G-Form Padding - Interbike 2011

Sep 17, 2011 at 10:48
Sep 17, 2011
by Mike Levy  
 
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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.

G-Form Interbike 2011

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 Interbike 2011

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

G-Form Interbike 2011

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.

G-Form Interbike 2011

Visit the G-Form website to see their entire lineup.

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94 Comments

  • + 81
 "hardens when struck"


heh
  • + 7
 aaalriiight !
  • + 32
 any need for the anal protrusion pad?
  • + 13
 haha its almost like a target! Big Grin
  • + 9
 ITS RAINING SIDEWAYS
  • + 3
 they aught to make some better knee pad pants as brendan semenuk could use them for his tight jeans.
  • + 3
 They just need to make tight jeans with the pads attached to them, but maybe not bright yellow pads. They all look good to me, but maybe a little hot. I like the idea of rocking the full black & yellow kit in the upper left photo as is, for dh racing, especially if I had a matching bike and if it was hot out. Way more aero, tights are inevitably gonna come back to DH racing.
  • + 19
 lets hope not
  • + 1
 I wonder will this be legal to race in? Here you need hardshell but this could be great for those that dont like pressure suits
  • + 1
 Seen there booth last week in Montreal, amazing pads and they feel comfortable.
  • + 2
 I hope CRC start stocking this stuff soon, looks good, i think i'd get the elbows, and the knee pads when my RF digs wear out.
  • + 1
 Looks like a Marvel villain, anyone?
[Reply]
  • + 15
 I saw the bowling ball demo in action at Expocycle. Very cool stuff! It really does work as advertised. They had an iPad in a case made of the material that you could throw on the ground and it wouldn't hurt it. They even had a video of them firing the ipad out of a slingshot into the parking lot.
  • + 15
 mmmmm......m&m's.
  • + 1
 I read an article a long time ago about the guy who had initially discovered the material used in these, it is indeed impressive stuff. I think the guy appeared on an episode of Pitch Men, before Billy Mays passed away of course.
  • - 3
 This might be a stupid question, and didn't seem to find the answer in the article, but is it one time use kinda deal? As in if you hit it once hard enough that it goes hard will it keep its shape from there on in or is there a way to make it soft again?
  • + 1
 i have the TLD shock doctor shirt and i am certain this is the same idea : it can be used as often as it is worn until you have enough bails and slams that it is no longer possible [ tears rips etc. ]
  • + 0
 The idea is simple: theres lots of air bubbles inside the material. When compressed slowly, the air can escape and material is bendy/soft. When hit very hard/fast, the air cannot escape fast enough, stays in the foam and the foam remains hard. After the hit the material is as before and can be used again.
  • + 12
 Air bubbles? I thought it worked along the principles of non-Newtonian fluid dynamics. Eg, long chain molecules, etc etc.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-newtonian_fluid

In which case, it WILL degrade over time, as the long chain molecules are broken up. But this isn't 1 times use only, it's over repeated impacts over a period of time.
  • + 3
 Yeah, isn't it like corn starch? it holds surface tension just long enough for you to run on it. mythbusters did it i think.
  • + 2
 Yeap. The material/molecules don't have a linear relationship between the rate of shear stress and deformation. In this case, the material stiffens under sudden impact but goes back to soft and pliable when relaxed.

