Deal Days: 50% Off Sitewide (No Code Needed)
Free Continental USA Shipping On Orders $75+
0 Cart
Added to Cart
    You have items in your cart
    You have 1 item in your cart
    Total
    Check Out Continue Shopping

    News — Recon Knee

    661 | VITAL MTB REVIEW WOMENS PROTECTION

    661 | VITAL MTB REVIEW WOMENS PROTECTION

    REVIEW - 661's Women's Protective MTB line

    All of the MTB protection for all your riding needs. 

     

    A long-time contender in the gravity MTB protection game, 661 has a history of making top-notch products to keep mountain bikers safe. We took in a big haul of their women's protective line to see what the brand has to offer riders this summer. From lightweight gloves to full body protection, we sampled it all. Hang tight and let's dig in!

    661 Glove Line

    Comp Glove Highlights

    • Four-way stretch mesh fabric
    • Durable single-layer synthetic leather palm
    • Touchscreen compatible 
    • Slip-on closure less cuff design
    • Silicone braking fingertips
    • Size Range: XS to XXL; Youth Sizing (Y-XS to Y-L)
    • Gender Specifics: Unisex
    • MSRP $21.99 USD

    Raji Glove Highlights

    • Four-way stretch highly breathable fabric
    • Vented single-layer palm
    • Touchscreen-compatible index finger and thumb
    • Secure low profile cuff strap
    • Enhanced grip and control with silicone print fingertips
    • Size Range: XS to XXL
    • Gender Specifics: Unisex
    • MSRP $24.99 USD

    Recon Advance Highlights

    • Abrasion-resistant stretch softshell fabric
    • TPU direct-inject knuckle and side of hand embellishments
    • AX suede palm
    • Micro-fiber thumb sweat wipe
    • Silicone printed fingertips
    • D30 knuckle protection
    • Touchscreen-compatible index finger and thumb
    • Slip-on cuff design
    • Size Range: XS to XXL
    • Gender Specifics: Unisex
    • MSRP $49.99 USD
    Photo
    Photo

    661 Comp Glove

    Ride fast, take chances! This lightweight summer glove had us with its fun look, cheeky design, and comfortable fit. The touchscreen-compatible feature worked, but only when the fingers were snugged all the way to the end. To be fair, humans have a wide range of finger length so if you’re the model hand for these gloves, you won’t have to adjust the glove to use the touchscreen compatibility. After wearing the gloves for only a couple of rides, the synthetic leather palm seemed to be showing signs of wear, but maybe they’ll remain useful for a few months and last through the summer season - glove-encased fingers crossed since we think these gloves are great for looking and feeling cool!

    Initial Impressions

    The Comp Glove uses stretch mesh fabric to keep your hands cool, and lightweight synthetic suede to give you great contact with the bars. The price point makes these gloves affordable, in line with similar gloves from other brands, and the various colorways are fun. 661 also makes these gloves in youth sizes, so those ripping groms can look cool while beating us on every uphill.

    What's The Bottom Line?

    We think these gloves are great, especially for the price point, and will facilitate a lot of summer riding.

    Photo

    661 Raji Glove

    These gloves scream summertime riding due to their construction and fun color (purple and neon yellow are a fave combo of ours). Lightweight stretch twill on the back of the hand combined with a ventilated palm and fingers mean you can still have hand protection in the heat. The touchscreen compatibility is a nice feature, but didn’t always work for us; the gloves needed to be adjusted to fit our fingers really snugly. Durability remains to be seen, but since it’s summer, we might just be wearing these gloves on the daily, so they’ll probably get a lot of extra testing. For those who coach mountain biking in any capacity, the bright color of these gloves (we got the ‘classic purple’) provides a great contrast to our basic black grips, which is great for showing people proper hand and finger placement.

    Initial Impressions

    The Raji Glove is priced slightly higher than the Comp Glove, with a key difference being the vented palm in the Raji Glove. This feature makes these gloves comfortable on the hottest summer days, so you don’t have to sacrifice handlebar connection or hand protection to stay cool.

    What's The Bottom Line?

    The 661 Raji Glove is a good summer glove and seems to be priced appropriately to facilitate a lot of fun summer riding and coaching.

