Maximal knee safety, minimal package deal
After I acquired the field for the Chromag Rift knee pads, I instantly thought that there had been some form of mistake – Chromag will need to have despatched me a pair of gloves by chance. No, no, the small field undoubtedly says “RIFT Path Knee Guard” on the entrance. Maybe there’s one other field with the different pad in it? No, no – they’re each in there. Wow.
Over time, I’ve tended in direction of bulkier knee pads that subliminally converse to me with guarantees of fantastic safety, and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to determine that bulkier padding typically means higher safety. However mountain bike armour has skilled a technological shift in recent times, and the appearance of reactive polymers that stiffen on impression are permitting producers to give you armour that maintains a excessive diploma of safety whereas nonetheless being comfy to put on for lengthy durations of time.
The Chromag Rift would possibly look considerably minimal at first look, however intelligent design and the inclusion of strategically positioned RHEON inserts make for a knee pad that punches nicely above its diminutive weight. Like different reactive polymers, RHEON is a rubber-like materials that could be very delicate and pliable, till it’s subjected to an outdoor pressure (i.e. these pointy, arduous AF, immovable rocks that inevitably appear to seek out your kneecaps within the occasion of a crash). RHEON strengthens and stiffens on impression, offering elevated safety over an ordinary polymer. The RHEON inserts are completely encased in an abrasion-resistant aramid shell, with a breathable airprene backing materials for construction and luxury. The mesh materials that holds every little thing collectively is skinny, stretchy, and cozy whereas pedaling. Chromag claims that the Rift is totally mechanically cleanable, though I’d be inclined to stay to the fragile cycle to assist protect the skinny mesh and stitching that holds every little thing collectively. Out there in 5 sizes from XS to XL, the Rift is CE licensed to EN 1621-1:2012.
One of many secrets and techniques to the Rift’s slim profile is the absence of any form of velcro adjusting straps. As an alternative, the extremely elasticized cuffs function silicone grip strips, which work in live performance with the distinctive calf gusset to securely lock the pads in place. I used to be initially uncertain concerning the lack of any form of adjustment strap, however my considerations have been unfounded, because the Rift is great at staying in place – even after sweat-drenched, daylong missions. The form and slim match of the Rift works nicely with shorts or pants, and the shortage of any velcro means they are going to by no means catch or snag on no matter else you occur to be sporting.
Chromag got down to make a knee pad that may be comfy and protecting for any experience, and after a number of weeks with the Rift, I can confidently say they’ve succeeded. Whereas the pads really feel a bit heat if you first put them on, I believe that is primarily a aspect impact of the very cosy and safe design that retains them in place so nicely. Even with out the good thing about any form of changes, the Rifts simply glue themselves to your knees, and are shortly forgotten about because the pedaling begins. So robust is their potential to stay to your legs, warning have to be taken when eradicating the Rifts out of your legs, so as to forestall overstretching or tearing them. The most secure, best method to take away these pads is to slowly inch them down your leg, sliding prime then backside incrementally till the silicone gripper bands launch their tight grip. This statement on how sticky they’re is under no circumstances a criticism of the Rift – certainly, this can be a very massive promoting level for my part. After years of battling numerous manufacturers and types of knee pads that refuse to remain in place, Chromag appears to have cracked the code with the Rift.
Other than being a bit heat, the Rifts are simply some of the comfy knee pads I’ve ever worn, and with no strain factors or chafing spots to talk of, I had no issues spending a number of hours at a time pedaling in them. In stark distinction to different knee pads I’ve worn, I wasn’t determined to get out of them as quickly because the experience was completed – I typically forgot that I used to be sporting them. There are actually pads on the market that breathe a bit higher, however so far as total consolation goes, the Rift could be very arduous to beat.
Chromag calls the Rift a “Path Knee Guard”, however I personally would don’t have any reservations about operating these pads within the bike park, or whereas DH or enduro racing. I’ve skilled one slight rock strike throughout a crash that resulted in zero injury to knee or pad. Presumably crucial protecting measure of the Rift is its potential to remain precisely in place for prolonged durations of time – as a result of what good is a knee pad, if it has slipped midway down your leg on the time of a crash? The RHEON padding appears to be in all the appropriate spots, and isn’t current the place it’s not wanted – and with that in thoughts, I’ve little doubt that the Rift is as protecting because the far bulkier knee pads in my closet.
Chromag has knocked it out of the park with the Rift Path Knee Guard, and I can’t stress sufficient how impressed I’m with the general consolation of this pad. The Rift is in a league of its personal in terms of staying put in your knees, and for that motive alone, they’re actually price a re-examination.
Chromag Rift Knee Guard – 145 CAD / 125 US
Age : 40
Peak : 1803mm
Weight : 86kg
Ape Index : 1.03
Inseam : 787mm
Bar Width : 780mm
Most popular Attain : Fairly comfortable at 487mm as of late.