The G-Form Pro X2 are practical low-profile knee pads that have a unique look. The armor uses Reactive Protective Technology (RPT) that hardens upon impact to protect the rider. Our favorite part about these pads is the relatively low weight and easy-to-pack nature paired with respectable protection levels. They stuff easily into a backpack or a large hip pack. While these pads deliver substantial protective properties, the fit leaves something to be desired. Testers found the upper elastic cuff to be a little too tight on our size large test pads, riders who have slightly lower profile lower quads may enjoy a better fit. At $60, these pads are a decent value and should work well for a large number of riders given the blend of protection, weight, pedal friendliness, and comfort.
G-Form Pro-X2 Review
Compare prices at 3 resellers Pros: Nice balance of protection and comfort, price, widely available
Cons: Fit issues, not as pedal-friendly or as robust as other options
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Our Analysis and Test Results
Analysis and Test Results
The Pro X2 was a noble performer in our test. They didn't go above-and-beyond in any category, yet they were rock-solid in most. There is a reason these knee pads have been so popular in recent years. While the protection is relatively minimal and the fit leaves something to be desired, they scored well in comfort, pedal-friendliness, and ventilation. Also, they are one of the more widely-available options in our test and are found at many bike shops and online retailers.
The Pro X2 use G-Form's Reactive Protection Technology (RPT). This means the armor has a soft and flexible feel when you are wearing them or bending the armor in your hand. Someone unfamiliar with these pads might not think they have much in the way of protection at all. This is all by design. In the event of an impact, the material instantly hardens to protect the rider and distribute the forces. How does it work? Science. According to G-Form, the molecules in the material consolidate rapidly to form a hard and protective layer to disperse the forces of the impact away from a single point.
The armored section of the knee pad is sizeable without being too large. Compared to the very similar, Six Six One Recon pads, the Pro X2 have a more armored surface area. The armored zone looks somewhat like a cross. There is a bit of protection above the knee starting a few inches above the knee cap. On the left and right of the knee cap, there are a few plates of armor that extend to either side of the knee. Below the knee cap, there is a large section of padding that extends down towards the upper shin.
We didn't have any significant crashes while testing these pads. That said, we did some primitive impact testing, and we can confirm these pads offer a little more protection than their looks may suggest. These are not the pads for riding bike park laps or serious shuttle laps, but they do offer enough protection for the day-to-day light to mid-duty trail rider. The amount of protection is adequate and impressive for how pedal-friendly they are. It should also be noted that the black fabric on the pads offers UPF-50 sun protection. The material extends fairly far below the bottom of the armor and keeps your legs out of the sun.
If you're looking for more protection without sacrificing too much pedal-friendliness, the Leatt Airflex Pro are a great choice. Their hard armor has a more robust feel and is confidence-inspiring. These are a much better option for really aggressive riding or the enduro crowd. Are you looking for even more serious protection? The RaceFace Indy and the 7Protection Project Knee offer more coverage and more protection. The downside is all of these pads can't match the pedal-friendliness of the G-Form.
Fit and Comfort
The Pro X2 pads offer an okay fit. Testers had a bit of trouble getting these pads to sit in the correct spot on the leg. Despite that, the comfort levels are respectable, and we didn't have any qualms wearing these pads on long rides.
When you slide your leg into the Pro X2 pads, you are greeted with a properly snug feel on the elastic sleeve. It can be a delicate game for manufacturers to balance snugness with a proper fit. We found the upper leg opening of the pad to be just a bit too narrow. When the pads were pulled up as far as possible, testers had the desire to pull the pads up approximately 2-3 additional inches. The upper leg opening was maxed out and wouldn't slide up any further. The pads were not in an uncomfortable location, but we felt the pad should sit a little higher to get the most out of the armor. Riders with narrower upper legs may have an easier time with the fit. The Six Six One Recon delivered a slightly better fit with a similar style.
When wearing the pads, they were quite comfortable. There were no areas that were being squeezed uncomfortably hard. There were no skin pinches or abrasion-prone areas. The benefit of the lower-profile knee pads are higher levels of comfort and the G-Form delivered in this regard. We would have no problem wearing the Pro X2 for hours on end while some of the other pads like the Kali Strike or RaceFace Indy were unpleasant after a couple of hours. The Troy Lee Designs Speed Knee Sleeve and the Fox Racing Enduro Knee sleeve are even more comfortable. The downside is these pads offer less protection.
