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Thread: Help with armor

  1. #1
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    Reputation: Ganze's Avatar
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    Help with armor

    I am 40 years old and just getting comfortable bombing around the skatepark. I have taken a couple of medium hard falls and it's gotten a little under my skin.

    I have gotten comfortable and am trying bigger stuff which means that the risk is greater that I am going to hit hard. At 40, with three kids and a relentless job, I am beginning to think that elbow and or knee armor makes sense.

    I am a bigger guy: 250 on a good day. And yes, it is a sight to behold when I ride. Nevertheless, if I go the armor route I have three questions: 1) Which brand for big dudes? 2) What armor is most beneficial: elbow or knee? 3) Which brand and model is the best that you have seen/used/heard about?

    thanks
    ganze

  2. #2
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    Im curious about brands/fit myself. After this last weekend it became apparent to me that knee AND elbow pads are a MUST along with gloves and full face helmet, some mx style shorts would also help protect the thighs/butt from puncture/scrape wounds.

  3. #3
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    Reputation: Ganze's Avatar
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    I am thinking that both is a good idea but if you had to choose due to expense: elbow or knee? I am mostly at a skatepark by the way

  4. #4
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    Fox Racing

    Knees would be best in my opinion, if you had to choose. Knees are more expensive to rebuild than elbows. If you take a really hard fall and smack both your knees and elbows you would at least be able to walk into the hospital if your knees are protected.

  5. #5
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    I think I am going to bite the bullet and go both knees and elbows. One hard fall and my life, and my family and work life sucks for a long time at my age and weight. Just seems to make sense.

    And maybe even a full face helmet too, as much as I hate to admit it. I don't like them: hot, goofy looking, heavy, expensive etc... but the hardest hit I ever took on a mountain bike was a high speed, instant face plant and my old switchblade full face saved my jaw from serious damage.

    I guess I'll just look goofier than ever. The risk reward just seems really out of whack with no pads.

    I know I am in the minority here on this one, all I have to do is look around at pics and at the other dudes at the park. Not many pads or even helmets out there. But I feel foolish risking a lengthy and expensive recovery that could be prevented with simple armor.

    I sometimes hate being responsible.

  6. #6
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    hey, if there were a bowl around where I live I'd gear out like that also. $500 in protective gear is a lot less than as much as $40k in medi bills and lost work pay. The peace of mind it will give your fam is priceless.

    When I'm jumping and even just pumping I ware a helm though all the kids do not. when I start in on the expert line you can bet that I'll be getting some knee and shin armor. No one will give you crap for protecting yourself. I, personally, commend you.

  7. #7
    pnj
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    I wear a pro-tec helmet and knee pads almost everytime I ride. If I'm tooling around the 'hood I usually leave them at home...

    My helmet is the skateboard one. it has soft foam, not that hard foam stuff. The pads are really thick and it might look too big for my head but it's a good helmet. I recently fell on my head so hard I cracked it and my head/brain felt nothing. A very nice helmet.

    My knee pads that I go to most often are gel volleyball ones I got at the sporting goods store. They fit under my pants, are light and stay on. I have had all kinds of pads and these work well for me. However, they are a bit small and sometimes I tend to hit my legs where there is no pad.

    Shin pads I have, Fox brand, but I don't wear them too often.

    I do have a number of different knee pads that I wear depending on what's dirty, how beat up my legs are, etc...

    I don't wear elbow pads, but I do have a pair...

    Most importantly, don't ride over your head.

  8. #8
    1/2 fast or 1/2 assed?
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    There are also helmet and armor reviews in the "reviews" section of MTBR.

  9. #9
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    Pro Designed have been making pads for hardcore vert / bowl skaters for years. A lot of BMX'ers around here used to wear them as well (at least back in the 90s when people still wore shorts with kneepads). They can do custom pads. They're seriously worth the money.

    http://www.prodesigned.com/

  10. #10
    meh
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    661 kyle straits are great for me due to comfort, though there are better out there for protection (661 evo's are very similar but more $ due to the technology)

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ganze
    I think I am going to bite the bullet and go both knees and elbows. One hard fall and my life, and my family and work life sucks for a long time at my age and weight. Just seems to make sense.

    And maybe even a full face helmet too, as much as I hate to admit it. I don't like them: hot, goofy looking, heavy, expensive etc... but the hardest hit I ever took on a mountain bike was a high speed, instant face plant and my old switchblade full face saved my jaw from serious damage.

    I guess I'll just look goofier than ever. The risk reward just seems really out of whack with no pads.

    I know I am in the minority here on this one, all I have to do is look around at pics and at the other dudes at the park. Not many pads or even helmets out there. But I feel foolish risking a lengthy and expensive recovery that could be prevented with simple armor.

    I sometimes hate being responsible.
    Good choice. IMO not wearing gear is flat out stupid and asking for it.

  12. #12
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    any word out there on fit for bigger guys. I like the 661 2x4 elbow/ forearm and 4x4 knee/shin. Looks decent to my untrained eye. Not massive protection but about 200% more than I have now. The issue is fit. I have checked their fit chart and am right on the line for the legs, would feel decent ordering them. But the arm openings seem small. Are they stretchy or not? If they are I am prolly ok

    So.. fit advice for a big'un?

