Alpinestars Bionic 7 Knee Brace Review: Introduction

06 January 2020, 06:00 PM Vikrant Singh

Introduction

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A knee brace is one of the most ignored pieces of protection when it comes to off-road riding. We all use knee pads and knee guards but rarely end up investing in a brace. And I say invest here because a brace is significantly more expensive than either a pad or a guard. 

And for a good reason. While a knee pad or a guard only protects one’s knees against impact, a brace also ensures you don’t ruin your joints courtesy hyper-extension or unnecessary twisting. Now, these generally happen under extreme riding conditions like a poor landing following a massive jump, or the leg getting stuck in something during a fall.

So, even though it’s fair to assume one doesn’t need a brace for casual off-road riding, one must treat it as insurance for that one unexpected moment. 

This one here is the Alpinestars Bionic 7 knee brace. And it’s not only one of the best insurances you can have for your knees while off-roading, it is also light, beautifully finished, and thoughtfully engineered, which makes it pretty desirable too. 

Here then is a detailed breakdown about what the Bionic 7 is all about.

The Construction

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The Bionic 7 is made almost exclusively of a fibre glass compound. Add to it an exo-skeleton design and you get a brace that’s light, functional and rigid.

The design also allows for good air flow. And to aid this further, there are mesh panels in place too. There are four straps to hold the Bionic 7 in place. And the brace can be had in sizes ranging from small to XL.

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In terms of functioning, the knee cup of the brace uses a layered or double wall system. It has a customisable hinge system as well. The layered knee cup allows for less sticky movements, while the dual hinge ensures that the brace follows the natural knee movement as much as possible.

The Protection

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Like we said at the start, a knee brace not only protects the rider’s knees against impact, it also ensures that hyper-extension and twisting of the knee is kept to a minimum. While twisting of the knee is self-explanatory, hyper-extension is a painful condition that occurs when the rider bends his or her knee in the opposite direction.

The Alpinestars Bionic 7 prevents this by having a locking system in place for its hinge. And, it is a customisable solution. The brace comes with a zero-degree lock as standard from the company, which means the brace will open up to the straightest position possible.

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However, if the rider wants to play it safe and wants to avoid getting his or her knee absolutely straight to avoid injuries at all costs, the rider can simply switch the existing zero degree lock with the 5, 10, 15, 20 and 30 degree extension locks which come in the box as standard. Alpinestars says, it’s also pretty easy to switch these locks courtesy the tool that is also supplied with the braces. 

In terms of impact protection, the double wall knee cup system not only offers a large coverage area for the knees, it is also designed to absorb and disperse impact force in case of a fall. And the added soft padding helps, of course. Rating wise, the brace is rated CE Level one for impact protection.

The Comfort

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The Bionic 7 doesn’t just get soft padding around the knee cup area, but in fact, the brace is lined with it top to bottom. And that means spending long hours on a dirt trail with these on shouldn’t be a chore.

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Plus, the four securing straps are soft as well. And these are designed to hold the brace in place while riding, but without cutting into the rider’s thigh and calf area. The straps are also numbered which indicate the sequence in which one needs to strap them on for a better, more secure fit.

The brace comes with additional space padding as well on the sides for a better fit. 

What’s next?

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Now the plan is to test these braces out for comfort, fit, and usability in the course of the next three months.

Product Details

Make: Alpinestars

Model: Bionic 7 Knee Brace

Price: Rs 35,700 (excluding taxes)

Photography by Kaustubh Gandhi

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