I was never a dedicated follower of fashion, but beyond looks there’s one advantage to assembling a whole kit from one brand: everything should work well together. This spring POC set me up with a bunch of clothing and gear to test, and I’ve found all the pieces performed well on the trail, and they do play nicely with each other.
POC Oseus VPD knee pads:
The Oseus VPD knees are a snug-fitting sleeve type pad, with no straps or flaps. POC has kept these pads pretty slim considering they offer level 2 protection for your knee caps (well-padded but not rigid), a few inches of shin coverage, and stiff inserts to cover the lower sides of your knees. POC’s online fit guide worked fine for me, I’m wearing size medium pads and they fit perfectly.
My first test ride was a short loop, and the Oseus knees felt good. The silicone dots inside the hems did their job well; I only pulled the top cuffs up once after 40 minutes of climbing, and the pads stayed in place for the descent. The silicone gripper tabs on the outsides stick to gloved fingers well and make it easy to adjust the pads when needed. I had no comfort issues on this ride and felt my pedaling mobility was very good.
I got in a few longer rides and had no major problems with the pads staying in place (the top fabric sometimes requires a quick tug, yet the lower cuff keeps them up on my knees), but I discovered some potential comfort issues… First off, the pads would leave impressions on my skin from the seams, and I had minimal irritation from one area on some earlier test rides. I did notice some chafing behind my knees after another ride, as the fabric was bunching up a bit inside my knee joints. Also on this ride the left pad left a slight red mark on top of my knee cap. I didn’t notice it while riding, but it was a sign of trouble…
One day I came home after a ride to find small spots on top of both my kneecaps had rubbed through the skin. This left two little scabs on my knees, so I immediately stopped using the Oseus pads until the scabs fully healed. Having to put the pads away for a while due to the rubbing was disappointing.
I started wearing the Oseus VPD’s again in the fall, and I’m only a few rides in but so far have had no rub spots or scabs on my knees. I also never had any ongoing issues with uncomfortable seams or bunching behind the knees, so the pads seem to have broken in well.
As mentioned above, after some pedaling the upper fabric will bunch up on top of the knee pad, but you can’t feel it so it’s not really a concern comfort-wise. I’ve pedaled long distances with the pads looking like this, and never felt the need to stop and straighten them out. Overall their pedaling mobility is good enough that I wouldn’t hesitate to wear these pads through long days in the saddle.
The Oseus VPD knee pads have perforated knee protection, but they’re going to get sweaty inside. There are certainly cooler options for knee pads, but they’re probably lighter-duty: for the amount of protection the Oseus pads offer they are easily tolerable to wear, even for longer trail rides on hot summer days.
Unless I have recurring issues with the rubbing on my kneecaps, I expect to get a lot more use out of the Oseus knees. I haven’t crashed hard in them, but so far they’re not showing any damage, defects, or excess wear.
The Oseus VPD knee pads come in Uranium Black only, in sizes S-XL. They sell for $160.
Reform Enduro Long Sleeve Jersey and Tee:
It’s nice to see more and more companies using recycled materials to make riding gear! Kudos to POC for joining in with their new Reform jerseys. These jerseys’ recycled polyester fabric offers a nice slippery feel, which I find comfortable on the skin and more resistant to wear from hydration packs than merino jerseys.
The Reform jerseys aren’t a super lightweight option – at 220g/m2, they are slightly heavier and thicker than my other jerseys. The tradeoff there is durability; mine have been worn and washed many times and they’re not warping at all, plus they feel like they might survive a few crashes! I will admit they’re not the quickest drying jerseys I’ve ridden, but they still dry up like a technical garment should.
The long and short sleeve jerseys both feature a simple cut with round collars and seamless shoulders, and they include one small zippered side pocket for credit cards, etc. The only graphic on the Reform jerseys is POC’s logo across the chest.
I’m wearing size medium jerseys, and I’m happy with the fit of both. They are a bit loose on my torso (with the intention of fitting over body armour) but not overly baggy in any way. The sleeve and body length both work well for me, and I’m a bit lanky at 5’10”.
Infinite All Mountain shorts:
Despite my color choice, POC’s Infinite All Mountain shorts have proven to be a lightweight, cool pair! While they feature a tougher fabric in the seat area, their main fabric is quite thin yet it still blocks wind and resists water.
The Infinite All Mountain shorts have a zippered fly with two buttons, Velcro waist adjusters at the sides, zippered vents on both legs, and a small zip pocket on the back of the waist. I definitely found the leg vents increase airflow and keep you cooler on hot rides.
The side pockets are nearly hidden, with slim and sleek flap closures. Whatever’s in those pockets sits on the outside of your hips, which seemed a bit odd at first but didn’t bother me while riding (even my somewhat bulky keychain). After many rides I can confirm the pocket flaps will hold items like smartphones securely.
The leg hems are cut lower in the front and higher in the back to provide coverage and mobility. Personally, I like the leg length; it’s generous but not excessive. Sizing seems pretty on-point, as I only slightly snugged up the waist with the side adjusters (I’m testing size medium shorts and my waist is just a hair under 32”). The leg hems are perfectly sized too, as they maintain a sleek look but fit easily over POC’s Oseus VPD knee pads.
The Infinite All Mountain shorts come in Uranium Black or Moonstone Grey. MSRP is $160, and sizes go from XS-XXL.
Resistance Enduro glove:
Last up, POC’s Resistance Enduro gloves are a basic no padding, no wrist closure, mesh-backed glove. They feature thin perforated palms, grippers on your first two fingers, a pull tab on the cuff, a terrycloth thumb panel, and touchscreen-compatible thumbs.
Initially these size medium gloves felt a little too small for me. The fingers were a bit short, and my pinky finger was pulling up the cuff on the outer side of my wrist. The palm was OK, but just long enough to fully cover my hand. Thankfully after a few rides the fingers stretched out a little, and the gloves fit me comfortably enough now.
The Resistance Enduro gloves are a nice cool option for hot weather rides. With mesh backs and no extra bits and pieces, they are a solid choice for summertime. I’ve been riding mine since spring and they have no rips, tears or undue wear to speak of.
My previous pair of Resistance Enduro Adjustable gloves (also size medium) fit me a bit better than the simpler version. Their Velcro cuff closure helps keep the cuff in place whereas the cuff on the non-adjustable Resistance Enduro gloves gets pulled up on the outside due to the short fingers.
The Resistance Enduro glove is available in Moonstone Grey, Basalt Blue, Uranium Black, Prismane Red, or Light Azurite Blue. Sizes range from XS-XL, and they retail for $60.