  13. #13
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    I have a pair of 2x4 and 4x4 and I hated them went OTB twice (while downhilling) and bruised the hell out of my elbow (with the pads on... too thin if you ask me). I ended up getting a pair of RaceFace Rally FR knee/shin guards and a pair of RaceFace Rally DH elbow/forearm guards. The hard plastic shell really makes a big difference when you go down. I'm about 230 and 6'4" I wear the XL on the knee/shins and Large on the elbows.

    When I'm hitting the pump track I do a few mellow laps without them but when it's time to jam I make a quick pit stop to my car to armor up. Especially if it turns into a DJ session (which it always does now that we have some table tops right next to the PT). I always crack a joke when I break out the amor along the lines of "Who invited the dads with pads?"

    It seems like if you wear armor you don't crash as much. It's probably due to the fact that you have more confidence and that's what it takes to pull things off. I've yet to break out my full face helmet during a session but it's always in the car waiting for me. I always wear a helmet (Protec Ace SPX) even when most people don't. When I go down hard I'm hurting for days, the kids can pop back up and shake it off.

  14. #14
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    I ride Troy Lee Designs Lopes knee pads, and I effing love them. Super comfortable and great protection.

    For upper body protection when riding DH, I ride a 661 Evo Pressure suit. Its the best suit I've ever worn. Super comfy, very low profile, breathes excellent. and protects very well

  15. #15
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    You'll never find an all-in-1 solution. It's a mix and match game with armor. Some Knox chest/back & gloves, Dainese elbow, MSR knee, Sidi boots, Giro helmet, Fox MX pants, Aerostich TF3 hip pads.
    MTBR review on the Hope skewers
    Quote Originally Posted by Get A Clue
    Weaknesses: Doesn't work when used incorrectly

  16. #16
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    I wound up with the six six one 2x4 and 4x4 b/c I got a great deal on them and I like how they look. They also fit great in my size and I forget that i have them on. I started wearing them before it turned cool so I got a feel for life in the heat with them and it wasn't that bad. But living in tx my whole life, the heat rarely bothers me.

    I wish they had a harder shield as the plastic is a little too pliable, but they work. Haven't fallen with them yet, don't plan to if I can help it. So I can't speak to how much impact they absorb. Most likely not as much as many others but it's better than nothing.

    The XL's fit a bigun' like me just fine.

  17. #17
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    661 pads

    I got the 661 knee pads because they have good coverage & are flexable enough for spirited riding/racing. I've slammed my knee on the ground with little damage. They protect well!
    Elbow pads? I'm kinda loking at those now too but not as critical as my knees. My elbows are pretty tough having gone through years of torture on motocross & bicycle wrecks.
    I also use a full face helmet (Gyro Remedy). I've seen people with the skate helmets chew it & their face/ears/etc gets beat up. It doesnt hurt to have the extra protection.

  18. #18
    SBT
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    Right now, it's a helmet and SixSixOne shin pads. I have delicate shins.

  19. #19
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    I am kinda in the same boat as you. I just started mountain biking again recently and despite the fact that it may not look cool I know how I am, constantly pushing my limits, so first thing I bought with my mountain bike is a full face helmet and some knee/shin guards.

    I bought a Giro Remedy full face and never having used one before I gotta say this one is pretty nice. It doesn't feel heavy on my head, it is decently ventilated so it never really feels hot except on the ridiculously hot days, and definitely offers great protection. I would definitely reccomend it and you can findthem for less than $100 if you look hard enough, I paid $80 for mine.

    I also bought Fox Launch knee/shin pads and also think they are great, I barely notice I'm wearing them once I start riding, breathe pretty well, and have definitely saved me from some shitty situations.

    I'm going to look into elbow stuff soon once I have some cash.

  20. #20
    Takw/agranofsalt
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    To the OP, Look for hard shell BMX pads, Fox, Protec, Lizard Skins, etc. Those will provide the most protection and padding at a skate park.

  21. #21
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    I swear by POC. The Spine T is more comfortable than wearing a windbreaker or sweater, i.e. you forget you are wearing it. Spine/back injuries are some of the worst due to serious damage, and long or futile recovery period. Second up would be the POC VPD knee (2010). The POC is the only softshell knee I would recommend. The 661 soft knee tends to tear too easily, and their non-newtonian material (D3O) is similar to the VPD but it's shape is better for blunt impacts, not impacting edges. Other than that, hard shell protection at a skatepark is the best since it allow you to slide. However, at 40 (I am 41) you should not be on your knees a lot anyway, even with protection, since you are just asking for lots of chronic knee pain down the road.

    If the prices are too much for you, then question whether what it is protecting is worth it.
    Regional Race Manager, Knolly Bikes
    Washington, Oregon, Montana, Idaho, Wyoming

  22. #22
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    Downhill I suit up in a 661 pressure suit, EVS Strata or Dainese V knee/shin guards and EVS Neck thingy and a full face but for the park I am with the previous poster, PRO DESIGNED all the way. As an old pool skater I can attest that I am still walking and shredding at 44 because of Wild Bill's pads. Check em out...

    http://www.prodesigned.com/

    pretty sure he will custom make ya anything ya want as well, i.e. built in knee brace, neoprene shin guard, etc.

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