Knee and elbow pads are generally frustrating for parents and kids alike.  As a parent, getting kids to put their pads on is usually just as frustrating as trying to get them to keep them on.    As a child, pads are bulky, scratchy and just plain uncomfortable.  When worn however, protective pads will not only save both parents and children from blood, sweat and tears, they can also help build confidence in hesitant kids.  Dreamt up by athletes and created using reactive protection technology (RPT), G-Form protective pads are a modern-day solution to an old school problem.

Made of soft, pliable foam that hardens on impact, G-Form pads provide the protection parents want with the comfort that kids need.  At the time of this review, G-form pads were only available in adult sizes, but they now offer youth sizes!  Their new Youth large size is the same as the XXS we tested and their Youth Small is one size smaller than that.  The XS we tested is still an adult XS.  G-forms sizing chart can be found directly on their site.

How They Work

G-Form pads essentially harden on impact.  As shown in the video below, the molecules in the foam repel each other when at rest, making the pads soft and flexible.  When faced with an impact, the molecules use the increase in energy to form clusters, thereby hardening the material and providing rigid protection.


*Update: G-form now makes pads specifically for kids, which are smaller and have a shorter sleeve. The XXS we used is not a Youth Large, the XS adult is still an XS adult.*

Knowing ahead of time that we would be testing adult-sized pads* on kids, we anticipated some concerns with sizing.  Unlike standard pads, the nylon sleeve of G-form pads are not adjustable but are offered in nine different sizes to ensure a proper fit.  For adults, adjustability is not a concern, but for kids who continue to grow, products need to be able to grow along with them.  To determine how the nylon sleeve would “grow” along with a child, we tested the XXS and XS elbow, knee and shins pads on a four, six, seven and nine-year-old.  While it was apparent from the start that the nylon sleeve was slightly too long for our testers’ child-sized limbs, the sleeve itself was quite forgiving and easily accommodated various aged children.  Our very tall four-year-old tester easily fit into the XXS elbow and knee pads and loved them from the minute he put them on.  Whether worn over a shirt or on his bare skin, he was more than happy to put and keep the pads on.  While in use, the flexible nature of the G-Form pads kept the pads close to his body, thereby preventing them from becoming caught on his seat or bike when attempting to do “tricks.”

g-form vs. standard

The XXS elbow and knee pads also fit our six and seven-year-old testers while the XS pads fit our nine-year-old.  The XXS small shin guard, however, did fit our four-year-old and six-year-olds but did not fit our seven-year-old.  Smaller in diameter, the XXS shin-guard however, was able to be used as an elbow pad for another smaller four-year-old tester.  To ensure a proper fit, sizing charts for each product are available at

g form sizes

G-form’s New Youth Sizes

G-form offers youth sizes in elbow, knee, shin pads as well as compression shirts and bottoms, G-form’s Youth line.



Smooth and flexible, comfort is where G-form pads really excel.  Free of rough edges, tags or stiff material, each pliable pad uniquely bends to conform to the various contours of its wearer.  Unlike standard pads, our testers enjoyed wearing the pads and often preferred to keep them on upon completion of their bike rides.  In fact, our seven-year-old tester liked wearing them so much, she decided to climb a tree with them on.

g form comfortable

Getting more bang for your buck, G-form pads also protect a greater surface area as compared to other pads.  In addition to the kneecap and elbow, the pads extend to protect above and below the joints, as well as the sides.  As an added bonus, the G-form pads are also machine washable.


While our testers did not experience a fall or crash while testing out the pads, they were able to test the durability of the pads in different ways.  From a standing position, our seven-year-old tester fell to her knees on the concrete driveway.  Impressed that she felt no pain from the impact, she then proceeded to crawl down and jump down the driveway on her knees, often dragging the pad as she went.  Once completed, we closely inspected the pads and was not able to find a single scratch.   In the event of a rip or tear, however, G-form does offer a limited lifetime warranty.

g form durability

Bottom Line

At $60 a set, G-form pads come at a price, but worthy of the expense if you have a hesitant, accident prone child or simply want to ensure your child’s safety.  Compared to other pads, G-Form pads were the only pads our testers were willing to wear for an extended period of time and are also the only truly washable pair.  Due to the give of the nylon sleeve, you can also expect the pads to fit your child for several years.

