It wasn’t a massive crash but a silly tip over that pinned my leg between my bike and a rock and tore my MCL, the ligament on the inside of the knee. During my three-month recuperation, I began the search for proper knee braces to replace the cheap knee guards I had been using and settled on the Asterisk Cell. Admittedly, the selection process was based on Internet searches and customer reviews, as I could not find a retailer that stocked the product in my area.
Finally, I called Asterisk directly with questions and provided leg measurements. When the knee braces arrived, I made adjustments to fine tune the fit, and over a few rides the braces began to form-fit to my legs.
The Cell uses four velcro adjustable straps to secure the brace to your leg. It provides frontal impact protection from mid-thigh down to mid-shin and limits sideways movement of the knee joint. A knee sock should be worn between the brace and your leg to absorb moisture and to keep the brace from moving out of position as you get sweaty during your ride.
The Asterisk Cell provides extra protection for your knee that knee guards cannot, but that protection costs around $1000 CAD a set. I weighed this cost against the potential of a season-ending crash plus subsequent therapy and found it acceptable. Knee braces are bulky and may not fit inside slim riding pants. They also require a riding boot with increased lower leg/calf room to accommodate the lower portion of the brace.
After four years of use, my Asterisk Cell braces are battered, but they still work properly, are comfortable and provide me with the protection I require. They have definitely saved my knees from serious injury several times, and I will not ride without them.