7iDP Control Knee Pad

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7iDP Control Knee Pad K-CONTROL-F
C70_k_control_f C70_k_control_b C70_control_size_chart
Vital MTB Retail Partners:
Chain Reaction Bicycles Jenson U.S.A. Competitive Cyclist Backcountry

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    Vital Review

    “Tested: Seven iDP Control Knee”

    Review by Fred Robinson // Photos by Matt Puzel

    The team over at Seven iDP insist “it's vital that riders understand the level of protection a pad will provide,” and when it comes to the Control Knee, they label them as a minimalistic approach to pedal friendly protection. With a description like that you would assume the pads are intended for users who enjoy going up as much as they enjoy going down and not necessarily meant for full bore gravity riding. Perhaps Seven iDP are underselling the Control series since they also offer a burlier line of pads in the Tactic series, but with the continuing trend of non-intrusive and less Read More »

    Review by Fred Robinson // Photos by Matt Puzel

    The team over at Seven iDP insist “it's vital that riders understand the level of protection a pad will provide,” and when it comes to the Control Knee, they label them as a minimalistic approach to pedal friendly protection. With a description like that you would assume the pads are intended for users who enjoy going up as much as they enjoy going down and not necessarily meant for full bore gravity riding. Perhaps Seven iDP are underselling the Control series since they also offer a burlier line of pads in the Tactic series, but with the continuing trend of non-intrusive and less bulky protection in downhill, we decided to properly test the Control knee pads to see if they hold their own in both comfort and protection when compared to other “big bike" pads out there.

    Seven iDP Control Knee Highlights

    • Pedal flex zone ensures pad stays in position
    • Curv® low weight, high strength 1mm cap for superior fit and pedal motion
    • Double layer polygon perforated custom foam to increaseairflowand reduce weight
    • Centre strap adjustment with left and right hook and loop fasteners ensure the perfect fit
    • Adjustment strap sits above calf to help prevent knee pad from slipping down
    • Designed beyond CE EN 1621/1 standard to ensure maximum protection
    • Weight: 180g
    • Sizes: S/M/L/XL
    • MSRP: $109.95 USD

    Initial impressions

    When we first slid the Control pads on and adjusted what Seven iDP calls their Center Strap System, the pads fit snug but not constricting in any way. Strap placement along with a silicon-like internal strip located at the top of the pads help them sit firmly in place without having to ham down on the straps. The flexibility of the Control's allowed us to comfortably bend our knees without any discomfort.

    The overall look and profile of the Control's was also spot on. They are fairly low-profile and the "Curv" hardshell material has a raw carbon-fibre look to it, and who doesn't like the way raw carbon-fibre looks? The quality and variety of the materials used also stand out. Seven iDPseems to have combined a number of different fabrics and composites to compose the whole pad, which shows theywere pretty picky about the intended function of each area of the pads.

    On The Trail

    To get right to the point, we were pretty stoked on the Control Knee pads. Right off the bat they were comfortable and when compared to all the knee pads we've thrown on over the years, the only two pads that beat these guys in comfort were the old Kyle Strait 661's and the current Scott Grenade II pads, which were/are both exceptional in that category.

    Protection-wise, being a minimalist type pad, we weren't hoping for full-blown-hockey-gear levels of protection, especially since we were basing our expectations on other popular minimalist style pads that are currently out there. But, we're happy to report these pads held up to a number of crashes without budging and they definitely defended well against scuffs and perhaps more serious abrasions.

    The standout feature in this regard was the "Curv" hardshell material. Other minimalist style pads often rely solely on soft padding for protection and tend to slide down your legs on impact since the soft material can easily grip the ground instead of sliding over it when you go down. Much like old-school skate pads and other hardshell pads out there, the plastic, or in the Control Knee's case "Curv" material, allows these pads to slide over rocks and hardpack instead of down your legs; something those who ride in shorts will appreciate.

