• 01-31-2009
    freaknunu
    Downhill Bike Armor Do I need it?
    Im gonna start to get into DH riding but I was wondering and a little hesitatant about armor.
    I already know Im gonna fall (as is everything that is new) but do I really NEED pads?
    I just dont quite get how shin guards are of any use? Can someone englighten me?
    and alse like chest guard, spine guard, elbow, knee ?
    If its really nessacry then I would probally get the FlakJacket and some shin/knee guards.
    Thanks!!
  • 01-31-2009
    cactuscorn
    my suggestion is to only spend money on armor for the places yer gonna fall on or the places ya care about. if ya never hit yer legs on anything, then blow off the knee/shin pads. if ya dont give a shyt about yer spine, ignore that too. follow the same rule for the rest of yer body. i mean, yer young, right? so who cares? youll heal.... in time.... most likely anyway.

    you know how much id have paid to have the quality of life ive lost in the past 13 years from a busted arm? if it was possible id say "name yer price".
  • 01-31-2009
    CaliforniaNicco
    the more the better.

    EDIT: the more the SAFER

    me: I just wear pants and a t-shirt....and some thin-ass motocross knee pads underneath....I take "risks"
  • 01-31-2009
    dowst
    No.
  • 01-31-2009
    Jettj45
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by freaknunu
    Im gonna start to get into DH riding but I was wondering and a little hesitatant about armor.
    I already know Im gonna fall (as is everything that is new) but do I really NEED pads?
    I just dont quite get how shin guards are of any use? Can someone englighten me?
    and alse like chest guard, spine guard, elbow, knee ?
    If its really nessacry then I would probally get the FlakJacket and some shin/knee guards.
    Thanks!!


    Shin guards are for when your feet slip off your pedals and your shin smashes into your pedal screws ripping off your skin and scraping your bones. I personally don't use them lol.

    Definitely should be wearing a full face helmet. Prob is a good idea to some kind of flakjacket if you think your going to be crashing a lot.
  • 01-31-2009
    Gemini2k05
    knee/Shin guards (I've gotten 24 stiches one time to prove it), helmet, gloves are all you really need. Don't let anyone talk you into anything less (well maybe no shin guards if you're using clipless) Arm/elbow guards are a good idea if its rocky. Body armor is a good idea if you like it.
  • 02-01-2009
    FullMonty
    I've blown up a half-rotten log with my shin armour. I would say I would have been in quite a bit of pain if I hadn't been wearing pads.
  • 02-01-2009
    Rb
    If you have to ask, you need it.
  • 02-01-2009
    Bent Wheel
    If cost was not an issue, what body armor would you DH guys recommend. I have a FF helmet and knee/shin guards, just thinking I would get the upper body/arm/spine protection all in one suit.
  • 02-01-2009
    CdaleProph6
    would you drive without a seatbelt?

    bunjee jump without a cord?

    skydive without a parachute?

    buy armor....if you dont have it you will wish you had it and also...paying 190 for a suit is less than what your hospital bill will be for a ruptured spleen, or punctured lung from broken rib or something like that its a small invsetment compared to the value of your health
  • 02-01-2009
    ducktape
    Well ok if your budget is tight then get a Full Face (Fox Rampage is cheap, the more expensive ones only buy you more comfort and looks really, in my opinion anyway).
    And I also have Race Face FR (aka Roach Rally) Knee / Shing gurards ( they just strap on). I also use Fox 911 Elbow pads plus ride with my camelback which apart from keeping me hydrated does offer some back protection.

    Generally though some people tend to armour up in "hindsight", like have a bad fall & injure your knee, then you are likely to go out and buy knee pads the week after. Same thought crossed my mind when I crashed into a tree, it's kind of scary how vulnerable the boobs were (blush). Mind you I'm just beginning like you, if I wanted to get really fast (work up to serious racing etc) I probably would consider a flack jacket or something for upper body protection.

    But there is plenty of gear out there for varying budgets too, apart from helmets if you're willing to look 2nd hand you'll save some there too.

    So go for it, a helmet is a must.
  • 02-01-2009
    dascro
    I suppose a lot of it depends on what you mean by DH. If you simply shuttle xc type trails then other than a helmet and gloves I'd say no. If you do aggressive DH then why not wear the armor.

