Tested: Pod K4 2.0 Kneebraces
A product the Transmoto team has tried, tested and would recommend to a mate.
WHAT IS IT
The K4 2.0 is Pod Active’s new, base-model kneebrace – their third generation of impact-modified composite-frame braces, and replaces the popular K400 brace. This latest iteration of the K4 is one of the three kneebraces the Australian manufacturer produces; the other two being the new top-of-the-line K8 brace and the K4 Youth brace. The K4 2.0 brace shares all the design elements, features and technology of its pricier and slightly lighter stablemate, the K8 2.0. In fact, the only other difference between the two is the frame construction – the K4 uses a composite frame, while the K8 has a carbon frame.
WHY WE RATE IT
- Comfort: It’s an off-the shelf brace, but being available in three sizes helps customise the fit. As do the supplied interchangeable pads and adaptive cuffs, which help conform to leg shapes and muscle movements. The outer chassis is slightly narrower than its predecessor, the K400, which translates into a more streamlined fit into your riding pants and better feel when squeezing the bike.
- Protection: Pod’s ‘Human Motion Hinge’ is designed to mimic the ligament in your knee and create a smooth action that follows your leg through its entire range of motion. And it works! It’s also effective in helping keep the brace in place. The updated two-piece, CE-certified design of the “full coverage guards” (compared to the previous three-piece design) offers much better kneecap protection from impacts and handlebar strikes. The new design also makes the K4s more comfortable to kneel in, and less inclined to snag your duds at full flexion.
- Adaptable Fit: The upper and lower cuffs offer a flexible fit to your leg once strapped in. And the top and bottom clip-in cuff buckles offer a much quicker fitment and release time, and are a lot easier than doing up all the straps each time. Plus, the new two-piece patella guard design is now more easily removed if you don’t need that added protection (for example, if you want to ‘repurpose’ your brace for watersports, such as surfing and wakeboarding).
- Accessories & Spare Parts: Pod’s simple modular design means nearly every part of the brace is replaceable and rebuildable at home. You can purchase and replace worn out liners and straps (and even replace the hinge system and/or impacts guards, if needs be), rather than having to send the braces back to Pod.
- Peace of Mind: The K4 is medically certified, so you can take it to your GP, and depending on your health insurance, you can claim a portion of the cost on your health fund. Plus, you get a two-year warranty on the frame (not something too many other off-the-shelf kneebraces offer). And if you’re someone who loves leaving foul-smelling bike gear in your gearbag, you’ll also like the fact the K4’s Antimicrobial frame liners and pads are designed so they don’t absorb moisture, but do reduce odour.
- As the K4 uses a composite construction (rather than the K8’s carbon), they are a little heavier (around 80g), and not quite as rigid, but this is something only Pro riders are likely to notice and be concerned with.
- Yes, they’re more expensive than conventional knee guards. But they also offer much better protection against knee injuries (which can cost a bomb).
Pod’s new and improved K4 kneebraces are more comfortable and durable than their predecessors, and now offer noticeably more protection and practical features than most comparably priced (and some high-end) braces. Their modular design makes them really easy to maintain, plus you get a two-year frame warranty. All of which makes these K4s exceptionally good value for money at $780 a pair.
$389.95 each or $779.90 a pair (available in White/Black or Matte Graphite) // www.podactive.com
WHAT SIZE ARE YOU?
Check out Pod’s sizing chart and video to figure out what brace size best suits you.