If you're doing single track or recreational cross-country riding, you'll probably be fine with mountain bike knee pads. If you divide your time between single track or fire roads and downhill, and only need shin protection for some rides, several manufacturers make compatible but separate mountain bike knee pads and mountain bike shin pads. For instance, most SixSixOne knee pads have coordinating shin guards. If you opt for separate knee pads and shin guards, consider getting ones that are made by the same manufacturer so you know they'll work together.
Your knee is the largest joint in your body and one of the most complicated. The up and down piston-like motion of your knee pedaled your first tricycle and continues to power your mountain bike today. Think about it: if you have an average pedaling cadence of 80 rpm, your knee will bend nearly 10,000 times during a two-hour ride. A pair of quality mountain bike knee pads can protect you from more than just cuts and scrapes—a hard hit on a rocky trail can cause serious damage and keep you off the bike for weeks or even months. If you like to play in rock gardens, are doing any riding where there’s a good chance of crashing and going shin/knee on pointy rocks, or even just doing light free riding, mountain bike shin guards are a good investment. And if you’re using platform bike pedals, mountain bike shin guards will protect you against pedal strikes. We know that some riders aren't fans of shin guards. Given the choice between being called a wimp or getting huge gash from a pedal strike, we'd rather be called a wimp as we comfortably ride off into the sunset.
A few minor scrapes, bumps, and bruises are bound to happen on the trail. A good pair of mountain bike knee pads can dissipate the impact of the fall and protect your knees from hard (or sharp) objects that could cause serious injury. Protect yourself with mountain bike knee pads and knee/shin pads from top brands like , , , and . ...
You also might want to consider the amount of padding and protection offered by mountain bike elbow pads and mountain bike knee pads. The is a good example of a hearty knee pad that will give adequate protection for all mountain bike riders.