    Photo

    661 Recon Advance Glove

    The Recon Advance Glove is ready to take care of business. The knuckle impact protection and solid black made us feel like a special agent and gave us peace of mind not having to worry about breaking another pinky on a misjudged tree gap. Although we got the same size in this glove as we did in the Comp and Raji gloves, it felt larger around the wrist and back of hand; maybe a velcro enclosure at the wrist could alleviate this issue? For all the protection these gloves provide, they are surprisingly lightweight and comfortable on warm days. We also loved, and took full advantage of, the micro-fiber sweat wipe! (Why is all of our DH gear dark colors for summer riding?) 

    Initial Impressions

    The Recon Advance Glove is at the top end of 661’s glove line, and for good reason. These gloves are burly, with D30 knuckle impact protection and additional inserts. The palm also seems more durable in these gloves, which bodes well for getting a lot of use out of these as our new go-to gravity gloves. Had these gloves fit better, we would have rated them higher.

    What's The Bottom Line?

    We look forward to rocking the Recon Advance Glove on gravity laps, knowing that our hands will be well protected.

    Photo
    Photo

    661 Radia Goggle

    We were drawn to the Radia goggle as soon as we took it out of the box. The eye-popping‘ dazzle yellow’ colorway perfectly complemented the Raji Gloves in ‘classic purple’. 661 did a great job of matching form and function with this goggle. The size small was also comfortable on small faces and they fit perfectly with our non-661 helmet (yay!). The lens afforded visibility in lower light (during tree-riding) while providing UV protection in full sun. Given our all-black gravity kit and riding in 85-degree temps, we appreciated the anti-fog treatment! The Radia Goggles are comfortable, functional, and fun!

    Highlights

    • Cylindrically injection-molded polycarbonate lenses that filter out 100% of harmful UVA and UVB rays
    • Perfect fit for 661 helmets
    • Double density foam comfort
    • 40mm strap with silicone grip for added security
    • Coated with Anti-Fog & Anti-Scratch treatments on the smoke mirror lens as standard
    • Tear-off pegs and tear-off system available
    • Spare & option lenses available
    • Size Range: S and L
    • Gender Specifics: Unisex
    • MSRP $49.99 USD

    Safety Features: The silicone grip in the strap meant that this goggle didn’t move, even in the gnarliest rock garden. The wide eye port helped us utilize our peripheral vision as we hammered the turns and berms. 

    Initial Impressions

    The Radia Goggle seems to be priced similarly to other goggles on the market. The Dazzle colorways are at the top end of 661’s goggle line, while their Script goggles are more moderately priced, but we weren’t sure what accounted for this difference.

    What's The Bottom Line?

    We liked the look, feel, and functionality of the Radia Goggle. They stayed on our face and fit well without fogging up. The lens provided visibility in a range of light conditions and we plan to get a lot of use out of them on gravity laps this summer.

    Photo
    Photo

    EVO Base Layer Protection

    EVO Jacket Highlights

    • Removable D30 back, elbow, and shoulder inserts
    • EN1621-1 and EN1621-2 certified
    • Laminated EVA foam for protection in the chest and frontal hip bones while promoting air flow 
    • Hydration bladder compatible
    • Two rear stash pockets for ride essentials
    • Lightweight breathable and wicking compression fabrics
    • PADLOCK connection system, to integrate with 661 protective shorts
    • Women’s specific fit
    • Size Range: XS to XL
    • Gender Specifics: Women’s
    • MSRP $199.99 USD

    EVO Shorts Highlights

    • Removable D30 hip pads, EN 1621:1 rated
    • Lycra construction with laminated EVA foam for thigh and coccyx protection
    • Silicone leg gripper
    • PADLOCK connection system, to integrate with 661 protective jackets and knee pads
    • Women’s specific fit
    • Size Range: XS to XL
    • Gender Specifics: Women’s
    • MSRP $99.99 USD

    EVO Women’s Compression Jacket

    LEAN IN! This is definitely a power jacket and has literally got your back. When you want serious body armor for big gravity days, the EVO Compression Jacket is the right tool for the job. 661 strategically placed padding where it’s most critical, protecting those vertebrae and vital organs, and then went as lightweight as possible in their best effort to keep you comfortable. 

