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  1. #1
    GASing
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    Riding with pads/protective gear?

    How many of you ride regularly with protection? And what do you use?

    I've been steadily riding more technical stuff, and getting older and healing slower too I don't anything too crazy. But I do like to ride "aggressively" downhill. Fast corners, log jumps, rock gardens etc, and the occasional freeride course. I also do extensive climbing to get to these fun downhill sections. I don't crash that often, mostly because I never have tried to over push my limits, but I think I'm overdue in purchasing my first set of protective gear. It seems most guys wear knee/shin guards, but most of my crashes result in scuffs on my hips and upper arms, and minor wrist/finger injuries. It seems like a light, breathable soft elbow pad would be a good call for sure, and a set of knee/shin pads wouldn't hurt. Are there any hip pad options other than the downhill padded undershorts (I'm thinking something like a baggie with hip pads?)

    What would you guys recommend as a good all-mountain protection strategy with an emphasis on good breathability and comfort for climbing?

  2. #2
    Jumper
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    Full finger Mechanix gloves (always) and Roach armor (when needed) is what I use.

  3. #3
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    I just got Sette Strike leg\shin and elbow\forearm pads for $55, supposedly 50%
    reduction from Pricepoint and am in exactly the same situation as you. I tried them
    on last night, and they seem a little stiff. I am assuming they loosen up or break in
    in time? Appreciate the input.

  4. #4
    Barely awake in Marin
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    Even for "just" fast descents, I've always got the following in my pack: Fox Launch elbow pads, sixsixone Kyle Strait knee pads (sometimes bring Fox shin Launch Pads instead if I want something burlier at the expense of weight and comfort), and sixsixone Wrist Wrap Pro's. I don't think those are a common item, but being an artist, illustrator, and designer, I can't afford to mess up my wrists. Of course, I always wear long-fingered gloves and a Giro Pneumo helmet.

    I'm considering a pair of cheap neoprene calf coverings (orthopedic style from the drug store) to wear with the Kyle Straits, as on the trails I'm on the risk of falling is more about hamburgerizing than slamming shins on rocks.

  5. #5
    Five is right out
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    661 makes an undershort for protecting your hips. They do 2 versions- a standard and a 'pro'. Get the latter as it uses lots of mesh and some plastic. The standard version is mainly foam and will be hotter.
    Since when did the phrase "invest in" come to mean the same as "buy"?

  6. #6
    GASing
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    Thanks for the responses. The 661 pads look like the way to go. Either veggie wraps or Kyle Straights. I really wish there was a way to try these out, but it looks like I'll have to order them sight unseen. I actually took a few diggers yesterday, and now I really wish I'd had some protection.

    Quote Originally Posted by Atomick
    Even for "just" fast descents, I've always got the following in my pack: Fox Launch elbow pads, sixsixone Kyle Strait knee pads (sometimes bring Fox shin Launch Pads instead if I want something burlier at the expense of weight and comfort), and sixsixone Wrist Wrap Pro's. I don't think those are a common item, but being an artist, illustrator, and designer, I can't afford to mess up my wrists. Of course, I always wear long-fingered gloves and a Giro Pneumo helmet.

    I'm considering a pair of cheap neoprene calf coverings (orthopedic style from the drug store) to wear with the Kyle Straits, as on the trails I'm on the risk of falling is more about hamburgerizing than slamming shins on rocks.
    What about the Veggie Wrap shin guards?

    The wrist wraps are an excellent call! I'm an architect and a guitarist, so I'm always really concerned about my hands.

  7. #7
    mtbr member
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    I agree with the earlier comment from Atomik.
    I got Fox Launch elbow guards a while ago after a mate got em and swore by them. They fit well, are confortable, and are fine on a real hot day I would never ride without them again.. I'm so over barked elbows.
    I am recovering from a knee re-construction 2 weeks ago, and when i ride on the MTB the first thing I will be putting on will be knee pads, and from what I've read, the 661 Kyle Straits seem a great option.
    Make sure ya don't forget the knees!!

  8. #8
    Double-metric mtb man
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    I've got a set of Roach pads (forearm through elbow and shin through knee) that I use for when I'm exploring new stuff or things are getting overgrown at the end fo the season. I also agree on the full-finger gloves (I now ride with them exclusively).
    As if four times wasn't enough-> Psycho Mike's 2013 Ride to Conquer Cancer Page

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  9. #9
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    Not to put a damper on the festivities, but knee pads are not going to be much good
    ad preventing most of the serious knee injuries that occur from twisting or planting
    at wrong angles. Just sayin' Are there any recommendations for more XC applications,
    rather than downhill or freeride?

  10. #10
    EDR
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    Quote Originally Posted by phoehn9111
    Not to put a damper on the festivities, but knee pads are not going to be much good
    ad preventing most of the serious knee injuries that occur from twisting or planting
    at wrong angles. Just sayin' Are there any recommendations for more XC applications,
    rather than downhill or freeride?
    Ya, the Kyle Straits. The are light enough for xc and have a soft pad. Shorty LZ's are light and airy as well and have a hard plastic cap.

    If you ride platform pedals shin protection is paramount for aggressive riding. Roach/Rally FR pads are nice for that. For clipless riders like myself I can do without shin protection as pedal strikes to the legs don't happen. I wear Rockgarden Shorty LZ's for the gnar gnar chunky rides.

  11. #11
    GASing
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    I finally found a local shop with a good selection of pads (RideSFO in Oakland ). There is simply no substitute for trying the different pads on. I think buying online based on user reviews would be extremely hit or miss, especially in the sizing. The 661s were very nice. The Evo is an amazing pad set. The Shorty LZs and LZMXs felt all wrong to me - too high up the thigh, good hard pads up front, but little abrasion resistance on the sides. Troy Lee T Bones were very nice, although a little stiff feeling - they come the furthest down the calf of any of the knee guards.

    I ended up with the O'Neil Dirt knee guards. They were the most comfy and flexible, with an imbedded hard knee and side of knee padding as well. They come about half way down the shin, covering up the upper calf area that always gets scraped up when I go down. I wore them on a 1.5 hr ride yesterday with a lot of pedaling and they did fine. They are a nice pad set that seems to be mostly overlooked.

    I would've gone with 661s if they came down a bit further. I may still get a set of veggies for lighter duty.

  12. #12
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    After going OTB and inuring my elbow last season I picked up a set of Dainese elbow pads and they are great. I don't scratch up my legs that often but do find myself squeezing through lots of trees and these pads help a ton. If I were to freeride more then I would invest in more protective gear.

  13. #13
    Team Chilidog!
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    For XC: helmet, elbow/forearm guards, and sometimes TLD light knee/shin guards. Depends on the trail. The elbow/forearm guards remind me what to land on instead of my wrist.

    For DH: full face helmet, Rockgardn trailstar/neck rock, elbow/forearm guards, and full knee/shin. I need to get a kidney belt too. Maybe this weekend before June 8 (first DH race).
    MTB4Her.com: mountain bike site for women, by women

  14. #14
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    For EVERY single ride I do, whether it be XC, Freeriding, whatever I put on my Roach/Race Face Rallye elbow/arm and knee/shin guards. EVERY ride. Damn Murphy's law prevents me from falling when I'm wearing the things, but the minute I take 'em off - kablooey, yard sale. It only takes one stupid fall to keep you off the bike for weeks. I hate that. I'll put up with a little discomfort now to insure I am riding tomorrow.

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