Particle dynamics ftw.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 I have the knee and elbow pads and will vouch that they work. I've gone down a couple times and been pleasantly surprised how well these pads work. They definitely work as G-Form says they do!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 I also just noticed on their site that all their protective gear has a LIFETIME warranty for the original owner. They will replace your pads for new ones if you wreck them in a crash. That is awesome. g-form.com/warranty
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Cool idea. I understand that it might be more all mountain/xc oriented but I don't see the point of padding ribs when the spine isn't even protected. As far as I'm concerned if there is one part you want to protect on your torso it's the spine. Never hurt my ribs either and I've had more than my fair share of falling.
  • + 1
 Have to agree on that. Ribs will heal - spinal injuries are just nasty. You may not be paralyzed, but i know enough guys who have f'd up their back that their riding days are over before their 40's. Great product though and amazing price point Big Grin .
  • + 3
 Most spinal damage comes from blows to the head or neck, not blows to the back, and a direct blow to the spine is fairly unlikely in mtb - you're much, much more likely to fall on your face/front. I think they got it right for the AM/light freeride market.
  • + 2
 It will stop a punctured lung......
  • + 3
 Maybe the statistics say so harriieee but when I look at the scratches left on my spine protector, even though it might not have left me disabled, I can say I am VERY happy that I had it when those happened. I'm on the market for a new lighter protection and I'm still going to go with a spine protector. Seen too many people go over the bars in nasty rock gardens and land on their backs to consider doing without it. Over the years I've realized there is a lot of protection I can do without but the spine protector isn't one I'd leave aside for the terrain I like to ride.
  • + 2
 Yes but most XC/All-Mtn riders who regularly ride with shin/knee and arm/elbow pads are also wearing some sort of hydration pack, which provides spine protection already. That was a quickly learned benefit to the original bladder-only camelbaks. When you endo'ed and landed on your back, the bladder would act like a waterbed mattress. Any impact that couldn't be outright absorbed tended to blow a seam on the bladder and the resulting energy is then allowed to bleed off as the water squeezes out of the pack. It still cushions the whack enough though to make many crashes that would have at least resulted in soft-tissue damage into total walk-away without a mark (other than a wet jersey) affairs.
  • + 2
 I would love to get these but they are the same as the d3o stuff in that they hardly cover anything. If I want a chest protector I want it to cover all of my outside arm, all of my chest, sides, and back. The pads on the shorts should cover your whole outside leg and butt, not just your hips. Same story with their shin guards, the barely cover the whole front of your shin and do nothing to cover the sides of your leg. When you crash you have no idea where the abrasion, cut, or impact is going to be, that is the whole point of wearing full body armor.
  • + 2
 Except again, this stuff is NOT marketed for people who wear FULL BODY ARMOR. Its not designed for freeriders or downhill racers. Its for people who ride XC/All-Mtn and like to wear arm/leg pads. I am in that category. I do not need things like the 661 pressure-suit to do an XC ride. I already ride with fox 911 shin/knee pads and they're a hard armor that only provides front protection for impacts. So their new flexible armor would provide perfectly acceptable coverage to me.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 those look pretty sick, well priced enough that i think people will be willing to try them too.

i may have to try them

edit: their knee guards look perfect for wearing under jeans
  • + 1
 Sounds like good protection, and for the people that dont wear equipment but is manditory on some races (like me) it will come i a good place!
  • + 2
 the pricing is incredible when you compare it to POC or d3o i wonder how it compares for fit and comfort
  • + 1
 I love the way those pads look! Very cool futuristic look, I am totally gonna pick up one of their products!!!
  • + 1
 I made so many unbelievable mistakes and spelling errors in that...i feel like it didnt even mean sense..i meant to say "Sounds like good protection! and for the people that dont wear equipment but is manditory on some hills/mountains (like myself) it will come in handy/a good place!" I would also like to add @Nobble, pricing is a dramatic difference for a newer product which seems more proficient and capable of the same qualities!
  • + 2
 pricing is definitely very tempting to justify upgrading my armour. And it looks to offer solid protection without the "Imperial Scout Stormtrooper" look or the ATV'er look that just states N00B.
  • + 2
 This is perfect for aggressive xc riders or people who want something they can wear on a long ride without losing much comfort
  • + 2
 I'll stick with my 661 evo's
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I've been rocking the elbow pads for over a year now. They work well and still look good after repeated crashes. I would like to see some mesh on the backs for better ventilation and some velcro straps on the top and bottom to keep them from slipping.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Rode them today. knee and elbow. Feels great! super good for not too major of falls, comfortable and really really light! doesnt slip aswell!. only big problem i had was they dont breathe as good as i hoped. really hot
[Reply]
  • + 1
 feck yes, i wil;l buy these for sure.