    Photo
    Photo

    The removable D30 inserts make the inevitable washing a little easier - pads can be removed through openings on the inside of the jacket - and must be removed before washing. We liked the front zip of this jacket, which made it easy to put on and take off. The majority of the jacket is mesh (aside from the D30 and EVA parts), and the designers thoughtfully kept an underarm opening for maximum heat release - bravo! Very important, the PADLOCK connection between the EVO Women’s Compression Shorts and the EVO Women’s Compression Jacket is near the frontal hip bones, which means you can drop your pants and bibs without removing your jacket and jersey to use the bathroom - Thank you 661 for this feature!

    Photo

    It did seem like the PADLOCK connection system between the jacket and shorts had some slack in it, but we didn’t notice it during riding. Another nice feature for ensuring a good fit is the velcro enclosure around the forearm, so you can get the fit you need. Although this jacket comes with rear stash pockets, they aren’t zippered, so they’d be great for a gel or snack (pocket bacon would fit perfectly, just sayin’). This jacket is also hydration bladder compatible, by putting your hydration bladder in the back D30 pocket and utilizing the pre-existing hole above the left shoulder blade. We are looking forward to gearing up in the EVO Women’s Compression Jacket for lots of gravity days this season!

    Photo

    661 EVO Women’s Compression Shorts with Chamois

    SENDING! These shorts are what you want for DH laps on the mountain. For body armor, they are surprisingly comfortable, and we really liked the chamois. There is a unisex version that comes without a chamois, if that’s your preference. The removable D30 hip pads make the inevitable washing a little easier - pads can be removed through an opening on the inside of the shorts and must be removed before washing.

    We also really liked the silicon printing on the inside of the leg openings with the PADLOCK connection system. Once we had our gear on, nothing moved. We did notice a little gap between the jacket and jersey, but the shorts didn’t move around (good for warm-up air squats) and the higher waistband was comfortable while providing more protection. We are looking forward to gearing up in the EVO Women’s Compression Shorts for lots of gravity days this season; these shorts really made us feel secure and protected (and made our butt look strong!).

    Photo

    Safety Features Jacket: D30 back, elbow, and shoulder inserts; laminated EVA foam for chest and hip protection, and the PADLOCK connection system gave us plenty of padding without being too hot and heavy, and keeping all our gear inter-connected.

    Safety Features Shorts: D30 hip pads, laminated EVA foam for thigh and coccyx protection, and the PADLOCK connection system gave us plenty of padding (not too much!) while allowing for articulation to pedal, and keeping all our gear inter-connected. 

    Use Application: The compression shorts and jacket are made for gravity days, whether that’s at your local bike park or taking lift-assisted laps.The Padlock Connection System is unique to 661; it allows EVO Shorts and Jackets to snap into a variety of elbow and knee pads, creating a locked chassis so pads won’t migrate in a crash.

    Photo

    Initial Impressions

    Both the EVO Women’s jacket and shorts seemed to be designed really well, with a great balance of breathability and protection. The combination of D30 pads and EVA foam is thoughtfully laid out. For female bodies, we appreciated that 661 made a high-functioning piece of gear, specifically fit to accommodate curves and muscles in different locations. It would be nice if 661 also offered a Women’s Compression Short without a chamois for female riders (they do offer a chamois-less short for male/unisex bodies). For such a key piece of gear, the price point is fair and similar to other brands. The EVO product line is at the top of 661’s protection product line, gearing towards the DH rider who likes to get extreme. This line also includes D30 protection, which is flexible and lightweight but hardens on impact.

    On The Trail

    We wore these on a couple of DH tracks at Mammoth mountain that got our adrenaline flowing, which seemed to suit the EVO Women’s Compression Jacket well. We noticed that the jacket didn’t seem to move once it was on, and it definitely gave us a boost of confidence and protection through a couple of toothy rock gardens. We felt like a badass secret agent wearing this jacket, which translated to riding more assertively and having a great day on the mountain.

    Photo

    Things That Could Be Improved

    We thought that 661 could consider making a short-sleeved version of the Women’s jacket since they already had a unisex/male version.

