G-Form Pro-Rugged Launch Review
STRAIGHT TO THE START LINE
Photos by Greg Flack
Contrary to what you and your hardcore biker bros may think (this totally includes us too!) G-Form’s Pro-X is one of THE most popular, top-selling pads in the country. That’s right, those goofy alien looking pads outsell every other cool dude pad. Despite their popularity at the cash register and on the constantly growing demographic of new riders, G-Form focused their energy on creating a pad that would entice the more aggressive and yes, fashion-conscious audience. G-Form invited us to Sky Park Bike Park for a really awesome event designed to tease their new Pro-Rugged pads to a core group of riders. The Comet Sprint was designed to be a fun, all-day demo event meets enduro race where riders could repeat the Comet trail as many times as they’d like to see who could claim the KOM of the day.
The event was a huge success with roughly 700 people attending the park that day and a large number of them coming through the small but fun expo area. We had a booth set up next to Specialized, Fasthouse and of course G-Form. Bill Rudell and his crew were showcasing the pads all day long, putting demo pads on riders and presenting the InCycle Race Team with their new kits and pads. The energy and fun levels were high. It was like stepping back in time to the 90’s SoCal race scene and we were stoked to be there hanging out. We even got some hot laps in after the dust had settled and got to try the Pro-Rugged pads out for some first ride impressions.
THE PRO-RUGGED BUILD
G-Form’s Pro-Rugged knee pads and elbow pads carry over some of the same great technologies and protection the brand is known for, but in a burlier all mountain package. The Pro-Rugged pads offer increased comfort, more durability and a better fit along with CE 1621-1 protection. G-Form, like the rest of us, knew that their pads had limitations and weren’t enough to excite the aggressive trail riding and enduro crowd. After many iterations, feedback, and testing, the new pads are a big step up from G-Form and are indicative of an even burlier pad that’s coming next year. We’re probably not supposed to talk about that one yet, but we’ve been involved in the creation and development of the new pads and it’s quite exciting to see a brand go from not offering anything we’d wear on longer travel bikes to pads we can’t wait to put on. The new Pro-Rugged pads are certainly in that group.
Construction of the pads is built around G-Form’s Xrd Protection knee cap protector that hardens on impact but stays flexible while pedaling. A softer inner foam acts as a comfort barrier between the knee pad and knee cap. On the outside of the knee pad, G-Form use a tear resistant fiberglass reinforced material called Armortex. The treatment not only helps give the pads a more muted, less alien-like appearance, it also increases durability and ruggedness.
Moving out from the knee pad area, a double-knit compression fabric makes up the sleeve for a light and comfortable feel. The rear of the pad features ventilated mesh for increased breathability. Both the top and bottom of the pad sleeves feature silicone gripper material to help keep the pad in place without being too grippy. Another new piece on the Pro-Rugged pads is the adjustable fit strap around the thigh. The strap allows for riders to customize the fit for optimal security on the trail.
Overall, we were quite impressed with the pads after our first couple of rides in them. They are not 100% finalized production units however we were told that they are nearly identical so we have faith saying they will be a solid performer. It’s great to see G-Form finally entering the aggressive, longer travel rider segment after some less than awesome attempts in the past.
The new Pro-Rugged pads will certainly cement G-Form in the protection market for a much wider audience that just couldn’t get over the looks or seemingly light protection offered by a thinner trail pad. After putting some hard miles in the Pro-Rugged pads, we are excited to get a production set and continue to use them in the coming months. They’re no doubt going to save our knees and elbows as we push the limits of traction on the moist winter trails here in the PNW. If you are a trail rider with a tendency to hit the deck or an aggressive enduro shredder looking to try something new, we’d suggest giving these pads a look.
For more info visit, g-form.com.