THE G-FORM KNEE & ELBOW PADS
By Art Aguilar
OK I have been a downhill racer for a long time and if there is one thing I know its protection and protecting yourself from impact, my fulltime job puts me in contact with the best protection company in the world.
That being said, while at this year’s Interbike show I was wandering the countless aisles. While there you will see many cool things as well as the newest ideas that will never be.
While turning the corner of one said aisle I hear a loud bang three or four times, so as I see this tube and a man talking to the crowd he drops a bowling ball down the tube on a pad about an inch thick and the bowling ball is bouncing on the pad, next he pulls the competitors pad out and places their pad in place.
Now this thing is only about a quarter of an inch thick and he is going to drop this bowling ball on it. OK one word comes to mind “RIGHTTTTT!” Thinking this pad will be obliterated on the first hit I decide to stay and watch them go down in a crash of burning flames. I try to get close to the action so I could see this and as he gets ready to drop the ball I’m ready to see this thing blow apart or beat it to a pulp.
He’s ready, drops, and “BANG”, wait no multi bounce of the bowling ball”! What gives, is this the same stuff that 661 uses; it can’t be it’s not as thick as their pad.
Now this demonstration did what it’s meant to do catch your attention and that it did.
Time to talk to someone.
The name of the company is called G-FORM and you can go to www.g-form.com to check them out.
They make elbow, knee, and shin pads, as well as some other things. When I looked at these I thought they can be used in a number of sports and the first thing that came to mind was cross county riding as well as racing, heck these pads can have uses in cyclocross and shell I dare say road riding, and racing.
Now Tech Talk
The pads are made of Poron XRD foam, a molded, rate-dependent impact pad. These pads will stiffen on impact and absorb the shock (remember the bowling ball not bouncing), but will stay flexible and soft while wearing them.
One reason for the flexibility is the ridges and hinges on the pads which create an exoskeleton and gives your arms or knees movement.
The XRD foam is attached to a Lycra compression sleeve with a strip of silicone on the upper part to avoid slippage on the arm or leg.
The elbows come in a short or long compression sleeve in sizes ranging from XS-XXL.
Legs come in sizes 2xs-3XL and are a short knee pad.
Shins come in sizes 2XS-3XL. All pads are priced at $39.99. These pads are made to wear outside the garment.
The Ride Test
The first thing I liked about these pads is the fact that I could pack them in my pack, but really when you put them on their really is no need to take them off, they have great breathability and they feel light while wearing them and had no movement at all, which I love in a pad.
One thing that is great about the G-FORM pads is on a long ride I didn’t get hot in them and on a cold day they kept my knees and elbows warm.
On rough terrain or jumping with them again no movement, “love it”.Now all testing so far has been trail riding and I have yet to give them a race test or of course the dreaded crash test which I’m sure will come.
As I had said earlier these pads I believe can be used in cross country, cyclocross, and road riding as well as racing.
I do look forward to cyclocross in these pads as well as maybe an XC race, or Super-D.
The Bottom Line
Are these pads good for all occasions? Sure why not. To me they are good for XC, CX, Super-D, and those long trail rides.
They offer lightness and pack ability no other pad can offer, as well as fit, comfort, and protection that is not typically offered or found in a pad for the XC, trail riding crowd.
The price is not bad either at $39.99 I say go out and get yours today, so go on line and get a hold of the guys at www.g-form.com today and dress for all occasions.
And thanks to Ami at G-FORM for the test products.
Finally a light pad for the trails! “Yeah!”