    Long Term Durability

    The EVO Women’s Compression Jacket seemed well made with a heavy-duty zipper. The mesh pieces of this jacket are its most vulnerable, particularly on the arms when you’re trying to get everything snugged just right. However, 661 has a two-year warranty, should you need it.

    What's The Bottom Line?

    The EVO Women’s Compression Jacket and Shorts are key additions to our body armor kit. We felt safer ripping gravity trails with this muscle shirt on, and appreciated that it didn't move once it was on. The shorts are comfortable and performed in concert with the jacket. We’d definitely buy the jacket and shorts combo as well as recommend that our DH squad check them out.

    Photo
    Photo

    Knee and Elbow Protection

    Recon Advanced Knee

    • D30 inserts, EN1621-1 certified.
    • Thermo-formed EVA inserts above and to the sides of the knee, along with the upper shin.
    • One-piece slip-on design with high-thigh fit and silicone grippers.
    • Lightweight, but incredibly durable and breathable fabrics.
    • PADLOCK connection system, to integrate with 661 protective shorts.
    • Optional add-on hard cap kits are available.
    • Size Range: S to XL
    • Gender Specifics: Unisex
    • MSRP $109.99 USD

    Recon Knee Highlights

    • D30 ‘Ghost’ protective inserts, EN1621-1 certified.
    • Highly flexible and breathable, super lightweight pads.
    • Stretch construction with abrasion-resistant fabrics.
    • Strategically placed stretch mesh fabrics improve airflow and breathability.
    • Elastic and silicone upper and lower grippers. 
    • Extended coverage for upper shin protection.
    • Knee pads fit higher on the thigh than many other pads. 
    • PADLOCK connection system, to integrate with 661 protective shorts.
    • Size Range: S to XL
    • Gender Specifics: Unisex
    • MSRP $84.99 USD

    Recon Elbow Highlights

    • D30 ‘Ghost’ protective inserts, EN1621-1 certified.
    • Highly flexible and breathable, super lightweight pads.
    • Stretch construction with abrasion-resistant fabrics.
    • Strategically placed stretch mesh fabrics improve airflow and breathability.
    • Elastic and silicone upper and lower grippers. 
    • Extended coverage for upper forearm protection.
    • Elbow pads fit higher on the arm. 
    • PADLOCK connection system, to integrate with 661 protective upper body armor.
    • Size Range: S to XL
    • Gender Specifics: Unisex
    • MSRP $74.99 USD

    661 Recon Advance Knee

    Get ready to rumble! The Recon Advance Knee is ready for action. We like their extended coverage on the upper thighs and lower legs, especially the upper shin. There is also a clever opening behind the knee to allow some heat to escape from the legs and make pedaling that much more comfortable. When we’re ready to get gnar on those DH laps, the Recon Advance Knee is what we’ll grab to pair with our upper and lower body armor.

    Photo

    Safety Features: D30 and EVA inserts combined with the PADLOCK connection system gave us plenty of padding without being too hot and heavy, while allowing for articulation necessary for pedaling, and keeping all our gear inter-connected. 

    Use Application: These knee pads are made for heavy-duty gravity days. The Padlock Connection System is unique to 661; it allows EVO Shorts and Jackets to snap into a variety of elbow and knee pads, creating a locked chassis so pads won’t migrate in a crash.

    Photo

    Initial Impressions

    The Recon Advance product line is the top of 661’s knee pad product line, gearing towards the DH rider who likes to get extreme. If you need additional protection, optional add-on hard cap kits are also available. This line also includes D30 protection, which is flexible and lightweight but hardens on impact.

    On The Trail

    We wore these on a couple of DH tracks at Mammoth mountain that got our adrenaline flowing, which seemed to suit the Recon Advance Knee well. We didn’t get a chance to test these in a cage fight, but we bet they’d hold up just fine. We noticed that these pads didn’t migrate at all and felt well protected through a couple of toothy rock gardens, which led to a few hoots and hollers. For all the protection these Recon Advance Knee pads offer, they felt lightweight and were much cooler (temperature-wise) than anticipated.

    Photo

    Things That Could Be Improved

    We noticed that pulling on the Recon Advance Knee pads needed to be done delicately, so as not to tear the mesh in the back of the pad. This is part of the sacrifice of having lighter-weight pads, but it’s still something that could be improved.

