What is G-Form?
G-Form Impact Pads use "RPT-Reactive Protection Technology
" that allows the padding to remain soft and flexible during use, but instantly harden upon an impact. They are not the first protection company to use this type of technology, but G-Form is confident that they can offer something different with their padding, mainly a much more ergonomic and lightweight package that should appeal to more trail and all-mountain types. G-Form offers a number of different products for mountain biking, including knee, shin and elbow pads, shorts that offer side and tailbone protection and an upper body suit with built in shoulder, side and chest protection. How is G-Form different than other reactive padding?
G-Form isn't the first type of padding to change its durometer under impacts, with d3o doing a very similar same thing, but G-Form claims to have a number of advantages over d3o based protection, including the ability to mold it into much more ergonomic shapes. A knee or elbow pad that uses d30 is required to lay the material up in a simple manner without much concession for any flexibility or comfort, as well as requiring a layer of protective fabric over top to prevent abrasion damage. The result is padding that makes sense for use on a downhill bike or in the bike park, but can end up being somewhat bulky for riders who like to wear pads on their all-mountain or cross-country rides.
G-Form, on the other hand, can be shaped much more aggressively, with the shape and reliefs designed to allow the padding to easily move with the wearer. The padding for each area of the body has been laid out with articulation in mind, as well as protection, and it can be applied to thin compression fabric that is less unwieldy than what thicker pads use. It also doesn't require as much abrasion protection, only needing a thin layer of protective film to keep it from being damaged in a crash. All told, G-Form's padding looks to be much more svelte and ergonomic, but they claim to offer the same level of protection. It should also be noted that G-Form padding is less expensive than most other impact reactive padding, with certain models retailing for less than half as much as other options. G-Form details:
• Uses impact reactive padding that hardens when struck
• Padding is applied to a breathable, wicking compression fabric
• Not temperature sensitive
• Water resistant and machine washable G-Form pricing:
• Knee Pads: $46.99 USD (black or yellow
• Elbow Pads: $46.99 USD (black or yellow
• Shin Pads: $46.99 USD (black or yellow
• Crash Shorts: $79.99 USD
• Compression Shirt: $89.99 USD
• Sternum Compression Shirt: $39.99 USD
While the technology behind impact reactive padding can be hard to understand, G-Form had this great interactive display (shown below
) in their booth to show what the padding is capable off. G-Form's Lily Wray gave me a quick demonstration that involved a bowling ball and a packet of M&M's, first covering the M&M's with a standard pad and then dropping the heavy bowling ball down onto them. The result, somewhat predictably, was them being crushed into tiny bits and the bowling ball bouncing upon impact. The standard padding was then replaced with G-Form and the exercise repeated. The ball was dropped from the very same height, hitting the padding without a single bounce. More impressive was that the M&M's were still looking brand new and in perfect shape.
Visit the G-Form website
to see their entire lineup.