grip the leg. In fact, we felt that the liner actually gripped better when they were wet from sweat, an unusual trait. Luckily, the antimicrobial material is not absorbent and does not get the dreaded gym-equipment smell.
Motion of the brace is fantastic, as the position of the knee cup in relation to the frame doesn't allow riding gear to get trapped and bind up. The synthetic ligament in the hinge flows smoothly when bent and absorbs impacts. For those with prior injuries, optional inserts can be inserted to limit the range of motion.
The entire brace, from the cuffs to the liner to the hinge and ligament, can be disassembled and serviced with parts offered through POD. In addition to this, the frame boasts a five-year warranty against defects in materials.
As comfortable as the liner is, a few test riders have had the straps and mounts pinch and chafe the backs of their legs, even when knee brace sleeves and socks were worn.
We were actually fonder of the floating knee cup from POD's previous design because the new knee cup rests directly on the leg.
Maybe it's due to personal riding style or conditions, but we found extensive signs of wear in certain areas, particularly where the brace makes contact with the motorcycle. There was no structural damage per se, but the braces appeared worn in a short time.
We often are asked our opinion about knee braces, especially because the split between riders who wear braces and those who do not is nearly even. For those looking to make the transition to knee braces from knee cups or nothing at all, the POD K8 braces are one of the best options. A low-profile frame, unrestrictive motion of the hinge, and top-tier protection are important when it comes to knee braces and the K8 checks every box.