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  1. #1
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    Armor: Hard Shell vs Regular/d3o type guards

    Hi All - I wear G-Form light pads on my knees and elbows now. They fantastic in NJ. Keep me warm, and keep me scuff free. But they aren't protective enough in Cali. I sure don't feel the confidence to fall off my bike on a steep descent at +15mph and be protected. Most my rides locally are shuttle type rides. All the boys I see are either the Euro-spandex + zero armor (what!?) but mostly 100% covered, full armor, hard shell, full face bros.

    I am new to these hard shell pads, never worn them. Are they better? Am I getting this right (below)? It's hot as hell right now, and I have to think they'd be better for air flow since they completely open on the inside of your arms/legs....I want to pull the trigger on a new set of armor, but figured I'd get input from here first. I also plan to use them on non-shuttle rides like in Tahoe and Mammoth areas. Thanks!


    Hard Shell

    Pro:
    Harder for bone protection
    Full coverage
    Better ventilation?

    Con:
    Bulkier
    Heavier?
    Less comfortable?

    Regular d3o/softer pads

    Pro:
    Better mobility?
    Comfort
    Lighter
    Less coverage for those that don't need full

    Con:
    Warmer? 360 fabric wrap coverage
    Less protection
    Higher deterioration/fabric weakens etc

  2. #2
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    Reputation: RS VR6's Avatar
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    I went with my GF to Mammoth last week and she wore her 661 body armor along with her full face. It was a sweat fest for her. Her suit was drenched when she took it off. Second day she did not wear the armor...just her Kali knee pads and G-form elbows...along with the helmet.

    I just wear my full face and G-Form knee pads no elbow (I should though). I have a pair of Kali knee/shin when I use my platforms.

    Only thing I can see worthwhile on a full body armor is the shoulder protection. Majority of crashes involve landing on the side of the body...either shoulder or hip. G-Form also has a t-shirt that had front and side protection.

    My GF saw a lightweight looking shirt looking type of armor from Leatt at Interbike. Don't know if its available or a new product.

    IMO...it would really depend on your riding style. If you're always going full enduro...then I would err on the side of caution and go with more protection.

    For me...I try to wear as little padding as I can. I'm not that enduro.
    Cervelo S2
    Specialized Carve Pro
    Pivot Mach 5

  3. #3
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    Im more so asking about the difference between a hard shell type knee/elbow guard that is open on the inside end - like here: POC Bone VPD Arm Guard - Body Armor | Backcountry.com

    Versus a regular type pad - POC Joint VPD 2.0 Elbow Guard | Backcountry.com

    Is there any downside wearing the hardshell? It seems it'd be cooler in Cali heat, unless it's made for more DH and really uncomfortable for long climbs/real pedaling...

  4. #4
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    Reputation: formica's Avatar
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    Armor: Hard Shell vs Regular/d3o type guards

    I wear POC elbows and knees. They are bearable in the heat, and easy to pedal in.


    Sent from my iPad - Stupid autocorrect!

  5. #5
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    I haven't found much difference in heat with the various types of pads I've worn. The only time I've really felt hot with pads is when climbing. For me the drawback with the hard pads...even if they did offer a slight bit more ventilation is the restriction to movement and weight. The ones I used chafed and sucked to pedal in.

    Only time we really use the pads are when we do shuttle or resorts runs...which involves very little pedaling. The XC trails in So Cal we ride aren't too gnarly...more climbing than anything else.
    Cervelo S2
    Specialized Carve Pro
    Pivot Mach 5

  6. #6
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    I wear hard shell elbow and knee guards whenever it is cool enough but find them impossibly hot in summer SoCal riding. I can wear G form in the heat because I wet them down before the ride, and the fabric allows evaporative cooling. Their coverage and protection aren't as good as hard shell but they are much better than nothing.

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