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  1. #1
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    How geared should a new guy be?

    I'm still digging around for my first mb. Mostly on craigslist. Now I get the basics. Helmet. Check. I'll probably also pick up some gloves and try and find some cheap goggles. This might sound pretty dumb as personal safety should be top of the list but I am on a budget.
    Should I worry too much about shin guards/knee pads, elbow pands, and under armor?

  2. #2
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    depends on what your planning to ride.....DH? for sure youll need pads/under armor--ect.... going to be running xc and general trail riding,,then all the pads arnt really needed..

  3. #3
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    general trail riding: helmet, gloves and some type of eye protection.

    AM/XC+: helmet, gloves and some type of eye protection, elbow and knee pads.

    DH : helmet, gloves and some type of eye protection, elbow and knee, spine protection.

    rampage level DH/Freeride: nothing less then full plate armor. lol

    Alot of it depends on what the consequences are for a crash, knee and elbow pads will let you shake off pretty much any crash your going to have as a new rider. the faster you go, the bigger the drops and jumps ect. the more protection you want.
    2012 Giant Reign 1

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobinGB View Post
    general trail riding: helmet, gloves and some type of eye protection.

    AM/XC+: helmet, gloves and some type of eye protection, elbow and knee pads.

    DH : helmet, gloves and some type of eye protection, elbow and knee, spine protection.

    rampage level DH/Freeride: nothing less then full plate armor. lol

    Alot of it depends on what the consequences are for a crash, knee and elbow pads will let you shake off pretty much any crash your going to have as a new rider. the faster you go, the bigger the drops and jumps ect. the more protection you want.
    thanks for the simple breakdown

    Can you guys recommend go sites to purchase this stuff? There are so many, some feedback would be nice, Thanks.

  5. #5
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    With regards to the helmet and pads, your local LBS. Try on as many as you can and get one that fits the best. With out breaking the bank, gloves and eye protection, your local hardware store. Safety glasses and some gloves in the tools section.

  6. #6
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    thanks for the reply

  7. #7
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    Even at the Trail/AM level, I think some amount of armor is needed. I took a bad fall about a month ago and hurt my hip really bad... it's just starting to heal.

    I've since gotten some protective gear just in case, primarily because I was out for a good while with the injuries, and doing everyday tasks was pretty painful while it healed. Might as well be safe than sorry.

    What I got thus far:

    Troy Lee 7605 Butt/hip protector (I like this so much I'll probably buy another so I can rotate them and keep them from stinking LOL)


    POC knee pads ( I already have a bad knee from a motorcycle injury)


    And of course helmet and gloves (which should be the bare minimum protection)


    -S

  8. #8
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    I saw this vid posted somewhere else.



    Someone was trying to use it to support their argument for smaller bikes vs bigger bikes, saying how the "DH" guys were terrible and "MrNoSuspension" was schooling them. In this case, I want to point out how I thought the guys on the bigger bikes were properly equipped for this trail and their skill level. If they had the same equipment as the rigid rider, they would be bleeding, maybe broken, and/or maybe needing a heli-vac. Heck, some might even suggest that they had no business on that trail--not a very cool way to think.

    Ride smart. Learn from others. I hear medical and dental bills are higher than the cost of pads. Don't be like those others that avoid all technical challenges and mainly only work on puffing up that hill and cranking out miles. The fun is in the challenge. Better to fall and get back on the bike, than fall and need to be helped to the ER. How are you going to learn if you don't attempt something, giving some lame excuse like you are "working up to it", assuming riding miles/hills on the same level stuff helps you work up to it? Now, saying that you are "working up to it" after attempting it and not looking so pro, is worth at least a good pat on the back or a beer.

    I personally ride fully equipped most of the time and when someone asks why I'm so geared up, for a trail they might consider not so gnarly, sometimes my friends reply that my riding is gnarly. But I'm inspired by gravity riders, not XC riders or roadies. I don't have too much interest in XC racing. I watch vids of Redbull Rampage and DH riders, and aspire to ride like that someday. More excitement.
    Last edited by Varaxis; 12-07-2012 at 11:22 AM.

  9. #9
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    I think the guys in the video recognized their skill level and the risks involved and protected themselves as needed. This keeps a ride fun and makes for entertaining video.

    If i was riding that, i would wear knees/elbows/gloves/good helmet and glasses and i would consider spine protecting.

    A full face helmet would be a good idea, but more then likely i wouldnt wear one. This will more then likely bite me in the ass one day.

    as i write this im thinking i may actually look at one this weekend...
    2012 Giant Reign 1

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Varaxis View Post
    Someone was trying to use it to support their argument for smaller bikes vs bigger bikes, saying how the "DH" guys were terrible and "MrNoSuspension" was schooling them. In this case, I want to point out how I thought the guys on the bigger bikes were properly equipped for this trail and their skill level. If they had the same equipment as the rigid rider, they would be bleeding, maybe broken, and/or maybe needing a heli-vac. Heck, some might even suggest that they had no business on that trail--not a very cool way to think.

