• 01-22-2015
    hewhocoughsatbears
    Chest Protector for XC Riding?
    I started riding about five months ago, I don't do anything too technical, moderately difficult trails, but no big jumps or drops or anything like that. I wear elbow and knee pads in addition to helmet and gloves, because I have had quite a few nasty crashes. Last night I crashed and landed with my chest on the tip of my handlebar and very nearly broke my sternum. For all I know I may actually have a hairline fracture that just didn't show up on the xray I had at the ER, apparently that is not unusual.
    Should I start wearing chest protection because of this accident? Or is it overkill for the kind of riding I'm doing? I have had several other crashes where I have fallen on my chest, but nothing as bad as this.
  • 01-22-2015
    Legbacon
    I think it's overkill. I've been mtbing 28 years and only once hurt my chest. Got a nasty looking bruise and that was it. Work on your technique and make sure your bike is setup with safety and control in mind.
  • 01-22-2015
    griffter18
    Youve only been riding a short time.
    In the early days expect some falls as you learn but they shouldnt be severe unless you are riding trails that are too technical, or are riding beyond your skills.
    Dont push the boundaries or ride too fast. Get the basics nailed by reading up on technique, watching others with good form and practicing.

    Genuine accidents do happen but most of the time falls are a result of doing something incorrectly. Analyse what went wrong.

    Obviously if you come off then there is always the risk of a bad landing and thats just the way it goes.
    Protection does make you feel safer but it will also give you a false sense of security. This may make you ride faster or more aggressively. If you havent built the skills youre setting yourself up for another fall

    Why did you come off on this occassion?
  • 01-22-2015
    mattnmtns
    Overkill
    I have been fortunate riding bikes other than the time I got run over by a truck. Luckily I was wearing my tube socks and came out OK other than a few broken bones and some brain trauma.

    Seriously that is all true, but the moral of the story chit can happen. I think you would be better served learning how to ride, bail, and crash better. Preferably ride better. Work your way up. Take things in steps and build your skills. Crashing is just part of it though. Learning from the crash is more important. Sometimes you just rail a corner too fast, sometimes you are off balance. Learn balance! Sometimes you just get complacent and let your bike get twisted up instead of pointing it where it needs to go.

    Getting older and stuff along with riding more technical and dangerous jumps & drops I have been upping my safety gear. Chest protection isn't even on my radar. Knock the dirt off, think about what you could have done differently. Sometimes a bad crash is just a bad crash. That said you should know the risks you are getting into in certain situations. Visualize success, but have plan B in the wings. Meaning be ready to jettison your bike, go over the bars and be prepared to tuck and roll. Knee pads would be the first investment I would make outside of a good helmet.
  • 01-22-2015
    Vince D
    Here's my advice to you! I am approaching 50 and in my life time I have had some pretty bad crashes in which wearing proper protective gear could have possibly lesson the outcome and time spent recovering. Seriously! you only get one kick of the can in life so use common sense. I to ride within my own abilities however I wear full gear (helmet,upper body,knee and elbow) and am also planning to get a neck brace.
  • 01-23-2015
    hewhocoughsatbears
    I really have worked very hard at improving my technique and abilities, including both how to ride and how to crash. If I come to a section that's beyond my abilities I study it, I practice it slowly over and over again. I don't rush it and I don't get cocky. I know I have only been riding a short time. Before I started mountain biking I thought being able to jump off a curb was pretty hot stuff, now I'm at the point where I can land a two or three foot drop no problem. In the big scheme that's not much, I know, but I have worked carefully and methodically to improve my skill.
    The reason I'm saying all this is to explain that I am not riding beyond my skill level; even when I push the limits of my abilities I do it carefully. But of course, accidents still happen. I love this sport. I don't want to ever stop doing it. The risk is part of what makes it so great, but I want to minimize the risk of physical injury if I can, so that I can keep doing this sport for the rest of my life.
    So that's why I am considering chest protection, even if it sounds like overkill.
    I'm not convinced that it's necessary, but I don't want to be too hasty in ruling it out either.
  • 01-23-2015
    SV11
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by hewhocoughsatbears View Post
    The reason I'm saying all this is to explain that I am not riding beyond my skill level; even when I push the limits of my abilities I do it carefully. But of course, accidents still happen.