Simple off-the-shelf knee and elbows pads are generally ill-fitting, uncomfortable and of low quality.  Designed for grade schoolers, most pads are also too big for young toddlers on balance bikes.  With the success of their balance bike, Strider set out to design set of pads that will comfortably fit the smallest of riders.  Sold with two larger and two smaller pairs of pads, Strider’s pads have a hard plastic shell with a padded base and a Velcro strap.  The smaller of the pads is designed to first fit on the knee of the smallest riders and then graduate to the elbow of older riders.  Once the smaller pads are transitioned in to elbow pads, the larger pads can them be used as knee pads.

Strider pad sizes

Soft yet durable, our testers aged 15 months to 5 years were all able to comfortably wear the pads.  Our 3-year-old tester was very comfortable in them and her movement wasn’t restricted much. She ran, played, and jumped and never complained.   While playing, the pads did scratch relatively easily with impact to the ground, but much less so than the lower-end Disney pads we previously used.  Our 15-month tester wore the smaller set of the two as knee pads. They were quite tight and very restrictive, however, he was wearing them over bulky corduroy pants. In the end they didn’t seem to bother him. He didn’t try to take them off, instead he climbed up on multiple things.   Although significantly larger than our one-year-old testers, our 5-year-old was also able to comfortably wear the pads.  Although the fit was snug and did not offer he much room to grow, the Strider pads were less bulky than others she has tried and she preferred them as a result.

strider ages

Bottom Line

Great pads at a great price.  Simple, yet effective, the Strider pads are a great fit for toddlers and preschoolers, but are too small for most grade-schoolers.

Whether your son or daughter simply want to look like mom or dad or if they are joining you for longer rides, child-sized biking gear is sure to keep them cool and comfortable.  Available in matching sets, Louis Garneau’s jerseys, shorts and gloves are well-made, reasonably priced and provide for a cool and comfortable ride.  Generally eager to ride, with his matching set, our four-year-old tester was not only ecstatic to go out for a ride, he was much more willing to ride for longer distances as well.

LG Gear

With padded shorts and sweat free hands, his eagerness only increased upon the completion of our ride as he choose to wear his gear for some time afterwards.

During a recent family ride, we learned the hard way just how important eye protection is for kids.  Half way out on our six-mile ride, our two-year-old started to complain while in the WeeHoo.  Assuming he was hungry or simply needed a break, we stopped only to discover that his face was covered in dust and was wouldn’t stop rubbing his eyes.  While the trail didn’t seem too dusty to us, he was much lower to the ground in the WeeHoo and had a lot of dust in his eyes as a result.  Luckily, it was just dust, which we were able to get out with some water, but we realized the potential for rocks or sticks are quite real and eye protection was something we should have considered.

uvex glasses

After some convincing, his older brother was willing to share his Uvex sunglasses that he had been trying out during the ride.  Designed for kids aged 2 to 6, the glasses fit him just fine, and although he was hesitant to keep them on, the included strap helped to keep them in place.  As we continued our ride, unfortunately, the trail became dustier and while our two-year-old was in good shape, our 5 and 7-year-old now had just in their eyes!  Lesson learned.

Mateo glasses

With all three kids, the Uvex glasses fit and performed great.  With their wrap around frames which fit close to the face, they certainly helped protect from the dust as well as the sun.  The polycarbonate lenses offer 100% UVA, UVB and UVC protection.  UV protection is also incorporated into the frames of the glasses.

uvex glasses 2

The flexible and durable frames also withstood our kids not-so-gentle attempts to put the glasses on and off over and over again.

glasses flexing

Bottom Line:

Learn from us, don’t forget the sunglasses for the kids!  Help protect kids eyes from the sun AND the dirt and dust.  The durable, flexible and full-coverage Uvex’s Sportstyle 501sunglasses with the included strap are perfect for any on-the-go kids from age 2 to 7.


