Motocross Knee Braces - Xo Rage ( Review ) Pt. 3

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XO-Skeleton, Rage


A division of Bledsoe Brace Systems, XO-Skeleton has put twenty-two months of research and testing of an already released orthopedic knee brace. Made of 7075-T6 aluminum this brace provides great strength while allowing the brace to flex and conform to the leg to maximize surface contact. XO has not had any ligament tears or strains, bone fractures or compartmental problems reported since the release the Rage knee brace two years ago.

Price including patella cup:
$749 per pair


Initial Impressions:
  • Out of the box... Thin and VERY light
  • 21 oz. on my scale; the lightest of all the braces tested
  • Not easy to adjust extension stops
  • Great fit
  • Best fit with boots
  • Does not catch on pants liner
  • Powder coated finish
  • Nice strapping
  • Flexible thigh and calf conforms to the leg
  • Knee cup is not pretty but seems super functional

Touring the Plant:
Marshall Matthews, Product Manager of XO was kind enough to show me around their plant so I got to see all the steps involved in the making of the Rage. The brace is made of 7076-T6 aircraft aluminum. It is extremely strong material that allows the brace to be so thin without compromising strength. All of the parts and assembly is done at the plant. XO-Skeleton is a division of Bledsoe Brace Systems, which is one of the largest medical brace manufacturers in the world so they are pulling years of technology and experience into making the Rage. The Bledsoe and XO guys are also avid motocrossers and have a vested interests in providing their sport with a quality brace.



Initial Concerns:
Not a rigid brace in comparison to the others. Marshall explained that the brace is designed to flex with the soft tissue of the leg to stay conformed to the muscle. XO's theory behind the flex is that "if the brace frame is so strong that it does not give under high stress situations then something else may. A good brace design will have energy absorption similar to the give a helmet has under high impact". I am torn on the flex theory... I understand that it works like a helmet absorbing the impact and distributing it across a larger area (the surface contact), it is just such a different feel, it will take a few more rides to get used to.



Weight lifting and running: During leg workouts and running the Rage feels great. The brace must stay properly positioned to maintain correct function. If the brace hinge center drops even 3/4" below your knee center then the brace is not offering the rider the function that it could. If the brace drops it could cause problems by loading the knee in a way that could be stressful to knee ligaments. I can assure you that the Rage does NOT migrate down the knee. Smooth fluid motion in the hinges and the Velcro straps feel very nice and have not hinted of fraying.



Riding:
The brace fits well under normal riding gear (2000 MSR Rage pants) the most slim and compact of all the braces I tested. Pinching the tank with the brace feels like I was just wearing knee guards, SUPER slim. The brace does NOT tear up tank or shroud graphics with the hinge wrap kit, not even a dull smudge. Range of motion was very good even when I try to start the bike. The knee cup is the Hummer of knee cups. It is not the prettiest but it feels great and offers great impact protection and there is only a small gap on the thigh that is left unprotected. The straps pinched my leg on the upper thigh between the strap and the frame a few times while riding but not often and never while wearing the knee sleeve.



Support:
The brace felt like it was shrink wrapped to my leg. Made from 7076-T6 aluminum and 301 full hard stainless steel hinge plates that are stronger than titanium make the brace extremely strong, yet it is still flexible. If you are recovering from an injury you will rebuild muscle that has atrophied and the flex in the thigh and calf will accommodate this growth. Even though the brace is flexible when it locks at full extension with a snap you know it is not going any further. This is a very high quality brace that would have saved my knee from surgery.



Maintenance:
Wash with mild detergent let air dry. Water sport friendly.

Likes:
  • Super slim design
  • Smooth action
  • Crisp extension locks
  • Fast putting on and taking off
  • Fits well under riding gear
  • Very comfortable
  • Application video ensures proper fit
  • Great knee cup protection
  • Powder coating is very durable
  • Zero migration
  • Hinge wrap kit is easy on graphics
  • Flexing makes a shrink wrap like fit

Dislikes:
  • Hard to adjust extension stops
  • Flexing makes me nervous but I am jsut coming off of a surgery and riding makes me nervous.

Contacts:
XO-Skeleton Braces
2601 Pinewood Dr.
Grand Prairie, TX. 75051
Tel:972-647-0884 ext. 150
Toll Free: 800-527-3666 ext. 150
E-mail: mmatthews@bledsoebrace.net
www.bledsoebrace.com

General Information
Provided by XO-Skeleton

Rage
Description


Activity Level

High activity with contact

Indications

Increased support of ACL, PCL, MCL, LCL ligaments or menisci either alone or in combination.

Aesthetics

Epoxy Powdercoat, Silver Vein

Ordering

Ready-to-fit, same day shipping

Warranty

7 years against shell breakage, 90 days for pads, straps and patella / femur guard.


Rage Features
Ultra-light 7076-T6 aluminum.

301 full hard stainless steel hinge plates.

Cross-linked polyethylene compression molded pads.

100% nylon straps.

Polyethylene molded patella guard with hinged femur plate.

Rage Sizes
Calf Measurement


Thigh Measurement
XX-Small
8.25 - 10.7510.5 - 13
X-Small10.5 - 1313 - 16
Small12.75 - 15.2516 - 19
Medium15 - 17.519 - 22
Large17.25 - 19.7522 - 25
X-Large19.5 - 2225.5 - 28
All measurements are in inches. Measure the center of the knee 6" above knee and 6" below for correct measurement.

See Part 4 for the Innovative Sports Edge