Words: Carsick John
One Industries are purveyors of super cool mountain bike and motocross clothing and kit. I’ve reviewed the Sector short before and after just a few rides in the Conflict pads I was similarly hooked on the well thought out design.
I was pretty excited to try out One Industries Conflict knee and elbow pad combo. I’m not really a protective pad kind of guy (as the crash scars on my knees and arms will show), but nonetheless I was ready to get protected and start looking macho.
The first thing you notice about the Conflict pads is not their Rambo-esque name but the ‘hard’ shell design. In a market currently dominated by harden-on-impact super technology materials, this makes them stand out from the crowd.
Being hard shell or, technically speaking, ‘molded CE foam’, they do feel solid and more old school than the ‘freedom to go anywhere, you’ll never know you’re wearing pads’ style of softer shell pads.
The Conflict pads, both elbow and knee, are heavily shaped with a curved knee joint which gives them the fit, but it’s also a touch of cyberman. If you can get over being a bit Sci-Fi on the trails they are a sturdy and well-made set of pads that also benefit from being well ventilated and won’t get you too hot or sweaty.
At £49.99 for knee and the same price for elbow, they’re not the cheapest but also not over the top expensive.
In short, I definitely wouldn’t recommend the knee pads for hardcore XC or All-mountain riding as any serious amount of pedalling and they are uncomfortable and annoying due to the shape and the lack of flexibility. However, for more gravity related riding the combination of quality construction and excellent protection they offer makes the Sector pads a serious contender for ‘best gravity knee pads 2013’, in my opinion at least.
The elbow pads are equally as notable – and you probably wouldn’t want to be using elbows for XC/All-mountain riding anyway. They sit in place, which a number of previous sets of elbow pads that I’ve owned have certainly not. Normally when ‘gravity slaying’ (I say that in jest) I would wear full armour or knee pads only, but with an Evoc backpack with built-in back protector the need for separate elbow pads has returned, so I will be using these regularly when visiting my local bike park.
I’m a slightly odd size and shape: the technical term for my limbs is ‘sparrow like’. So I have numerous fit issues getting the correct pads. I tested a size large Conflict kneepad, which was too big for me but the medium elbow pads fitted a treat.
If you want to get some of these top-notch premium pads I would recommend ‘try before you buy’ in your local bike shop.
Well made pads that will last quite a few impacts
Breathable and not too sweaty
You can look a bit too Sci-Fi
Uncomfortable for long pedal sessions
Sizes: Small, Medium, Large, XL
Price: £49.99 each