7iDP Transition Elbow Pad Review

The Transition series is 7iDP’s (Intelligent Design Protection) minimalistic, low-profile armor and includes the Transition Elbow, Knee, and short and long sleeve base suits. Both Transition Knee and Elbow use compression fit Spandex to stabilize pad position while offering adequate ventilation, great comfort, and less restriction than heavy-duty armor clad with straps, snaps, and buckles. Given the opportunity to test the 7iDP Covert Knee pad, a stealthy and customizable option reviewed separately, I forewent the Transition Knee but was still able to snag a pair of Transition Elbows for a thorough review.

Bottom Line: depending on your skill and terrain, get the 7iDP Transition Elbow for general trail riding, XC and enduro racing, rides of any distance, or trips where space is limited and stowing protective gear is anticipated. The Transition can easily be worn all day or stashed due to its low profile, minimalistic design.   

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photo: Chris Daniels

Specs

  • Color: Black
  • Sizes: S/M/L (reviewed )/XL (sizing guide)
  • MSRP: $59.95

The 7iDP high energy absorbing memory foam inserts are preformed to articulate the elbow’s anatomy in a normal riding position. Four breaks (two on each side) intervene the pad, enhancing the Transition Elbow’s ability to conform to extremes of movement. While the lightweight, low profile, minimalistic design of these pads alone are enough to thwart overheating, 7iDP claims any heat produced during use causes the foam to mold to the shape of your elbow.

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photo: Chris Daniels

Covering the outside of the pockets which house the foam inserts is a strong, flexible, and lightweight aramid (Kevlar) fabric with proven anti-abrasion and tear-proof properties. Some will appreciate the 4-way stretch poly/Spandex compression stocking running the entire length of the arm, which may add protection against abrasion in this highly vulnerable area, but it also depends on ample lower forearm and wrist circumference for the best fit. In the first picture above you can see how the lower sleeve fits me loose, making the longer length a feature I didn’t care for. Both upper and lower cuffs feature silicone striping for sleeve retention.

The cupped formation and compact size allows the 7iDP Transition pads to easily stack and pack when not in use–justifiable for longer treks or bikepacking. Folding the sleeves inside the mold yields a 4×7″ dimension that is further secured using an integrated elastic band located on the upper arm sleeve.

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Packability is a plus

I didn’t find the Transition pads to be better (or worse) ventilated than similar compression-style armor and although my testing period ran from November through December in temperatures ranging from 30-60º F, I spent some time in an indoor bike park where, to my surprise, the added lower length of the sleeve didn’t overheat given the sauna-like conditions. The entire inner aspect and lower third of the outer sleeve is an open mesh for ventilation, while the remaining upper panel is Spandex.

The Transition Elbows are extremely comfortable, preformed naturally to cradle the elbow and cover protruding boney prominences, allow for full range of motion, and while they can easily be worn for hours on end, are easily stowed.

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Thank you 7iDP for supplying the Transition Elbow pad for review!