G-Form Pro-X Knee Pad
Intended Use: Light-duty protection for rides with pedaling
Test Location: Whitefish, MT; Nelson, BC
Test Duration: ~20 rides
Reviewer: 5’9” 155 lbs
G-Form makes some of the more popular knee-warmer-type pads, and their signature yellow grid can be found on many an enduro racer. While I spend plenty of time wearing knee pads, I hadn’t tried the G-Forms until this fall. But after a month or so in them, I’ve started wearing them on most rides.
I’m calling these “knee-warmer-type pads” because they’re essentially just a regular spandex knee warmer with some padding on them. There aren’t any straps, and the whole setup is light and unobtrusive. It’s a minimalist pad, and no one (including G-Form) is going to try to convince you that these are replacements for a full on, DH-oriented pad.
But what they do try to do is pack as much protection as possible into a slim, pedal friendly package.
The padding itself is what G-Form calls “RPT,” which is a foam that hardens upon impact. This is not unlike the hardening foams and gels used by an assortment of other companies, and it seems to withstand the usual barrage of superficial tests: it’s malleable when I poke at it, but it seems to stiffen up when I smack it with a hammer.
Compared to some other padding materials, the RPT foam used by G-Form is a bit softer. My gut reaction is that this might limit its protective abilities a little bit, but on the flip side, it makes it better able to contort and conform, which makes the pads a lot more comfortable to wear.
A couple of minor points: First, G-Form gets points for not making the pads right and left leg specific. Both pads are identical, so either pad can go on either leg. Second, the pads don’t have any tags in them, which means I didn’t have to deal with blowing out a seam when I inevitably rip the tags out.
According to G-Form’s sizing chart, I’m between a size Medium and a Large. I went with the Medium, and I think that was the right choice. It wasn’t so tight that it restricted movement or cut off circulation, and sizing down helped it stay in place a bit better. The takeaway point should be, if you’re between sizes, size down.
All of the riding I did in the G-Forms was in relatively cool weather – the warmest temps I saw were probably in the mid 70’s (~24°C), so I wasn’t exactly taxing the cooling properties of the pads. That said, they were at all times entirely comfortable.
I’d say they’re a smidge hotter than a lightweight knee warmer. So in the temperatures I was riding in, I was comfortable even on big climbs and long pedals. And on cooler days, I actually started wearing them in place of knee warmers since if I need a bit of warmth, there’s not really any downside to having a bit of padding too.
I’m sure they’d start to feel pretty warm on a hot day, so I’d be less inclined to wear them on every ride. But I’m equally sure that they’re still a hell of a lot more comfortable to pedal in than a full-on, DH-oriented pad.
NEXT: Retention, Comparisons, Etc.