Results 1 to 20 of 20
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation: BruisedKnee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    29

    elbow / shin guards in an XC race?

    hey guys, i need your opinions here. I recently started joining a number of XC races and noticed that there are almost 0 number of guys wearing some sort of body protection during races.

    Since my technical skills have not yet reached the peak level of the learning curve and most of the time, i go home with skinned elbows and knees. I really would like to wear some sort of protection, but notice that almost nobody wears them. It makes me feel dorky to wear them, but almost always regret the decision when I bloody my knees again.

    Any opinions on wearing knee/elbow guards during xc races? any recommendation on the most insconspicuous set of body protection? maybe there are a few sets out there I can wear which do not shout 'nerdy newbie'!!


    ThailandTrails

  2. #2
    hooked on quack
    Reputation: Duckman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    3,226
    I wore some smaller knee pads(from my paintball days actually) in my first XC race back in early 03. I'm old(48 now) tho and have bad knees from years of MX, roadracing, etc and wanted to protect them. The fact is..they are hot, combersome/bulky at best, sometimes can chafe during millions of spins, etc. I've not missed them since not using them soon afterward. One of my strengths tho is technical riding and may only crash once a year or there abouts, so its no biggie.

    I do see them from time to time at the local XC series(I do think "rookie" tho, to be honest). But, I say do what makes you happy or comfortable riding with, and to heck with what everyone else thinks. After the learning curve flattens out, you can drop them then.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: merlin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    2,217
    I've been racing for 4 years and only think i've seen them 1-2 times. You need to decide if the extra weight and discomfort is worth the protection
    Ride to eat, Eat to ride.

  4. #4
    Just a punk in the street
    Reputation: Last Child's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    187

    I am a total Newbie

    and my biking skills aren't so great either. I did a few races this year and I wear a full face helmet, knee, and shin pads. I don't even notice that I have them on. Except for the helmet of course. If I could find some elbow pads that fit me well and were comfortable I would wear them too. I get laughed at and get some comments and such but I don't care. I always ride with protection.

    I once fell down on my face (not mt biking) and it busted me up pretty good. Broke my nose in 5 places and messed up my teeth. A couple of surgeries and a ton of pain. Thus the full face helmet. I have fallen on my bike and smacked my knees pretty good too. Thus the knee pads. I know how fast an accident can happen and it's just not worth it to me. It's my body and I want to protect it. I have had two pretty good wipe outs in races and I was very glad that I was protected. I will always be wearing protection. I know that I will get laughed at and get all manor of comments thrown my way but I am not one to care what people think of me. I am not out to impress anyone. I am out to have fun, push myself, expand my abilities and most of all go home in one piece.

    I am not a hardcore racer nor will I ever be one. I am sure that the pads and helmet are a slight hindrance. But it's all worth it to me. Honestly I think that there are a lot more people out there that would prefer to pad up but are too afraid that they will be laughed at and ridiculed. That fear stops so many people from doing some of the things that they would really prefer to do.

    I say if you are worried about it then you should probably wear the pads. It will give you some added confidence. And if you're like me, then there will be times that you will be glad that you are wearing it. Also, it may help you get past the whole "worrying what people think of me" thing. Just know that you WILL get laughed at and get some stupid a$$ comments and questions thrown your way. Just be prepared for it and find your own way of dealing with it. I just ignore people. But then again, I really don't care for most people anyways. Don't need their approval.

    Life is a lot easier when you don't care what other people think of you or if you are not afraid of what "they" might say. It took me about 40 years to figure that one out.

    Good Luck!!!

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation: mister_suave's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    20
    Agree with LastChild. Wearing them at XC races will be like shouting "Rookie!" which is what we are anyways so no biggie. I saw a guy wearing a coconut helmet during my las race (seriously, a helmet made out of coconut!) and he seems to be ok.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation: BruisedKnee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    29
    Thanks for the 2 cents, guys. I guess the bottom line is to 'ride your own race'. Message I get is that if the added protection will get me there at the finish, thats all there is to it -- finishing is the be-all for being in the race, anyway.

    Guess I have to get faster up on the learning curve so I can have the option whether to go with or without the added protection.

    Mister Suave: sure wish you took some pictures of mr coconutman. maybe next ride.


    ThailandTrails

  7. #7
    Live, Freeze, and Ride
    Reputation: lobolator's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    315

    After too many crashes...

    I've decided to look for arm pads because after 20+ years riding off road (not necessarily on a real mtn bike) and not too much crashing, I had a rash of getting thrown off/over the bike. Most of these wipeouts had my elbows contacting first. One crash my elbow landed in the mud but jammed between two rocks, an inch either way would've really hurt if not broken my aging bones.
    It's a game of weighing risks...you already decided on a full face...screw everybody...the first time you take a painless whack it'll all be worth it...if you're comfy, you'll ride better and beat more people w/o pads...making them want to wear them b/c that guy that beat them wore them...you could be a trend setter!

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    188
    If it's really effective for you and helps you, you won't be embarrassed. If you had equipment that looked like a giant chicken but you won every race, wouldn't you still use it? As a matter of fact, if you won all the time with the giant chicken equipment, everybody else would get giant chicken equipment, too!

    I race expert, and everyone has their own little quirks and preferences for equipment, the things that work for them and make them perform better or be more comfortable. For example, Tinker Juarez hates the chamois in bike shorts, and always tears his out of new pairs. I've seen experts with protective guards, too.

