At A Glance
The ARG Minimalist pad is essentially a lycra sleeve with a perforated flexible pad attached. The lycra allows for a comfortable fit and the ARG pads are attached in the appropriate places for maximum knee protection. The shape is supposedly achieved from body scans to achieve the best range of movement.Buy Body Armour on
The ARG material is bonded directly onto the fabric so pads can be positioned exactly where needed. the material can take multiple impacts without degrading and is highly flexible. At only 6mm it is claimed to be able to reduce the impact force from crashes and disperse it, reducing the final force on the body.
On The Trail
The main difference from many other pads is that the lycra sock is very long, coming way up the thigh. This means it overlaps with bib shorts, which is no great problem, and eliminates any risk of gaps between pads and shorts - excellent! The pads are held in place only with a wide elastic strip at the top and bottom which is lined with a silicon pattern to stick to the skin.
The fit feels comfortable due to the lycra material which is elasticated and very thin. Getting the position of the lower elastic right was an issue, as it fits on the calf, and can migrate downwards with use. I found I had to get the lower elastic sitting just above the widest part of my calf muscle to work best.
With only two electric straps holding the pad in place, it doesn't feel like the most stable, but it doesn't move around much while pedalling. My main concern is the pad moving in a crash by rotating around the knee.
The material that provides the protection is flexible and rubbery in feel, although under impact firms up to absorb forces. The shape covers all the kneecap and extends low enough to cover some of the upper shins. Two smaller pads cover the inside and outside of the knee to give all-round cover to the knee.
A very comfortable pad to pedal in and the long sock approach gives a good fit and no gaps. Having such a long sock, however, means the pad isn't held as firmly in place over the kneecap. Light, comfy and a decent amount of protection that feels like it will fend off some pretty big hits.
By Ewen TurnerEwen Turner is a self-confessed bike geek from Kendal in the Lake District of England. He runs a coaching and guiding business up there and has a plethora of knowledge about bikes with an analytical approach to testing. His passion for bicycles is infectious, and he’s a ripper on the trails who prefers to fit his working life around his time on the bike.