Let’s be real; few if any of us actually like to ride with pads. But sometimes, whether it’s a day of lift access, or the trails are especially greasy, or you just want to push it a bit harder on something, pads can be a godsend – granting not only protection, but also a bit more confidence. Yet there’s also a tricky balance here – too much pad and you really can’t move well and might be so restricted that you don’t ride as well as you would otherwise. Additionally, pads often don’t breathe well and are sometimes just straight up annoying, frequently shifting around when not uncomfortably tight.
G-Form’s pads are a distinct departure from the more traditional hardshell pads available, and I’ve given them enough time to have figured out whether or not they address some of the age-old complaints lodged against traditional pads.
G-Form pads are constructed with “RPT” – Reactive Protection Technology, which is a blend of G-Form mystery materials and Poron XRD. Essentially, it’s a material which remains flexible until impacted, at which point the molecules change formation and absorb a claimed 90% of impact energy. The pad itself is stitched onto a compression sleeve which has silicone grippers on each end. Both the knee and elbow pads are laid out with a large circular section which is meant to be positioned over the joint, and then smaller pads fan out from there and are divided by depressions which allow the pad to conform to movements.
I’ll be honest; I didn’t take any real slams with the pads on. However, I definitely took a few tumbles, and the areas covered by the pads came out totally unscathed, with no cuts or bruising. I did some very scientific testing of my own, slamming my knees and elbows against various immovable surfaces repeatedly. I feel naahting (Arnold voice there).
Maybe I had very high expectations for comfort before trying these, but I haven’t been super impressed by the fit or the ability for the compression sleeve to move with my limbs, especially while pedaling. The pad itself seems to move fine and isn’t really restrictive at all, but the sleeve does bunch behind the knee, which is annoying for long periods of pedaling. According to G-Form’s Bike Product Line Manager, relatively few people experience bunching, and they have addressed this issue with improved paneling in the new, (currently) limited production PRO series pads.
All that being said, these are still much more comfortable and efficient to pedal in than any hard pad I’ve tried. Durability seems to be very good, with no stitching going awry and the silicone grippers lasting longer than I expected.
– Innovation 2/2
– Function 1.5/2
– Aesthetics 2/2
– Features 1.5/2
– Quality/Price 2/2
– Overall 9/10
– Solid protection
– Very comfortable to pedal in relative to other options
– Potential bunching behind the knee
Colors: Black, Yellow
Sizes: XXS, XS, S, M, L, XL, XXL