Riding pants vs Knee guards: Which one should you choose?



Riding pants vs knee guardsWe discussed in the past why you should go for riding jackets against elbow guards. Another natural corollary to that conclusion is that you should go for riding pants rather than knee guards. But why should you? Yes buying cheap gear is never going to help you in any way, but are knee guards a viable alternative to riding pants, at least in some specific situations? Let’s find out.

Riding pants vs Knee guards: Protection

The most important question, the very reason we ever buy these two items. As is obvious, riding pants provide exponentially more protection as compared to knee guards. They are made of tough abrasive resistant material, with added knee and hip protectors that provide all round protection in case of a fall. Knee guards on the other hand provide a very basic level of protection to only your knee and a little below it. 


I have worn many different types of knee guards over the years, from the cheapest to the mid range, but they are never as comfortable as a riding pant. Knee guards tend to move around a bit, plus their very design hampers blood flow to the legs and feet. Plus you will walk really weird with a pair on!

Riding pants on the other hand are just regular pants with protection, so they tend to be much more comfortable. Almost all models come with an ass-patch of rough material that stops your butt from slipping at every turn.


This is something that depends on the specific application you will be using these items for. E.g., for normal day to day drive to office, you can’t really go for riding pants, unless your office routine involves stripping in the parking at 9 am. Knee guards perform well in such a scenario, since they are very easy to put on and take off.

The general rule then: riding pants for long rides, knee guards for short.


Knee guards cost a fraction of a riding pant, and for obvious reasons. But that cost is made up in the myriad variety of ways it protects your body. But then again if you are on a really tight budget, it’s better to have some protection than nothing at all. Knee guards can provide the basic level of protection over long rides, but don’t expect it to be too comfy.

Riding pants vs Knee guards: Verdict

From every possible point of view, riding pants seem to be your best bet. The only situation in which you should use knee guards are for the daily office commute, rest everywhere you can depend totally on full protection of riding pants! Check out our review of Spartan Odysseus riding pant to find out why you shouldn’t buy it.

RiderZone recommends riding pants over knee guards all day long. 

Image source: www.biketoq.com

Join the Conversation

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


  1. Aadil 'Tuckks' Naik

    what are ur views on riding jeans? Riding pants obviously top the list, but i was considering the Royal Enfield Riding Jeans http://royalenfield.com/accessories/trousers/riding-denim/ which seems pretty good with height adjustable knee guards as well as hip protectors. Cause i ride to college daily, and knee guards make up part of my riding gear as you can’t exactly sit with riding pants in class…

    1. AK

      Not a bad idea at all Aadil! Riding jeans are cool, they provide abrasion and impact resistance, although not as much as a proper riding pant. It’s perfect for college. Go for it!