    Chest protection is not going to stop you from crashing, you need to look at why you're crashing, and by the sounds of it, it's your skill level.
    Theres a difference between pushing your limits and pushing your luck, sounds to me your doing the latter, and resulting in crashing.
    Learning skills take a lot of practice and time.
    You mention going off 2-3 ft drops no problem, thats great, keep on doing that height until you gain the confidence to do it at any speed, or until you can do it with your eyes closed.
    Then move up to 4 ft, again stay at that height until you gain the confidence to approach it at whatever speed and nail it.
    To learn a skill is going to take a hell of a lot of practing and time, you're not going to gain skills overnight. Start off small, get the confidence level up, and only then move up slowly.
  • 01-23-2015
    formica
    Quote:

    I have had several other crashes where I have fallen on my chest,
    Superman?

    If you keep doing variations of the same crash, there is something wrong with your technique.

    Anyway, find a skills clinic or some one who is an advanced rider to help you figure out what you are doing wrong.
  • 01-23-2015
    griffter18
    Sounds like you are pushing a bit to quick but you also sound like youve thought it through and are just looking to minimse personal injury risk.
    I did that after riding for several years and then coming off badly due to a blown tyre I knew what had gone wrong and it was definately rider error (low pressure and the tyre rolled off on a fast corner into a 4ft. Unfortunately the landing area had freshly cut trees and i stopped with my face 1" above a tree stump. Result i now wear a full face for new and technical rides, and even the odd soft ride with the kids. Its overkill but I dont mind.

    Have a look at some of the soft core protectors on the market but id also consider getting on a skills course which is probabley the best money spent.
  • 01-23-2015
    ElwoodT
    are you behind the saddle with locked elbows when these crashes happen? locked elbows=otb.
  • 01-24-2015
    OldManBike
    It's your choice, obviously, there's no objectively right answer.

    Core protection serves a purpose. Wearing it while you recover from your latest, and continuing to wear it while you're crashing this often, might make sense. Especially in the winter when the insulation is a plus. Something less D&D, like this or this.

    The downsides may not matter to you--cost, heat, weight, another thing to wash, trailhead-fashion critiques. It's not like the bulk makes it harder to ride.

    I agree with everyone else that the long-term answer is working on your skills so that you crash less often and less seriously. But keeping yourself in one piece while you're developing those skills makes sense. You're not going to improve lying on the couch recovering from an injury.
  • 01-24-2015
    someoldfart
    Been riding mountain bikes for 32 years. I've been lucky I suppose in that I've only had minor injuries. Scrapes cuts, bruises, sprains, numerous broken helmets. But I have bruised or broken ribs 6 or 7 times. A few times it's the elbow that has done the damage. I've looked at chest armour and the pads are not where I have damaged the ribs ever so I don't bpther. There are some padded undershirts out there now that look interesting. Race Face has one that I would consider for some of the faster or more challenging trails.
  • 02-16-2015
    quickpick
    Vince D what do you wear for upper body protection(clavicle?)?
  • 02-16-2015
    Joules
    People telling you it's overkill don't understand what protection does. It's purpose is to make you comfortable. Other people's experiences crashing have zero relevance to you. All you need to ask is "would this make me more comfortable?"

    So, would knowing you had a somewhat reduced chance hurting yourself in an admittedly unlikely crash scenario make you more comfortable?

    FWIW, I wear a POC VPD jacked whenever it's cool enough that I can stand it. I got it for a trip where I was going to be a thousand miles and an ocean away from 1st world medical care, and thus was a little less willing to accept risk. I grew to like not thinking so much about injuring myself when trying a new line. Still, most of summer it's just too hot to wear anything I don't have to.
  • 02-16-2015
    Vince D
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by quickpick View Post
    Vince D what do you wear for upper body protection(clavicle?)?

