Let's talk protection.... Do you use it??- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Let's talk protection.... Do you use it??

    So I have been trying to do as much research as I can on this subject and I just can't seem to come to a consensus. I'm big on having the correct protection when I do any semi-extreme activities. I'm an avid snowboarder and wear a helmet, back, butt protection and wrist protection (Broke my wrist as a kid attempting my first backflip on a snowboard). I ride black diamonds with ease though.

    As I get back into riding, I'm just not sure what is adequate protection for my level of riding. I rode hard and fast as a youth and my shins lost many battles with pedals (thank goodness I have no permanent scars), but only wore a helmet. This was also back in NorthEast PA.

    Now that I'm trail riding here in the AZ desert, I want to be protected. I do have a family and career to be mindful of now I have a helmet of course, but does anyone think elbow and knee pads are required? What about knee w/ integrated shin guards? I don't plan on any crazy DH riding but probably a lot of single track in the mountains.

    Any guidance would be appreciated.

    Thanks!!

    -Mike




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  2. #2
    Always in the wrong gear
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    AZ here also. What trails do you ride?
    I wear soft-shell knee pads and full finger gloves with some knuckle padding every ride. I've banged enough knees to finally get wise, and knuckle padding is cheap insurance when you blow a line and punch a cactus. It happens more than you think. An ocotillo to the fist hurts like a MoFo.

    There are a select few places I take and wear elbow pads as well. Since you're in AZ: Goat Camp, SoMo, Dreamy Draw, - I'd consider it in Sedona, Flag, and Mt. Lemmon depending on the trails). If I had the scratch for a Bell Super 2R, I'd bring the chinbar, too.

    Wear what makes you feel safe. Haters gonna hate, but sweat washes off easier than trail rash.

  3. #3
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    Ive crashed a ton and broken a lot of bones, but never elbows or knees. I dont remember ever hurting my knees actually, and when ive scraped elbows, the scrapes there were the least of my worries!

    I hurt my back in my teens, and shoulders in my 20's. Im only 32 now, but they still hurt. Im taking it way easier now, but planning some rougher bike trips. Seriously considering some kind of back protector. Scrapes will heal up, but once you mess up your back it doesnt seem to ever get better.

    If you ride hard, you WILL be injured. If you ride hard, it'll probably be serious. Pro level DH racers seem to be in and out of the hospital regularly. Im kinda scaling back my riding to a level of injury I can deal with. Those big drops into a rock pile seem less appealing these days.

  4. #4
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    Let's talk protection.... Do you use it??

    Thanks for the info Random!! I'm just getting back into the swing of things after a 12 year hiatus. My riding, for now, is going to be mainly Usery Park, South Mountain, and some stuff up in Scottsdale. I've been talking about some rides up in Sedona a few months from now with a few buddies (experienced riders).

    I have no issues dropping the coin for a FFM either.

    Do you like your soft shells? Was seriously considering those versus something with a shell. However, everything in my head says it's really hard for those cactus death balls to get through plastic!!


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  5. #5
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    Let's talk protection.... Do you use it??

    I hear you Pivot!! I was getting back into some lifting about 6-8 months ago, and woke up one morning damn near immobile from my lower back down. After 4 days straight of 1 1/2hr chiropractic sessions and an MRI (nothing like being shoved into a giant tube for 15 minutes and being told not to move when your shoulders are wider than the damn tube!!), I found out I have a bulging disk in my lower back. I'm only 29!!

    I did have an awesome snowboarding trip to Breckenridge/Keystone Colorado just before Christmas with some nasty spills, and had no issues with the back thankfully!!


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  6. #6
    Always in the wrong gear
    Reputation: Impetus's Avatar
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    I wear Alpinestars Paragons for knee pads, and either Fox Rangers (un padded for hot days) or Fox Dirt Paws for days when I know impacts are likely.

