It's always interesting to see a product move from infancy to full-production trim, and the latest case comes from the new Mobius X8 knee braces we were shown this week by owners Scott Watanabe and Darren Fleming. I first saw early prototypes of the X8 around four years ago, as Darren was using a handful of riders from the Southern California area as testers. A friend of mine was among them, and he told me how much he liked the hand-made prototypes, which were still evolving. Fast-forwarding over the past few years, I'd see them pop up occasionally on different pro riders. Each time I asked about the braces, the feedback on them was that the fit and function was great, but no one knew much about production plans. Around 16 months ago, I spied Ryan Villopoto with a set. Ryan has been a key component in the testing of the final version of the X8s that you see in this article, and he's still running them as he competes in the MXGP series this year.

Mobius X8 Knee Brace Features:

  • Utilizes pantent pending CCRS (Continuous Cable Routing System) to help support the knee.
  • The cable system is adjusted using a dial on the top frame, while the latch above releases the cable tension.
  • Currently available in three sizes; small, medium, and large.
  • Color options are white/yellow or gray/red.
  • Mobius nameplate on the kneecap can be changed to thicker sizes to restrict knee movement.
  • Comes with thicker and thinner Patella cup pads for more a more accurate fit.
  • Ticker and thinner thigh and calf pads are optional.
  • MSRP $599.95.

Darren, the designer of the braces, is like most of us in that he's experienced an injury or two while riding. (Actually, in his case, in the form of six major knee injuries.) After this repeated abuse, he decided to go about designing his own brace with the goal of focusing on the most common knee injuries in moto; lateral bending, lateral rotation, and hyperextension.

At first glance, the X8 may seem like a simple oversized knee guard, but it's much more. Thankfully, it he X8 doesn't have much in the way of fancy buzzwords for its design, outside of its Continuous Cable Routing System (CCRS). The majority of the X8's protection comes from the CCRS, which wraps from the top frame, around the back of the upper leg (above the knee), through the hinge and into the bottom frame. The idea behind this layout is when the brace is in place and tightened down, it will hold your upper leg and lower leg securely in line, keeping the knee from having to deal with either end of your leg going an unintended direction. Utilizing the CCRS also keeps the brace from sliding down your leg as you move about, both on or off the bike. The Nylon shell was also designed to keep the leg protected at all points during its movement, never exposing the front of your leg.

After a meeting in our offices with the Mobius crew, we set out with the braces for a little testing of our own. Instead of just setting the brace on your leg then doing up the straps, you actually slide your leg through the CCRS to get started. After this, the brace is tightened down in a specific order, which is labeled on each strap. The middle strap is the starting point, as it's labeled as number 1, then onto the CCRS (2), the lower leg strap (3), and finally the top strap around the thigh (4). When tightened down, the brace offers a ton of support, and you can run them very snug! It reminds me of the first set of braces I ever owned, the second-gen Asterisk Ultra-Cell, which were snug-fitting and very supportive. However, they don't share the bulky feel that the older Asterisks were known for.

The X8 braces are available in three sizes (small, medium, and large). Outside of the straps, there's some fine-tuning for the fit available via the internal padding. The X8 comes with a thinner and thicker patella pads (knee cap area), and there are some optional thicker/thinner pads available for the upper and lower frames, which retail for $50. The last bit of adjustment the X8 offers is the knee range lockout. In the center of the knee cap, there's a Mobius logo block, which stops the frame from extending too far forward. These blocks are available in thicker sizes for those that need to stop their knee a bit earlier than the average user. The second production run of X8s will have these, while the set we received came with only the standard block in-place. Just a note, be careful not to over-tighten the aluminum bolts that are used to hold these in place.

The X8 is quite a bit easier to work with than the old Asterisks that I'm reminiscing of, but they're definitely a bit stiffer than some of the current top-of-the-line braces. Once I had all the adjustments set, I was impressed how tight you could run all the straps without having them bind up or cut off circulation. This even further adds to the support that the X8 provides when out on the track, as they stay in place. So what's there to say? The Mobius X8 is off to a great start and we'll report back after some extended time with the braces to give you our thoughts.

The Mobius website can be found at MobiusBrace.com, but doesn't have an ordering system in-place as of today. Once it's up and running, Mobius will be offering accessories and even a brace rebuild program. However, Mobius has shipped their braces to most major distributors if you're looking for a pair now.

Article and Photos by Michael Lindsay

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