1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
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2. If possible, try to find a shop that will let you demo the bike on real dirt. Five minutes in a parking lot won't cut it. You wouldn't buy a car without a real world test drive, and a bike should be no different.
3. Don't belive the hype. Just because your favorite rider or best friend rides a certain bike, that doesn't mean that's the best one for you. Have an open mind and be realistic about your needs and ability.
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  1. #1
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    Shoulder/Clavical protection

    Any good protection/pads for xc mountain biking. Already broke a clavical a few years back and dont want to do it again.

  2. #2
    DynoDon
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    After recently bruising my shoulder/ribs/sternum I bought, Fox Titan Body Armor for $140, I've got a size larger, and it fits good, I don't wear the removable back protector, my camelback can do that job, you could wear it over your jersey if you don't mind looking like Darth Vader, or get a next size up jersey, it has forearm, elbow, arm, chest, and shoulder protection, it breathes good when you are moving, I haven't crashed with it (YET), I just bought it this fall so 72f or so is the hottest weather I've worn it in, it's a bit hot, but beats pain, and it probably helps loose weight.

  3. #3
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    Upper body armor is going to suck for XC; it's just too hot. Also, xc just doesn't really warrant body armor. Virtually all xc ride without it, and do just fine.

  4. #4
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    I bought a Rockgardn chest protector. Its light and airy. I havent worn it

    I think I will when winter comes along.

  5. #5
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    @ badmechanic: i hear you, but i still fly down hill. I am going to need something even thouh it will make the climb hell. Or maybe i can keep it in a mule while climbing. I dunno... i just dont want to brek shoulder again .

  6. #6
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    Tuck and roll , there is an art to making get offs .

  7. #7
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    I think carrying it when not in use would be a ton better than wearing it all the time. I know there are several packs designed to carry armor.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZ.MTNS
    Tuck and roll , there is an art to making get offs .
    A tuck and roll is still very capable of breaking a collar bone, though I don't know how much armor would help that.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZ.MTNS
    Tuck and roll , there is an art to making get offs .
    I believe your advice to be well intentioned. Let me just add, youre going to get injured even with tuck and roll when you hit rock, which is what happened to me.

    I personally havent worn my armor coz I changed my riding style. I go down in short fast bursts, braking heavily after sections. Previously I was bombing downhill full on, only scrubbing speed just to make corners. Duhno if thats the right way, but its been working thus far.

  10. #10
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    I was under the impression that broken clavicles are usually caused by the sudden load produced on your shoulder by your arm when you use your hands to break your fall, and not due to any hit on your shoulder or clavicle itself. If that's correct, I don't see how any kind of padding or armor would help.
    Looking for local rides? You'll find plenty on my website: Bay Area Mountain Bike Rides.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by erginguney
    I was under the impression that broken clavicles are usually caused by the sudden load produced on your shoulder by your arm when you use your hands to break your fall, and not due to any hit on your shoulder or clavicle itself. If that's correct, I don't see how any kind of padding or armor would help.
    It frequently is, but can also be caused by an impact on the shoulder which rolls the shoulder forward. In fact, my friend split his collar bone in half lengthwise during a tuck and roll. However, I'm not entirely sure how armor would help prevent that either, because it's not being broken by a point impact, rather by the should being forcibly pushed forward and in.

  12. #12
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    I think thousands of football, hockey and lacrosse players cant be wrong. Having a pad to distribute the impact force over the whole shoulder seems to prevent many clavicle and acromio-clavicular injuries, most of which occur during 'landing'. They wear them despite heat and weight.

  13. #13
    T.W.O.
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    Spyder Freeryde Jersey and shorts with D3O

    I've been using this since 2008, I love it. It fit a bit tight but it's awesome. It retail about $650 a set.

    The good news is you can find these now at the Spyder outlet, it's pretty much all around the country. order them and they ship it to you. Now here's a good news. The jersey usually tag at $120, and shorts at $100, that's already a pretty good price, but most outlet store would also give 50% off. I bought a few since it's been working out for me.

    If you can choose a larger size than the jersey you are wearing now. The largest size I can find is Large for the top, but up to XXL for the shorts. The are the most comfortable and offer most protection for the package, IMO.

  14. #14
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    There is basically nothing that can protect you from breaking your clavicle. Besides it doesn't even hurt that bad!

    I broke mine playing ultimate Frisbee. yes lame i know, but it just goes to show it is about the easiest bone in your body to brake and no amount of padding will prevent it.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by cristobal
    I think thousands of football, hockey and lacrosse players cant be wrong. Having a pad to distribute the impact force over the whole shoulder seems to prevent many clavicle and acromio-clavicular injuries, most of which occur during 'landing'. They wear them despite heat and weight.
    Thousands of football, hockey, and lacrosse players have broken their clavicle despite wearing pads. i personally know about ten kids from my high school that play those sports that have broken theirs.

  16. #16
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    So do I, but I've seen more of these injuries from kids playing on the sandlot without pads than while playing organized sports. (Thats partly because I am old enough to have seen the day when kids used to play on the sandlot : )

  17. #17
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    Axial Load is the culprit

    Erginguney is correct. It is usually the axial load on the clavicle that breaks it. Think of standing a twig on end, pushing down on the upper end, watch it bow until it breaks. This is the force experienced by the clavicle from the force transmitted to it from an outstretched arm breaking a fall. A very common injury to roadies.
    It is conceiveable you could break it from a force perpendicular to the clavicle such as making contact with it against a rock. If that is the case I hope you have a full face helmet on as well because that means you weren't able to break the fall with your arms. Your face will probably be dinged up a bit as well.
    I'm an orthopedic trauma surgical RN, so I've seen a number of these. They've all been on roadies and pavement, no sharp stuff shoulder pads or chest protectors would have helped.

