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  1. #1
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    Wearing armor/protection for XC

    I have the Raceface Rally FR leg armor and I use it for every ride. I did not wear it during the last ride and ended up busting my knee. My chain skipped while climbing a steep muddy hill and fell to the side while clipped in.

    I am going to order the arm armor soon and wear it with the leg armor on my XC ride. Frozen and wet winter conditions are very tricky and the likely hood of injury goes up during the winter for me.

    How many of you wear armors on your XC rides?

  2. #2
    On wuss patrol
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    Heck no. Very minimalist in protective gear here. I ride this with no armor. (No, this is not a pic of me)



    Grow some sack and ride it like a man, I say.
    Sometimes, you need to go fast enough that the trail is a blur to find clarity. -- Wild Bill

  3. #3
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    people that don't wear armor obviously think they're not going to get hurt.

    if you've been falling/getting bruised/cut up, then GET THAT ****. i would get it too.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Malibu412
    Heck no. Very minimalist in protective gear here. I ride this with no armor. (No, this is not a pic of me)



    Grow some sack and ride it like a man, I say.
    It's funny how you equate not wearing protective gear to actually having a sack!

    Years of competing in fighting sports, trust me yours would fail in comparison.

  5. #5
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    If I was getting busted up on my rides you can bet your a$$ I would be wearing Armor . Have a look at the 661 Evo line , its a bit expensive but light weight and effective .

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZ.MTNS
    If I was getting busted up on my rides you can bet your a$$ I would be wearing Armor . Have a look at the 661 Evo line , its a bit expensive but light weight and effective .
    I like the concept of the Evo. Only problem is their knee guards don't cover the shins. I'm going to take a look again at their lineup.
    Last edited by Dictatorsaurus; 01-24-2010 at 10:09 AM.

  7. #7
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    Uhh, did you notice the ? I am not an aggressive rider, don't wear full face, and don't have the bike setup for fast downhill anyway. I pick my way along, hit small drops and pretty much avoid bigger risks so I and/or my bike aren't busted up. If I were to advance to the point of bigger, faster stuff, then it would be with armor. I was kinda just messin'... you know, ?
    Sometimes, you need to go fast enough that the trail is a blur to find clarity. -- Wild Bill

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Malibu412
    Uhh, did you notice the ? I am not an aggressive rider, don't wear full face, and don't have the bike setup for fast downhill anyway. I pick my way along, hit small drops and pretty much avoid bigger risks so I and/or my bike aren't busted up. If I were to advance to the point of bigger, faster stuff, then it would be with armor. I was kinda just messin'... you know, ?
    I'm not an aggressive rider either. At least I try not to be and sometimes I take chances. I tend to make mistakes closer to the end of the ride when I'm tired.

    Lately it's been mostly due to the ice. Hidden patches covered by light layer of dirt. Four rides ago I went over a patch of ice, rear went sideways and my left knee slammed into a small wooden bridge. The knee guard completely absorbed the impact. Only my pants got torn. Ever since I've become a big believer in those things.

  9. #9
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    I you feel you need armor I would wear it. There have been more than a few times I wished I had shin guards. I have several nice scars from pedal strikes to my legs. I even had a nice slash just above my knee from striking a tree. I have also been stabbed by a branch as I was falling, not fun stuff. The most of that happened right when I started riding. Since then I have managed to not do that stuff.
    Big Foot Blue KHS XC704r

  10. #10
    Old man on a bike
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    I could see a little armor for ice perhaps, having ridden on icy trails before, but not for my regular riding (which doesn't include ice, rare where I live now). Armor won't always protect you from injury either, but if you believe it will...
    "...the people get the government they deserve..."
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  11. #11
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    I always wear as much armour as the weather will permit.

    eg, XC ride yesterday on farm tracks, full face helmet, elbow and knee pads.

    This may seem overkill but I view from another angle.

    You never know when you are going to crash, so if the armour is not causing discomfort, why not wear it.

    As everyone (OK one exception) I ride with has ended up in either an air ambulance or at least had a serious flesh tearing injury I like my method =-)

    Most seem to happen when on easy terrain, i.e. when your guard is down.

  12. #12
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    Oh as everyone else is throwing in their favourite crashes I will join in on that.

    Going down a double black, 20mph trip over a bump and fly into a full size pine tree.
    I hit it with enough force I was flipped around the other side of the tree.

