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Kali’s Aazis pads look a bit bulky thanks to a solid, Kevlar-covered shell over the kneecap and soft, Neoprene padding around the sides, but they don’t feel it on the bike.

Ours were a size smaller than we’d normally choose – in fact, they’re the smallest – and it may actually have helped. There’s still plenty of room for comfort inside, and though we spent a lot of time adjusting before the first ride, they seemed to sit right first time after that. Sizes go up to extra large, and there’s a roughly 2.5cm increase in circumference across the range.

The Aazis don’t feel that different from 661’s popular (but no longer available) Kyle Strait pads, though they’re a little higher-profile in looks as well as design – especially with this asymmetrical colouring. The rear panels stay comfortable even when crumpled under pedalling (the 661s don’t always), and long and very secure Velcro tabs make adjustment easy. Once on, we never had to fiddle with them and, to be honest, rarely even gave them a thought. Which is how we like it. And despite the fold near the top, there’s little for shorts to hang up on.

They run as cool as pads of this size can be expected to and seem to trap less moisture than some, but they’re still not really the best thing for long days in the saddle. Look towards completely soft and much thinner, if less protective pads for that.

For messing around in the woods though they’re great, bringing useful protection from toptubes when you slide out and peace of mind over rocks and drops. They stay put whether pushing, pedalling or descending. Great stuff.

article was originally published in What
Mountain Bike
magazine, available on Apple
and Zinio.

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