BODY ARMOR??? Who's wearing it???- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    BODY ARMOR??? Who's wearing it???

    Who out there is wearing body armor??? What kind of riding do you do? Anyone XC or trail riding wearing body armor? I don't wear any, I was thinking about. Maybe it would make me a little braver and maybe make me ride better. I guess I never plan on crashing, but you never know when it will happen.- Bob

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    I Wear Body Armor for all trail/cross country riding...

    Quote Originally Posted by XCBob
    Who out there is wearing body armor??? What kind of riding do you do? Anyone XC or trail riding wearing body armor? I don't wear any, I was thinking about. Maybe it would make me a little braver and maybe make me ride better. I guess I never plan on crashing, but you never know when it will happen.- Bob
    I routinely wear body armor for the full gamut of all-trail, desert and mountain riding.

    I wear a full coverage helmet (I have a Giro Mad Max2, a 661 Full Bravo, and a Giro Switchblade), a Thor "AfterShock" chest protector, Thor "Elbow Saver" arm guards and I wear "slam shorts" from HRP Sports which are lycra shorts with light but effective plastic hip/outer thigh pads in them. In certain situations I wear knee/shin protectors, but have pretty much gotten away from that for most rides.

    I do not notice the weight of the helmet, nor do I find it intolerable in the summer. The chest protector fits well, is light and not particularly restrictive, and the elbow protectors are a real no-brainer that I am generally not aware of.

    Do I occassionally long to go without? Yes, every so often, but on the rare occassion I have forgotten the chest protector or hip pads and ridden anyway, I had a very hard time feeling comfortable and relaxed. I am a very aggressive rider, and have had many crashes that I can predict with certainty would have resulted in some very nasty head, shoulder, arm or rib injuries, and have come away without significant damage.

    I can only speak for myself, but I think the benefit far outweighs the inconvenience, and I am a much more fearless rider when dressed this way.

    John W.
    Last edited by papajohn; 02-26-2004 at 07:32 AM.

  3. #3

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    I don't live near trails that come close to requiring body armor. Well, not legal ones anyway. Do people wear armor for XC riding? What is XC anyway, really? When people say XC I see the mental image of a long fireroad climb...

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    I wear it when I want to practice something painful

    Like.....can I wheelie up to that rock and climb it???? If I know there'll be a mess of falls I put on full upperbody and hip pads. I'm too old to spend weeks healing or miss work.

    Danny

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    I can't predict when I'm gonna crash...

    Quote Originally Posted by Disaster
    Like.....can I wheelie up to that rock and climb it???? If I know there'll be a mess of falls I put on full upperbody and hip pads. I'm too old to spend weeks healing or miss work.

    Danny
    I'm like Danny in that I am too old to heal quickly or sit on the sidelines for weeks. Problem is, how can you ever predict when you are going to crash?

    I recently rode the last lap for our team in the 24 Hour race in Tucson, on a course I have ridden dozens of times without crashing. I thought seriously about leaving my armor off, but decided not to tempt fate. About halfway thru the lap a non-competing rider came down the single-track in the wrong direction and failed to get off the course by the time I reached him. My barend hit his bars and I went down like I had hit a tree, from about 17mph to zero in a heartbeat. I would not have gotten back on my bike if I hadn't been wearing armor at that moment.

    Until all my rides are on golf course fairways, I will stick to armor.

    John W.

  6. #6
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    Dress for the crash

    not the ride. We all know a seat belt in a car isn't needed...until you're having an accident.

    Think this way: do teeth grow back? Elbow joints? Corneas? Will an injury cost me my job? Relationship? Will it keep me off the bike for a long time, maybe forever?

    Consider where/how you are riding, dress accordingly. Simple stuff. It's always at a moment of inattention that the worst stuff happens, not when you're doing gnarly stuff.

    Jim (57, no permanent injuries or broken bones, and staying that way)

    MadMax; Dainese Safety jacket; Roach FR legs, clear lens glasses; and more. Yes it's hot.

  7. #7
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    Wish I wore some a few days ago, I'm a bloody ouzing mess right now OUCH. Ordering roach stuff, maybe fox shim/knee and elbows should do it, ahh liquid skin hurts like sin putting it on but works, more cool scares, there goes my modeling career

  8. #8
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    Use protection that matches the risk

    You should use protective gear that is matched to the terrain and risks. I always ride with leg protection, I have a tedency to bang a knee on a shifter if I don't. For terrain that has a high probability for endoing I use a full face (helmets=cheap, dental work=expensive). For all-out Shore style riding its leg armor, full-face, and Safety Jacket.