    Long Term Durability

    The front of the Recon Advance Knee pads felt strong and durable, but the mesh in the back seems like it might tear sooner rather than later. However, 661 has a two-year warranty, should you need it.

    What's The Bottom Line?

    We like the Recon Advance Knee for those big DH days when we’re pulling out the heavy-duty body armor. These are for strong riders who like those spicy lines - rock gardens, loose berms, and big jumps! We’d absolutely get a pair for the sendy days.

    Photo

    661 Recon Knee and Recon Elbow

    Both the Recon knee and elbow pads offer that sweet spot of flexibility and protection. The mesh back and opening behind the knees shaves weight and makes these more breathable in the summer heat. We liked the extended sleeve that went higher up the thigh and lower down the calves than many other knee pads. The same rang true for the elbow pads extending up the bicep. Coupled with upper and lower grippers and the Padlock Connection system for more coverage and less pad migration. If you choose not to utilize the Padlock Connection system, it cleverly snaps to itself so you don’t have random pieces flapping off of your gear. We also appreciated that 661 made these pads machine washable, including the D30 Ghost insert, to get rid of the inevitable sweat, dirt, and grime that our pads always accumulate.

    Photo

    Safety Features

    Both the knee and elbow pads feature D30 and EVA inserts combined with the PADLOCK connection system. They gave us plenty of padding without being too hot and heavy, while allowing for articulation necessary for pedaling, and keeping all our gear inter-connected. The Padlock Connection System is unique to 661; it allows EVO Shorts and Jackets to snap into a variety of elbow and knee pads, creating a locked chassis so pads won’t migrate in a crash.

    Use Application: These pads are made for all-day riding when you want to get medium rad, but still need to pedal.

    Initial Impressions

    The Recon product line is right in the middle of 661’s product line, balancing value with protection for the cross-country rider that likes to ride some downhill trails. The Recon line has been redesigned and now includes machine-washable D30 protection, which is flexible and lightweight, but hardens on impact.

    Photo

    On The Trail

    We wore these on some cross-country trails with moderate climbing and descending, which seemed to suit the Recon line well. When descending, having our sensitive bony knees protected with the Recon Knee’s D30 inserts was confidence-inspiring and comfortable. Given all the protection the Recon Knee provides, they were surprisingly light and comfortable and were easy to pedal while climbing. When cornering and riding through tight trees, we appreciated having our elbows well protected. Given all the protection the Recon Knee provides, they were surprisingly light and comfortable while climbing.

    Things That Could Be Improved

    As with anything involving mesh, putting the Recon pads on needs to be done with some delicacy, so as not to tear these. Although this comes with the territory of having lighter-weight pads, it’s still something that could be improved. We also felt like the upper gripper around our not-that-large biceps was a little too tight - maybe some more fit testing could be done to better size these.

    Photo

    Long Term Durability

    The front of the Recon Knee pads felt strong and durable, but the mesh in the back seems like it might tear sooner rather than later. Generally, the Recon Elbow pads felt strong and durable although we had the same concerns with the mesh portions as we did with the knee pads. However, 661 has a two-year warranty, should you need it.

    What's The Bottom Line?

    We like the Recon knee and elbow pads for moderate trails, getting medium rad, and riding trails that require some pedaling. The lighter weight is friendly for summer riding and we would definitely add the Recon pads to our quiver for XC riding with moderate downhill.

    Head to sixsixone.com to learn more and see the entire line.

    Photo

    Reviewed by Coral Taylor // Photos by Brendan Mooney

    About The Reviewer

    Coral Taylor - Age: 43 // Years Riding MTB: 15 // Height: 5’3" (1.65 m) // Weight: 125-pounds (56.7 kg)

    I love all types of bikes, but I’d have to say that mountain bikes are my favorite. Biking through the forest, ripping sweet berms, and rolling over rocks always elicits hoots and hollers from me! I consider myself a ‘medium-rad’ rider and I love riding both cross-country trails and ‘navy blue’ DH trails, although my goal for this summer is to clear more of the black and double-black lines at Mammoth Mountain. Mountain biking offers me the opportunity to both down-regulate and up-regulate my nervous system, and I always feel physically and mentally better after time on the bike. Through mountain biking, I have also connected with so many amazing humans and have been motivated to visit some beautiful places under the guise of mountain biking.

