7 iDP (Seven Protection) touts its pads to offer the best of both worlds in protection and pedal friendliness, Jared Rando sought to find out
Words: Jared Rando
Photos: Nick Waygood
Professional racers know a thing or two about protection, so when the Seven pads arrived for testing, the first thing I did was jump on their website to see just who they may be getting their input from and the list was impressive! When it comes to knee and elbow pads for riding, there is a huge range of options out there and most do a pretty good job, but it is the finer points to the pads which make the difference, and input from some of the world’s best athletes is one of the best ways to end up with a great product.
Seven offer a relatively extensive range of knee and elbow pads with various options to cover all disciplines of riding and budgets. Overall their products show great attention to detail and well researched technology to find the right balance between protection, comfort and price.
The Seven Project knee pads which are touted as a highly protective, pedal friendly knee pad; the Flex knee pads which are more of a traditional style full protection knee pad and the Transition elbow pads which sit in the Seven line as an “all day” pad for general shredding.
Project Knee Pads
The top of the line and correspondingly priced Project knee pad has seriously impressive build quality and they definitely look like a high end pad. They provide quite substantial protection for a lightweight pad including a “polygon foam” internal pad combined with a hard-shell outer pad. I found the pads quite comfortable and relatively low profile for the amount of protection offered.
I found they didn’t stay in place quite as well as the excellent Flex knee pad, but the amount of protection offered in a lightweight and flexible package is nonetheless pretty impressive. Although it’s not listed as a feature of the pad, I did remove the inner foam pad just out of curiosity and found this only added to the flexibility and comfort of the pad, just with a whole lot less protection. I’m not sure if the guys at Seven would recommend this but for me the ability to adjust the pad based on what I might be riding seemed like a cool option and adds some value to the package given it sits as one of the higher priced knee pads on the market. Overall a good looking, lightweight pad with more protection than others.
Flex Knee Pads
If you’re looking for a knee pad that offers World Cup level protection that’s comfortable enough to wear all day this is it. I was seriously impressed with these pads. They are built well, offer serious protection and are one of the most comfortable pads I have ever worn. They are a little bulkier than your standard trail or enduro specific pad but slimmer than most hardshell DH pads. If protection is your number one priority then these would be hard to beat. I would happily wear these pads while DH racing and pull them out for lifted runs or long descents or shuttle/lift days on my trail bike. I’d consider them comfortable and flexible enough for general trail riding when conditions call for it. All up a great full protection pad which is incredibly comfortable at a competitive price.
Transition Elbow Pads
Elbow pads are seriously hard to get right. The reality is that trying to get a pad to stay in the right place on your arms when riding is a challenging feat because most of us have tapered arms that pads just want to migrate down until they are sitting on your wrist! Over the years, I have found that a “sleeve” style elbow pad offers the best results which is what the Transition elbow pads are. The combination of silicone grippers on the cuffs and a well-designed elbow cup which “hooks” over the top of your elbow when riding makes these a great set of elbow pads. They offer an excellent protection to weight ratio and provide a package suitable for all styles of riding. Just make sure you get the fit right with a sleeve style setup – not too tight and definitely not too loose. They're a great option for any rider who is looking for a comfortable, hard-shelled elbow pad which is comfortable enough to wear all day.
Project Knee Pads $220.95
Flex Knee Pads $139.95
Transition Elbow Pads $114.95
- Great fitting range of protection
- Wide range of weight and protection levels
- They stay in place!
- Some hit the higher priced end of the market