WHAT IS IT? The Pod K8 Ultimate knee brace is the
third generation of the Australian-made Pod MX brace.
WHAT’S IT COST? $799.95 (pair), $399.95 (single).
CONTACT? www.podactive.com or (800) 999-3388.
WHAT STANDS OUT? Here’s a list of things that stand
out with the Pod K8 Ultimate.
(1) History. The first-generation Pod knee brace was
one of the most comfortable, easy-to-use braces on the
market. It was ahead of its time and changed the way
people looked at knee braces. We had occasional issues
with the knee cups having gaps and the Velcro pads
peeling off, but nothing that we couldn’t live with. The
Pod K700 replaced the original Pod, and most MXA test
riders preferred the original Pod to the K700. To this day,
Jody still races week in and week out in his refurbished
original Pod braces.
( 2) Update. We had five quibbles with the previous
Pod K700 brace. Most of those have been addressed with
the Pod K8 Ultimate. The Velcro that held the pads in
place has been strengthened. More padding was added
to the shin area (we’ll talk about that more later). The
synthetic tendon has more tension than before. Full-coverage guards were added to protect the entire surface
of the knee, whether bent or straight. The price of a
pair of K700s was $799.95. Thankfully, Pod held the
price down, and the new K8 Ultimate is the same price as
the old K700.
( 3) Movement. The “Human Motion” hinge system is
a feature that we love. It makes the braces easier to
wear, because the synthetic ligament provides not only
tension in one direction, but a springy feel in the other.
This makes getting out of the saddle when riding easier
on the knees.
( 4) Straps. All of the K8 straps are numbered one
through four. We all agree that the strap directly below
the knee is the most important strap, as it secures the
brace to your lower leg. The second most important
strap is the one directly above your knee. It secures the
top half of the brace to your upper leg. The other two
straps, while necessary, aren’t carrying the water for the
knee brace. They simply help hold it in place. When we
followed the numbering system, the brace felt secure
but would still slip downward throughout the day. This
is common with most knee braces, because the bottom
strap attaches to the part of your calf where it gets
thinner, thus it has nothing to grip. As far back as
the original CTi brace days, the MXA test riders have
crossed the two bottom straps in an X. That way, both
straps have a purchase on the fat part of your calf.
We have been told time and time again not to cross
the straps, but we do it anyway, because it eliminates
slippage, which we consider to be the worst of all evils.
( 5) Performance. The 695-gram carbon frame (with
knee cup) is light and durable. It provides superior
coverage of the knee across the full range of motion.
The lining is soft and gentle on the skin. Pod K8 knee
braces are medical-grade products, covered by most
health insurance plans if you have a doctor’s prescrip-
tion. Before purchasing a Pod K8, go to their website
and look at the sizing chart. If you are between sizes,
the next largest size fits the best, as Pod supplies many
different hinge-pad thicknesses to customize the fit to
WHAT’S THE SQUAWK? We have two quibbles. A
few test riders complained that the extra padding added
to the shin area was too firm and, when straightening
their legs, the padding would dig into their shins. It left
a visible imprint. It got less irritating as the foam broke
in, but it never went away. Additionally, the floating
knee cup floats fairly far away from the brace. It sticks
out farther than any other knee cup. If your pant has
limited room in the knees, the K8 knee cup will be a
tight fit. We’d like a lower-profile knee cup.
There is a lot to like about the Pod K8.
It feels like a feather on your legs. The
POD K8 ULTIMATE KNEE BRACE
synthetic hinge is a winner, and the area
of coverage has been improved. Unfortunately,
to get the benefits of any knee brace, you have
to accept a few inconveniences.
MXA TEAM TESTED