The Pro X2 pads score just above average in terms of pedal-friendliness. There were more pedal-friendly options in our test while there were also far less pedal-friendly options. We feel the middle-of-the-road pedaling action somewhat coincides with the middle-of-the-road levels of protection. The bulkiest options tend to fare the worse in this category while the lightest and sleekest tend to fare the best.
The G-Form pads stayed in place while riding. We didn't have to adjust or realign the pads often. The silicone bands on the inner sections of the leg openings seemed to hold the pads in place effectively.
The Pro X2 allow you to spin the cranks easily and without any restriction, the range of movement is fine. Featherweight pads like the Troy Lee Designs Speed Knee Sleeve and the Fox Racing Enduro Knee Sleeve are by far the best in this category. These sleeve-style pads have armor that is hardly noticeable while pedaling. The G-Form pads aren't at this level of comfort, but they aren't far off. You can feel the armor on your knee cap with every pedal stroke. This isn't irritating or painful, but you are quite aware that your wearing knee pads.
The Pro X2 wouldn't be our top choice for rides longer than 2.5-3-hours, but they are above average in terms of pedal-friendliness. We think they strike a great balance of light protection and pedal-friendliness. The G-Form are a great middle-of-the-road option as they are more protective than the super sleek sleeve-style options and much more pedal-friendly than the big bulky pads. They are much better than the RaceFace Indy and 7 Protection Project Knee on longer rides.
The Pro X2 pads deliver solid ventilation. The reasonable weight and quality fabric keep you cool. The black, stretchy, UPF-50 fabric also wicks moisture away from the body as you sweat. Even after long rides on warm days, the fabric didn't feel saturated or soaked in sweat.
Obviously, when you choose to wear knee pads, you are giving something up in the way of ventilation. Knee pads will never breathe as well as your bare knee. The G-Form pads offer okay airflow. Again, these pads continue their middle-of-the-road theme. They breathe and deliver airflow significantly better than the bigger, more robust pads but can't quite match the Troy Lee Designs Speed Knee Sleeve or the Fox Racing Enduro Knee Sleeve in terms of ventilation.
Throughout testing, we observed no signs of these pads falling apart or failing. We didn't take any real crashes, but they appear to be holding up from us putting them on and taking them off frequently.
One area to be wary of is putting these pads on while you are wearing riding shoes. If you simply put these pads on while you are putting your shoes on, you are fine. Some riders like to take the pads on and off during a ride. For example, if your ride starts with a two-hour climb, you may not want to put these pads on until your at the top of the climb. You can put these on over a pair of all-mountain style bike shoes, but it's rather tight. We worry about busting a seam on the pad if you do this too frequently. When putting your shoe through the leg opening, there is simply a lot of stress on the fabric and seams. We could see this being problematic over the course of an entire season.
The Pro X2 work well for a lot of riders in the majority of situations. Riders who are simply going out for a trail ride that doesn't exceed 2.5-ish hours will like these pads. They are also best for riders who aren't seeking out the nastiest, rockiest, trails to ride. In other words, they are a solid choice for a huge number of riders.
If you like the sounds of the G-Form pads, but the fit issue concerns you, take a look at the Six Six One Recon. If you're looking for a sleek option for bigger rides and don't mind sacrificing some protection, check out the Fox Racing Enduro Knee Sleeve. Need more armor, the Leatt Airflex Pro are excellent pads for the enduro crowd as they blend a hard-shell armor with a solid fit.
At $60, the G-Form Pro X2 represent a decent value. Aside from some quirks with the fit, these pads deliver good performance in all areas. They won't blow you away, but they work pretty darn well. They are towards the lower end of the price spectrum among knee pads in our test.
The G-Form Pro X2 are rock-solid knee pads. The protection is adequate without being overwhelmingly bulky or super light. They are comfortable and work well when you are spinning away in the saddle. Our chief complaint was an issue with the fit as they sat a bit below where we would have liked. Picky or obsessive riders might be irritated by this fit. All-in-all, the Pro X2 is a well-rounded knee pad for trail riding at a reasonable price.
— Pat Donahue