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Photo: Matt Miller.

It seems like everything in the mountain bike industry gets smaller and lighter and smaller and lighter. Even the knee pads that shocked the world with just how small a proper knee pad can be are a bit tidier than they once were.

Most of us have seen a set of G-Forms out on the trail. Although they’re small, they are distinguishable by the unique design and layout of the padding. One big pad is broken down into a bunch of little articulating pads that conform to cover patellas of any size under movement.

The pads stay soft and flexy whether walking around or pedaling. Reactive Protection Technology is G-Form’s buzzword for impact-absorbing foam. The molecules inside the material repel against each other and remain soft, but upon impact, the molecules bind together to stiffen and disperse impact energy. After impact, they return to their original state.

Specs

Photo: Matt Miller.

  • CE (EN 15613:2008) Certified
  • Reactive Protection Technology (RPT) Foam padding
  • Slip-on knee pad
  • Machine washable
  • Weight: 163g
  • Price: $60 (Buy at g-form.com)

On the trail

Photo: Matt Miller.

Speaking of the Pro-X2 knee pad profile again, it’s bonkers just how slim they are. If you’re someone who doesn’t like to ride with a pad unless it’s absolutely necessary, the pads are slim enough to fit in nearly any hydration pack and many lumbar packs. So, for riders who hate climbing with knee pads on, they’re easy to stuff in a pack and pull out at the right time.

The G-Form knee pads are also great to wear underneath a pair of jeans for a day at the dirt jumps.

I didn’t find it necessary to take them off and on. The Pro-X2 wrap around the knee easily and earn that “second skin” moniker. The sleeve fabric on the pads is nice and soft to the touch. Near the bottom and top of the inner sleeve, there are silicone grippers all the way around.

There’s an asterisk on the description of the pads in the website that says the pads tend to run small. In this case, refer to the size guide on the website before buying. I am a medium on 92% of everything I wear, so when G-Form offered a test pair, I got a medium. They were indeed a bit snug on me, and I probably could have fit into a large as well.

Thick silicone grippers on the inside. Photo: Matt Miller.

Aside from feeling a little tight, the pads are comfortable to wear. The silicone grippers keep them right where they’re supposed to be, and movement is never limited in them.

Venting on the RPT padding. Photo: Matt Miller.

G-Form has added some ventilation to the Pro-X2 knee pads. There are small holes in between the sections of padding. They vent a little bit, but it’s not super noticeable. The pads still felt a bit warm under the foam padding, and even more airflow would be appreciated.

Luckily, I didn’t take any diggers with the pads during testing, but they feel very solid. I did however, out of curiosity, put my hand inside the pad and bang it with a metal object a few times to get a feel for the RPT. Hopefully, this isn’t the final stamp of approval at the lab, but you can feel the material harden with impact and the full amount of force is distributed without directly reaching what’s underneath.

Final word

Photo: Matt Miller.

This surely isn’t news, but the new G-Form Pro-X2 pads still keep the slim, and occasionally unnoticeable profile that they’ve always had. There are some minor improvements like venting and a cleaner look. Overall, they’re the same great pad that sells for a great price and should last a long time.

Thanks to G-Form for providing the Pro-X knee pads for review.

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# Comments

  • derekderrick

    Cool – nice review! Do you have any experience with the 7idp Transition knee pads for comparison? I’ve been wearing those for the last couple of years and they are ready for replacement. No complaints with the 7idp pads – they are light enough that I wear them on just about every ride, but there is always room for improvement.

  • rmap01

    I’ve got the Elite version and they are great. Fairly comfortable and very light weight. Once I am riding I never think about them even on 90+ degree days. Whereas some think of pads solely for bike park protection to prevent a catastrophic injury, I’ve come to view them as having broader utility. It wasn’t uncommon for me to finish up a ride on an intermediate or advanced trail every now and then with a scrape or bruise on my knees but since I’ve been riding with these pads no such issue. They’re also easy to wash. One added benefit is that by wearing these with a set of long, thin wool socks which I spray with some repellant you get almost complete lower body coverage from ticks.

  • JMZ

    I have some less expensive ones which look similar. They were fool proof in Vegas as I fell off several times. Not a scratch. The most important aspect of knee protection is actually putting it on. I often leave them off when riding less aggressive/rocky trails but I know it’s a mistake.

  • nvrenf

    My Pro-X2 just arrived. Can’t believe how light weight and form fitting they are. I ordered per my measurements on the size chart. Perfect fit. Am hoping I won’t have to put them to the test, but based upon 2 falls in the past week, am guessing it won’t take long to get my moneys worth…

    • nvrenf

      Wore mine today for the first time – a hot humid morning in GA. I don’t think I was any warmer with them than without. The gripper at the thigh was a little uncomfortable when I started out, but then I forgot about it. Didn’t need to crash test them today… will advise. Could feel the air flow thru the vents on descents. Very comfortable. My only issue will be how high on the thigh they “grip” – if I was wearing the standard spandex bike shorts, they would cross over each other…

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