WHAT IS IT? The original EVS Sports RS8 knee brace hit the market two years ago and received good reviews. In fact, the RS8 got kudos from the MXA wrecking crew. Our major qualm, though, was the lack of extensive knee-support reinforcement. EVS Sports answered the call by adding carbon fiber torsion struts to the RS8 Pro to improve rigidity.
WHAT’S IT COST? $249.00 (single), $479.00 (pair).
CONTACT? (888) 873-8423 or www.evs-sports.com.
WHAT STANDS OUT? Here’s a list of things that stand out with the EVS RS8 Pro knee brace.
(1) Frame. The casual observer might have difficulty differentiating the RS8 Pro from its little brother, the RS8, but EVS made three changes to the Pro: they added carbon fiber struts, opted for a white frame instead of the traditional black design and updated the strap receiver tabs. Of these upgrades, the carbon fiber reinforcement struts made the biggest splash with MXA test riders. Why? Because they made a world of difference.
In our test of the original RS8 knee brace, we noticed that the chassis lacked sufficient rigidity for riders with serious knee issues. That’s not the case with the RS8 Pro. The stiffer frame provides better knee stabilization than the RS8. For its price?which is $50 more than the RS8?the Pro model is a steal, especially for riders looking to make the transition from knee cups to knee braces. It’s a winner.
(2) Hinges. The RS8 Pro borrows hinge technology from the highly popular EVS Web knee brace. Dubbed “Tru-Motion 2.0 anatomically correct hinges” by EVS, the mechanical design keeps the knee from shifting or twisting. An assortment of flexion and extension stops are included with each brace. It only takes a few minutes to install these stops.
(3) Patella guard. EVS uses the most creative patella guard on the market, bar none. The two-piece, plastic sliding guard offers protection in the attack (knees bent) or standing position. The articulating cup is a marvel. No matter the angle of your knee, it will save you from serious impact.
(4) Straps. The RS8 Pro has a very logical, three-strap design. Simply push the ratcheting straps into the closure tabs to the desired pressure. To remove the straps, squeeze the closure tabs and pull the straps loose. We noticed that sometimes the straps wouldn’t release without first pushing the strap farther into the tab and then pulling the strap out. Removing the RS8 Pro is easy once you learn the technique.
(5) Liner. The RS8 Pro has a dry-suede comfort liner that does an excellent job of absorbing sweat. And, as with every high-quality knee brace, the liner is removable and washable. Unfortunately, the straps cannot be removed, but we were still able to hand-wash the strapswithout getting the metal hinges wet.
WHAT’S THE SQUAWK? We have one complaint: the RS8 Pro would feel more planted on the leg if the upper part of the frame were longer and another strap were added to the top of the brace.
For the money, the RS8 Pro is a smart choice. It offers very good impact protection and knee stabilization.While it isn’t as strong as a top-ofthe- line brace, the RS8 Pro is a great brace.