    I wear a FF helmet, gloves, knee/shin guards and a flax jacket type thing. I got closeout stuff and off brand(sette) for around 200$. It gives me a little bit of confidence when I see a feature of the trail that makes a nervous. I've had some pretty bad crashes and walk away unharmed. To me thats worth it.
  • 02-01-2009
    cactuscorn
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by skip canfield
    If cost was not an issue, what body armor would you DH guys recommend. I have a FF helmet and knee/shin guards, just thinking I would get the upper body/arm/spine protection all in one suit.

    theres none of better quality, fit and protection than the dainese gladiator jacket if ya ask me. i like em so much i got another and retired my 1st.
  • 02-01-2009
    brillantesdv
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Rb
    If you have to ask, you need it.

    best advise here

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by CaliforniaNicco
    ....I take "risks"

    :rolleyes:
  • 02-01-2009
    giantsaam
    1 Attachment(s)
    No
    No you don't need armor just be prepared to pay the piper deductables often cost more than a great set of armor. The drugs are great but its hard to manual an electric cart.
    Attachment 429028
  • 02-01-2009
    ruralrider528
    I am only running knee/shin guards as I am usually pretty quick to avoid injury on my upper body. I might start to wear armor up there but its usually my legs that get thrashed so thats where the armor is!
  • 02-01-2009
    William42
    I'm pretty good about getting armor before I hurt myself. I've smashed my knees into rocks pretty hard before, with shin/knee armor on. I can't tell you for certain if my knees would still work well enough to bike, but I'm fairly confidant I would have already gone through multiple knee surgeries if I I didn't wear knee armor on a regular basis. I've hit my shoulders pretty hard too. Again, I had a full upper body suit and its quite probable I would have dislocated it on a number of occasions. I've hit my jaw in my full face helmet and bruised up my jaw pretty bad, (and I don't bruise), a broken jaw would not be out of the question. The worst one was falling in a rock garden at speed and landing on my back in a bunch of rocks hard enough to knock the wind out of me, with full armor on. I just shudder every time I think about that one.

    My falls aren't particularly frequent, or terrible, I just get unlucky where I fall. So heres the way I see it. Is the money I saved on the lack of ER visits worth the 400 I spent on the armor? Definitely. Is the 400 I spent on the armor worth not having months and months and months of ride time cut out because I was recovering from an injury? Totally. Is the 400 I spent worth not having terrible body problems later in life? Yup! Worth not being paralyzed? Yup. Worth the minor cuts and bruises? Probably - look at my armor and all the scratches and gouges and transfer that to my skin. Next on my list, a leatt.

    You'll have to decide whether its worth it to you. For me, I've had enough close calls with it on that the thought of not wearing it seems pretty retarded (for myself, no judgment). Its not that I fall all the time - The last time I fell forcibly was in the middle of December, and I don't remember the time before that. The time in December wasn't even that bad. Its just that one fall is all it take to make your life pretty miserable for a couple of months with no ride time.
  • 02-01-2009
    brillantesdv
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by giantsaam
    No you don't need armor just be prepared to pay the piper deductables often cost more than a great set of armor. The drugs are great but its hard to manual an electric cart.

    when his mom and dad pay the deductibles...i suspect the financial aspect isnt considered by most riders.

    not really reffering to the OP, bust most groms in general
  • 02-01-2009
    Gemini2k05
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by CdaleProph6
    paying 190 for a suit is less than what your hospital bill will be for a ruptured spleen, or punctured lung from broken rib or something like that its a small invsetment compared to the value of your health

    Ya except most armor isn't gonna protect from a lot of things people think it will, like internal organ injury. That's the real problem. You're kidding yourself if you think you gonna be unable to injury your kidneys/spleen/liver with a pressure suit. You should only count on armor to protect you from cuts/scrapes/bruises. Broken bones, dislocated shoulders, organ injury.....still gonna happen.
  • 02-01-2009
    William42
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gemini2k05
    Ya except most armor isn't gonna protect from a lot of things people think it will, like internal organ injury. That's the real problem. You're kidding yourself if you think you gonna be unable to injury your kidneys/spleen/liver with a pressure suit. You should only count on armor to protect you from cuts/scrapes/bruises. Broken bones, dislocated shoulders, organ injury.....still gonna happen.