Made with compression molded foam and low-profile polycarbonate caps, Bern’s junior pads are the perfect confident booster for kids aged 5 to 8.  While older kids tend to be confident in their pedal and balancing, they are often hesitant to be more adventurous on their bike.  Knee pads and elbow pads, however, can give them to confidence to try new skills and tricks at skate parks, pump tracks or on a simple wood plank jump on the sidewalk.

pads older kids

bern junior pads

Kids fall and while learning to ride a bike, some kids fall a lot. Whether taking off the training wheels for the first time or hitting the skate park, a good set of protective pads can certainly come in handy. When that time comes, Triple 8, a company known for their action sport protective gear, has you covered with durable, yet flexible protective pads for kids ages 5 and up. For the youngest kids, their Little Tricky set comes with elbow and knee pads, as well as wrist guards.  To get your child motivated to wear the pads, an instructional DVD which includes a video entitled “Kids Who Rip.”

T8 Little Tricky

Larger than toddler-sized pads, such as Strider’s, but smaller than their adult sized Savers Series, the Little Tricky set is sized for kids ages 6 to 11, but many users have found them to fit kids as young as 4 while other find them too small for their 8 year olds. While we have not had a chance to test out the Little Tricky line, we were able look over them at a trade show and found their quality to be superior to the standard set of pads found at big-box stores.  Complete with thick EVA foam and full-coverage cups, Triple 8 pad’s are fully equipt for sport rather than play.

For older kids, Triple 8 offers a junior size in the Saver Series combo pack. Designed for trick-loving kids and tweens, the junior-sized Saver Series, offers slightly thicker padding, more coverage and longer straps than the Little Tricky line.  Large for his age, our-five-year-old tester, decided to put the Triple 8 pads up against Strider’s toddler pads. While the Triple 8 pads are technically too big for him and the Strider’s too small, the overall quality and ergo dynamic differences between the two was readily apparent. Like most pads for younger kids, the Strider pads are made to protect from the occasional fall from a balance bike, not from regular falls one would expect at a skate park.  As a result, they are not very flexible and don’t stay flush with the body during falls.

T8 Pads 2

During falls, the full-coverage protective cups remained in place while the protective foam stayed close to the body. The wider straps additionally helped to better secure the pads and were more comfortable to wear.

T8 Pads 1

While essential for skateboarding or inline skating, the included wrist guards should not be used while biking as they prevent kids from fully gripping the handlebar.

T8 Pads 3

Lastly, be sure to order the proper pads set as, although the larger junior-sized set was able to fit our five-year-old without any problems, there was certainly excess strap that was bothersome at times.

T8 Pads 4

Bottom Line

Triple 8 pads offer high-end, flexible, full-coverage protection for kids aged 5 and up.  The Little Tricky line is great for kids 4 to 8, while the junior-sized Saver Series is best for kids 8 and up.

Where to Purchase

The Little Tricky and junior-sized Saver Series sets are both available on Amazon.

Flat tires are a pain.  Not only are they frustrating for kids and parents, they often sideline a bike for weeks.  Fortunately, preventing flats is as simple as spending $8 at Walmart (or $10 on Amazon) and 15 minutes in the garage.  Tire sealants is essentially a fiber-filled “slime” that coats the inside of a bike tube to quickly and efficiently repair and prevents flats.  In most cases, Slime only needs to be added to a tire once and prevents flats for essentially the life of the tire or tube.

In the four years we have been using Slime in our kid’s bike tires, we have only experienced one flat after our son rode through a field of thorny weeds.  Honestly, with all the bike riding that gets done around here, I can’t imagine life without tire sealant!  The most widely available brand is Slime and is sold at Walmart, Target, most automotive parts store and Amazon.  You only need about 2 oz. of slime per 12″ tire, so the 8 oz. bottle sold in the bicycle section is sufficient for two bikes.  If you have several bikes to seal, consider heading over to the automotive department where the Slime tends to be cheaper by the ounce.


In order to add the Slime you will need to remove all the air out of the tire, so be sure to have a bike pump nearby before you start.

Step One: Remove the Valve Core

The inner valve of the tire stem valve must first be removed before you can add any slime.  While it sounds daunting, it is actually quite easy to remove using the included tool.


