I haven't taken a big enough spill yet to know for sure whether these help a whole lot or not. However, it is nice to have the reassurance and added confidence on the track.
-The padding is held on my velcro, which seems to lose its strength after a few rides. I have even had mine come off when riding, which is annoying and uncomfortable.
- Kind of bulky. They don't fit under my pants too good. The bottom straps usually come un-done when i put my pants on.
-The hinge rubs on the inside of my knee, which is uncomfortable, but not the end of the world. This only happens on the left side though.
-They make you put more effort onto squeezing the bike with your knees, as pretty much any knee brace would
-Easy to use/ put on
-Give you added confidence/sense of security
These braces are nice, but not worth $500 IMO. The straps seem cheaply made, and aren't a very good design.
If I were to do it again, I would drop the extra $200 and get asterisks.