    I rolled onto my back and was about to scream in pain, then it clicked, not only was I not in pain, I wasn't even remotely hurt or in any discomfort.

    took my helmet off, I had torn a hole through it front to back.
    Without a good helmet that would have 100% been fatal, didn't even get a scratch.

    second favorite, bunny hopping a downed tree, messed up. smashed through branches breaking them, but still had the momentum to roll 5m past the tree.

    Total injury 1 small splinter in my finger =-)

    Third fave.
    lost my bike going down a rock garden, only about 10-15mph this time.
    leapfrogged the bars, landed on my feet and would have run off the momentum apart from a tree in my path. tripped over the tree and face planted skidding to a halt.

    Total injuries, shattered knee pad, torn gloves. not a scratch on me.

    So to sum up three high speed tree impacts wearing more armour than I should need; total combined injuries; 1 splinter (small).

    Top 3 friends injuries,
    1st: expert skidded on grass, serious KO shattered ribs.
    2nd: advanced skidded on some rocks landed on/through a spike. spike entered through front of pelvis exited from the back, shattering pelvis (5 pieces), tearing the flesh off the side. (sounds worse than :1, so trust me serious KO on 1.
    3: expert rider skids out on easy single track, lands with rock on face ripping significant amount off.

    Hopefully at least one person will put on pads after reading this. =-)

  13. #13
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    I don't wear armor.
    :wq

  14. #14
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    armor is a no for me id rather have a few cuts on my shins then were that stuff.
    Quote Originally Posted by craftworks750
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  15. #15
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    i dont wear armor because i really dont see a big need for me personally. sure i will slip a peadle and bust my shin sometimes but thats it. i find i go otb and whack my hands more frequently than i hurt my legs so a helmet and gloves are all i need. but if i ever find i need armor im certainly gonna get it.

  16. #16
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    "if I ever find I need armour I'm certainly going to get it"

    When you find you need it, it is too late.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaveGiant
    "if I ever find I need armour I'm certainly going to get it"

    When you find you need it, it is too late.
    BINGO!

    That's the key phrase here. "it is too late".

  18. #18
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    I have a pair of shin guards I wear if I have flat pedals on my bike to practice techie stuff. I tried to re-find my forearm guards recently for riding in the same areas.

    Most of my riding is longer rides, though. Bear in mind that heat exhaustion is dangerous too. Learning to fall well helps (although you can still get pretty cut up.)
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  19. #19
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    Mouth piece, gloves and a athletic cup should be all you need







    J/K
    With everything, risk management is a individual decision and is based on riding conditions. If I were riding in some very technical stuff and the cost of failure is high I would be geared up for sure. If im on a beginners trail that Im familiar with then its helmet, gloves and eye protection. When I see someone on the trail geared up I never think to myself "what a Tool". Gear is never a bad thing.

  20. #20
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    for me its just a helmet, gloves, and sunglasses... too much protection is not frowned upon by any means, so wear as much protection as you feel necessary. To be honest tho, ive never even came across anyone on the trails i ride with anything more then a helmet, gloves, and eye protection, probably because it is mostly xc (singletrack, few rock sections, small drops, fire roads, lots of climbing)

    Ive taken my fair share of spills tho, always rode away with only a bruised ego. the only noticeable scar i have on my body from is from when i first started and was using platforms...foot slipped off in a technical section, crank spun backwards and got my calve pretty good...even then i dont think shin/knee pads wouldve kept me clean.

    another thing to keep in mind is that Chicks dig scars! jk hah

  21. #21
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    Just gloves and helmet for me I used to use armor in my DH, Dual Slalom days but not so much any more......
    The most important thing is what God thinks about it. He will have the final say. Joshua Stinebrink

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  22. #22
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    If I wore armor, the only thing I'd wear would be knee protectors... those suckers can get hurt bad, and if they do, that's it! I've broken both arms before (right one had my upper arm bone sticking out causing a nice scar), and for the most part they heal back fully. Knees, otoh, don't.

  23. #23
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    lets see knee/shin armor is ~$60 and takes about 5-6 rides to get used to. Knee surgery starts at $25K and most will never make a full recovery (Think leg armor cramps movement, try scar tissue). Its a personal choice, but I bet the farm that EVERY person on here that has had knee/shin surgery will say they regret not wearing armor. If nothing else grab a set of veggies and hope for only mild wrecks. Mild XC/distance days I could see not armor, but mountain/dh/fr/dj... man its only a matter of time before you eat it..

