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7iDP Control Knee Pad (discontinued)

Average User Rating: (Outstanding) Vital Rating: (Outstanding)
7iDP Control
 7iDP Control Knee Pad  7iDP Control Knee Pad  7iDP Control Knee Pad
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Tested: Seven iDP Control Knee

Rating: Vital Review

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.

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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.

7 Protection Control Knee Pads

Rating: Featured Member Review
The Good:

Fit, protection, durability, styling

The Bad:

Break-in period, price

Overall Review:


7 Protection was not a company initially on my radar when looking for a new set of knee pads, but when I saw the giant 7 logos on Steve Peat’s knees I had to find out what they were. What I found was a company that seemed to make well thought out and feature loaded pads. Now I’ve bought products in the past that seemed too good to be true and super high tech and being disappointed Was 7 Protection the same? Or would they be a top performer with all of the features (and more) that I wanted?

Initial Thoughts

When I first got the pads I was unsure of the fit. The curved piece on the front had some give to it, but not a lot and this created gaps between the pads and my legs, when my legs were in certain positions. This made me wonder if there would be issues with rubbing or the pads sliding down in a crash. My previous knee pads were the Fox Launch pads and they were very broken in, to the point of slipping down, even in low-speed crashes, and effectively becoming useless. That is one of the reasons I was a bit concerned when the Control pads only had velcro straps on the top and were not a tight fit on my legs. Once broken in though this proved to be a non-issue.

The pads felt a bit awkward and stiff for the first 5-6 rides, but then they really started to shine, fitting better, flexing well and now I hardly notice they are on. One feature I really love about these pads is the strap (not adjustable) behind the kneecap that help keeps the pads in place, but without compromising comfort or getting in the way. It allows the pads to fit well but not need to be cinched down overly tight. The elastic part on the lower legs fits me well without cutting off circulation or being too loose.



With a lot of protection reviews, the author will say “I have not had the chance to test out the protection of this pad, helmet, etc. but I am sure it works as advertised”. I wish I could say this was true, but I have definitely broken these pads in and had a few unplanned ejections from the bike. The main thing I noticed is that these pads stay in place very well. A combination of the hard outer shell allowing for you to slide rather than stick (think skate pads), the strap across the back of the knee and the rubber grippers in the inside keep the pads secure even in a higher speed crash. While not important to everyone I also appreciate the padding on the sides, it isn’t super bulky, but it protects against the occasional washout or when your leg bangs against the top tube. I have yet to have a crash with these pads where my knees have gotten bruised or scratched up where the pads are and I would consider that a win for the pads. The hard knee plate has definitely gotten scratched up and some of the scratches are pretty deep, but that does not noticeably affect the function and simply makes them look a bit worn out.



After putting a lot of time in with these pads, they are definitely my go to. The logos on the back of the legs are peeling a bit and the knee plates are scratched up, but the stitching is still great (unlike my fox pads) and they seem like they will last through at least another season of abuse. The pads do require you to remove your shoes which is not a big deal to me, but some people do not like that. Overall I think this pad is great for those who want something a little more burly than the flimsy sleeves that have come out over the past season and yet not as bulky or restrictive as full on DH pads. They are comfortable to pedal in, yet have not let me down in terms of protection. The price might be a bit high for some, but with the number of knee injuries I have gotten in the past, having a pad that offers both protection and yet pedals well is worth the extra dough.

For more reviews and articles check out


Top Notch Knee Pads

The Good:

Great knee pads, very light weight, breathable, comfortable, and they offer better protection compared with soft pads Long Term Update: After a summer of heavy use, the pads are holding up great. They've taken a couple more good crashes and they are still providing great protection.

The Bad:

They can rub on your shin if not positioned perfectly. Sizing is a touch big. Long Term Update: They still feel a bit bit on the top and small on the bottom. The shin portion still rubs a little if the pads aren't positioned perfectly.

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. The pads are still working great after a summer of use. Overall wear is minimal and it looks like they will last at least another year or two.

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 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.

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.

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 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.


Product 7iDP Control Knee Pad
Riding Type Trail, Freeride / Bike Park, Downhill, Dirt Jump / Slopestyle, Other
Pad Type Hard Shell
Material - 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
- Pedal flex zone ensures pad stays in position
Knee/Shin Coverage Knee Only
Size S, M, L, and XL
Color Black
Miscellaneous Designed beyond CE EN 1621/1 standard to ensure maximum protection

Price $109.99
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