Asterisk Knee Braces: 550-Hour Review

In this 550-hour review, we’re going to take a close look at Asterisk knee braces, specifically the Asterisk Ultra Cell 3.0, and find out if they live up to the hype. Additionally, we’ll examine their construction, fit, comfort, and durability, and compare them to other popular dirt bike knee braces on the market.

If you’re an avid dirt bike rider, you know how crucial it is to protect your knees from injury. In fact, knee injuries are one of the most common injuries among dirt bike riders, and they can be extremely debilitating. For this reason, high quality knee braces are getting more popular. These innovative braces are designed to provide the ultimate protection for your knees, helping you ride safely with confidence and peace of mind.

Whether you’re a seasoned rider or just starting out, this review will give you a comprehensive overview of Asterisk knee braces and help you make an informed decision about which knee protection is right for you.

So, let’s dive in and find out if Asterisk knee braces are worth the investment!

Asterisk knee braces on a table after 550 hours of use.
Asterisk knee braces after 550+ hours of use.

Introduction and Background

Undoubtedly, you need well made knee braces in motocross, single track, trail riding, and enduro.

In short, I have been using the Asterisk Ultra Cell 3.0 knee braces for over 5 years as my primary gear for knee protection. During this time, I have clocked about 550 active riding hours wearing these braces.

By comparison, the new Ultra Cell 4.0 model is very similar to the older 3.0 model. But the new model appears to have updated velcro design and some other minor differences.

Prior to buying knee braces, guards or pads, I did extensive research on the topic and decided to bite the bullet and invest into high quality knee braces, instead of the guard or pad style knee protection. And it seems to have paid off.

The main reason why I continue to choose braces instead of the guards/pads style knee protection, is the extra protection braces will offer against over extension, twisting and rotating your knee.

Comfort and Fit

Compared to knee pads or guards, the first thing you will notice, is that these brace style knee protection gear appear large or bulky.

But this is not the case when you wear them. In summary, the braces are comfortable, are easily adjustable and fit very snugly.

Once you hop on and start riding, you will notice how the inner brace hinge is resting against the side of the dirt bike tank. Furthermore, this feeling, after getting used to, is actually positive. For instance, I noticed how I can put more force against the sides of the dirt bike as I steer and control, without causing any discomfort or pain.

Asterisk Ultra Cell 3.0 with fitment straps visible set over a tabletop
The Asterisk Ultra Cell 3.0 models use four separate velcro straps to fit the braces around your legs.

These braces also fit well inside the riding boots. In fact, they come with a sleeve that you can wear under the braces or over the brace to prevent snagging and prevent chafing.

So, the few negative issues I have with the 3.0 braces is that fitting them inside snugly fitted riding pants can sometimes be difficult. Additionally, some riding pants are quite narrow around the knee area, which doesn’t leave much space for the braces.

Another thing to notice, is that these older models still use the velcro straps for securing them in place. These straps come off sometimes when putting pants on and can move to a position causing discomfort. In fact, the newer models are using updated methods for improved comfort.

Overall, fit and comfort is great!

Durability and Performance

After using these braces for more than 550 hours in what I would describe very demanding dirt bike riding, I have to say the braces perform very well.

During this time, I have not injured my knees despite having several dozens of direct knee impacts and crashes. Additionally, I can recognize at-least 3 cases where the braces saved my knee from serious side impact and rotational twisting, as well as few over extensions.

The reason I am writing this review at this point, after 550 riding hours, is that they finally BROKE! To explain, after my latest crash I noticed that the right side brace lost the overextension protection. During a short inspection, I noticed the internal mechanism to adjust and prevent the knee from overextension, had broken.

So, the brace is using a thin rope or a wire on both sides of the brace to stop the brace from extending over the set range. These wires were worn out and finally broke. Fixing them took about an hour total for both braces and it was easy.

Left side of the Asterisk knee brace showing the knee protection mechanism
The over the knee cup protects and moves with your leg, when bending the knee.

Overall, I would rate these braces as very durable. In order to break them, you really need to misuse them or a have a bad crash that brakes the frame. Other than that, they are bullet proof.

Also, I have discussed with several fellow riders and they are very happy on how Asterisk handles their customer service and service. Additionally, many riders report that they have had their old (out of warranty) braces fixed or replaced very quickly and no questions asked.

Comparison to Other Knee Braces

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Asterisk is one of the top knee brace manufacturers out there for athletes. Alternative options for knee braces that score high in product comparisons include LeattEVS, and PodMx.

In truth, most of these braces can be found in amazon.com with 10-20% below the listed price.

FeatureAsterisk Ultra Cell 4.0Leatt X-BraceEVS Axis ProPOD K8 2.0
MaterialCarbon fiberCarbon fiberCarbon fiber, Fiberglass, KevlarCarbon Fiber
Weight600g500g740g720g
DesignDual wall, Cellular Protection SystemX-shape, rigid carbon constructionMonocoque design, reinforced with tri-weave composite carbonForged carbon composite frame
Fit SystemBOA dial, VelcroElastic strapsVelcro straps, injection-molded paddingVelcro straps
Size optionsXS, S, M, L, XLS, M, LS/M, L/XLS, M, L, XL
CertificationsCE, ASTM, FIMCE, ASTMCE, ASTMCE, RX
Impact protectionFull range of motion coverage of the knee cap. Hyper extension limitation.ACL, meniscus and MCL. Hyper extension limitation.Complete coverage knee protection with hyperextension lockout.Meniscus injuries, ACL, MCL, PCL, LCL, injuries, joint instability, hyperextension / hyperflexion.
Certified medical deviceYesYesNoYes
Warranty1 Year1 Year1 Year5 Years
MSRP$749.00$499.00$830.99$799.95
Comparison chart for the top three knee brace options for knee protection

Asterisk Knee Braces: Review Summary

Overall, Asterisk knee braces work very well in riding and protect knees very well in all direct impact injuries including hyperextension or hyper-flexing as well as rotational injuries.

Here are the review results for Asterisk Ultra Cell 4.0:

Pros
  • Level of protection
  • Can attach to boots to prevent rotational injuries
  • Very strong and durable
  • Warranty and customer service in breakages
  • Comfortable when riding
Cons
  • Fitting inside tight pants is difficult
  • Velcro straps sometimes move when gearing up
  • Pricy
Review Overview
Comfort and Fit
Durability
Performance
Protection
Price
SUMMARY

These knee braces are an excellent knee protection system for active dirt bike riders. They are not cheap but overall definitely worth the money to protect your knees from serious injury. I would buy again.

4.5

Conclusion

In conclusion, after this 550-hour real life test, it is clear that Asterisk knee braces are a reliable and effective choice for knee protection. As a crucial piece of protective gear for any rider, dirt bike knee pads, guards, and braces must be durable, comfortable, and able to withstand harsh conditions. Asterisk knee braces easily meet all these requirements and more.

The dual-pivot hinge design allows for a natural range of motion while also providing excellent protection against hyperextension, hyperflexion, twisting and other injuries. On the other hand the carbon fiber construction is lightweight yet extremely strong, and the four adjustable straps ensure a secure and comfortable fit.

Overall, the 550-hour review of Asterisk knee braces has proven that they are a top-of-the-line choice for dirt bike riders who value safety and performance. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, investing in a pair of knee braces is a wise decision that will pay off in the long run. Don’t skimp on your protective gear – your knees will thank you!

Keep them knees pointing forward!

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Last updated: March 10, 2023