WHAT IS IT? The new Asterisk Cell knee brace is a
refined and more durable version of all that have come
WHAT’S IT COST? $699.00.
www.asterisk.com or (951) 268-6790.
WHAT STANDS OUT? Here’s a list of things that stand
out with the Asterisk Cell knee brace.
(1) History. We haven’t had the best luck with Asterisk
knee braces. Previous generations of Asterisk knee braces
were generally bulky and somewhat fragile, but there were
design features that had potential. The problem? Asterisk
braces rarely held together. A great design does no one
any good if it doesn’t stand the test of time. Asterisk now
has a new owner, Mike Beier. You may remember Mike
from his AMA Pro, European Hardcross and beach race
success. Mike kept the Asterisk knee brace features that
were solid, tossed out the problematic elements and redesigned the overall configuration.
( 2) Features. Legs comes in different lengths, widths
and shapes. To design a knee brace that fits every individual rider is almost impossible. This is why CTI knee braces
were so popular (and expensive). They were custom-made
to fit the rider’s legs. The Asterisk Cell may not be a custom brace, but it does have the A.R.C cuffs that adjust and
customize the fit of the brace at the thigh and calf. This
custom feel is backed up by the Cell’s free-motion hinge. It
moves with the natural arc of each leg. The brace’s frame
is made of a carbon fiber matrix and offers a full-coverage
patella cup to protect the entire top of the leg from the
ground—and that pesky handlebar.
( 3) Performance. The most important thing when
buying a set of knee braces is getting the right size. On
Asterisk’s website there is a sizing chart. It will tell you
to locate the middle of your kneecap and where to mea-
sure the circumference of your leg to determine which
size brace will fit you best. Do not skip this! We tested a
size large. When we got ours, the first thing we did was
adjust the A.R.C cuff at the thigh and calf. This made for
a custom feel. The plastic cuffs are able to form to your
leg, unlike some of the super-rigid cuffs that make for an
awkward fit. The new-generation Asterisk braces didn’t
feel bulky (until we wore some tight-fitting pants). Tighter-
fitting pants don’t restrict movement; they just force you
to squeeze the pants over the brace rather than sliding it
on. The full-coverage patella cup definitely adds size to the
brace but is well worth it. We never worried about striking
our knees on the handlebars. The free-motion hinge moved
with our knee. It was another feature that made the brace
feel custom. Unfortunately, on the first couple of rides, test
riders developed a hot spot from the third strap’s inner
bracket. The bracket sits at an angle on the brace’s frame
and can hit the skin and irritate it. The fix was to make
sure that this strap was well above the belly of the calf so
it couldn’t slide down. We angled the strap a bit further
down and didn’t tighten the strap as much as usual.
( 4) Durability. This was the first set of Asterisk braces
that we have ever tested that had no issues with durability. After a few months of abuse, the only sign of wear was
that the paint had rubbed off on the inner hinges. Kudos
to the new owners for taking a product with potential and
making it into something great.
( 5) Options. The Asterisk Cell comes in red, white and
black, and is sized from small to extra large. Asterisk also
makes an Ultra Cell brace that is $50 more per brace and
utilizes a BOA system instead of the four straps on the
WHAT’S THE SQUAWK? We have three minor quibbles. (1) The inner strap bracket needs to be mounted in a
better position. It has the potential to cause skin irritation.
( 2) The braces are on the bulky side for athletic-fit pants.
( 3) The Velcro attachments need better adhesive.
This is not the Asterisk brace of the past.
ASTERISK CELL KNEE BRACE
The Asterisk Cell knee brace is now a function-
al knee brace that is comfortable, has a custom
feel, is durable and offers superior protection.
MXA TEAM TESTED