  24. #24
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    I will armor up on new trails. I will also armor up on shuttle runs where I wont be climbing as much. but on my local easy non technical trial I won't wear armor. I know my limitations.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by nagatahawk
    I will armor up on new trails. I will also armor up on shuttle runs where I wont be climbing as much. but on my local easy non technical trial I won't wear armor. I know my limitations.
    Unfortunately accidents tend to happen when you least expect them.

    My worst bike accident happened when I was a kid on a road bike going straight on an empty road!!

  26. #26
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    Never worn armor...just a helmet and gloves. So far I only have quite a few scratches on my shins from plowing through bushes/tree limbs (my technique sucks and I am all over the trail), and a dern tick on my arm.

    Now, I've only been riding for a month, and only gotten thrown off the bike once. I'm sure my time is coming.

  27. #27
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    Me: non-aggressive mostly xc rider, rocks & roots, rocks and roots. Sometimes I fall down. I hate whacking my knees so I wear simple strap-on knee guards with a hard shell cap. One whack and they're paid for. I'm almost 60, and I'm way past thinking nothing bad will ever happen to me.
    Use it, use it, use it while you still have it.

  28. #28
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    [facepalm]i wear knee/shin/forearm armor....on my back [/facepalm]


    photo credit - Wherewolf


    srsly...i'll wear armor depending on the trail and how aggressive i'm feeling.....
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  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrayBeard Pirate
    Never worn armor...just a helmet and gloves. So far I only have quite a few scratches on my shins from plowing through bushes/tree limbs (my technique sucks and I am all over the trail), and a dern tick on my arm.

    Now, I've only been riding for a month, and only gotten thrown off the bike once. I'm sure my time is coming.
    lol a month is nothing. It seems to more the better rider I become the more I tend to take chances then end up crashing.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dictatorsaurus
    How many of you wear armors on your XC rides?
    I don't. If you want to wear armor, do so. It is your arms and legs.

  31. #31
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    A lot of people missed the key point above.

    Most serious crashes happen when you are on easy regular trails.

    When I am hammering a new DH centre I am 100% focused.
    Driving local fireroads, not so focused.

    Simple things like slipping off a pedal, a chain slip, crank falling off (don't ask, but lots of blood and an emergency evac) cause a lot of injury.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dictatorsaurus
    It's funny how you equate not wearing protective gear to actually having a sack!

    Years of competing in fighting sports, trust me yours would fail in comparison.
    Internet tough-guy......

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by jarHunter
    Internet tough-guy......

    LOL...Come on I'm a wuss. After all, I wear shin guards on nice smooth fire roads

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dictatorsaurus
    LOL...Come on I'm a wuss. After all, I wear shin guards on nice smooth fire roads
    lol

  35. #35
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    Oooh...an Internet message board fight! Who'd a thunk it.

  36. #36
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    I don't wear armor. I have crashed several times but only mess up my shoulder. I am not sure what kind of armor would protect a shoulder. If I regularly rode boulder fields, I would think about using armor. So I think you should consider where you ride before you decide.

    If I felt like I was in danger riding I would try a knobbier tire. This year I switched to using Kenda KOTs for the winter and don't fear anything. I am not fast, but I'm not needing body armor either. I am not sure what tire I will be riding in August, but I don't think I will be wearing body armor in Virginia in August
    fesch
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  37. #37
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    Eh, nothing anybody's fighting over, Pirate. I suspect this would have been better posted as a poll though...

    Helmet, gloves, eyewear for me. I'm considering elbow/forearm guards but my exhaustive risk assessment numbers still aren't yet adding up

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrayBeard Pirate
    Oooh...an Internet message board fight! Who'd a thunk it.
    Who is fighting?

  39. #39
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    I went ahead and ordered my arm armor.

    I'm not really trying to convince you guys to go ahead and buckle up. I never thought about wearing them until a few months ago.

    The thing is a lot of you guys decide to wear them depending on your riding style, terrain...etc. But the problem with that is accident happen when they want to happen. You could be going downhill at 30mph or you could be going on a Sunday ride with your son on a local smooth trail.