    Thats somewhat true, but I've definitely had my shin guards save me from at the very least chipped knee caps, I've hit hard enough I couldn't walk for a day or two and it hurt for weeks afterwards with the knee armor on, and that was from a sharp rock. Likewise, my shoulder pads have saved me many times, but yah, I agree, its still very easy to see a dislocated shoulder with armor on or a broken arm or leg. It saves you from most impacts, but not twisting tweaking and yanking. I've been lucky and had my armor in the right place, and taken hits at the right angles, but my friend lacerated his spleen with armor on. It does pretty much nothing for your chest/stomach/ribcage. I've broken ribs with it on before.
  • 02-01-2009
    Jayem
    Natural selection says "hell no".
  • 02-01-2009
    Jettj45
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by skip canfield
    If cost was not an issue, what body armor would you DH guys recommend. I have a FF helmet and knee/shin guards, just thinking I would get the upper body/arm/spine protection all in one suit.


  • 02-01-2009
    RocknRide
    I think if you ride all day w/o crashing its no fun.. That means crank up the speed and hit the corners faster : )

    So yes, I am for armor. There are alot of obstacles on aggressive dh trails that I say you will wreck 1 our of 10 times atleast. If you wanna push the pace and see how fast you can fly down and over stuff wear it. If you just wanna ride melow and not go nutts at least wear a full face.
  • 02-01-2009
    [email protected]
    typically, I wear

    knee/ shin guards
    elbow/forearm guards
    gloves
    full face helmet
    goggles

    ...if I'm doing something stupid, or if its a gnar race, chest and back armor too

    ..........they have for sure saved me from lots and lots of broken bones, and I'm pretty sure the helmet(s) saved my life
  • 02-01-2009
    ducktape
    Yes I must say falling off and not getting hurt is fun in a strange sort of way!

    And I also agree that wearing armour won't make you totally indestructible, but you're just a lot more likely to be able to brush yourself off and keep riding.

    How much you invest depens on your trails, your experience and how fast you want to get real fast, pushing your limits and falling off or just taking it easy and riding for the enjoyment, progressing in skills and speed at a slower rate.
  • 02-01-2009
    xterrain
    I wear the same. All Fox Launch gear and a Rampage helmet with unabomber gloves. Its a given your going to get hurt even wearing pads, but it definitely will keep the big impacts to a minimum damage toll on your body. Had I not been wearing, I would have probably been either paralyzed or brain dead at the World Cup course in Angelfire New Mexico over this past summer...instead I only broke my nose and had a minor concusion.

    Do yourself a favor, wear armor.
  • 02-02-2009
    Bikezilla
    There's two ways to look at it:

    a) buy the armor, wear it and take off whatever bothers you and/or never gets banged on.

    or

    b) ride w/o armor and buy pads to cover whatever has healed from you last big wreck.


    Armor saves a lot more than what it covers. I find I can fall onto the protected areas to guard the unprotected parts. Freeriding/trail riding my legs and arms are landing gear. Aggro FR and DH I can ragdoll, spread the impact and/or roll into the fall. It also brings a lot of confidence to the table. It's a lot easier to take chances and try to up the game when you feel protected..

    If you don't have lots of rocks, your trails are loamy & the dirt isn't cement hard, yeah you can get away with a lot less padding. After a few hard wrecks even that gets old fast...so will you.

    A leatt is on my list too.
  • 02-02-2009
    downhill mike
    When people ask me @ Whiteface "Do I need to wear pads" I just show them all of the gouges in the rental pads.
  • 02-02-2009
    kwan
    buy one, then don't wear it. this is my case now. i bought a 661 body armor, used it twice and then stored it in my closet. it feels really hot when wearing it. ya.. ya... protection people! but i still have it because i know one of these days, i'll get tired of all the bruises and scrapes in my arms and chest.

    i'ts really a personal preference, but it really pays off wearing one. happy riding!
  • 02-02-2009
    essenmeinstuff
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by CdaleProph6

    bunjee jump without a cord?



