Alpinestars Fluid Tech Carbon Knee Brace Review
Protecting your knees in the sports of motocross and off-road racing is of utmost importance. When considering how often a rider puts his leg out when cornering and the possibility of knee injuries, knee braces should be mandatory items in every rider’s gear bag. Commonly known for its popular line of motocross boots, the Alpinestars Fluid Tech Carbon is the Italian manufacturer’s first knee brace model.
The Fluid Tech Carbon braces are constructed from a carbon polymer compound, which offer great strength and performance. They are designed to be ultra-lightweight and offer a highly customizable and secure fit while at the same time, affording improved directional movement of the knee articulation while riding. They are CE Certified, so they are fully functional protective gear for motorcycling.
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The Alpinestars braces feature a Dynamic ErgoFit Tech (DEFT) system. DEFT offers a way to use less material for more weight savings, while maintaining a high level of strength. In order to fit the braces to one’s knee properly, Alpinestars offers a variety of different sized spacers for the width adjustment at the hinge.
One-, two-, and three-millimeter sizes to accommodate different knee sizes and shapes. I opted for the three-millimeter size, which allowed for a snug, yet comfortable feel.
The main purpose of the Alpinestars Fluid Tech Carbon knee brace is to reduce the risk and severity of injury by preventing excessive hypertension of the knee during a crash. Alpinestars includes five different extension stops to allow for more or less extension of the knee.
The different plastic inserts stop your knee short of full extension by 0, 5, 10, 15, and 20 degrees. Experimenting to find out which one is right for you is easy thanks to the quick button release. Riders with prior knee injuries will want to use the 15 or 20mm extension stops as a precautionary measure. UM Editor Don Williams tore an ACL a few years ago (he wasn’t wearing a proper knee brace) and swears by the 20mm spacer setting.
Producing a knee brace in only two sizes that fits most riders is a big challenge, and Alpinestars has done a great job of doing so with their micro adjustments for both fitment and hyperextension tolerance. Most riders will fit fine in the smaller size. However, riders with bigger legs and knees will certainly want to opt for the larger size. With that being said, I would recommend trying a pair on before purchasing to ensure proper fitment.
I prepare for a ride by adjusting all of the Velcro straps on the Alpinestars Fluid Tech Carbon knee braces as tight as I can. Make sure you put the proper brace on the proper leg, as the left and right braces are different. The straps have been redesigned from the pre-2015 version of this brace, so if you have an older model, consider an upgrade.
Thankfully, they fit in my Moose Racing riding pants once I had them properly adjusted, though they were pretty snug. There are two pairs Velcro straps that form an “X” on each thigh and calf, which do a great job of keeping the braces in place. This was evident once I took them out on the track, as I was fully satisfied with how well they stayed in place.
Also, I am very happy with the stability they offer. My confidence in putting my leg out in a corner on a motocross track is increased as a result of the additional stability they provided. At the end of a day of riding, there is no need to completely readjust the Velcro pad sizes, as there are two red release buttons on each brace, which allow for similar fitment for every ride.
Overall, I am very pleased with the Alpinestars Fluid Tech Carbon knee braces. Once I got them fitted properly to each of my knees, they stay in place while riding, provide stability, enhance confidence, and are very comfortable. I look forward to many more days at the track with the added confidence of having a solid pair of knee braces to keep me safe!
Alpinestars Fluid Tech Carbon Knee Brace Fast Facts
- Sizes: S-L, XL-2XL
- Color: Black
- Alpinestars Fluid Tech Carbon Knee Brace Price: $350 each, MSRP
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