For anyone not in the know, Seven iDP (Intelligent Design Protection) is a new range of body armour developed by a group of the world’s top riders, including the legend Steve Peat, multiple Trek World Racing riders, Mark Weir, Kurt Sorge, Garett Buehler, trials king Chris Ackrigg and Neil Donoghue.
The process took a little over five years to complete, and at first glance, the results certainly look impressive.
Where the new Seven Tactic Knee pads differ to more traditional protection is in the use of the BOA closure system. Although we’ve seen this used on knee pads before with the Dainese Oak Pro, Seven have really refined the strap and dial placement to help ensure a great fit.
The BOA system uses an intricate cable system that is pulled tight via the small indexed wheel, which sits just off centre on the inner side of the pad. Seven have also shrouded the dial with a plastic surround which should help short legs slide over the dial without snagging.
An upper strap that sits on the lower thigh is paired with a lower strap that wraps up and over the calf muscle to help prevent slippage. Both of these can be adjusted accurately and simultaneously by the indexed Boa dial when on the move to ensure the best fit possible.
The hard outer ‘Curv’ shell that sits directly over the knee itself is just 1mm thick in order to keep overall weight down as low as possible without sacrificing protection. The smooth, slick finish will also allow the pads to slide on impact rather than snag the ground as some neoprene or Kevlar coated pads do.
In order to help keep the Tactic’s profile as narrow and as pedal friendly as possible, the Curv hard shell uses Seven’s X-Profile with plenty of lateral padding either side that should articulate with the knees movement.
To further boost comfort when pedalling, the Tactic uses a ‘floating knee socket.’ This is essentially a rectangular pad that sits on the knee cap and can slide up and down inside the pad during flexion and extension of the knee.
The Tactic Knee will be available in four different sizes from small to extra large, weighing a claimed 228g and costing US$169 (£149).
In addition to the flagship Tactic Knee pad is the Tactic elbow and Tactic knee/shin pads. Both of these share features with the Tactic knee and will set you back US$139 (£119) and US$169 (£179) respectively.
If you’re looking for something a little more minimalist and wallet friendly, the Control Knee pads features just one adjustable upper Velcro strap and a secondary elasticated strap that sits just above the calf to keep them in position.
The protective Curv knee cap as used in the Tactic is used on the Control Knee pad too along with similar perforated foam and deep channelling to help improve air flow.
The Control Knee pads weigh in at a claimed 180g and will be available in four sizes ranging from small to extra large. Pricing is set at US$109 (£99).
To complement the Control Knee pads are the Control Elbow pads which again, share many of the same features as the knee pads, including the hard, 1mm thick Curv knee protection.
The Control elbow pads will set you back US$89 (£79).
Another exciting part of the Control Series is the Control Suit upper body armour. This features adjustable shoulder pads along with removable back and chest pads to allow better integration with neck braces. To ensure movement is unimpeded, the back protector has been made as flexible as possible.
The Control Suit uses Seven’s custom perforated foam which helps to increase air flow and reduces overall weight.
Sizing ranges from small to extra large and UK pricing is set at US$179 (£159).
Lastly, Nick Bayliss, the man behind Royal Racing and Seven iDP was keen to include some ankle protection – something often overlooked. This new ankle guard is slim enough to sit under and sock and go unnoticed and thanks to its multi-density foam, should help ward off any nasty knocks and bumps.
There’s a stirrup strap that sits under the foot and a four-way stretch mesh to help keep the Control Ankle in place without it getting too sweaty.
Again, the Control ankle is available in four sizes and will set you back US$19 £19.