If you got a young little ripper like the one I have, you want to keep them as safe as possible in this dangerous sport we all love. The old rule of thumb is “dress for the crash not the ride” and this hold true even more with our children. It’s one thing getting yourself hurt, but making sure your child is wearing the appropriate gear gives us parents some piece of mind knowing that they are as safe as possible. Crashes are inevitable between the ages of 5-12 and getting the appropriate gear on them is crucial. Asterisk has made youth knee braces for quite sometime, but have recently introduced their new Micro Cell knee brace that are the first of their “Slim Line” set of carbon knee braces.
The Micro Cell has an epoxy pre-preg carbon frame, made in Asterisk’s factory in Corona, California, with a full coverage patella cup and hyperextension stops ranging from 0-30 degrees (similar to our current Jr Cell). It is also equipped with Asterisk’s true motion hinge that gives the rider smooth/natural motion of each leg. This brace offers rigid lateral arms for the most support and lowest profile possible. The Micro Cell really makes sure all the important areas of knee protection are addressed without being too bulky for most youth riders small/skinny legs.
My son Aden is 12 years old weighs 85 pounds, but is built like his dad (D&R), which means he is long and skinny. We have tried other youth braces in the past, but could never get the right fit for his smaller circumference chicken legs. Other braces would slip down, dig into his leg, and wouldn't get tight enough, which means they wouldn't be doing their job in case of a crash or sudden twist. The Micro Cell’s fit snugly with three velcro straps and are not cumbersome to interrupt the technique of a small rider. Having proper technique at a young age is super important because these younger years of riding are the foundation of proper technique for the future (AKA Safety). I like that there are extension stops that limit my little dudes legs that can also be adjusted by the parent as the child grows.
After using the braces on the first day, Aden reported back that he could move his leg more freely through corners and the braces weren't as heavy (as his older style braces that he was wearing). Pinching/squeezing the bike was made easier because of the slim nature of the brace and Aden didn't come home with a chunk of skin missing, because the Micro Cell didn't dig into any parts of his legs. I also like the braces because the hinges/frame protected him from a collision at a race that he had with another rider. Another kid came into him a little hot and basically t-boned Aden in the side of the knee/leg area. The hinges/frame of the Micro Cell not only protected his knee, but kept the impact to his leg to a minimum. Some people ask me “why not just get him in knee guards”? Having this happen to Aden and then inspecting his knee/leg gave me the answer as to why knee braces are better without question. It’s added protection for my kid that needs it in a time where he most likely will be crashing the most because he is learning to find where he can push the limit and where he can’t.
The cost of the Micro Cell is $349.00 and is a one size fits most as Asterisk can provide thinner or thicker padding to create the correct fit. Aden used standard pads and hasn't used thinner pads yet. The brace itself has held up great over the course of several months of crashing and riding, but they are fully rebuildable from Asterisk if need be. The Micro Cell’s are not up on Asterisk’s website yet, but is available by calling (951) 268-6790. If you can measure the circumference of your child’s knee and give that measurement to Asterisk (when ordering) they can ensure you are getting the correct brace and padding. This has been one of the best protective pieces I have put on my kid in the past year and I fully endorse using this product to keep your child’s knees/legs safe.
If you have any questions about this product feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org