Trail Tested | G-Form Pro-Rugged Guards
Trail Tested: G-Form Pro Rugged Guards
Price: $79.99 (knee); $69.99 (elbow)
The G-Form Pro-Rugged Guards are knee and elbow guards targeted for those mountain bikers that ride the more technical and steeper trails. The pads are designed with G-Form’s pad technology that is normally softer but hardens on impact to protect the rider’s most vulnerable joints in the event of the inevitable crash into rocks. The pads are designed to remain flexible while you’re on the bike but provide needed protection when you are suddenly off your bike. This latest offering from G-Form has a more traditional look as previous offerings have had a somewhat space-age appearance.
On the Trail
We tested the Pro-Rugged knee and elbow guards on some of our faster and rocky trails that have a steady climb to reach the top. The fit of the pads is nice, albeit a little on the large side. We advise trying a pair on or, ordering a size down from normal if you think you are on the smaller side of your size spectrum. Both the knee and elbow pads have silicone strips and adjsutable straps to help keep the pads in place, and they can be cinched down nicely without feeling restrictive or binding. In the saddle, the first thing we noticed as we started the climb was that the Pro-Rugged pads became unnoticeable as we pedaled. There were a few minutes of initial adjustment to the new pads, but once we settled into the climb they did not affect our knee motion while pedaling and became almost undetectable. The elbow guards were equally comfortable and we grew used to them in short order. With three climbs to the top of our local ride spot and the descents that followed, the Pro-Rugged pads did not need any adjustment as they stayed in place and had no movement even after chunky sections of rock and rock drops. We did ride through some brush on the descents and the knee guards provided great protection from the branches and the front wrap of the elbow guards also helped against the taller bushes. The guards are also well ventilated so they had good airflow throughout the ride and remained comfortable.
The grippers around the top and bottom of the pads did not pinch or bind like you sometimes find elbow and knee pads do as you ride. The adjustable strap on the knee guards also made sliding them over our foot and up our leg easier but once tightened they kept the pads where they needed to be. The knee guards extend below the knee but do not cover your entire shin, so for those that ride flat pedals with sharp pins, it does leave your shin vulnerable if you slip a pedal at the wrong time. Sadly, we have had a few chances to test the impact resistance of the pads, and they work as well as you would expect a G-Form product to. For the mountain bike enduro and trail riders, these G-Form Pro-Rugged Guards are an excellent choice of protection. Simply put, they have become our new favorites in our gear bags.