  18. #18
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    I am forced to resort to scholarly research. Please read the referenced abstract below:

    "The mechanism of clavicular fracture. A clinical and biomechanical analysis."

    Stanley D; Trowbridge EA; Norris SH

    J Bone Joint Surg Br. 1988 May;70(3):461-4.

    A consecutive series of 150 patients with clavicular fractures is presented. In 81% detailed information regarding the mechanism of the injury was available and, of these, 94% had fractured their clavicle from a direct blow on the shoulder; only 6% had fallen on the outstretched hand. This finding, at variance with commonly held views regarding the mechanism of this injury, was further investigated by biomechanical analysis of the forces involved in clavicular fractures. The biomechanical model supported the clinical findings.


    Also, just as important, is that AC joint injuries, which are worse than fractures, are due to direct impact 94% of the time.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by bad mechanic
    A tuck and roll is still very capable of breaking a collar bone, though I don't know how much armor would help that.

    in all likelyhood armor aint gonna keep your bones intact.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by cristobal
    I am forced to resort to scholarly research. Please read the referenced abstract below:

    "The mechanism of clavicular fracture. A clinical and biomechanical analysis."

    Stanley D; Trowbridge EA; Norris SH

    J Bone Joint Surg Br. 1988 May;70(3):461-4.

    A consecutive series of 150 patients with clavicular fractures is presented. In 81% detailed information regarding the mechanism of the injury was available and, of these, 94% had fractured their clavicle from a direct blow on the shoulder; only 6% had fallen on the outstretched hand. This finding, at variance with commonly held views regarding the mechanism of this injury, was further investigated by biomechanical analysis of the forces involved in clavicular fractures. The biomechanical model supported the clinical findings.
    I'd like to see a study on clavicular injuries just from bicycling.

  21. #21
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    Collar bone/clavical is a pretty common injury in motorcycle accidents. I broke mine about 7 years back in a highside on the street. Didnt hurt that bad when it happen but the next 6 weeks were pretty rough.
    I remember exactly in the crash when it broke... It was from landing on my shoulder. The shoulder pushed in and snapped the collar bone. Im not sure I have eaver heard of anyone getting a broken collar bone from a direct impact on the bone its self. The only way I could see that happening is if someone landed that bone directly on something.. rock,spump etc... Seems unlikely to me

  22. #22
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    I've broke both of mine, one with pads, one without. When you fall on your shoulder you will needs way more padding than a roost protector or crash pads provide. They are designed to lessen object impact on the body, not slow down 400+ lb of force falling onto a shoulder from a 15mph flying crash off a bike. They should help make your shoulder not bruise as bad and I think might keep your shoulder from breaking from contact with a rock.

    Save you from a clavicle break? I don't think so. I think the force is just too high to minimize. I wear pads and exercise the tuck and roll.

    Oh, here is a good one, I crashed Saturday, full knee pads protected me from any impact damage, but I pulled my thigh muscle. No pads could help with that.

  23. #23
    DynoDon
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    I've got a Fox Titan Armor jacket, that I just altered, it is more comfortable for mountain biking now, and offers about the same protection as it did, the front plastic is for roost protection from 60 hp motors throwing rocks at the rider behind, I removed the plastic protectors from the chest, (the pads can be removed also) not the padding, it will breath better, it fits better, the back protector I never used anyway, my camelback offers some back protection,
    What I'm left with is, forearm, elbow, upper arm, shoulder, and chest protection, and it will not move around, like elbow pads, and other pads because it's all attached to the mesh jacket, it will come in handy on Michigans nasty trails like the Potawami.
    Check it out below

  24. #24
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    Glad for the interest

    Quote Originally Posted by cristobal
    I am forced to resort to scholarly research. Please read the referenced abstract below:

    "The mechanism of clavicular fracture. A clinical and biomechanical analysis."

    Stanley D; Trowbridge EA; Norris SH

    J Bone Joint Surg Br. 1988 May;70(3):461-4.

    A consecutive series of 150 patients with clavicular fractures is presented. In 81% detailed information regarding the mechanism of the injury was available and, of these, 94% had fractured their clavicle from a direct blow on the shoulder; only 6% had fallen on the outstretched hand. This finding, at variance with commonly held views regarding the mechanism of this injury, was further investigated by biomechanical analysis of the forces involved in clavicular fractures. The biomechanical model supported the clinical findings.


    Also, just as important, is that AC joint injuries, which are worse than fractures, are due to direct impact 94% of the time.
    Cristobal, I'm glad I piqued your interest. I could not find the article on the internet, however I don't doubt its veracity. I did not mean to imply trying to catch a fall is the only way to get this injury. It is one way. The point is, it is primarily the axial load responsible for clavicle fracture as in the twig example. A direct blow to the shoulder ( the force being in the same line as the calvicle) would definitely provide that type of force, I would agree more so than trying to brace for a fall with an outstretched arm.
    Hockey and football players wear shoulder pads, but the force they typically encounter is to the top and front of the shoulder as in blocking. That being said, there are exceptions to every situation. If the OP would feel more confident wearing pads, then he should go for it. It is for him to weigh the benefits.
    The article is definitely correct about joint injuries being worse. The reason is bone has a good blood supply and heals quicker, tendons, cartilage and ligaments don't.

  25. #25
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    Does that thing come with a lance? :-)

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