  40. #40
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    I ride mainly XC, with some fairly technical rock gardens and usually avoid drops. I got some knee/shin and arm padding, mainly for night rides. I've gone down hard on a knee or tangled shins on my platforms from misjudging terrain that I probably wouldn't have a problem with in daylight.

    Also, a few of the rides we do have singletrack overgrown with sage brush. My shins always came out losers after riding in that crap.

    Helmet & eye protection go without saying. I got an inexpensive pair of clear safety glasses from Home Depot for night rides.

  41. #41
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    No armor here...just gloves, sunglasses, helmet and lycra.
    I like to ride bikes.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dictatorsaurus
    I went ahead and ordered my arm armor.

    I'm not really trying to convince you guys to go ahead and buckle up. I never thought about wearing them until a few months ago.

    The thing is a lot of you guys decide to wear them depending on your riding style, terrain...etc. But the problem with that is accident happen when they want to happen. You could be going downhill at 30mph or you could be going on a Sunday ride with your son on a local smooth trail.
    You wouldn't convince me no matter what, but also consider you can still crash and hurt yourself where the little bit of armor on shins or elbows mean absolutely nothing.
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  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bikinfoolferlife
    You wouldn't convince me no matter what, but also consider you can still crash and hurt yourself where the little bit of armor on shins or elbows mean absolutely nothing.
    I never claimed you are perfectly safe wearing an armor on your arms and legs. But knee and elbow injuries are common in cycling.

  44. #44
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    The only 'serious' injuries I've sustained have been to my shoulder and ribs (oddly enough on easier trails). I suppose the skinned knees, shins and elbows could have been avoided though.. and I told my wife last week.. as she got her first mtb.. that if she would feel more comfortable we'd get her some soft armor. That being said, the last one.. that popped a rib outa place, also cracked my helmet. Awful glad that was there
    mike

  45. #45
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    If you're getting your knees shredded by brush, a pair of tall socks, like for rugby or soccer, can really help. I used to do that when I rode in an area where some of the trails got really overgrown in the spring.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dictatorsaurus
    I never claimed you are perfectly safe wearing an armor on your arms and legs. But knee and elbow injuries are common in cycling.
    I only said you couldn't convince me to wear the stuff. You cannot be perfectly safe mountain biking...just not possible. I have no elbow or knee injuries to date, other injuries, but not those.

    PS well, I take that back a bit, I have whacked my knee once where it caused me an issue riding for a bit, but a shin guard wouldn't have helped and I somewhat doubt even a knee guard would have...I've got funky knees.
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  47. #47
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    Interesting topic of discussion.

    I was on an aggressive XC ride. 3hr ride and I was 100yds from the car and then I was following my buddy and wasn't paying attention. He glanced off a rock and I didn't see until too late. My front tire washed (while on a double track!!) and I go down. In the process, I drag my knee through some rock/gravel.

    I'm off the bike for several days with a limp.

    So now I'm more concerned about stupid offs that impact my riding. Also, if I go on an actual epic, then a simple off can have me hobbling quite a long way. Gonna find me some better pads than my old rollerblade stuff...

    Just need to find a lightweight, breathable example for pedaling for hours...
    Just get out and ride!

  48. #48
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    661 EVO is a good choice, check out the D30 on you tube. I hope it's cheaper but, they are comfortable.

  49. #49
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    This is a good thread.

    I bought a bunch of armor when I bought my bike last year, but stopped wearing it when I saw I was the only one on these trails doing so. Regardless, with my limited mtb experience and still learning to decend, I'd say it would suck a lot more to be 8 miles out and injured than dorky and a little uncomfortable for 16.

    CaveGiant's post was a bit of a reality check...

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by skyliner1004
    people that don't wear armor obviously think they're not going to get hurt..
    False. Those of us who dont wear armor merely think that its not needed. I dont think that XC who wear just a helmet, gloves, and eyewear are stupid. Just like I dont think XC riders who wear a full face helmet, and leg and arm guards are overly cautious. It would be a character flaw to do so, just as it would be a character flaw from the other perspective.

    Several people have cited that fatigue or carelessness on well-known trails is responsible for a lot of serious injury. If that is so, you are not being a responsible rider. There is a certain risk associated with MTBing and we all accept those risks each time we put our a$$ on that saddle. If at any time you let your guard down, then you are not being responsible.