    Things That Could Be Improved

    After a couple months of using these pads, we have no major issues or complaints with the Control Knee pads beyond the slightly higher than normal price tag. At $109.95 MSRP, these pads are up there in price with only a select few other offerings on the market topping it, but our experience with the pads has been a very positive one and if they continue to hold up for another season or two, it's not an absurd price to pay.

    Long Term Durability

    Initially we were a bit concerned with the durability of the Curv material; it closely resembles traditional carbon-fibre which we all know can take a good initial hit, but once the carbon is compromised its strength and longevity are compromised too. Well, after taking a few spills and seeing how the material has held up, it's clear these pads can take a hit and keep going. Seven iDP claims that "Curv" combines the functional versatility of thermoplastics (think old skate pads) with the impact-resistant performance of a fibre-reinforced composite, and our experience with these pads supports that claim.

    Another common problem with snug fitting pads is often the stitching, especially on tight fitting pads that are hard to remove. So far the stitching on the Control Knee's has stayed intact, despite leaving the straps tight and removing the pads in some pretty sweaty situations.

    What's The Bottom Line?

    Stoked. Knee protection, despite being the second-most common protective gear worn in our sport, is still hit or miss and the Control Knee is definitely a hit with us. These pads offer solid protection in a low-profile and comfortable package, and we're a fan of the added benefits of the hardshell cap. And considering how well the Pedal Flex Zone area works, the Control Knee is a good choice for both the aggressive trail rider and the downhill racer type, which leaves us pumped on only needing one set of pads in our arsenal now.

    For more information, head on over to www.7protection.com.


    About The Reviewer

    Fred Robinson, a.k.a. "Derf," has been on two wheels since he was two years old. He picked up a mountain bike in 2004 and started racing downhill in 2006. He has seen moderate success racing CAT 1 but focuses his efforts on building, maintaining and riding his local trails. He's deceptively quick for a bigger guy and likes steep, fast trails where he can hang it off the back of the bike. As a SoCal native he mostly rides trails covered with loose, traction-less turns and sharp, immovable rocks. Besides downhill, he rides trail bikes, road, and also enjoys the occasional dirt jump session. He is currently a student at UCSD and a wrench at a local bike shop.

    Featured Review

    “Slow grower, comes good in the end”

    The Good: Hard outer shell is on the money for shorts wearers. Fairly comfortable once worn-in. Top of knee protection. Doesn't slip down while pedalling and crashing (so far).

    The Bad: Uncomfortable to begin with. A little loose around the top opening, and a little tight on the calf.

    Overall Review:

    I'm writing this review in response to 7idp's call for feedback on their products, so it is heavy on suggestions.

    I'll start out by saying that out of the three knee pads currently still operational in my collection, these are my most preferred - especially when wearing shorts. I also have the Race Face Flank d3o knee/shin - which have been relegated to long pants wearing shuttle/lift days only (after repeated heavy knee impacts/abrasions when they always catch the outer fabric and slide down on otb's wearing shorts), and the Troy Lee KG5450 - which the top elastic has become so loose that they fall down on any small hit, and so are Read More »

    Overall Review:

    I'm writing this review in response to 7idp's call for feedback on their products, so it is heavy on suggestions.

    I'll start out by saying that out of the three knee pads currently still operational in my collection, these are my most preferred - especially when wearing shorts. I also have the Race Face Flank d3o knee/shin - which have been relegated to long pants wearing shuttle/lift days only (after repeated heavy knee impacts/abrasions when they always catch the outer fabric and slide down on otb's wearing shorts), and the Troy Lee KG5450 - which the top elastic has become so loose that they fall down on any small hit, and so are pretty much useless. Other knee guards in the past have been some form of modified moto guard, so not worth mentioning, other than that they did a better job of staying on and sliding over the rocky Wellington, NZ trail surfaces than most of the knee guards I've tried since - which is what piqued my interest in these 7idp's.