they will also help me in my night time work as the super hero "constant pain man" who is falling often in his attepts to rid the world of evil doers.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 They even have a protector to keep you from taking it in the butt. You never know who is gonna sneak up behind you...
[Reply]
  • + 2
 the chest thing will do nothing, and the pants look like my football girdle...?
[Reply]
  • + 1
 G form sent me some of their stuff this spring I have been using it all summer and love it! so comfy compared to a lot of the gear out there. works better than advertised!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 They look like the Dogs Danglies, i reckon if they really are that flexible they will suit lots of riding. Maybe not Hardcore XC riding though???, you never know...
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Just going to throw it out there... uhmm.. Tron anyone?
  • + 1
 It does look rather hero themed
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Theres definatley room in the market for something inbetween wearing just elbow pads and wearing a full pressure suit with spine protection. This looks good.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Sweet!!! I stopped riding with armor entirely cause I felt its bulkyness caused more crashes than it helped... I am going to place an order for this
[Reply]
  • + 1
 cool stuff....i wonder if this will make its way into other sports...Hockey..Football....Motorcycling suits....etc
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Check these guys out of you have an iPad also! they make a sick case for it that is hella impact proof!!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 hmmm don't want to be negative but not for me ... maybe Batman but not me.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 we had a rep come into the shop i work at to show some off. I got a free set of elbow and knee pads.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I just hope it works - not like the stuff 661 came up with. Doesn't do shit!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Any one know anything about the shorts,I could use a little hip protection after breaking my femur ?
[Reply]
  • + 1
 they should put a pad on the tummy area, cuz sometimes when i wipeout, my tummy gets destroyed
[Reply]
  • + 1
 When T-shirts will be available ?????
[Reply]
  • + 1
 The shorts should be 3/4 and include knee protection also.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 i think it's same d3o i have Knee Pads 661 d3o
  • + 1
 at half the price...
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Its like having air bags all over you.
  • + 1
 what you said. spot on.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Looks Pretty Cool, and very flexible.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Would love to give everything a go on the DH track.....stuff looks rad.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 can I used to on DH bike or it's only for XC/AM?
[Reply]
  • + 1
 The shorts could be good for snowboarding.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 The flexible aspect is very interesting.
  • + 1
 and reasonably priced.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 really nice and cheaper than d3o
[Reply]
  • + 0
 man, when the hell has anyone ever been hit in the middle of the sternum in a wreck? not totally well thought out IMO
  • + 1
 i have before, slammed my chest into my stem hard enough that it felt like i bruised the bone
  • + 1
 Shit happens. And getting struck in the sternum hurts like shit, knocking the wind out of you and possibly damaging your core organs.
  • + 1
 My buddy crashed this summer at high speed onto his chest and broke his sternum. Doctor said it was the first time he'd seen a fully broken sternum on someone who was still alive.
  • + 1
 Well... considering I'm recovering from broken ribs, strained ab muscles, and a badly bruised sternum that left a handlebar end mark on my chest literally... I would say that they are spot on. Anyone that rides fast has usually hit a tree head on at one time or another. That's not what I did, however it is fairly common.
  • + 1
 @csucsnowman : and what is it that makes you think sternum injuries are rare or don't happen - not totally well thought out ? you are the one who needs to think before you run off about something you know zip about as common as a sternum injury - i had a slam on the North Shore while wearing a 661 swat jacket WITH chest / sternum protector and the doctor who checked me out said if i had not been wearing that he felt i very easily could have suffered worse injury and possibly even death [ the sternum protects your heart ] and i can tell you, even a bruised sternum will make you shit your pants wondering if you will be able to breath again - and it is pain that will humble the most macho rider; the R & D for G Form IS well thought out [ and thankfully ] isn't put together by someone who makes assumptions that no one ever slams their sternum...
  • + 1
 I took the handlebar to the sternum hard enough to bend the bar in half. It was painful for months. Ten minutes after getting to the parking lot, had three offers of spare handlebars. Calabogie peaks was so friendly. Too bad they closed it.
  • + 1
 you must have a sternum made out of steel ! after i did my sternum slam you could have given me a bike for free, never mind an offer of bars, and i still would not have been able to ride...the only thing i wanted after i managed to get up was my mommy :-)
  • + 1
 No sternum of steel, just lots of experience dealing with pain. I ride dh with a dianese jacket these days
[Reply]
  • + 4
 I'd almost pay to see someone rockin the padded tights like the mannequin without a proper kit over top. You know it's bound to happen somewhere.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Thats like friken tron
[Reply]
  • + 1
 ? That's for your coccyx. Close but not quite.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Nice like spider-man outfit Razz
[Reply]

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