    I personally think plastic armor is overkill for anything not lift-service. I love my knee pads. They're all-day comfy but thick and protective enough to ward off rocks and low branches. I've even hit an ocotillo limb directly and the impact was felt, but no damage and no spines. About what I'd expect from any live tree branch the size of a broomstick. I've brushed off multiple cholla balls that didn't come close to penetrating the foam.
    My elbow pads are generic plastic dirtbike pads because that's what I could find locally on short notice that was cheap, and fit.
    Take it from a guy with absolutely no bike handling skills and hits trailside flora frequently- cholla don't penetrate well into anything thicker than a t-shirt. they're too light. They'll stick like velcro, but won't get into you much.
    Fall directly into a saguaro, prickly pear or barrel, and virtually no armor short of leathers will save you.

  7. #7
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    I'm completely reckless and only wear a helmet regular giro xar and full finger gloves!

    Lots of skin damage on my arms and lower legs though, this year I'm riding some lifts and will invest some money on a full face, knee/shin and elbow pads for sure and some heavy duty gloves!

  8. #8
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    When I'm not with my wife, every single time.

  9. #9
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    With the great lightweight protection nowadays there is no reason not to. You don't need it until you do.
    Formerly Travis Bickle

    Team Robot. "modulation is code for “I suck at brake control.” Here’s a free tip: get better."

  10. #10
    beater
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    I always ride with full finger gloves and knee pads. My current pads are 7iDP Controls, and I really like them. I have old-school Fox Launch plastic knee/shin and elbow pads but these days I usually only wear them at a bike park. I am considering getting a matching pair of the Control elbow pads, though.

    I have a full-face and sometimes I'll take it on a trail ride that is all up followed by all down, but otherwise I usually save that for the park as well.

  11. #11
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    The worst injuries I have seen and done myself would not have been averted by any armor short of a full DH kit, and some even would occur with that. But I still wear knees and elbows almost all the time on anything technical or fast. Trail rash and stitches are a pure inconvenience...time in the ER, off the bike, etc.

    I see padding up as mostly a psyche game. I feel more confident when I do, but I know damn well it doesn't mean a lot. Hell, I have a razzed knee right now from where my high-dollar knee pad moved out the way on a little slider.

    The best injury prevention is building skill without recklessly going for stuff above pay grade. FWIW...

  12. #12
    Robertson
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    I'm all about protection. I wear my knee pads (Dainese Trail Skins) on pretty much every ride. I toss my elbow pads (G-forms) in my pack, and throw them on for bouldering or for fast descents (more for abrasion protection though to be honest). My full face helmet is a MET Parachute, and I generally wear it unless it's unbearably hot outside or I'm doing just tame XC riding, as it's not much heavier than my full face and not much hotter as well. Some might say I overdo it, but I got tired of the scars on my knees and arms, hence the pads, and I've assisted on surgeries of fixing the faces of people who damaged them mountain biking (I'm a medical student). As mentioned before, this protection does help alot with confidence, but I would definitely get heavier duty stuff for a trip to a bike park.

  13. #13
    meow meow
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    just a helmet, gloves, and usually sunglasses. my feeling is pads will mainly save my from cuts and bruises. not gonna prevent many broken bones or sprains. ill take my lumps.

  14. #14
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    I'm in Arizona as well, Phoenix area. Personally, I look like I'm more ready for downhill than XC when I ride. Like Random, there are some places I'm familiar with that I might reduce my protection level, but I also believe you never know when a crash is coming and even smooth trails here have lots of gnar on each side.

    Here is what I wear:

    Helmet - Met Parachute (newer version, in white of course)
    MTB : Parachute

    Knee Pads -- POC VPD 2.0 Knee Pad. The one I linked is the closest I can find online, mine reach down the shin more for shin coverage.
    Joint VPD 2.0 Knee - POC

    Elbow Pads -- Troy Lee Designs EG5550
    Troy Lee Designs EG 5550 Elbow/Forearm Guards (Pair) | XSportsProtective

    Full finger gloves -- Specialized brand with gel palms. Rumor is right about hitting cactus, it sucks.

