Protecting your knees is kind of a big deal, but doing so while looking good and feeling comfortable can be hard. The 7 iDP Flex Knee Pad was a real surprise to me after my long term love affair with the SixSixOne Rage knee pads.
Not only does the 7 iDP provide comfort on all day rides, it’s robust enough to land on rocks at 30mph without shattering your knee. When the latter did happen to me, I only come away with a scuff to the knee pad and a scratch to my thigh above where the pad was. So it pretty much did exactly what you expect a good mountain biking knee pad to do.
7 iDP Flex Knee Pad Review
Flex by name, flex by nature. Pretty much all the backing of this pad is a soft, elastic material which holds to your leg without rubbing or chaffing with plenty of ventilation to stop you from overheating. There are four velcro straps to secure it – two top, two bottom – which say secure and are very out of the way.
The pads don’t seem to be left/right specific which makes putting them on much easier as there’s less to remember.
As protection, there’s a hard plastic cap backed by a padded foam rear. Initially I thought there would be issues with all day riding here, but that fear has been made redundant time and time again so far.
My first proper crash wearing these pads made me question just how durable they would be, as I put a small tear in the fabric. If they continued like this then they would have been in ribbons by lunch! However, since then they’ve been flawless taking all sorts of impacts, scrapes and scuffs while leaving my knees untouched.
The elastic straps hold to your leg really well and don’t shift as much as other pads I’ve worn. Once in position they’ll pretty much stay there until you move them. This includes having a crash – most of my little bails haven’t caused the kneepad to move at all.
Colour wise, the CMKY limited edition pads are a bit garish but there’s always the black option! These limited edition ones look like a cross between 80s fashion and a kids TV programme – either way, you’ll definitely stand out on the trails.
There was an initial bedding in period with the 7 iDP Flex knee pads where they felt too tight and stiff, but they loosened up perfectly after a ride or two. Getting the adjustment right on the pad was easy to do thanks to the four straps, but it does take a few attempts to find the right tightness for your liking.
Luckily, when your pads get muddy you can just throw them in the wash with the rest of your kit and they come out fine. I found no distortion of the knee cap and the material didn’t go hard either, which was a happy bonus!
Overall opinion on the 7 iDP Flex Knee pads
These are a good solid knee pad which will definitely make you stand out from the crowd. It’s comfortable enough for all day riding but with enough protection to hit downhill sections and bike parks with confidence.
If the retro/unicorn sick look isn’t for you then it does come in black.
After 6 months of riding in these with several crashed, I can honestly say they do a great job of protecting your knees.