    I volunteer as a ride leader for the Tahoe Mountain Bike Girls, which offers group rides ~every 2 weeks in the summer to the FTW community. Our rides are aimed at all levels, with no one left behind and the intent to build the mountain bike community in the Truckee/North Lake Tahoe area of northern California. I am also a BICP Level 2 Intermediate Skills Instructor and work as a part-time bike guide in the Truckee area. New to me this year, I’ve also started volunteering as a NICA coach for the Mammoth Mountain Bike Team and have enjoyed coaching in this role and learning about NICA. Sharing the sport of mountain biking with other humans is really important to me; besides the physical benefits of biking and the mental health benefits of being outside, I believe that the benefit of having FUN is the most important! The more FUN we have, the less existential dread we have and the nicer we are, which means we can have more bandwidth to create positive change in the world. 

    Originally posted by BHowell VitalMTB.com 

    661 | NSMB REVIEW NEW PROTECTION

    661 | NSMB REVIEW NEW PROTECTION

    Words Trevor Hansen
    Photos Deniz Merdano


    Elbows and Knees

    Whenever I test protective gear, I go back to wondering how much protection is enough. I would love to ride with nothing... well with clothes and shoes. Then my memory of stitches, infections, broken bones, big annoying bruises and concussions gets me back to the reality of this sport/pastime/addiction. I went through a phase when I would tailor my protection based on the degree of difficulty of the trails I was riding that day. Unfortunately, a lot of accidents have happened on easier trails that I thought I was prepared for. All of these past injury tenses made me interested in 661's Recon and Recon Advance pads because I can choose the level of protection I want based on the ride's difficulty that day.

    661recon2.jpg

    The most comfortable pads I have worn - the Recon knees. Do they work in the event of a bail? No clue; I was lucky enough not to crash during the tes

    I have forced myself to cover my elbows, knees, head (that's a yes-brainer) and hands on all my rides. I do save the big burly gear, (knees with hard shell caps, beefy elbows, Smith Mainline full face, Leatt 4.5 chest protector) for the rides I know are gonna be steep, fast and dangerous. For all the others, lightweight low-profile 'bows and knees with gloves and half shell work for me. I use Race Face Charge elbows a lot as a means to end cuts and stitches and infections on easier terrain so I was happy to try 661's Recon lightweight low profile knees and elbows for these kinds of rides. I was also interested in the new Recon Advanced gear with the removable hard shell kneecap cover. Perhaps this one pad could do it all.

    661 introduced thr Recon and Recon Advance line last year. I have been testing the Recon knees and elbows as well as Recon Advance knees with and without their removable hard shell knee cap caps, er, covers. The Recon knee and elbow offer minimalist protection that uses a D30 Ghost protective insert that stays in allowing it to be machine washable. The lightweight stretch design, mesh fabrics and elasticized silicone cuffs make for the most comfortable knee pad I have ever worn. The elbow would be more comfortable if it wasn't so gosh darn long and tight. 661 sent me a medium, obviously unaware of the gun show. Sizing ranges from small to XL. I feel like I am in between a medium and a large in all models of the Recon line; such is the plight of the princess and the pea that is me.

    The Recon line is very high quality in construction and design. The silicone grippers on the top and bottom cuffs do a good (not excellent) job of keeping the pads in place. Good rather than excellent because without the proper fit there is only so much the silicone can do. On the medium pads the silicone did a great job but that was because the pads were so tight. On the large I got some down-sliding (discussed later).

    All of the Recon gear comes with 661's integration system known as Padlock. Little snaps on all the pads connect to 661 compression jackets and shorts to help keep the gear in place. Did it work? No clue - I wasn't testing 661 clothing. Based on proper sizing, silicone and design, I do not see why the Padlock system is needed, and come to think of it I cannot see myself wanting to fuss with snapping it all together, nor wear compression jackets and shorts.

    661rec1.jpg

    Recons go high up the thigh.

    661elboside.jpg

    Almost the entire length of the arm is covered. This might be a bit hot in the summer.