    Bad analogie, with out the bungee, its not bungee jumping. :p

    Its like saying would you ride DH with out a bike.
  • 02-02-2009
    woodyak
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by kwan
    buy one, then don't wear it. this is my case now. i bought a 661 body armor, used it twice and then stored it in my closet. it feels really hot when wearing it. ya.. ya... protection people! but i still have it because i know one of these days, i'll get tired of all the bruises and scrapes in my arms and chest.

    i'ts really a personal preference, but it really pays off wearing one. happy riding!

    Interesting. I guess that's the big question. Are you just protecting yourself from just scrapes and bruises? If that's the case then I can live w/o pads. But if it offers you an extra level of protection from something serious. That's a different story.
  • 02-02-2009
    sodak
    Hmmm...
    Well, do you weat a connie everytime you lay down with a woman?

    Armor and whether or not to use it solely depends on the rider. If you feel you want to risk getting hurt, shin bash, road rash, taking a tumble OTB and sliding out, it is your progative. Same as if you want to have the sexy time without protection. YOU are the only one who knows if you NEED it.

    Personally, I don't NEED armor to ride, but I WANT it for that just in case moment. I would much rather be a little hot and uncomfortable from armor than have my day ended early from a serious case of road rash full of pebbles and dirt. IF you are running head on into a tree, well then armor is not going to do you much good.

    Here is an example. For some reason I have four complete holes punched through my Roach DH leg armor right at the shins. I never noticed it happen, but I would have damn sure known if I was not wearing leg armor. I am sure the Straitlines would have taken that same amount of material from my leg. So YES, armor is good.
  • 02-02-2009
    RocknRide
    I used to not wear armor. Thought it was the tuff guy thing to do. But then a buddy of mine told me to look at it this way.. If you load up your bike, drive somewhere, or shuttle, or even pay the lift fee, you get ONE or TWO runs in and wreck, having to leave or end your day from some little cut or something that needs stitches. Then you lose out on the whole reason you are there, to ride.

    Plus, if you take some spills and get rag dolled, and are still able to ride, it makes it fun and gives you confidence to try new things!
  • 02-02-2009
    sodak
    Good point RocknRide! Armor does inspire confidence, for sure.
  • 02-14-2009
    TOM1111
    depends how much you care about your body and how much time off work you can afford
  • 02-14-2009
    Karve
    If you were to take a look at all the gauges in my shin and knee pads and dings in my helmet you would be in no doubt that if you want to push yourself when you ride then you need amour.
  • 02-14-2009
    Combatcm
    full face and knee/shin all the time. When i do traditional DH runs with lots of rocks i armor up with a back and chest guard first and then maybe forearm and elbow guards if i feel bothered to have to adjust them 5 times every run. I've had fox guards and roach guard the fox ones sucked the roach was better, but im not getting new ones until i know for a fact they wont be a PITA.

    If im doing DJ's or more freeride DH runs ill just use knee and shin. I'd rather not have the bulkyness
  • 02-14-2009
    hitek79
    I'm not a downhill guy, but I'll give my opinion anyway. I bought an Enduro SL last year and took it up to Keystone and found out I was in way way over my head. I made it down everything without breaking me or my bike, but I came home with a bruise on my elbow and leg that were there for weeks, and it busted my ego up pretty well. I've recently bought some knee and elbow pads and have really been pushing myself on a short but really rocky local trail, and even on the more mild stuff my confidence is way up. I just ordered a full face helmet, and now I have to say I'm pretty excited to get back out to Keystone and try it out again. If I start getting more into it, I'm sure I'll be buying more gear. At 30 I'm not interested in trying to be "cool" or "tuff". I'm interested in being in once piece.
  • 02-14-2009
    seanzombie1336
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by hitek79
    I'm not a downhill guy, but I'll give my opinion anyway. I bought an Enduro SL last year and took it up to Keystone and found out I was in way way over my head. I made it down everything without breaking me or my bike, but I came home with a bruise on my elbow and leg that were there for weeks, and it busted my ego up pretty well. I've recently bought some knee and elbow pads and have really been pushing myself on a short but really rocky local trail, and even on the more mild stuff my confidence is way up. I just ordered a full face helmet, and now I have to say I'm pretty excited to get back out to Keystone and try it out again. If I start getting more into it, I'm sure I'll be buying more gear. At 30 I'm not interested in trying to be "cool" or "tuff". I'm interested in being in once piece.