    I use a Thor impact suit. It has a good sized solid chest plate and articulating spine protector as well as good shoulder and elbow/forearm protection.
  • 02-16-2015
    RiceBrnr
    Stop taking dares. Seriously though, $150 for the impact suit! Totally doable! Cheap insurance.
  • 02-17-2015
    Swissam
    looking at this as well. I had fall last November, it was steep, technical, and tight, very tight. The corner was more like a 90 degree L. Most of my crashes happen in these slow speed sections. Anyways I was trying to position my bike to make it around the bend, what I thought was a planted rock was actually loose. OTB I went. What saved me was all the push ups and yoga I do as I landed in push up position over a very sharp rock pointing directly at my heart with 5cm to spare. I had my rock gardn flak jacket which has hard plastic chest protection but it still scared the crap out of me. What if one of my hands slipped on the landng? Not good.
    So I'm looking mostly for chest protection as my next backpack will be an Evoc with a spine protector but it has to be breathable for my pedally bike. A full jacket is too much and too hot. Something like the 661 core saver except reviewers say the chest protection is more of a gimmic. I'm more worried about punctures than impact. Anything out there?
    I'm not finding much on Chain Reaction.
  • 02-17-2015
    andrewkissam
    Overkill for sure. Let your riding progress more and you'll find yourself crashing a lot less. Besides, crashing is a part of the sport; I wouldn't let a single freak accident force me into wearing a chest protector for XC.
  • 02-17-2015
    Impetus
    A chest protector for typical XC riding is like wearing a helmet inside your car.
    You'll get some crazy looks, but in the end it's your body and your decision.

    If I feel like it's a good addition and the protection is warranted, then I couldn't give two shits less how people look at me.

    I wear knee pads on every ride, and shin guards on most. I also wear armored, full-finger MX-style gloves on every ride. I wear a long-sleeve jersey until it's so damn hot here in Phoenix that I suffer from the heat. Then I wear short/no sleeves and suffer with scratched arms for 4 months.
    Yeah I've had some ignorant comments made, and even gotten my feelings hurt a time or two.

    Ego heals much faster than gashes and bruises.


    as a side note:
    I grew up MXing and desert racing motorcycles. I've always found it fascinating that if you're a dirtbiker, you're not cool unless you wear 'all the gear' - boots, MX pants, knee/elbow/hip pads, chest protector (hard of soft), FF helmet, gloves, and recently a neck brace- on every ride. The more 'hardcore' the better.
    No one shows up to a ride in hiking boots and a 3/4 helmet, no matter how relaxed the day is.

    If you're a mountain biker, and you wear knee pads, elbow pads and a FF helmet you get laughed at unless there's lift service and 20' gaps.

    Not trying to start a fight, just an observation based on my experiences.
  • 02-18-2015
    Swissam
    Maybe it is overkill for XC, maybe I should of said Enduro. I just want a lighter, more ventilated protection than the DH stuff while still offering similar protection. I agree with random biker and my friend who quoted it best when trying to describe Enduro. "Enduro is going just as fast as on your DH bike but with less protection and a lot more sketchy"
    That sums up Enduro here.
  • 02-18-2015
    abelfonseca
    I use a chest and back protector for DH. For XC, which is what I mostly do, my ribs are my chest protector. They have done their job well so far, looks like yours did too! Its way to hot and humid (100F+ 90%+ humidity) where I live to ride XC with protective gear other than helmet and gloves.
  • 03-02-2015
    demorules
    Personally I wouldn't wear body armour for say a typical X/C trail but if it gives you a bit of confidence while mastering the basics then it's your choice.