    Recon Knees and Elbows

    These stealthy lightweight pads are excellent for easier trail rides...I think. Again, I don't know how well they work in a wipe-out because a flaw in these reviews is the lack of crash test dummies. If I do crash I will report back on the effectiveness of these pads. However, using my years of physical engineering experience I kinda think the less padding you wear, the less protection you have in a crash. But, D30 claims their Ghost tech exceeds Level 1 performance requirements (EN 1621-1:2012 ). So I guess if it's good enough for moto tracks it should be good enough for mountain biking? Although, tracks don't have boulders and punji sticks all around so again, until I or you crash (let me know in the comments about your crashes with D30 Ghost) we'll never really know how effective it is.

    But did I say how comfortable the knees are? They go a bit too high on the thigh for me but because they are so comfy I don't even care. The extra length probably helps them in place. For the silicone to work, I made sure my chamois or ginch was layered over the cuff so the silicone would grab onto my hairy legs. It's so nice to have a thin pad under the pants instead of a bulging knee pad: I tested these in the winter so no shorts were worn other than when Deniz made me strip down for him - in the name of art and gear. The length below the knee is long enough for a bit more shin protection than most knees I have tried.

    The elbows are elbows, as in I don't want to wear elbows but I force myself to wear elbows. They are the brussel sprouts of my riding gear. They smell bad, feel best when laying in a drawer and not on me and they are good for my health. The mediums I tested were a bit small so they were not that comfortable. In addition, they were a bit too long for my liking. In my elbow pad shootout I gave the Race Face Indys the trophy for best elbow pad and part of that had to do with the length; 28cm long for the Indy compared to 40cm long for the 661.

    661plusboth.jpg

    Recon Advance no hard cap on the left, hard cap mounted on the right.

    Recon Advance Knees

    These knees seem like the perfect compromise between gnar and gnar-gnar. I rode sans hard shell cap on the easy days, then mounted the hard shell cap for the days I was riding the really gnarly trails. My only problem with these well-designed and built knees is the sizing. Again, I am a medium-large. The mediums fit but were a bit tight and dug into my calves and hams, while the larges felt great but slid down during rides unless I hiked the lower cuff above my calf to stop the down-sliding (see photo).

    The D30 LP1 inserts are quite beefy. The Recon Advance pads get the same moto rating as the Recons. The straps with velcro closures are used to hold the hard shells in place. When not in use they tuck away into 4 slots in the knee pad area. They are a bit finicky to get out, remove then tighten up when the shell is on but whatever, it's not that big a deal. The shell has a male velcro piece to adhere to the female piece on the pad which adds a bit more security to the four straps.

    Adding more protection beyond the knee padding, 661 incorporated extra thermo formed EVA inserts above and to the sides of the knee and a small part of the upper shin. The comfort, removable shell, EVA inserts, and high-quality materials and design make these excellent knee pads.

    deniz merdano 661 trevor hansen enduro.jpg

    Fresh dirt underneath, Recon elbows on the outside, Recon Advance knees on the inside, crazy light all around.

    Wouldya?

    I definitely would get both Recon knees and Recon Advance knees; if I had to choose just one I would go with Advance. Although I appreciate the convenience of strapped pads over slip-on pads, both the Recon and Recon advanced are so well built, comfortable, and seemingly protective that I would choose them over non-slip on pads. The Recon lightweight stealthy design and the Recon Advance lightweight but beefy protection combined with the removable hard shell cap make both sets a wise investment in my opinion.

    Recon Knees 85 USD, 105 CAD - large knees weigh 322g.

    Recon Elbows 75 USD, 95 CAD - large elbows weigh 280g.

    Recon Advance Knees 110 USD, 145 CAD, hard caps 15 USD, 20 CAD - large knees with shells weigh 450g.

    Original article posted on NSMB.com March 29th 2022

    661 | BIKERUMOUR RECON REVIEW

    661 | BIKERUMOUR RECON REVIEW
    "Thanks to the new D3O Ghost Pad, the 661 Recon D3O pads are, by a country mile, the most flexible knee pads we’ve tested yet. For mellow trail and XC riding, these compete strongly with some of the best on the market"

    Read more