MXA TEAM TESTED: FOX TITAN PRO KNEE/SHIN GUARD:
WHAT IS IT? The Titan Pro is Fox’s top-of-the-line hinged knee and shin protection. Not everyone is comfortable with locking their legs into a rigid framework, willing to pay hundreds of dollars for knee protection, or entirely convinced of the viability of knee braces. No matter what your philosophy is, everyone can agree that keeping your knees from being smashed is crucial.
WHAT’S IT COST? $64.95.
CONTACT? www.foxhead.com or (888) 369-7223.
WHAT STANDS OUT? Here’s a list of things that stand out with Fox’s Titan Pro knee guards.
(1) Hinges. Not all double-hinge designs are created equal. The MXA crew has tested a few single- and dual-hinge designs that lift up off the leg, feel unnatural or pinch the rider’s skin when they bend. The dual-hinge system of the Titan Pro feels fluid, natural and doesn’t lift when bent.
(2) Protection. The Titan Pro has a hard plastic exterior over a layer of foam. The allotment of the combined material is substantial enough to disperse and absorb the energy of pretty large impacts (without making the guards themselves big or bulky).
(3) Coverage. The Titan Pro extends a little farther down the shin than many shin guards, and thanks to the hinge design, a lot farther up the thigh than most knee guards. Plus, the knee cup is big enough to cover your knee even with your leg bent, so there are no spots that are vulnerable to stray rocks or handlebars. Every motocrosser knows that if there is an exposed spot on his knee, a rock will find it. Many knee braces and hinged knee guards have gaps in their protection system.
(4) Straps/hooks. Instead of threading the Velcro straps through the opposite end of the guard every time, the Titan Pro comes with quick-release hooks that you only have to adjust once. The hooks are quick to fasten and reliable enough to never come unhooked while riding. Our only complaint is that the very bottom strap is too short. Most adults will have enough adjustment, but those with big calves will have to ditch the bottom strap. Luckily, the bottom strap is not as important as the upper straps, because the wearer’s boot will clamp down on the bottom part of the shin guard.
(5) Comfort. The fit and fluidity of the hinge design makes the Titan Pro very comfortable on the bike and walking around in the pits. The guards pivot freely and don’t interfere with the side of the bike. The Titan Pros are comfortable in a squatting position with a large angle of pivot, but can be uncomfortable when kneeling.
WHAT’S THE SQUAWK? There are two things that ruffle our feathers. (1) If you’re in the habit of kneeling to work on your bike, the hinged pivots can be tweaked by the amount of body weight placed on the hinge when you kneel. (2) The bottom strap is short.
Knee guards like the Fox Titan Pro are the next best thing to full-on knee braces. In our opinion, the bigger the knee guard, the better.