    Ride smart. Learn from others. I hear medical and dental bills are higher than the cost of pads. Don't be like those others that avoid all technical challenges and mainly only work on puffing up that hill and cranking out miles. The fun is in the challenge. Better to fall and get back on the bike, than fall and need to be helped to the ER. How are you going to learn if you don't attempt something, giving some lame excuse like you are "working up to it", assuming riding miles/hills on the same level stuff helps you work up to it? Now, saying that you are "working up to it" after attempting it and not looking so pro, is worth at least a good pat on the back or a beer.

    I personally ride fully equipped most of the time and when someone asks why I'm so geared up, for a trail they might consider not so gnarly, sometimes my friends reply that my riding is gnarly. But I'm inspired by gravity riders, not XC riders or roadies. I don't have too much interest in XC racing. I watch vids of Redbull Rampage and DH riders, and aspire to ride like that someday. More excitement.
    I couldnt agree with you more.. This reminds me of my motorcycle days .. the cool guys with not leathers .. well I enjoy my skin on my body

    Thanks for your reply, def will take alot of that into consideration, fun back is getting back on that bike .. in one piece

  11. #11
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    I'd start with knee/shin for flat or just knee for clipless, forearm/elbow, gloves and a helmet for general trail riding. You'll probably start dropping some of that stuff as more of your discomfort comes from sweating and less comes from falling.

    I think a full face and goggles are overkill for trail riding, but people find them quite appropriate for DH and freeride. Ditto with chest and spin protectors, neck braces, hip padding, etc. Basically, if you're going to be launching yourself into the air and pointing your bike at the bottoms of steep things a lot, you're going to want more padding. If you just don't want to get cut up as much learning what you're doing on mellower trails, you probably won't want that much, but it's not bad to overdo it and back off to a happy medium.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  12. #12
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    XSportsProtective - The Original Protective Gear Store

    Free plug for one of my fav shops for protective gear. Their $20 off $100 + free SH makes for great deals on pads.

    I currently have these:

    G-Form Elbow Pads (Pair)
    Troy Lee Designs BP 4600 Hot Weather Padded Shorts
    Troy Lee Designs BP7850 Upper Body Armor

    They fit me a bit looser than I like and I haven't yet used them in a crash, so I can't yet really recommend them. Maybe go a size down from the fit chart, if you decide to go for any of them and like a closer fit. I'm skinny and don't really like baggy fits.

    I do recommend the Urge Down-O-Matic full face helmet (50% MSRP coupon code: 86Y-1-XZYWP ), if you're looking for a light decent looking FF helmet. It doesn't fit the shape over everyone's head though.

    I'm a fan of Giro DJ gloves too, as they're one of the few med gloves that my long fingers don't feel like they'll burst the tip of the gloves' fingertips out, and one of the few inexpensive ones with crash/skid padding on the palms.

  13. #13
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    Sweet! Thanks again guys for all the info!

    Sent from my SGH-I747 using Tapatalk 2

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Varaxis View Post
    I saw this vid posted somewhere else.


    .
    If I were shuttling all that, I'd wear full armor (no reason not to). If I were pedaling both ways (up and down), I would not.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta View Post
    If I were shuttling all that, I'd wear full armor (no reason not to). If I were pedaling both ways (up and down), I would not.
    Why would it matter either or .. the danger/risk doesn't change from the two ?

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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by mest22 View Post
    Why would it matter either or .. the danger/risk doesn't change from the two ?

    Sent from my SGH-I747 using Tapatalk 2
    Risk / benefit calculation.

    Yes, the risk is the same (not particularly high in that case, IMO), but the downside to dragging armor and FF helmet along is much greater if not being shuttled.

    Or, to put in risk/benefit terms, the extra risk of getting hurt (which I see as small) is outweighed by the benefit of leaving the armor at home (which I see a big).

    I might feel differently if the terrain looked like something I was more likely to wreck badly on.
    Last edited by kapusta; 12-08-2012 at 08:52 AM.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  17. #17
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    Having just started riding about two weeks ago, I error on the side of caution. I do AM/DH riding here in the Black Hills. I generally ride up wearing my XC helmet and my full face helmet strapped to my pack. I also wear glasses then goggles depending on the helmet I'm currently wearing. Lastly I wear a nice set of well-fitting gloves. I come from riding single track dirt bikes so I already owned a FF helmet, but as I have lurked on this board and rode at the local area, I began to get the feeling that the full face was over kill. I had been riding for a bit without incident and began to doubt the need for the extra weight on the way up. But I held on and last time I went out, right as my doubt was peaking, I decided that if I carried it to the top of the hill, I might as well wear it. About half way down to the bottom of the run, I hit a rock while on a particularly steep decline and went right over the bars. Seeing how I was already facing downward, I didn't even have time to let go of the bars before the face guard of the helmet smashed into a rock. As I laid there, trying to get some sir back in my lungs all I could think was "I will never doubt wearing this helmet again just because of what others may think". I love being able to chew my food and I hate visits to the dentist.