    So, I'm generally happy with these, they stay up when pedalling and descending, and so far in minor crashes wearing shorts - hooray! They're a little warmer than others that have an open back, but it's not a problem for me. The fit is good, with a few niggles, but they're good enough that I can forget about them when I'm riding. The observations below are small changes that I would make to the design to make them perfect for me. I'm 178cm and 70kg, fairly medium build all round. I ride a lot and train besides, and I've got strong but not enormous thighs and calves. I tend to wear the my knee guards from the start of any ride without sliding them down or removing them.

    What I've looked for most in any knee pad is protection for the top of the knee - above the knee cup where I always cop a huge hit ending in blood and deep bruising whenever I go over the bars. So far, no pads have completely provided that, but these 7idp Control's are the closest I've found. One issue is that with my leg bent, they articulate open to expose that very area of the upper knee (there's just a thin layer of lycra to provide some stretch). I'm not sure how that could be covered and retain the articulation, but it is something that matters to me.

    On the articulation, it's pretty nifty, but it can be a little noisy as it is constantly rubbing as it opens and closes with each pedal stroke. It's not a major for me, as I tend to wear heavy DH shorts on any trail ride, so I'm used to a bit of noise when I'm pedalling, but it does leave me wondering how this area will wear after hundreds of thousands of pedal stokes, opening and closing that section and rubbing those pieces together.

    Back to that upper knee protection, I would be happier if it extended a little higher than it does. As it is, the top opening is loose on me - which was very off-putting on first wear, but with some sweat, it seems to hold on ok - so I figure, if you're going to have a padded extension on top of the knee, it might as well be another inch longer to ensure that area is covered in an otb. Also in that area, the elastic and velcro straps which come up either side from the back, don't really do a lot to secure the fit for me, and the ends of the vercro tabs come up high enough that they catch on the inside of my shorts with each pedal stroke. The design looks nice, but I wonder if they'd be better with shorter velcro tabs, and slightly more stout elastic.

    I wonder if the upper protection were longer, there would be the opportunity to add another articulating section - lessening the amount that the current one would need to open - and perhaps the upper face of each section could incorporate some of the hard shell material to provide sliding protection on the upper knee, and more easily slip back inside the next section when the leg is straightened. Might end up being too convoluted, but it's an idea.

    I still find that after a lot of wear, the elastic around the calves digs in a little uncomfortably. This could probably be alleviated by using a wider band on the bottom. However, it works how it is, and the pads probably stay up because of it. Again, when I initially put these on, I thought the fit was terrible - far too loose in the top, and far too tight (to the point of pain) on the calves - but I wore them around the house for a few nights and tried them riding, and they've settled in somewhat, so I would encourage you to persevere if you find the same.

    All-in-all, I'm happy with these, and I would encourage others to choose them. Overall quality of materials and manufacture is excellent, and holding up well so far. They were very expensive, so it took a lot of consideration before I decided to pull the trigger and purchase them, and so far I'm not disappointed that I spent the money. I would be extremely happy with them if the above issues were in some way addressed - to the point that I would buy them again when my current ones wear out - but so far, they're the best I've tried.

    “Top Notch Knee Pads”

    The Good: Great knee pads, very light weight, breathable, comfortable, and they offer better protection compared with soft pads

    The Bad: They can rub on your shin if not positioned perfectly. Sizing is a touch big.

    Overall Review:

    After crashing with these pads a couple times, I won't go back to a soft pad. The hard knee cup really offers superior protection and it keeps the pad from moving out of place during an impact. The are so light and comfortable that you really don't notice you are wearing them even when pedaling.

    “I love my new control knee pads”

    The Good: Fit well, don't slip, like you aren't wearing anything at all....

    The Bad: They don't slip down while riding and protect your ankles from pedal bite...

    Overall Review:

    I have used/tried several other pads in the past, non-7idp, and was irritated by the way they feel, slip, etc.