    If the armor makes you feel more comfortable, then wear it. I certainly do not care. However, dont be on a high horse as you ride past those of us who choose not to wear armor on XC trails.

  51. #51
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    There's nothing like a dude wearing a full-faced helmet and body armor, riding a DH bike uphill around a paved loop. True story.

  52. #52
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    I don't wear armor, but I also don't go off any drops larger than a couple feet. To each their own I say, but no armor for me. I crash a couple times each ride, but they are normally slow speed crashes where I can just step off the bike. I hate the feeling of bulky padded stuff on my body when I'm doing a strenuous workout, it just means I'm working harder and sweating a whole lot more. I'd rather endure the scrapes and bruises that one ride out of 100 where I actually eat it hard. But again, that's just me. A few cuts and scrapes don't bother me, and are healed up in a week.

  53. #53
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    I'm a wuss, I wear 661 race knee/shin and elbow/forearm pads. and I am trying to find a Specialized Deviant II full face helmet.

    I went riding this past weekend and was in the parking lot with all the other more experienced riders and saw them only wearing helmets and gloves, so I left the elbow/forearms pads in the car. This was my first time riding with clipless pedals. So after my first fall I ride back to the car and grab the other pads. My next two falls were not as painfull as the first.

    I also live in south texas, so I ride on rocks, rocks, and more rocks. and mesquite shrubs.

  54. #54
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    i got tired of getting busted up.. last time landed me in the hospital for a few hours, and out of work for more than a week.. ended up being out about 1800 bucks all said and done. that sucks.

    im avoiding a lot of the fun trail stuff until i can get better pads. seriously considering one of those xc full face helmets. id like to keep my teeth if it comes down to it.

  55. #55
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    I've been riding almost everyday lately. Just looking down around the thighs and knees, I counted 8 nice purple bruises. Many of them I don't even remember what happened.

    Just tried out the Kyle Straits and Chicken wings. Fantastic products. They feel very comfortable and very good protection.

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot
    im avoiding a lot of the fun trail stuff until i can get better pads. seriously considering one of those xc full face helmets. id like to keep my teeth if it comes down to it.
    My thoughts exactly; I may not have prettiest face in town, but I like the current arrangment of pieces.

  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot
    i got tired of getting busted up.. last time landed me in the hospital for a few hours, and out of work for more than a week.. ended up being out about 1800 bucks all said and done. that sucks.

    im avoiding a lot of the fun trail stuff until i can get better pads. seriously considering one of those xc full face helmets. id like to keep my teeth if it comes down to it.



    http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/M...?ModelID=17687

  58. #58
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    Well said!

    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot
    i got tired of getting busted up.. last time landed me in the hospital for a few hours, and out of work for more than a week.. ended up being out about 1800 bucks all said and done. that sucks.

    im avoiding a lot of the fun trail stuff until i can get better pads. seriously considering one of those xc full face helmets. id like to keep my teeth if it comes down to it.
    I had a front wheel wash out on a rutty singletrack I went OTB busted up and had a bruised ribs out of works for a few days, off the bike for a couple of months, in the end it took 4-5 months to recover and back on the bike. During my time off I order a whole bunch of pads, and made a pack with myself not to take that kind of chance again as my accident effecting a lot of people who works for me.

    It took a while to find the gear that I like but it was worth it. I don't get to ride everyday so when I can unless it's a newbie ride or fireroad training I suited up. I got used to it.

    One Pivot. I have the Viper MX, but if I have to get another one I'd get the Parachute.

  59. #59
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    That thing is ugly as sin, and for the same price you can get the specialized Deviant II. I think the deviant looks a little more substantial. Just my opinion.

  60. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coffeyc
    That thing is ugly as sin, and for the same price you can get the specialized Deviant II. I think the deviant looks a little more substantial. Just my opinion.



    Link ? C'mon at least I posted a link .

  61. #61
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    Sorry, you can only buy them online from specialized, or you have to go to your LBS. No one else can mail them. stupid rule, but I am placing my order right now.

    http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bc/...=9301&eid=4952

  62. #62
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    specialized...booooooooooooooooo

    Good luck getting One Pivot buying anything with Spec. on it

  63. #63
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    Besides their high prices and not letting people sell their products, what other problems do you have with Spesh.

  64. #64
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    Deviant II is a full-face though. I like the attachment option. There are tons of Full face, unfortunately only a few convertibles.

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