    Beyond that I wear baggy shorts, and usually a long sleeve jersey. Of course good sun glasses or eye protection as well. I run a Camelbak Mule with often times a full 3 liters of water. In it I carry basic bike repair stuff, as well as some good first aid which I've had to use on myself and others numerous times and had it save the day.

    ben

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by b-kul View Post
    just a helmet, gloves, and usually sunglasses. my feeling is pads will mainly save my from cuts and bruises. not gonna prevent many broken bones or sprains. ill take my lumps.
    I can say that at least in two instances I'm certain my elbow pads saved me from a broken arm. One instance both arms hurt so bad that it took about 8 weeks before normal again.

    ben

  16. #16
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    I have really been thinking about not wearing my knee pads (661) and then today on a trail that ive road alot, in an easy part., I took one hand off the bars to let it rest, hit a small bump, it turned my wheel and I went over the side. Through a bush down a small bank. My knee pads were really dirty. I pulled my bike out of the bush. Climed back up on the trail, and kept going. Not even a scratch. Ill keep wearing them. And yes helmet, gloves, glasses, knee pads long sleve shirt, baggy shorts..

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by armourbl View Post
    I'm in Arizona as well, Phoenix area. Personally, I look like I'm more ready for downhill than XC when I ride. Like Random, there are some places I'm familiar with that I might reduce my protection level, but I also believe you never know when a crash is coming and even smooth trails here have lots of gnar on each side.

    Here is what I wear:

    Helmet - Met Parachute (newer version, in white of course)
    MTB : Parachute

    Knee Pads -- POC VPD 2.0 Knee Pad. The one I linked is the closest I can find online, mine reach down the shin more for shin coverage.
    Joint VPD 2.0 Knee - POC

    Elbow Pads -- Troy Lee Designs EG5550
    Troy Lee Designs EG 5550 Elbow/Forearm Guards (Pair) | XSportsProtective

    Full finger gloves -- Specialized brand with gel palms. Rumor is right about hitting cactus, it sucks.

    Beyond that I wear baggy shorts, and usually a long sleeve jersey. Of course good sun glasses or eye protection as well. I run a Camelbak Mule with often times a full 3 liters of water. In it I carry basic bike repair stuff, as well as some good first aid which I've had to use on myself and others numerous times and had it save the day.

    ben
    Thanks for the info Ben!!

    I already have a pair of Specialized BG Gel FF Gloves. I currently have a Specialized Vice Helmet, but I'm doing my research on FFM. I have about 10 pairs of Oakley's and one pair (I currently use for Golf) is designed for cycling. I'm also rocking a Camelbak MULE NV pack.

    I've made the decision to invest in a good pair of knee and elbow pads. I'll probably find something lite but durable for the knees. I'm going to fore go shin guards at the moment. I'm still running the factory plastics pedals. I'll probably reconsider the shin protection when I upgrade to metal pedals. I plan to wear my knee pads on the reg, and will probably throw on the elbow pads for more technical trails and night rides.

    My riding right now will be mainly Usery and South Mountain.
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  18. #18
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    I also ride flat pedals. Good pedals will make a big difference. I have never slipped a pedal using this setup.

    Amazon.com : O Neal Azonic 420 Flat Bicycle Pedals (Anodized Black) : Bike Pedals : Sports & Outdoors
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    http://www.amazon.com/Five-Ten-Mens-...ords=510+shoes
    Let's talk protection.... Do you use it??-81afrumokjl._ux575_.jpg

    ben

  19. #19
    Mammal
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    Good eye-pro. I would ride without a helmet or pants before I went without glasses. Every time I try to ride without eye-pro I get branches, mud or bugs in my eye as soon as I start riding. I've been stung in the eye more than once, and that sucks. It might be some kind of curse.

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