- Good price
- Quality construction
- Uncomfortable to pedal in
- Don’t stay up, require constant adjustments
- Koroyd feels very stiff, doesn’t flex with knee
Endura have extended the use of their straw-like protection system, Koroyd, to their MTR Knee Guards. Unfortunately, it delivers several sore points and general discomfort and the MTR pads fall short in many vital areas.
Endura is no newbie to the protection game, they produce a myriad of high performing garments and accessories. So with that in mind, it’d be fair to say I had high hopes for their new Koroyd installed MTR knee pads when pulled them from their packaging.
The Koroyd system uses a straw-like construction as the mainstay of the pad. They claim that it’s highly breathable, flexible, lightweight and could potentially offer more protection than traditional methods. Lightweight they are, in fact they’re some of the lightest I’ve used however, weight of knee pads has never really been an issue, as long as they’re comfortable and breathe well.
The MTRs are an open-backed design and pull on over the feet, using silicone grippers and a small velcro closure strap at the top to hold it in place. On the front is a highly resistant aramid impact strip - it is indeed tough, they’ve taken a few scrapes and it's barely even marked. Pulling the MTR’s on for the first time highlighted their stiffness, the Koroyd panel is far from flexible and my chosen size of a medium is pretty tight fitting.
Out on the trails and that stiffness is exacerbated, every pedal stroke becomes uncomfortable as the Koroyd pushes into your shin when legs are straightened and rubs spots on my knees when I bend them. To add to the frustration, they don’t stay up despite my best efforts, I even tucked them under the silicone strip of my lycra undershorts - the velcro closure strap does it’s best to hold them in place but the lack of articulation in the Koroyd means they get pulled from below with every movement.
After even half an hour of pedalling, my legs are sore and I’m frustrated from constantly having to readjust them. They’re not overly cool either, my knees get just as hot as they would in other pads of similar protection. On descents, they prove to be better, if far from ideal, the Koroyd system does work should it take a decent thwack.
They’ll likely last a lifetime too, as do all of Endura’s products - the MTRs continue the brand’s quality feel. The open back design became another source of irritation as I nearly always poke my foot through the gap when pulling them on. A good idea in theory to allow articulation at the rear and of course aid breathability, but in practice the front of the pad is so stiff, they don’t conform as you pull them up your leg meaning I almost always waggle a foot out the back door.
At £70 they’re a very reasonable price for a product of such build quality always found with Endura offerings and they feel like they’ll last forever. But, and it’s a big but, for me, they’re just miles away from the competition in performance and functionality. Disappointing from a brand that’s been a genuine part of my mountain bike life since the very start.
We chatted to Endura about the issues, they said "We realise these pads are slightly stiffer than many on the market due to the construction which is a pay-off for the advantage of low weight, high breathability and certified protection. We have several high level riders including Chris Smith and Lupato brothers who use and like these pads so don’t feel the slipping down issue experienced applies to all."