    I actually like wearing the Control Knee pad because it stays in place, you can't feel that it's on and of course the protective quality.

    Out of any pads I have tried/worn, these are my favorite. In fact, I am wearing them every time I ride unlike the others I left in my gear bag.

    This is a great product..... I recommend them without hesitation.

    Overall Review:

    I have used/tried several other pads in the past, non-7idp, and was irritated by the way they feel, slip, etc.

    I actually like wearing the Control Knee pad because it stays in place, you can't feel that it's on and of course the protective quality.

    Out of any pads I have tried/worn, these are my favorite. In fact, I am wearing them every time I ride unlike the others I left in my gear bag.

    This is a great product.....  I recommend them without hesitation.

    “7iDP Control Knee Pad”

    The Good: Light weight, comfortable fit, sickest looking pads out

    The Bad: Price is high but your getting what you pay for

    Overall Review:

    These pads I was very impressed with. Between the looks and the feel of the pads and durability you cant go wrong. And they keep your knees warm on the morning rides haha

    “iDP7 control knee pad”

    The Good: Comfortable, minimal / low profile, light weight, excellent quality

    The Bad: High retail price

    Overall Review:

    When i first received my iDP7 control knee pads i was immediately impressed with the overall quality and amazed at how light weight they are. Putting them on the first time it was immediately apparent that comfort was a priority in the design. Im 5'10 ish and around 165lbs and the medium fits perfectly. There's a fixed elastic band that sits just below the back of the knee and a nice adjustable strap at the top with a silicon band on the inside, above the front of the knee to help prevent slipping.

    Riding with these pads on is a pleasure! I don't notice them and they don't interfere with my shorts. They also stay put without feeling Read More »

    Overall Review:

    When i first received my iDP7 control knee pads i was immediately impressed with the overall quality and amazed at how light weight they are. Putting them on the first time it was immediately apparent that comfort was a priority in the design. Im 5'10 ish and around 165lbs and the medium fits perfectly. There's a fixed elastic band that sits just below the back of the knee and a nice adjustable strap at the top with a silicon band on the inside, above the front of the knee to help prevent slipping.

    Riding with these pads on is a pleasure! I don't notice them and they don't interfere with my shorts. They also stay put without feeling like they are cutting off blood flow in my legs, unlike other pads I've tried. I can pedal around in comfort all day.

    Although these are a minimalist pad there is good amount of padding and protection. The front is a semi-hard shell and even though ive yet to fully test them (thankfully), i believe for the intended use it will offer the level of protection i need, when i need it...I probably wouldn't wear them on a WC DH track with knarly rock gardens, but i use them for enduro racing and trail riding and for that they are great!. There is also plenty of padding around sides of the knee, again without being bulky and restrictive.

    Overall i think these pads are awesome. Ive used many other brand and style of pads in the past, all with good and bad traits, and i can honestly say the iDP7 are by far my favorite to date.

    Ride on my friends!..Matt.B.

    Vital MTB Retail Partners:
    Chain Reaction Bicycles Jenson U.S.A. Competitive Cyclist Backcountry

    Specifications

    Riding Type Trail, Freeride, Downhill, Dirt Jump / Urban, Other
    Material
    Shin Pads NO
    Size S, M, L, and XL
    Color Black
    Miscellaneous - Pedal flex zone ensures pad stays in position - Curv® low weight, high strength 1mm cap for superior fit and pedal motion - Double layer polygon perforated custom foam to increase air flow and reduce weight - Center strap adjustment with left and right hook and loop fasteners ensure the perfect fit - Adjustment strap sits above calf to help prevent knee pad from slipping down - Designed beyond CE EN 1621/1 standard to ensure maximum protection
    Price $109.95
    More Info

    7iDP Website

    7iDP Email

    7iDP Facebook

    Vital MTB Retail Partners:
    Chain Reaction Bicycles Jenson U.S.A. Competitive Cyclist Backcountry