As soon as we saw Mobius’ X8 knee braces, we knew we had to try a pair for ourselves because we figured we couldn’t lose. If the space-age looking braces lived up to their promise of protection, great. If not, we knew we could always keep them around to enhance our Iron Man costume for Halloween.
Ketchum, Idaho-based Mobius Technologies is admittedly small compared to its industry competition such as Leatt, Asterisk, Alpinestars and the like, and Mobius only focuses on knee braces rather than a complete line of safety-enhancing gear. That could be a good thing, however, as it also means that 100 percent of the company’s attention goes into perfecting just one product. Sci-fi looks aside, the Mobius X8 knee braces are built to offer the protection that discerning riders demand while offering durable materials and easy fine-tuning for excellent comfort.
How discerning? Reigning Monster Energy AMA Supercross Champion Ryan Dungey and AMA supercross stars Christain Craig and Dean Wilson are Mobius wearers.
The Mobius X8 is based on an injection-molded shell that features 20 percent glass-filled Nylon in the mix to provide rigid impact protection in just the right places while also allowing the shell to be flexible enough to hug the user’s leg, limiting excessive movement or play in the brace. Its metal parts, consisting of the dial, dial fastener, extension stop and hinges, are made of strong and light, forged 6061 T-6 aluminum.
But the real key to the Mobius X8’s fit lies in its patent pending Continuous Cable Routing System (CCRS), which is claimed to help the brace deliver superior support and protection compared to its competition. The cable alone is high-tech, constructed from an Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (UHMWPE) fiber. According to Mobius, UHMWPE is a leading-edge, high-tech material that is spec’d in numerous aerospace and military components due to its reputation for high tensile, bending and abrasion strength. UHMWPE is currently finding its way into applications where Kevlar was once the go-to material. Sci-fi indeed.
The UHMWPE cable routes through the Mobius X8’s tendon back plate to reinforce the user’s knee ligaments. The plate itself is constructed of Kraton material to provide better traction against the leg and prevent the brace from wandering. Created by Kraton Polymers, Kraton is effectively “thermoplastic rubber” material designed to be flexible, offer good traction and to resist heat, weathering, and chemicals.
The foam padding in the Mobius X8 consists of closed-cell Ethyl Vinyl Acetate (EVA) foam. The pads are also carefully designed to conform to the user’s leg, again to provide comfort while preventing the X8 from wandering around during extended rides. Mobius says that the foam is also moisture resistant, so it won’t collect sweat and end up smelling like the inside of a superhero’s mask.
The X8’s adjustability is enhanced through the use of fully adjustable Velcro straps and Thermo Plastic Rubber (TPR) pull tabs chosen for their durability. To ensure the best fit, the straps are numbered to show the proper cinching order. The user manual included with the Mobius braces offers a step-by-step guide, and the company’s website, www.mobiusbraces.com, also offers a video to help customers fit the knee braces properly.
Mobius shipped us a pair of braces for evaluation, and we turned them over to DirtBikes.com test rider and budding “Mike Wallace of motojornalism” interviewer Nic Garvin, who, like a legion of bullet-fast dirtbike riders, is cursed with roachy knees thanks to previous injuries.
“I’ve broken both my legs, and when you can’t do proper physical therapy, and you limp around, and your knees twist when you walk… It’s a long story,” Garvin said.
Garvin took the Mobius X8 braces to hell and back in the span of just a few short weeks, grading them during numerous bike testing sessions as well as en route to a third-place overall finish at the recent AMA West Hare Scramble in Lucerne Valley, California. He also wore them while competing in the 2016 SCORE Rosarito Desert Challenge aboard the Number 3X Ox Motorsports Honda. All told, he has put hundreds of hard miles on the X8s, and the braces have held up well through high-speed get-offs with no protection or durability issues whatsoever.
But that was really the easy part. In our experience, Garvin also makes a good product tester because he can be rather nit-picky. The good news here is that very little escapes him when it comes to the details.
“Comfort is always huge with knee braces,” Garvin said. “If you have braces that don’t fit well or don’t bend well, you will notice that while you’re riding, and that can hold you back. But the X8s are really comfortable. On a lot of knee braces I’ve worn I always end up with a rub mark or rash from the straps, but the straps on the X8s are really comfortable, and you can strap them as tight as you want.”
Garvin also gave high marks to the to the CCRS system, particularly its adjustment, which is easily accomplished via the rotary dial on mounted on the upper portion of each brace.
“It is really easy to tighten or loosen each brace to control the fit,” he said. “They [Mobius] say you can adjust the tightness by turning the dial even when you have your pants on, and you totally can. I’ve done it numerous times, even with my gloves on. I think that the adjustment system is what makes this particular knee brace.”
Garvin also remarked about the freedom of movement and range of motion that the Mobius X8 braces offer.
“To look at them, you wouldn’t think they would bend that well, but the range of motion and freedom of movement are excellent,” Garvin said. “The only thing I had to come to terms with is that you have to be careful when you put your gear on because your pants can hook the strap and knock the Velcro loose. Other than that, they look unique. There isn’t really anything that looks quite like them… Well, maybe the EVS and the Pods… but the X8s stay so firm and tight. They’re excellent.”
Mobius X8 knee braces are sold in pairs for $599.95, and each pair comes with an accessory kit that includes two extra sets of patellar shell pads—one thicker and one thinner set than the stock pads—as well as thicker tendon back plate pads to allow the user to tailor the fit. They’re available in two color choices, White/Acid Yellow or Storm Grey/Crimson.
The X8s offer solid protection a great fit and tremendous mobility. They also look cool, although nobody will ever see them under your riding pants. Then again, you could always go to your next Halloween party as Iron Man…
Mobius X8 Knee Braces
MSRP: $599.95 (per pair, includes accessory kit w/extra patellar shell pads and tendon back plate pads
Mobius Technologies, LLC
105 Lewis St, Unit 104
P.O. Box 4350
Ketchum, ID 83340