    The most significant thing I did to avoid injury is to stop using clipless pedals. Most injuries I had were zero speed when I lost momentum clearing an obstacle and would just fall over because I could not unclip fast enough. True you trade pedaling efficiency but for me it was ag good trade, my technical skills advanced a lot after that.
    "Without the ability to make moral distinctions based on motive, consequences, the ethical constructs of various parties, everything is equal, and you end up with people like Woody Allen: a tiny speck of compacted narcissism, revolving around the dead sun in an empty universe." - James Lileks

  9. #9
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    yeah I read your

    mud packed knobbies, cornering-technique post. Heal up BT, last time I did that Neosporin seems to speed it up a bit. FWIW, Jim

  10. #10
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    The most significant thing I did to avoid injury is to stop using clipless pedals. Most injuries I had were zero speed when I lost momentum clearing an obstacle and would just fall over because I could not unclip fast enough. True you trade pedaling efficiency but for me it was ag good trade, my technical skills advanced a lot after that.[/QUOTE]

    Same here. ALL of my most painful wrecks have been b/c of above mentioned situation. I bought leg and arm armor for regular XC rides and although that helped, switching to flats made the biggest difference for me in not getting hurt. Come to think of it, I haven't used the armor at all since I switched. Hmm, if anyone is interested in size M Rock Gardn stuff, I might be willing to say goodbye to it

  11. #11
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    I wear some

    I use a Giro Switchblade. The blowback on the climbs is a drag. One feels a bit like they are choking, but it can be gotten used to. And Iove the extra protection. I also wear knee/shin pads. Usually I'll put these in my MULE for the climb and put them on at the top. This works well for me. On low speed crashes full gloves and knee/shin pads are usally enough to let me bounce up without injury. Of course, as the speed goes up the need for more padding rapidly increases.
    Bicycling is politics by other means.

  12. #12
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    Nope, and I'll tell you why:

    Chicks Dig Scars...

    Actually, if I wasn't such a scatterbrain, I might, but it's just one more thing I have to remember (or forget). Unfortunately, I scar easy, and my skills are lacking. Not a good combination.

  13. #13
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    none for xc riding/racing but I do wear knee/shin and elbow armor for park/urban/ and jumping. I rarely wear a full face on the trail (although I should sometimes) but do wear one for bmx (required). I also agree with the other posters about clipless. I have only had a few crashes at speed with clipless and those weren't the ones that resulted in the bad injuries. Its usually the slow speed obstacle related crashes that killed me. Going to flats has made a big difference there.
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    Clipless pedals were indeed a nightmare for me too...

    Quote Originally Posted by kpicha
    The most significant thing I did to avoid injury is to stop using clipless pedals. Most injuries I had were zero speed when I lost momentum clearing an obstacle and would just fall over because I could not unclip fast enough. True you trade pedaling efficiency but for me it was ag good trade, my technical skills advanced a lot after that.
    Same here. ALL of my most painful wrecks have been b/c of above mentioned situation. I bought leg and arm armor for regular XC rides and although that helped, switching to flats made the biggest difference for me in not getting hurt. Come to think of it, I haven't used the armor at all since I switched. Hmm, if anyone is interested in size M Rock Gardn stuff, I might be willing to say goodbye to it [/QUOTE]



    For the first year that I used them I had the cleats poorly positioned so that when the cleats were in a neutral position on the pedal, my foot was somewhat "pigeon-toed". FINALLY someone helped me to understand what a problem that created.

    In order for any of the clipless pedals to "release" you have to be able to throw your heal out (some both in or out) at least 15 to 20 degrees away from the bike. When my heal was already 8 to 10 degrees out just to have the cleat "neutral", it was anatomically almost impossible for me to rotate my foot far enough out to release the cleat.

    Since I have corrected the cleat position I have almost stopped with the "Laugh-In/Circus Clown" no speed crashes.

    I STILL wear the armor for every ride because this solution didn't stop the rest of the wrecks. I ride with a lot of fast and skilled riders who almost never seem to go down. I wish that I could ride like that, but I fall more in a week than most of them do in a year.

    John W.

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    Hope Best reason to wear armor

    This happened at about 18 mph 3 days ago and I had long sleaves on. Using the curad liquid skin, its awesome once you get past the pain of putting it on. I'll spare all the shot of the HUGE hamberger on my thigh
    Attached Images Attached Images

  16. #16
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    I had an arm like that after a 20mph slide down the trail..

    I only wear a helmet for XC riding. Full face if I'm doing a day of DH, plus knee/shins.

    I'm looking at getting a 661 pressure or assualt suit. Any experiences, good/bad? Also looking at the Mace Swat Jacket.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by XCBob
    Who out there is wearing body armor??? What kind of riding do you do? Anyone XC or trail riding wearing body armor? I don't wear any, I was thinking about. Maybe it would make me a little braver and maybe make me ride better. I guess I never plan on crashing, but you never know when it will happen.- Bob
    I got really tired of always having bruised up legs and hurting, plus I had a series of really painful crashes that made me finally say "no armor, no ride" I bought a set of 661 2x4's and 4x4' pads and wear them religiously no matter what the ride is. I ride agressive XC and like to play. Armor rules!! After my 1st crash that normally would have hurt and I laughed about it, I was sold!!

