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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I want to start off by saying that I am not a rider, nor do I have much technical knowledge about all things MX.

The reason I have joined this site is to get some input from actual riders about the knee braces that they currently wear while riding. Our team of 3 is a group of Biomedical Engineering students working on redesigning a knee brace that specifically targets MX riders. (In case you are wondering, this is for an undergraduate design class)

So, on to the main topic:

I've heard complaints about the straps (whether they slide too much or dig too much into the leg), the fact that the brace is separate from the suit, the cost of the brace, as well as many others. I'm here to ask all of you what complaints you have about your knee braces. If you could, please also say what kind of knee brace you are using (e.x. CTi Flex, etc.).

Also, we would love some input about missing features. What kind of features would you like in a knee brace that you don't currently see/only get in very expensive braces? Is there anything that could help the knee brace be more comfortable both on and off the bike?

Finally, one of the more disturbing things I've seen on some MX forums is discussion about the shattering of the femur while riding with a knee brace after high speed crashes. This seems to be much more dangerous to riders than tearing a ligament as it could probably kill you if a shard were to accidentally hit the femoral artery. Our main concept right now is redesigning a knee brace that has a greatly reduced risk of causing this to happen. Would this kind of feature be something that would attract any of you riders to switch knee braces?

Sorry about the long-winded post. We would greatly appreciate any help you could provide us with for this project. Thank you for listening, and hopefully we can all come up with a design that's much safer for riders!
 

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I wear the EVS Visions which are at the bottom of the spectrum of "real" knee braces. I've never had any knee surgeries or major injuries so they seemed a good fit as a preventative measure. As far as the broken femur issue goes, I think most if not all are designed to give prior to breaking the femur. But as the warnings state, motocross is a dangerous sport and no piece of protective gear can protect the wearer against all possible injuries.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well damn. I guess the first time we did research we found more of the stiff metal frames that didn't break away.

We've actually talked to some riders at Durhamtown, a big MX place near Atlanta, and most of the people seemed to be complaining about the fit of the brace and the tightness of the straps.

Would a brace that is integrated into the suit and doesn't need straps be something people would want to see?
 

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I have heard of the femur breaking issue. I dont wear knee braces because they cost waaaaaay too much!!
 

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^^^^^I'm the same, I'm in college and $700 cannot be spent on knee braces when my bike needs a muffler :anim_peep:, I just can't see myself buying a knee pad for it when they cast so much, maybe if they were like 200 or so but i don't see that happening
 

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Two short straps above and below are simply provide way to little surface area...a brace with a contact patch that is large (think running 4 inches + wide) is the biggest thing i can think of.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The larger contact area is definitely something we are looking at. If we are going to integrate the brace into a pair of pants, the whole pant leg will probably be in contact with the knee as well as the thigh and shin.

Are there any other problems that are painfully obvious when you are actually riding with a brace (and not just sitting behind a desk thinking of random design ideas like us)?

P.S.-Thanks a lot everyone for the input! This has been really helpful in steering us towards a brace design that actually might be useful for riders in the future.
 

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To be honest the biggest thing that bothers me about wearing a knee brace , is the back of my calf just below my knee . My leg starts sweating and the brace digs in right there . I have evs web braces . The other thing is it would be nice it the hinges were rebuildable ,the webs are not, I wear a set out ever 8 months or so. The webs are build to crush to absob inpact , to keep from breakin a femur . I'm not sure what could be done with the upper calf strap to make it not cause pain and still hold the whole knee brace up .So I'd say at least good vents are needed.
 

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The million dollar idea for knee braces seems to be the attachment. So far my favorite (even though I don't have them) is the Asterisk Cells system. It seems to do the best job of maximizing contact area, even more so than the CTi2 braces for a much lower price.
Good luck building the better mousetrap.
 

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The problem with integrating them into 'pants' is that all that then needs to fit under your regular riding gear, which equals heat/lack of ventilation.
Unless you also plan to go into the riding pant/jersey business, it would be hard to do well. Plus the 'pants' would still need to have a way to tighten them down so the brace rides in a very particular area, stabilizes the knee to only one flex direction, and not just float around in the general proximity.
Bulk and bumpy edges to the inside of the knee interferes with gripping the bike well. Bulk to the outside, not so much of a problem.
Expense is a big issue for me as well. The cheap ones are really just glorified shin guards and will do little to keep you from twisting your knee.
The ones that work, are crazy expensive.
Good luck with your project.
 

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After several knee surgeries I have an assortment of different knee braces to say the least. My left knee had a full dislocation basically destroying all my ligaments and I was lucky enough to even have my leg saved from what I am told with that type of dislocation.



The best braces I have come across so far is the Pod MX braces but like others say I always get the chaffing just below the back of the knee from the top lower strap.

I wear a very thin pair of long johns under the braces to try and fight off chaffing but it just adds to the heat of wearing all the gear.

Just glad that braces have evolved to the point I can ride safely but riding is the only time I wear any brace at all.
 

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The trick with knee braces is that they have to fit and stay in place. Flexion/extension of the leg and contraction/relaxation of the muscle force the brace out of position. Not sure how you would incorporate them into the pants. A tight sleeve might be better but I think you'll still need straps (especially top calf) to keep the brace from migrating downward.

Dr Mark Sanders on ThumperTalk has a ton of stuff about this with a new study he did that shows the braces minimize ligament injuries. Femur fractures seemed rare.

A brace is a lot cheaper than an ACL repair, just get a good one. I use a CTi.

Good luck with the research and definitely a worthwhile topic.
 

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for motocross i wear the astrisk cells they are a very good brace and you feel very safe in them but anything more than three hours and you are cursing them lucky motocross dosent last that long! for supermoto i sport the thor knee braces they are very comfy and i can wear them all day as i have many times! but you dont feel as protected! im not very good at giving feed back but all i can say is i never used knee braces until it was to late now i have 275,000 in sugery in one knee guees the 800 for braces aint that bad afterall:thumbup:
 
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