Step Two: Apply Tire sealant

Once the valve is out, it’s time to add the Slime.  You will need to add about 2 oz. to a 12″ tire (1/4 cup) and about 2.5 oz. for a 16″ tire.  For larger tires a chart is given on the back of the slime container and a calculator is available on their website.


Step Three: Re-Inserting the Valve and Re-inflating the Tire

Once the Slime is in place, use the tool to re-insert the core.  Next, inflate the tire to the correct PSI (listed on tire sidewall) and then spin the wheel to allow the Slime to evenly distribute throughout the tire.


Step Four: Repeat and Ride

Repeat steps with the second tire and then you are ready to ride.  Slime does not require any waiting period, allowing the bike to be used right away.


Books are awesome, but books about bikes for kids are amazing!  Over the years we have searched far and wide for a child’s book that is truly about biking, not just a story with a bike in it.  Thanks B is for Bicycles, our search is officially over.  Going beyond a cute story about bikes, B is for Bicycles also educates.  From pedals, to cassettes and valve stems, it teaches kids about the parts of a bike, but also about the communities bikes create.
B-for-Bicycle book

Technical, yet playful, the colorful pictures are also sure to grab your child’s attention.  Our antsy three-year-old (who is particular about books), loved B is for Bicycles and asked to have it read to him over and over again.  Luckily, his older brother has happy to oblige as he also loved learning about the larger world of bikes beyond our neighborhood and local trails.

b is for bike 2

Clean and crisp, the words are easy to read and easy to see (sadly, something that is often over looked with kids books).  As an added bonus, the book is written in rhyme and flows with happy anticipation.

B is for Bicycles Book1

Written by a husband and wife team, who have run successfully independent bike shop for 13 years, the book truly demonstrates their passion for bikes and their love for the biking community.  Beyond simply motivating kids to get out and ride, page-by-page B is for Bicycles is helping to build tomorrows biking community.  Well done Scott and Jannine!

b is for bike

Bottom Line: A must have for any bike-loving parent and child.

Kids generally fall hands first.  When riding balance bikes, kids instinctively try to catch themselves with their hands.  As a result, second to the helmet, gloves are the most important safety equipment for young riders.  Elbow and knee pads certainly prevent their share of bumps and bruises, but not as often as a good pair of biking gloves.

Like bike and helmets, not all kids bike gloves are created equal. Over the years we have had gloves fall apart, deemed uncomfortable by our kids, or have stopped using simply because they were difficult to use.  While getting gloves on kids will always be problematic (although we’ve found half-fingered gloves to be easier to get on), Zippyrooz gloves are amazingly simply to get off.  With sewn in finger-loops on the palm on each gloves, our testers quickly, easily and independently were able to remove their gloves.

Zippyrooz finger loops easily tuck under the fingers during use and are easily found when kids are ready to take them off.


Even beyond the finger loops, Zippyrooz are amazing gloves.  The top fabric is breathable and stretchy, while the palms are soft and pliable with sewn-in pads.  A Velcro wrist strap helps the gloves stay on and provides a wide opening to aide in getting the gloves on.  Getting little fingers in all the right holes in still a challenge with the Zippyrooz, but not any more than other kids biking gloves.  For those inevitable preschool and toddler happenings, the thumb also has a soft absorbent nose wipe.



Bottom Line: Well made, with finger-loops for easy off’s, the Zippyrooz are fun as they are functional.

Availability:  Zippyrooz are available directly from as well as on Amazon, and sell for $13.95.

Ten simply orange cones placed in a row quickly sent our balance bikes riders racing, swerving and jogging on their bikes.  Always looking to inspire young riders, WOOM’s bike cones are an easy an inexpensive way to help kids take their biking game to the next level.
WOOM cones 1 Simple orange cones are available at any sporting goods store, but the flexibility and easy storage of WOOM’s cones are impressive.  Even after our 4-year-old tester repeatedly smashed them with his bike, the cones quickly popped back into shape.  While small and mighty, the cones are easily picked up by the wind, so they aren’t recommended for windy days.
WOOM cones 2Bottom Line: Lightweight, durable, easy to store and fun to use, WOOM’s cone set is the perfect fun accessory for any balance bike or pedal bike lover.