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  1. #1
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    New question here. Lightweight pads for nervous rider (Natural singletrack)

    Have been mountain biking with my nephew for about 9 months now and whilst he's making pretty good progress he's still extremely nervous about downhill sections, especially technical downhills (rocky / drop offs). Try as I might, I can't get him to believe me when I say that a little speed can be an ally on these sections so I'm hoping that a bit of protection will help his confidence.

    Can anyone suggest either some lightweight protection which can be worn during XC riding (usually for at least 3 hours)? That, or (possibly better), some heavier duty protection which can be strapped to his pack and donned for the gnarlier sections.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    I like sixsixone. Evo knee pads and Comp full face. I've worn both on 20+ milers. Not fun in the heat but I like my teeth and knees. I feel better with them on. Sounds like your nephew could benefit from some elbow pads as well.

    I'm assuming he already has some decent gloves. Also, don't just assume he can see good (I'm an optometrist). Had a friend in high school who was fine until we got to steep, rocky stuff. He had a eye turn/lazy eye so depth perception was an issue.
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  3. #3
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    Thanks. I'll have a look at those, good to know they can be worn on longer runs.

    As for eyesight, it's pretty good as far as I'm aware. I know he gets semi regular checkups. Mine is starting to go a bit in my old age though.

  4. #4
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    Top 3 recommendations are likely to be: GForce, 661 Evo, and POC

    The POCs are the most expensive, but they (for me) provide the best compromise of low-profile and "bash-ability"
    GForce - which I have not tried, appear to have an excellent rep of being light and effective for light falls.
    I also occasionally use 661 Kyle Straits (Rage pad now?) Bulkiest, but at time were priced right and have the best knee fit for me.

    None of the above are quickly donned, needing shoes to be removed. I just start with my pads on and leave them on.
    I figure if I can't ride all day with them, they are not the right fit for me.


    ***G-Form. lil' brain fart...***
    Last edited by GhostRing; 03-12-2013 at 03:20 PM.
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  5. #5
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    I had a look at these ones which seemed to show some promise too. Anyone have any experience of them?

    MT500 Knee Protector
    https://www.troyleedesigns.com/products/5261-02

    I think the POCs may be a bit out of his price range. G-Form (Force?) seem quite different to the others, not really sure about those. Anyone know the difference between the SixSixOne Rage and Evo? It's hard to tell on their site, aside from the price.

  6. #6
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    It should be G-Form. I recently had a knee injury that requires I keep from hitting it again for a while, so I'm using these on all my normal XC/trial rides.
    Knee Pads - G-Form LLC
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  7. #7
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    Find a one-foot drop-off and ride it 50 times. Then 20 inches and drop off 100 times. And so on. This is guaranteed to build up confidence.

    Have your nephew ride behind a more skilled rider. Even if he doesn't ride everything you do, he's more likely to try after seeing another rider do it with ease. With a line picked for them, concentration on technique is better. Make sure he is looking forward to where he wants to go, not the stone he wants to avoid or the front wheel. Looking down is very detrimental to clearing difficult sections. The human brain is wired in a way that makes reaching places easier when we look at where we want to be.

    As for low profile protection, I've been very happy with Race Face Ambush knee pads and POC VPD 2.0 elbow pads.

    Another piece of protection that does a lot psychologically is a chin guard. You don't need a heavy BMX/DH helmet for this, lighter options with better ventilation do exist.

    Finally, give it some time. Pushing progress could bring it to a halt. Riding a bike should be fun, and few people have fun if they are extremely nervous.

  8. #8
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    Sadly I've tried those techniques and I make sure to show confidence and (reasonable) skills but he's still sitting on his brakes as he's absolutely terrified of hurting himself. Have also repeatedly practised looking ahead with him, how to stand on the bike, how to position your weight etc but I'm trying not to push him too hard because as you said, riding a bike should be fun.

    He's got proper training booked for later in the year but we've already had to postpone it once because he doesn't want to embarrass himself. For the moment I'm sticking to repetition and hoping that a little bit of protection will encourage him to do a little less jumping off and pushing.

  9. #9
    Oh, I've GOT bike money
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    Quote Originally Posted by Psychotext View Post
    I had a look at these ones which seemed to show some promise too. Anyone have any experience of them?

    MT500 Knee Protector
    https://www.troyleedesigns.com/products/5261-02

    I think the POCs may be a bit out of his price range. G-Form (Force?) seem quite different to the others, not really sure about those. Anyone know the difference between the SixSixOne Rage and Evo? It's hard to tell on their site, aside from the price.
    I just got those and really like them (but they're the only pads I've ever owned). They are perfectly comfortable, other than being fairly warm. No problems with them falling or moving around during rides. I did the knee measurements, and came up exactly between M and L. I got the L and it's a perfect fit, and I think M would have been too small.

    They offer quite a bit of protection as they seem to have some sort of flexible but strong plastic insert that covers the knee.

    I've torn up my knee a few too many times, and decided I wanted something for when I am pushing it.

    Sounds like protective gear is not the main issue here, but it can't hurt. I like Saul's idea, and / or spending as much time on the bike as possible. Some people have more natural fear in these situations, and it takes longer to get past it. There were certain things on the bike that I really had to force myself to do, because my brain didn't believe it could be done and sensed impending disaster.

    Very cool that you are helping him with this.

  10. #10
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    The MT500s?

  11. #11
    Oh, I've GOT bike money
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    Quote Originally Posted by Psychotext View Post
    The MT500s?
    Sorry, didn't specify - the Troy Lee Designs KG 5400.

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