    Are you the guy that looked at me funny in all my gear at the top of Motorhead or TNT or whatever while I got ready to go

    rolled past confidently with your kid (10-14 yrs old) on XC bike and XC helmet

    proceeded to haul ass down TNT

    do an improv front flip on the FIRST obstacle (caused by the root on the back side of it)

    scrape up your leg, then have your kid follow close behind, run over you or your bike after fishtailing trying to stop with tiny tires on a black/double black diamond downhill run and promptly wreck him?

    You know I sat there at the top of that hill and wondered "I wonder if they've ever gone down something like this" but my question was answered shortly. I felt kind of bad.

    The sign at the top does say something to the effect of "The first obstacle is relative to the difficulty of the trail, if you have difficulty you should not continue." I didn't stick around to see if you continued, only long enough to make sure y'all were alright; I hope you found another trail.
  • 02-14-2009
    scabrider
    ask william42. i never wear any pads. i own them but avoid wearing them at all costs. hell, i hardly ever wear a fullface helmet...
  • 02-14-2009
    CdaleProph6
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by essenmeinstuff
    Bad analogie, with out the bungee, its not bungee jumping. :p

    Its like saying would you ride DH with out a bike.


    driving without a seatbelt and airbags better?
  • 02-14-2009
    SHIVER ME TIMBERS
    It sucks wearing, but instead of scratches on your knees...pads will a lot of times save you from abrasions.

    for me I wear everything......
  • 02-14-2009
    DHgnaR
    I'll be honest, I think armor looks goofy as hell...
    But after last seasons constant injuries I tucked my tail between my legs and got some protection. Rocking real knee/shins now instead of the Kyle Straits, a 661 Core Saver, and a moto helmet. Protects all the vitals and vulnerable areas without looking like an American Gladiator.
  • 02-14-2009
    cactuscorn
    anyone interested in a used med dainese gladiator jacket? pm me.
  • 02-14-2009
    rob.char
    I personally wouldn't do most dh without pads. I've had some falls that could have been alot worse without some good pads. I have a RockGardn Flakjacket, Thigh and hip pads, and RockGardn knee and shin pads. I do feel more confident wearing them I guess a little more security. But the forearm pad on the FlakJacket is absolutely terrible. I think the normal forearm is about 12" long and about 4-5" thick. This forearm pad is like a odd square, it wabbles around like crazy and can get a little uncomfortable on fast rocky sections. Perhaps look at the 661? But wiping out in rock gardens or jumps without pads can hurt so use your best judgement. If you have any questions about the flakjacket don't hesitate to send me a message.
  • 02-14-2009
    hitek79
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by seanzombie1336
    Are you the guy that looked at me funny in all my gear at the top of Motorhead or TNT or whatever while I got ready to go

    rolled past confidently with your kid (10-14 yrs old) on XC bike and XC helmet

    proceeded to haul ass down TNT

    do an improv front flip on the FIRST obstacle (caused by the root on the back side of it)

    scrape up your leg, then have your kid follow close behind, run over you or your bike after fishtailing trying to stop with tiny tires on a black/double black diamond downhill run and promptly wreck him?

    You know I sat there at the top of that hill and wondered "I wonder if they've ever gone down something like this" but my question was answered shortly. I felt kind of bad.

    The sign at the top does say something to the effect of "The first obstacle is relative to the difficulty of the trail, if you have difficulty you should not continue." I didn't stick around to see if you continued, only long enough to make sure y'all were alright; I hope you found another trail.

    Lol, I made out way better that it sounds like that guy did. I'd be willing to bet when he comes back though, he'll be padded up as well.
  • 02-14-2009
    Bent Wheel
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TOM1111
    depends how much you care about your body and how much time off work you can afford

    You know what, that sentence alone sums it up for me. I can't afford time off work. Plus my wife would have a fit if I was to get hurt and had to be off work ,again.
  • 02-15-2009
    Drklude
    I started in DH/FR about 3 years ago and had the same to armor or not to armor issue. I ended up with knee/shin guards, FF hemlet, and a rockgarden flakjacket. I wear the jacket depending on where I am riding, but more and more I wear it most of the time. It's gotten to the point where I feel naked with out it though. It has saved my ass on more than one occasion, so now I feel nervous when riding without it. I leave the forearm/elbow guards at home though.