(Reviewed: 17 May 2004)
ATi’s Vader DS pads and plates are another step in the evolution of ATi's Vader product range. They have a more stripped back, simplistic, nearly retro look about them and they serve very important function for all BMXers, protection.
When you talk about pads and plates it's usually design that seperates them first, then you go into functionality and cost.
The Vader DS stem pad is a little unique, it looks as though it wasn't stitched when it left the factory. Pretty much all other stem pads are stitched one a right angle to cup the stem and are locked firmly into an angle that may not suit all set ups, particularly for A-Head systems where people tend to leave their steerer tube lengths quite long. The ATi stem pad still sits and wraps exactly like any other stem pad but gives you a lot more flexibility. The wrap around frame pad is quite large in diameter, but doesn't have a large range when it comes to fitting, it should fit most bikes with oversized top tubes but on others it might be a loose fit, something worth checking out before purchasing, the alternative monocoque style pad may work better in that case.
The Vader DS plates come in Pro and Mini sizes. They are packaged with velcro and clips to hold the velcro to the plate which you have to fit yourself. I found, at first, that I hadn't put the clips in properly, I think the velcro was getting in the way and the clips had a tendancy to fall off, but once I worked out what was going on they seemed to work fine. The plates come only with a white panel for numbers, check with your local rulebooks to see if they comply with racing colour combinations.
The ATi Vader DS pads and plates are available in black, red, and blue
|Value for money:||4/5|
For more information about ATi and their product range check out www.rideati.com