    Sorry for the long post, but what it all boils down to is that you shouldn't base what you wear off of what others think, but off of what you feel is appropriate. I rode away from what could've been a devastating crash with nothing more than a bruise on my left thigh because deep down I knew that the FF helmet was the correct helmet for me.

  18. #18
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    I couldn't agree more ...

    Sent from my SGH-I747 using Tapatalk 2

  19. #19
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    Inspiration words JWatIV. I will definitely be looking for a ff helmet to replace my old cycling helmet before I go out. I'll also try not to skimp out on the under armor. But **** that **** is expensive! Haha. Thanks so much for all this feedback, it's really opening my eyes on what to look for.

  20. #20
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    You need enough gear to have fun and protect yourself. Definitely a good helmet. Buy some safety glasses at an industrial safety store. Garden gloves can work.

    You get what you pay for.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by DannyPacMan View Post
    I'm still digging around for my first mb. Mostly on craigslist. Now I get the basics. Helmet. Check. I'll probably also pick up some gloves and try and find some cheap goggles. This might sound pretty dumb as personal safety should be top of the list but I am on a budget.
    Should I worry too much about shin guards/knee pads, elbow pands, and under armor?
    From the bottom up...

    Good riding shoes... I recommend 5.10's
    Technical Trails = Knee Pads (really anything to protect your knees)
    compression or armored undershorts
    baggy shorts (enduros or etc)
    baggy jersey (not hoodlum baggy... Baggy as in loose fitting. Some people swear by skin tight licra but I'm cool off of that).
    If riding downhill alot Leatt neck brace
    Downhill = full face helmet
    AM/XC = good trail helmet
    Full finger gloves

  22. #22
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    I'm a newb and I am COVERED in bruises from my first couple weeks. The funny thing about MTB vs road where I'm very experienced is that my crashes have all been at low speed! But falling over sideways on rocks SUCKS! Wacked my knee pretty good on one and almost really messed myself up on another. the locations of most of my bruises are such that armor wouldn't have done a thing however, if I had armor on I probably would have been more confident and committed and gotten through. I've found that I'm scared to go through certain areas with the speed required to get through and then end up fighting to unclip and bail out. I will definately be ordering up some padding soon.

  23. #23
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    Most of my crashes happen on my hardtail. I very rarely crash on my high performance 29er FS bike. I stood up and walked away from brutal crashes on my 7" big hit bike with protective gear. Seems like the cheaper the bike I'm on, the higher the risk for crashing on mtb trails.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Varaxis View Post
    Most of my crashes happen on my hardtail. I very rarely crash on my high performance 29er FS bike. I stood up and walked away from brutal crashes on my 7" big hit bike with protective gear. Seems like the cheaper the bike I'm on, the higher the risk for crashing on mtb trails.
    I have been having great success with my hard tail kona nunu .. but I haven't really hit to many trails this past season..

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  25. #25
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    Well, some may not consider them crashes, but any time 3 of my contact points (2 points on pedals, 2 on handlebars, 1 on saddle) come off the bike unintentionally, which then contact terra firma (including tall objects such as trees, walls, rocks) is a crash to me. Some plp refer to them as falls, fumbles, fails, or maybe being "ditched/trapped", as opposed to diggers, face plants, OTBs, slams, collisions, or "real" crashes. Even being trapped in clipless pedals and losing balance is a crash, in the sense I used. Very rarely does any of that happen when I'm on my FS 29er--it's easy mode and my buddies get less entertaining footage on their cams . I guess I should also clarify "stood and walked away" as, "stood and continued my ride, unless my bike got busted."

    I said it basically to imply that you may need the gear, more than you would think, if you are on a less capable bike, and not just if you are prone to doing wild reckless stuff. I've seen/heard plenty of low speed mishaps turn into what people refer to as simply "bad luck", twisting ankles, fracturing wrists and collarbones, getting deep flesh wounds that need to be closed up, etc.

    You've heard of Aaron Gwin, right? The top US pro DH racer? Did you know:

    Carnage: Aaron Gwin, Toothless - Mountain Biking Pictures - Vital MTB

    I guess that might imply that if you like to ride to exhaustion, then maybe a little insurance in the form of protective gear might pay off. I heard his medical bill exceeded $10k.

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