Asymmetrical design, cross-strap security, and vented hard shell plates make the Fox Racing Launch Knee/Shin guard a first choice for elite downhill and freeride mountain bikers. Fox Racing's patented X-Up strap system crosses behind the knee to eliminate twisting and slipping when the terrain turns from rough to sadistic.
I've used these guards for 2 1/2 years now- over three summer seasons. I've done all day sit and spins and 3 day downhill marathons at the bike park. They practically look the same as they did when I first bought them, but that's not to say they haven't seen their fair share of limbs, rocks, crashes, and washes.
They were perfectly comfortable for about two years. Then, this summer, they've just seen too much dirt and sweat and now they chaffe above the knee. Had I been shuttling with them the whole time, I think they would still be perfectly fine, but I hike and pedal all around and even do some trail maintenance with them on to keep the poison ivy and briars off my leg.
They are pretty hot when it's 100F out, but not suffocating. They do hold a lot of sweat and become weighted as a ride progresses and can shift down. I think other guards could be more comfortable against the skin, but the coverage on these seems hard to beat and I like the open back strap design for heat management and ease of removal. Whether or not I try a different set next, I'll still recommend that others try these guards. I've been impressed and they have saved my shin from many of Straitline shin strikes that can usually ruin your day.
I bought this back in 2007 and it's saved my knees and shins from numerous mishaps! I have a few deep gashes in the shin area which were the result of my foot slipping a pedal. Had it not been for the awesome protection I could have easily fractured my shin!
Once you get the straps setup you'll never have to adjust them again! They never slide or slip down my leg when pedaling. The times where I've been separated from my bike (aka: a crash) they've always remained strapped to my legs.
They breathe pretty well too and they clean up easy. I just put them into the washer every now and then and they're good as new again.
They're also thin enough to where they fit under my DH pants easily.
That all said, they are kinda pricey but when I think back on all the times it's saved me from serious injury I don't regret the price! As indicated, I got mine back in 2007 and the rear elastic straps are finally starting to show their age. In 2012 I will no doubt have to retire these and get a new pair. 4 years is awesome if you ask me!
I had problems with other pads not staying where they belonged the cross strap design solves this. My first pair started looking awesome with dings and scratches from 3 years worth of riding rocks and roots, but the velro straps lost their elasticity in my garage over time. (that happens to all my elastic items stored in my garage for some reason). My second pair are just as good. I also like there is no sleeve or other excessive material to keep my legs hot in the summer. They stay cool, sty put are light and save your shins and knees. But you look like Darth Vader from the knees down. I hear they recently redesigned these to be cloth. They should not mess with perfection and add clothy heat just for a new model. That's okay though... to me it means I'll be able to get these on clearance and have my favorite pads for years to come.
I feel like I got really lucky, as these are the only knee/shin guards I have ever purchased; and they rock! Heck, I even got the size right the first time. I haven't taken a serious spill with these yet, but they have saved my shins from acquiring new scars from slipping a pedal. I also feel like I ride a bit more aggressively due to the fact that my legs are protected. That might just be all in my head, but whatever.
The strap system is quite impressive. It keeps everything in place; even when riding XC there is only minimal shift. During my last 3-4 hour ride I think I re-adjusted them just a couple times, which seems to be a lot less than some other products.
I purchased these so I wouldn't slam my colossal platforms into my shins. These are the first leg/shin pads I have ever purchased and so far, I would not buy a different pair. The cross strap system hold the pads in place while pedaling, jumping, etc. Venting is not too bad, minimal sweating. As far as protection, they seem pretty bomber...I haven't wrecked bad enough to really try the safety aspect yet. However, just having the pads has given me more confidence to go bigger and faster without fearing pedal smack or wicked road rash on my knees. I would recommend these pads to others!
Overall a pretty good choice. However there are a few things about these that I wish I would have known before. The protection is great, but the ankle strap, and the bottom of the guard eat away at your ankle to where they are raw. If you buy these hightop or mid top socks are a must. And if you get dirt behind them it makes it even worse. If I were to do it again I would have gone for the six six ones.
I have this FOX lunch guards since 12th Aug 2008. Great value for money. Feels easy and comfortable when they are on unlikes other brands guards. They stays in place even if you are doing drops. This guards had already saved me from a few bad ass falls and it has now got some deep cut battles scar on them. I am 1.78 meter and I am using X/XL size. It provides full length of protection for your legs. Can't ask for more.
I'm 5'4" and I guess I should have went with the "Shortys Launch." The bottom of the Full Launch shin guards touch the top of my feet, which of course limits your movement. These were size small. Just an FYI for any other freakishly short people considering this guard. I'm rating these Fox Launch Knee/Shin Guards 4 stars. They were comfortable and seems to have good knee actuation. They were just too long for my short legs (small).
I never used them. I opted for something else. But these are very long and would provide good protection for going down hill. I don't think I would want to pedal a lot in them just because they go clear to my foot. they are solid and have lots of vents. I would use them for DH.
I love these. I've posted several times my body dimesions, (6'3, 255lbs, 22 inch lower thigh, and 18inch calf, the l/xl fits me great. They feel great, great breathability and comfortable to pedal in. Took a few times to figure out how to unclip, but they are a great shin guard.
Very uncomfortable. The cross straps behind the knees pinch. Sent them back and got the alpine stars equivalent, they are way more comfortable.
I used the Fox Launch Knee/Shin pads for a couple of seasons DH riding, they held up well and took plenty of abuse.
I did have a few issues with them, the first was I was always pulling them up, they would slide down my leg while pedaling, they stayed close enough to where they needed to be that I didn't feel like I would not be protected in a crash so it was more of an annoyance. The second issue is related to the first, when they would slide down they would rest on the top of my foot and dig in creating a hot spot that would eventually get pretty raw if I let the pads rest there too long. This issue does not effect everyone, it is really based on your leg length.