    I have started wearing the 661 Core Saver for Enduro and some grade 5's with bigger jumps and drops that i'm pushing myself on as I had quite a sore landing on my ribs. It's sleeveless and comes with a chest plate, a spine protector and kidney belt. (and also some shoulder pads but they're pretty minimal and don't look like they'd do much)

    I wear it on its on in the summer on some pretty long rides (2 - 3) and it does get very hot for the first half hour. But once your sweat has soaked though it it becomes much cooler and you hardly notice its on ....as distusting as that sounds. Doesn't impede my movement at all.
  • 03-04-2015
    cyclelicious
    I've never worn chest protection for dh and I've never seen anyone wear body armour for trail riding. I can understand knee or shin pads for trails if the person like doing moderate to big jumps or drops.

    There's alot of good advice from other's in this thread so I won't repeat but, seeing that the OP is new to riding, then it wouldn't hurt to attend a clinic or watch some videos on specific skills. Then session the features on the trail that were challenging, and caused your faills and injuries.

    Hope you heal up quick :)
  • 03-04-2015
    Cleared2land
    I know this question does not really matter, but as a curiosity, your pedals...are you clipless or on flats?
  • 03-04-2015
    stoplight
    on a slow climb I misjudged a large root and down I went, lower abdomen full body weight on the handlebar end. I did not really care what anyone thought, I bought chest protection the next day and wore it for a year or so, piece of mind!!!!
  • 03-05-2015
    stiksandstones
    1 Attachment(s)
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by hewhocoughsatbears View Post
    I started riding about five months ago, I don't do anything too technical, moderately difficult trails, but no big jumps or drops or anything like that. I wear elbow and knee pads in addition to helmet and gloves, because I have had quite a few nasty crashes. Last night I crashed and landed with my chest on the tip of my handlebar and very nearly broke my sternum. For all I know I may actually have a hairline fracture that just didn't show up on the xray I had at the ER, apparently that is not unusual.
    Should I start wearing chest protection because of this accident? Or is it overkill for the kind of riding I'm doing? I have had several other crashes where I have fallen on my chest, but nothing as bad as this.

    Lightweight, breathable, customizable vest from TLD. https://www.troyleedesigns.com/products/5232-02

    Attachment 969966
  • 03-05-2015
    hewhocoughsatbears
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Cleared2land View Post
    I know this question does not really matter, but as a curiosity, your pedals...are you clipless or on flats?

    Haha well I actually am using old-fashioned toe clips, because I don't have the money to upgrade at the moment
  • 03-05-2015
    Cleared2land
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by hewhocoughsatbears View Post
    Haha well I actually am using old-fashioned toe clips, because I don't have the money to upgrade at the moment

    Do you feel these have been a contributor to your crashes?
  • 03-07-2015
    TricufSports
    Piece of mind, confidence builder too. I would warn that it will not make you a better rider nor bullet proof but it would of helped in the case that made you think about getting one. Wrecks are going to happen, if what you are wearing lessons the pain, good choice.
  • 03-08-2015
    murderman
    I am a 48 year old "re-beginner", and broke a rib 7 weeks ago via crash [OTB on concrete due to pure operator error learning a new bike]. Recovery seemed to be going well until I apparently re-injured a couple days ago with a minor crash on a fairly basic trail.

    I wear a helmet, safety glasses, and gloves 100% of the time on the bikes, but am thinking that some form of chest protection might be appropriate throughout the recovery/learning process? The problem is that it is super duper hot and humid here most of the year. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    I couldn't care less about any strange looks that I might get on the trail....form follows function.
  • 03-09-2015
    Ptrick
    Chest Protector for XC Riding?
    For riding my dirtbike, I use a Zoombang shirt for rib protection. Breathes well, and it's similar to D30 in that it is soft until an impact. Choose your coverage level

    http://www.zoombang.com/shop/


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  • 03-16-2015
    hewhocoughsatbears
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Cleared2land View Post
    Do you feel these have been a contributor to your crashes?

    No, i've never crashed because I got my feet stuck in them or anything like that. they can be distracting and obnoxious when I try to get my feet back in them, but that's it.