Chromag are based in Whistler, the World’s undisputed mountain biking Mecca. While the Canadian manufacturer is mainly known for its bike frames and components like handlebars, stems and pedals, it also includes a wide range of clothing in its portfolio. The Rift knee pad sports a discreet design and is made entirely of a lightweight mesh, with an abrasion-resistant material lining the sewn-in protector. At 147 g, the Rift is one of the lightest knee pads in this test, while its € 101.95 price tag makes it slightly more expensive than the average.

Click here for an overview: 14 trail knee pads in test

Weight per pad 147 g | Price € 101.95 | Certification Level 1 | Removable Insert No
Fastening System Elastic strap | Lab Test Results 19 kN at 3.0 ms | Manufacturer’s website

Like most knee pads in this test, it comes with a Level 1 certification, measuring 19 kN residual force at 3.0 ms in the lab – which puts it on a par with most of its competitors. The Rift forgoes any kind of Velcro fasteners and relies on a simple slip-on sleeve design instead, with small silicone strips on the thigh- and calf-end as well as a narrow elastic band in the hollow of the knee preventing it from slipping.

Despite renouncing Velcro straps, the Rift offers an excellent fit.
The front plate is lined with a sturdier, abrasion-resistant material.
The shallow profile ensures a discreet look and excellent comfort, even when you wear the pads with long trousers.

The Chromag Rift on the trail

With its relatively tight cut, the Chromag Rift needs a bit of convincing when you first put it on. Once you’ve managed to pull the thigh end in place, the pad stays where it belongs and doesn’t slip, even on long days in the saddle and rough descents. The shallow profile ensures a discreet look and comfortable fit. However, with some of our testers, the printed silicone strip sat right on the kneecap, pulling on their skin slightly when pedalling. The thin mesh ensures decent ventilation but the firm material on the front plate hardly lets any air through, resulting in a rather warm inner climate.


  • Lightweight
  • Shallow profile


  • Depending on your anatomy, the printed silicon strip can pull on the skin

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The test field

Click here for an overview: 14 trail knee pads in test

All kneepads in test: 100% Teratec Plus (Click for review) | Alpinestars Paragon Plus (Click for review) | AMPLIFI Havok (Click for review) | Chromag Rift Knee Guard | Fox Launch D3O (Click for review) | Ion K Lite (Click for review) | iXS FLOW EVO+ (Click for review) | Leatt AirFlex Pro (Click for review) | Ortema GP5 Knee Protector (Click for review) | Pearl Izumi Elevate Knee Guard V1 (Click for review) | POC Joint VPD 2.0 Knee (Click for review) | Rapha Trail Knee Pad (Click for review) | Scott Soldier 2 (Click for review) | Troy Lee Designs Stage (Click for review)

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Words: Simon Kohler Photos: Mike Hunger

About the author

Simon Kohler

​​Simon loves speed. He has many years of racing experience as a longboard downhill skater, blasting down alpine passes on his board. In the meantime, he’s swapped four wheels for two, charging down trails and bike park lines aboard his mountain bike instead. He’s savoured some of Europe’s finest trails on various road trips through the Alps. Having lived in Austria for some time, he knows the local Austrian bike parks like the back of his hand. He’s a tech nerd through and through, using the skills and know-how from his engineering degree and his attention to detail to put the latest bikes and components through their paces for our reviews. As an early riser and self-declared muesli connoisseur, he lives his life powered by oats and the strength of his legs.