Initial Review: G Form KneePads

As a mountain biker there are full face days and half lid days. The full face is usually accompanied by a set of kneepads or shin guards and occasionally elbow pads, but half lid days are different. They’re about heading deep into the woods and putting miles on the bike. On these days, I very rarely wear pads, because my normal setup is too bulky and warm. Its days like this were the lightweight G-Form knee pads shine.

These special pads are designed to be soft and flexible during normal conditions but harden upon impact. The hinged bright yellow padding is molded in place on a Lycra sleeve. These sculpted ridges enable the pad to flex with the knee so it never feels encumbering. They feel similar to other thin lightweight pads but their ability to harden on impacts offer more protection than most.

Manufacturers such as POC and 661 have incorporated similar technology into some of their pads, but the G Forms have them beat in terms of flexibility. The Poron XRD “reactive protection technology” used in their construction is abrasive resistant. So unlike competitors armor the G Forms special impact material doesn’t need to be enclosed in a protective shell. The shift from the traditional kneepad design into something more closely resembling an exoskeleton makes sense once you’ve tried it.

The G Form pads run tight. I recommend going one size up when ordering. The mediums fit my legs perfectly, even though I generally run smalls. The pads didn’t slip down during extended climbs or descents, but the elastic cuffs caused initially caused some discomfort on my first ride, but have since loosened up. The only fitting issue I encountered was the Lyrca sleeves tendency to bunch behind my knees. This could be mitigated by carving out a hole in the Lycra where the knee bends.

The padding extended just the right amount above, below, and to the sides of my knee, to offer protection against accidental encounters with the top tube and stem. They one caveat is they won’t protect you from your friends. Several of whom couldn’t an experimental punch to my knees once I explained the unusual armor. Their friendly punches is the closest I’ve come to testing them out in a real life scenario, as (knock on wood) I have yet to crash in them.

The G Form knee pads won’t be replacing my Kyle Straights on full face days, but they are perfect for epic all mountain adventures and trips to the pump track. They’re comfortable on long rides and light enough to stash in your pack – just in case. They also play well with spandex shorts, baggies, and jeans. At a retail of only $50 MSRP you can’t go wrong, a comparable set of kneepads from almost any other manufacturer costs nearly double. In short, I’m sold on everything but the color. If the bright yellow padding has you also turning green, the pads are available in stealth black. Look for a long term review in the future.

 

 

 

Comments

Gillis - 03/22/12 - 3:34pm

I’ve been wearing these for skateboarding since late September (I don’t wear pads for mountain biking, I’m tough like that). I mostly skate flow bowls, pools and similar stuff, so when I use the pads its for landing on my knees then sliding to the bottom.

That said, the feeling with the pads is like landing on dirt vs concrete. I’m usually wearing jeans too so I can’t speak of the abrasion resistance (it also hides them because I find the yellow ugly, though they do offer all-black now I believe), not that smooth concrete would do much damage.

Fit wise I agree with the review that one should size up. I might normally wear a medium, but I got the large and definitely wouldn’t go smaller. I also concur with the bunching behind the knees. It’s not a regular problem though, just every once in a while.

will - 03/22/12 - 9:48pm

so its a review of kneepads that doesn’t cover how well they do in a crash?

*facepalm*

Saris - 03/22/12 - 10:23pm

Haha, @Will I wasn’t going to fall on purpose for the sake of BikeRumor readers! Don’t worry, a long term review is in the works.

Mr. P - 03/23/12 - 11:15am

These look pretty good, great to hear they are in black…

If you cut out the back, will the fabric hold up?

I ride in a hot climate, so any fabric off the skin is a plus.

P

Rik - 03/23/12 - 1:21pm

I run Small kyle straits come up as a Medium on the G-form size guide (14 inches).

Do i go for Medium or Large?

Large just sounds big in comparison to a small kyle strait……

will - 03/23/12 - 2:09pm

@Saris I wouldn’t expect you to. I just would have waited until I had data on crash protection before I posted a review recommending them. (Some people on the internetz say they slide easily in a crash).

Cliff - 03/26/12 - 1:57pm

I use them all the time for AM riding here in SoCal. I have fallen more than a couple times and come out clean. I wish I could find gloves with this on the knuckles. I ride them in the summer climbing and descending and I forget I have them on.

Cliff - 03/26/12 - 2:22pm

Oh, just found the Fox Unabomber gloves with Poron on the outside knuckles and Fox Stealth with Poron on all knuckles.

Evan - 03/27/12 - 2:17pm

Yikes, I certainly hope you wear something better than kyle straits for “fullface” days.

After a couple falls on mine DHing and seriously dinging my knees through them, I moved them down the chain to AM duty.

Rockgardn Neos are of the soft outershell style but protect much better

dirtaoist - 03/29/12 - 1:18pm

Been wearing them for a few months mtbiking, love them, comfortable, no bunching. Used their site fitting instructions, great fit. I’ve taken some good hits with them on, impressive, didn’t feel the rocks. Feel more like arm and leg warmers than pads. The central TX dead cedar branches will rip them, no repair available.
Only pads I wear, no mountain down hilling here.

Will Kaplan - 07/01/12 - 11:20pm

It’s now July. Can we get an update??

Macbike - 07/16/12 - 12:35pm

Took them to Fort William…took first bail and they ripped straight away…don’t bother!

ZachOverholt - 07/16/12 - 1:05pm

@Macbike, I probably wouldn’t recommend these in the first place for serious DH use, or in areas that are exceptionally rocky. However, under pants riding park (Ray’s MTB, etc) or using on trails for XC/AM use, they are great.

James - 11/12/12 - 5:37am

Well over priced for the level of actual protection they provide! Should be nearer £22 in the UK not £50 as some places are charging. They must cost about £2 to produce in China!! Good for scratches and grazes but that’s it! Competition out there do equal level of protection at less than half the price!

ace boogie - 04/04/13 - 12:57am

Sizing Guide- G-Form recommends measuring around leg at center of the knee
XS – 11 to 12.5”
S – 12.5 to 13.5”
M – 13.5 to 14.5”
L – 14.5 to 15.5”
XL – 15.5 to 16.5”
XXL – 16.5 to 18”

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