  18. #18
    keep the shiny side up!
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    i only put on all the armor when i am doing dh runs. i have the 661 pressure suit. it is very comfortable, but i haven't tested it's crash worthiness so i can't attest to how well it actually protects you.

  19. #19
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    My old hockey gear would of saved me. Just no tail boane protector! What I'd like to see a woven plastic chain mail like the divers in the fish tanks use, nice and airy and will slide. Seems all the armor I see is going to warm to wear, but hey its a downhill accessory. More work for the mule.

  20. #20
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    I agree with you, I'm getting too old to get broken up !!!

    Quote Originally Posted by papajohn
    I'm like Danny in that I am too old to heal quickly or sit on the sidelines for weeks. Problem is, how can you ever predict when you are going to crash?

    I recently rode the last lap for our team in the 24 Hour race in Tucson, on a course I have ridden dozens of times without crashing. I thought seriously about leaving my armor off, but decided not to tempt fate. About halfway thru the lap a non-competing rider came down the single-track in the wrong direction and failed to get off the course by the time I reached him. My barend hit his bars and I went down like I had hit a tree, from about 17mph to zero in a heartbeat. I would not have gotten back on my bike if I hadn't been wearing armor at that moment.

    Until all my rides are on golf course fairways, I will stick to armor.

    John W.
    I agree with you John, I'm getting too old to get broken up. I was just wondering how many guys are wearing for normal XC riding, not downhill or wild freeriding. Will a little padding make me brave enough to try stuff that I wouldn't have otherwise? I know that the more stuff I try the better I will get. Body armor might help to smooth the learning curve a bit.

  21. #21
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    Thanks guys

    I didn't want to look like a dork in body armor on the local trails. I've only had 2 nasty crashes in the last year and a half. On the worst crash I could have gotten hurt pretty bad, but luckily my face broke my fall !!! I think I wll start out with a set of elbow pads and shin/knee guards and go from there. Thanks Guys ! -Bob

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    I look like a dork whether I wear armor or not!

    Quote Originally Posted by XCBob
    I didn't want to look like a dork in body armor on the local trails. I've only had 2 nasty crashes in the last year and a half. On the worst crash I could have gotten hurt pretty bad, but luckily my face broke my fall !!! I think I wll start out with a set of elbow pads and shin/knee guards and go from there. Thanks Guys ! -Bob
    Bob,

    I look like a dork every time I show up for a ride. I am the only one out of hundreds of riders who wear armor for cross country racing in Arizona. I can only conclude that I would look like EVEN MORE of a dork with my jaws wired shut or my shoulder in one of those collarbone harnesses while sitting on the sidelines.

    There is great freedom in getting comfortable looking like a dork!

    It is an interesting thread cause I didn't know there were any other XC riders who wore armor.

    John W.

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    Need some shin protectors since I run flats with spikes!

  24. #24
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    I wear 661 shin protection when riding downhill in addition to a full face. I probably should wear elbow guards, but wearing arm protection really bothers me to the point where I feel safer when I'm comfortable so I don't wear 'em.

    I do want to get a core saver type suit for downhill riding next.

    For XC and everything else I just wear gloves and a skate lid.
    --NC
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  25. #25
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    I've been wearing the Kali protectives veda elbow and aazis knee recently for my normal rides and really like them. I still climb well with them and enjoy the extra protection tohang it out a bit more when it gets nasty.

  26. #26
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    I'm looking into getting some for BMX racing because I'm too old to take the pain and to have enough courage without it. Quite a few people a putting it on just for training after they've crashed without it. Also gotta pay a mortgage. There's no shops with a variety near me so I'm looking for suggestions. I'm considering the Troy Lee Designs UPL7855-HW Long Sleeve Shirt but not sure if the spine protection is hard enough.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by papajohn View Post
    There is great freedom in getting comfortable looking like a dork!
    FACT. Learning to be comfortable with ones self will only help you in every other aspect of your life, be it social, romantic, or otherwise.

  28. #28
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    Need a pair of shorts with hip and thigh protection. Like the HRP Sports Slam Shorts mentioned in an old post. But these don't seem bike specific, and I fear they don't have a chamois. Any advice?

    5 days ago I crashed and I still feel a bad pain near my hips..

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by solitone View Post
    Need a pair of shorts with hip and thigh protection. Like the HRP Sports Slam Shorts mentioned in an old post. But these don't seem bike specific, and I fear they don't have a chamois. Any advice?

    5 days ago I crashed and I still feel a bad pain near my hips..
    XSports has a lot of options when it comes to body armor cloning. I don't have any personal experience other than ordering some stuff fo our son. I can say they ship rather quickly.

    Shop protective mountain bike padded shorts and other mountain bike gear: In stock, free shipping

  30. #30
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    BTW, don't forget your hands. After a recent broken metacarpal, I discovered that a good DH or Motocross glove could have saved 2 months of my life, not including the pain and suffering!

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