G-Form Elbow Pads 2013 for MTB review

When I saw the G-Form elbow pads I was hopeful that I had finally found the answer to my elbow pad woes. Did they live up to expectations?

I’ve always struggled to find elbow pads that fit properly and are comfortable enough to wear for a full days riding. As a result I have tended not to bother with them at all and have had nothing but bashed and bruised elbows to show for it.

The G-Form pads are very lightweight, and not at all like most elbow and knee pads. The pad itself is in sections which are bonded to a lycra sleeve, which allows them to bend and flex around the elbow joint.

First, the technical bit: G-Form pads use RPT – Reactive Protection Technology, which is a foam that feels incredibly soft and flexible but instantly stiffens on impact, absorbing over 90% of the energy. As a result, the elbow pads are lightweight and pliable but provide the protection when it’s needed.

The G-Form elbow pads will also protect you from repeated impacts – unlike most bike helmets, they don’t need to be replaced after impact, and do not lose any of their protective qualities with repeated use.

One of the issues I’ve always had with getting elbow pads to fit is that I have very small arms – despite my best efforts to bulk up in the gym!

I tested the small G-form elbow pads, which can be worn on top of or underneath clothing. I opted to wear the pads underneath my jersey and much to my surprise, although they were a little loose around the elbows, the overall fit was actually pretty good and they didn’t catch on my jersey at all.

The pads consist of pull on stretchy, Lycra sleeves with the impact pad fixed to this. They are held up by a silicone grip strip at the top of the pad so there are no Velcro straps as with many other elbow pads.

This makes for a low profile, comfortable elbow pad and being so lightweight and flexible, once on I completely forgot I was wearing them.

I tested the pads in all weathers – the last of the summer sun in Switzerland and also in the wind and rain back home. I was pleased that they didn’t feel too hot when it was warm and also, because of the lightweight fabric, don’t get waterlogged and heavy when they are wet.

They were a little bit loose around the elbow area, and I did think that they might slip down my arms while I was riding but in fact they didn’t budge all day.

I also had the opportunity to test how well the pads absorb impact when I went over the bars on a downhill day. I was expecting to have the usual bruised elbows the next day, but the RPT technology clearly works, as my elbows were unscathed.

Another good point about these pads is the limited lifetime warranty. If for any reason you’re dissatisfied with the pad, send it back to G-Form who will replace it free of charge (not including shipping).


A really lightweight pair of elbow pads you’ll probably forget you are wearing, and ideal for all-day trail and off-road adventures. You may want to opt for a bulkier elbow pad for more full on downhill riding. I am thoroughly impressed with the fit, comfort and performance of these elbow pads and am now seriously considering investing in the G-Form kneepads


– Lightweight and breathable
– Able to withstand repeated impacts


– Fit a little loose in some areas

Price: RRP £39.99
Sizes: XXS, XS, S, M, L, XL, XXL, XXXL (not all sizes universally available)
More information: G-Form
Available from: Cyle Surgery, Chain Reaction Cycles and other cycle shops

What G-Form says about their Elbow Pads:

The G-Form Elbow pads utilize Reactive Protection Technology, a composite blend of PORON® XRD™ material and proprietary G-Form materials to create a revolutionary pad that offers consistent, repeated impact absorption for dependable performance. The ridges and hinges of the pad are specifically designed to flex with the arm and elbow to ensure complete protection, while the compression fabric, keeps the pad close to the surface of the body stopping it move out of place like some hard shell alternatives


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