I can’t ride without knee braces any more. Not only is it a psychological thing; I find it quite uncomfortable and it rattles my confidence every time I put my foot down. I’ve had a few decent hits on my knees and even broken a few knee braces in my time. In one crash I had a few years back my knee hyperextended and cracked my femur but knee braces saved me from further damage.
When I saw these new Asterisk Ultra Cell knee braces online for the first time, I was pretty intrigued. The first set of braces I ever had were Asterisk back when I was a junior and I never had a bad thing to say except the way they did up wasn’t the greatest system. So when the Ultra Cell came up with an all-new ratchet-style fastening system I was very interested to throw a set on and get the rundown.
The guys at McLeods Accessories had me measure my knee to ensure I was supplied the correct size and they were on their way. When they landed in my office I was out the door and off on a weekend ride to give them a thorough test. I tried them on the night before and, with a little tweak to the adjusters, the braces fitted like a glove. The slip-on stockings to go under the braces are an awesome inclusion and work sweet for ultimate comfort — even with hairy legs.
My first thought was that they were a little wider than other braces I’d worn but, to be honest, it was nothing I noticed after a lap or two. After five or six laps I actually forgot I was riding with intent to test them, which in my book is an absolute positive. If they’d been on my mind the whole time it would probably be due to a comfort issue, something that would distract me from my riding.
I’ve ridden with these a handful of times now and can’t complain. They aren’t the thinnest brace on the market and I’ve loosened the top adjuster on my boots but it doesn’t affect my comfort on the bike. I’ll give them a good workout over the coming months and check in with some more info on the Asterisk Ultra Cell. For now, two thumbs up. — Matt Bernard