  9. #9
    Linoleum Knife
    Reputation: forkboy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    3,276
    Quote Originally Posted by BruisedKnee
    Any opinions on wearing knee/elbow guards during xc races?
    If it makes you happy, do it.

    I personally wouldn't wear them in a race. I don't need them in a race. It's pretty rare to run across a technical obstacle in an XC course that IMHO requires pads. But I'm not exactly a newbie either. Nothing cool about busted shins.

    When I do need them is when I'm tooling around on my free time, look at something and say "That's totally ridable".

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation: XC62701's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    983
    Quote Originally Posted by forkboy
    If it makes you happy, do it.

    I personally wouldn't wear them in a race. I don't need them in a race. It's pretty rare to run across a technical obstacle in an XC course that IMHO requires pads. But I'm not exactly a newbie either. Nothing cool about busted shins.

    When I do need them is when I'm tooling around on my free time, look at something and say "That's totally ridable".
    I say where what you want to. I know that I wouldn't feel comfortable with them or may have too many distractions with keeping them on or tight etc... Just one more thing to worry about. I learned with no pads so I don't even think of padding. I take some nasty spills where I should probably have some padding but I'm not used to it. I've found over the years that I bounce really well and that's what helps. I hate to say it but I think I fall really well. I've done it so much that I usually bounce up and keep going in one movement. But if it takes wearing padding to be comfortable, by all means do it. I'm also getting to the point where I'm starting to be a weight weenie and pads would weigh me down too much.

    Ryan H.

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation: nrs_air's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    237
    The only person I've seen in my local series do it is a girl (my ager 16 or 17). And she was hot.
    I say don't. Wear your scars with pride.

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation: XC62701's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    983
    Quote Originally Posted by nrs_air
    The only person I've seen in my local series do it is a girl (my ager 16 or 17). And she was hot.
    I say don't. Wear your scars with pride.
    If it gets you to be a more confident rider, you'll soon see how little you fall and how little you need the gear, besides, chicks dig scars...

    Ryan H.

  13. #13
    Just a punk in the street
    Reputation: Last Child's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    187
    Quote Originally Posted by nrs_air
    The only person I've seen in my local series do it is a girl (my ager 16 or 17). And she was hot.
    I say don't. Wear your scars with pride.
    Tell that to the guys family who died last year at Deer Valley.

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation: BruisedKnee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    29
    thanks guys. at this point, i think i have learned to accept that bruised knees and elbows hurt more than a bruised ego. perhaps when i dont fall as much anymore -- then i could choose to do without them. I was trying out some lizardskins soft elbow pads, and they kinda look cool as well as protective. so i will just wear 'em .. for the mean time.

    thanks for the posts.

    ThailandTrails

  15. #15
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Captain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    194
    I wear elbow/forearm guards for XC racing and I win most of my races. True I have only ever seen one other person wearing them in XC out of hundreds of riders but even if I was a slow rider or finished middle to last I would not feel any different about wearing them because when I started, I wasnt winning but I have always worn them. Doesnt matter how good you think you are, anyone is prone to a stack. I can't afford to break my arm with work and from experience, your elbows are vulnerable and seem to cop it if you do come off. The other day on a training ride I crossed a rock platform creek crossing that had some moss on it (I saw afterward) and went down hard on one side. I definately would have come close to breaking my arm if not for the guards. I'll cop the small weight penalty as I put my health first. Lot's of people wouldnt wear a helmet either if they didnt have to (which was the case once) so do whatever you are comfortable with. It is not going to hinder you.
    YOUR BIKE SUCKS!

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    2,379
    I don't race (yet...signed up for a 44 mile race this coming spring), but I plan on wearing 661 chicken wing elbow pads the entire day. I have 661 race lite elbow/forearm pads, but they get in the way and are bulky.

    I've fallen too many times on my elbows the past two months and don't want to do it again, so I've just been wearing the bigger pads until the chicken wing's are back in stock. They're not hard shell, just extra padding right over the elbow area. Pretty light-weight and they shouldn't get in the way of anything.

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    6

    Don't worry what other say

    I'm 44 yrs old, and I just had my first race lastweek. I wore elbow and knee pad, and was aware that I was the only one did that. The track has some gnarly sections where some racers failed on. I finished 8th, and went home in one piece, and I didn't give a damn what other said about me chickened. Bottom line : do what you think right , stop worrying what other say

  18. #18
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    29
    If your handeling skills aren't there yet your time is best spent focusing on that rather then racing. Hit up the really tech. trails in your area. If a spot gives you trouble, dismount walk back and do it again. and again and again.

    focus on the things you aren't good at. This will make you a better rider/racer
    too many people focus and train on what they are already good at.

    But if you really just want to race, just do it... and don't wear the pads. Chicks dig scars and we've got great hospitals.

  19. #19
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    150
    Quote Originally Posted by forkboy

    When I do need them is when I'm tooling around on my free time, look at something and say "That's totally ridable".
    Followed by: "Hey y'all, watch this!"

    Seriously - I'm in the same boat. XC riding/racing = no pads. Street/DJ's=pad up.

  20. #20
    Epictrailrider.com
    Reputation: epictrailrider.com's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    69
    I used to wear em when I started riding! Who cares what someone else thinks!!! My comfort was my business. After a while you will get away from them!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •