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  1. #1
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    You wear knee pads on each ride?

    Whatís your knee pad frequency? 100% or zero. Somewhere in between?

    Iím about 90%.

    But lately itís been hot and Iíve been doing tons of easy rides with my wife. So no pads.

    Last week, I fell backwards and hit my knee in a rock. Out for 3 days.

    This week, I fell on a fire road and dragged my knee for a bit. Out for three weeks.

    Iím a little mad, yes.
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  2. #2
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    I lose the urge, then it's fine for a while, then the pedals put a hole in my shin, then I go clipless for a while, then back to flats, then put a hole in my shin, then use the pads, then lose the urge, then put a hole in my shin...

  3. #3
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    100% these days, feel naked without them. Did a 105 Degree heat ride, knee pads was the least of my worry...

    Currently using Race Face Ambush....easy in easy out.

  4. #4
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    Any time I am going "MTB riding", I wear them. However, riding with the Mrs? No.

    The biggest hole in my usage pattern is I don't wear them when I am going up to dig. That's actually stupid because I often end up riding not ready / hard stuff (for me) after digging without them. So, hmm, I should probably throw them in my pack to be honest. Part of why I don't wear them when digging is I am often around and digging in poison oak and throwing on knee pads on top of dirty legs is how I ended up with one of the worst rashes my doctor had ever seen because the pads just grind it into your skin.

    I bought the knee pads after a stupid crash left a huge hematoma on my knee that knocked me out from riding for about 2 weeks. I was so pissed I bought them the next day. They honestly don't really bother me at all when riding normally and I wear them pulled up even while climbing.
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  5. #5
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    I force myself to ride them on every ride. Often it is the little shit that gets you. It's like a helmet snowboarding or a seatbelt. 999.9% of the time its uncomfortable flair but that one time you need it makes it all worth it.

  6. #6
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    I think I wore kneepads once at a 4x race...

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Train Wreck View Post
    I think I wore kneepads once at a 4x race...
    Same. DH races and park riding only. I've gotten as good as I am through decades of pushing my limits in little baby steps; I'm a conservative rider and always hold back a tiny bit. So far, so good, but I'm sure it'll come back to bite me at some point. But I'll trade decades of cooler legs and heat-rash-free knees on hard rides for the occasional knock to the knee. Maybe ask me again in ten more years?
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  8. #8
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    Depends on the trails. XC trails = no knee pads. Everything else I always wear them.

    But to be fair, the only ďxcĒ trails I ride on a regular basis are ST, which would be the worst place to crash without knee pads. But over the last 15 years I cannot ever recall crashing there, so hopefully that luck continues.

  9. #9
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    My avatar is a bit of a giveaway.

    I generally only pack them and put them on for rides where I expect to be pushing limits. But this summer, spots where I had no business crashing were getting me every 3 weeks or so, and I got tired of being a walking stigmata after a few months. So I started wearing them much more proactively.

  10. #10
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    I wear knee pads every time. Fox Enduro Pro most of the time, 7idp Sam Hill when it's cooler out and/or I feel like I may try something stupid. Elbow pads are another matter. I have a set but have only worn them once. Same goes for the Camelbak KUDU with back protection.
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  11. #11
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    You wear knee pads on each ride?

    Iím a convert. Went from getting tired of wearing knee + shin protection and not wearing any protection for years to wearing soft knee pads 99% of the time.
    Bought G Forms and felt that they were too constrictive (size medium on my skinny legs). I shopped around and after trying 661s and Leatts, that felt more uncomfortable, I got some IXS that felt good. The IXS were a pain to clean so I put my old g forms back in circulation. Turns out the gforms just needed some breaking in. Now they feel great.


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  12. #12
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    You wear knee pads on each ride?

    I never wore knee pads for years. Until recently I was pushing a bit on a tight gravelly turn on garbage tires. Hit a rock in some loose stuff - bike low-sided my right knee took a big impact. Lots of dark red blood and fun embedded gravel. (I hadnít crashed in more than 10 years - but hadnít ridden as often as most of you) I had a small limp for 3 days.

    But given my blood phobia and generally riding alone I figured itís good to wear knee pads for every ride. I got some troy lee designs speed sleeves just to make sure I donít get a bleeder again and to absorb some impact.

    Since I always do gloves my hands were fine. I still donít wear elbow pads. But fingers crossed that wonít be an issue.

    If I ever meet my goal of riding downieville or tahoe Iíll get some legit pads for that stuff.

    100% now - just deal with extra heat. Not bad once I got used to it forget the pads are on. Mostly ride South Bay gravel hardpack stuff.

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  13. #13
    fc
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
    I lose the urge, then it's fine for a while, then the pedals put a hole in my shin, then I go clipless for a while, then back to flats, then put a hole in my shin, then use the pads, then lose the urge, then put a hole in my shin...
    It's like a vicious cycle.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by TraxFactory View Post
    100% these days, feel naked without them. Did a 105 Degree heat ride, knee pads was the least of my worry...

    Currently using Race Face Ambush....easy in easy out.
    There you go... commitment, as it should be.

    Because no one plans out their crashes.
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  15. #15
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    I go through phases, but i usually feel like i am riding faster and more focused when i have knee pads on, and less to think about. i dont **** with elbow pads though.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by roughster View Post
    Any time I am going "MTB riding", I wear them. However, riding with the Mrs? No.

    The biggest hole in my usage pattern is I don't wear them when I am going up to dig. That's actually stupid because I often end up riding not ready / hard stuff (for me) after digging without them. So, hmm, I should probably throw them in my pack to be honest. Part of why I don't wear them when digging is I am often around and digging in poison oak and throwing on knee pads on top of dirty legs is how I ended up with one of the worst rashes my doctor had ever seen because the pads just grind it into your skin.

    I bought the knee pads after a stupid crash left a huge hematoma on my knee that knocked me out from riding for about 2 weeks. I was so pissed I bought them the next day. They honestly don't really bother me at all when riding normally and I wear them pulled up even while climbing.
    Yup, I think there's a hole in all our patterns. Very hard to commit 100%

    I have 4 different levels of pad protection too. So I should just switch around but never go naked.

    FWIW, Any kind of pants counts as knee protection as well.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by bk_mtb View Post
    I never wore knee pads for years. Until recently I was pushing a bit on a tight gravelly turn on garbage tires. Hit a rock in some loose stuff - bike low-sided my right knee took a big impact. Lots of dark red blood and fun embedded gravel. (I hadnít crashed in more than 10 years - but hadnít ridden as often as most of you) I had a small limp for 3 days.

    But given my blood phobia and generally riding alone I figured itís good to wear knee pads for every ride. I got some troy lee designs speed sleeves just to make sure I donít get a bleeder again and to absorb some impact.

    Since I always do gloves my hands were fine. I still donít wear elbow pads. But fingers crossed that wonít be an issue.

    If I ever meet my goal of riding downieville or tahoe Iíll get some legit pads for that stuff.

    100% now - just deal with extra heat. Not bad once I got used to it forget the pads are on. Mostly ride South Bay gravel hardpack stuff.

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    dark red blood

    dripping down to ankles

    I had no gloves neither

    easy trails

    innattention

    it's not the trail, it's all the extra credit

    Just random thoughts.


    On another note, I rode with a group of 7 noob riders all on ebikes. None of them had knee pads. Zero! I checked all their knees and every one had fresh scabs.
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  18. #18
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    Why all the emphasis on knee pads? It's generally just some blood and scars on the knees. If riding with knee pads makes you feel safe pushing your limits, you're just ignoring the risk of broken wrists and collarbones, concussions, and worse, which the pads do nothing to prevent. And I doubt most of us are riding with a Leatt Brace, full face, and compression armor very often. Bottom line, sometimes knee and elbow pads might save you some minor cuts and bruises, but really it's just not a great idea to push ones limits too far.
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  19. #19
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    100% after I had to get stitches in my knee from a stupid crash. I was riding easy on a familiar trail, but I somehow managed to lose the front and raked my knee over some sharp rocks. Stitches in the ER, bandage changes, walking with a stiff leg to avoid ripping the stitches out... or wear some stinky knee pads that I forget about 5 mins into the ride. Easy choice now.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by fc View Post
    There you go... commitment, as it should be.

    Because no one plans out their crashes.
    Well, except for Super Dave Osborne....may he RIP.
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Menso View Post
    Same. DH races and park riding only. I've gotten as good as I am through decades of pushing my limits in little baby steps; I'm a conservative rider and always hold back a tiny bit. So far, so good, but I'm sure it'll come back to bite me at some point. But I'll trade decades of cooler legs and heat-rash-free knees on hard rides for the occasional knock to the knee. Maybe ask me again in ten more years?
    This.

    A huge part of it depends on the type of riding you do/how you ride.

    I have a hard time shedding enough heat wearing bibs and a jersey fully unzipped; the idea of covering another 10% of my surface area is horrifying to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Menso View Post
    Why all the emphasis on knee pads? It's generally just some blood and scars on the knees. If riding with knee pads makes you feel safe pushing your limits, you're just ignoring the risk of broken wrists and collarbones, concussions, and worse, which the pads do nothing to prevent. And I doubt most of us are riding with a Leatt Brace, full face, and compression armor very often. Bottom line, sometimes knee and elbow pads might save you some minor cuts and bruises, but really it's just not a great idea to push ones limits too far.
    I'd bet that there is a very strong correlation between knee pads and flat pedals.
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  22. #22
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    No, I feel pretty confident unless I'm going at race-pace on a DH trail or doing the park riding thing. I wore pads last week to do Private Reserve in Flagstaff, it's what I'd call double-black and you won't see many people on it due to this. What I have started doing is using ankle-braces for any ride where I'm not in my winter shoes (which provide ankle support). I can't afford to roll my ankle anymore.
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  23. #23
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    Knee pads, 90% of the time, unless I'm pedaling around the city or with my 7 year olds.

    Elbow pads, 70% of the time, unless it's over 80deg and it's an XCish ride.

    Ion K-Traze AMP Zip knee pads are pretty great.

  24. #24
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    Not for Bay Area riding. Technical riding, yes I do.
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    I think elbow pads would be more useful for me, but I have yet to buy any. I have knee pads but only wore them twice this year out of the 50+ rides I went on because they cause abrasion on the back of my legs which is more uncomfortable than the scabs Iíve had from crashes so far. For me knee pads are now saved for downhill.

  26. #26
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    I'm an xc rider, 0% knee pads, 100% gloves. I tend to endo so knees are the least of my worries on crashes.
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  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Menso View Post
    Why all the emphasis on knee pads?
    My knees are pretty beat from my first 25 years of normally riding without pads-and from wear and tear from other sports. But pads are so light and comfy now that I don't do any real descents, usually around Santa Cruz County or Pacifica, without them and elbow pads. Also, the new trails are getting steeper and I'm still progressing on jumps and drops, so just like a mask at Costco, why not be safe? At this point, I'm trying to minimize downtime and stay in the game as long as I can.

    We can all take a lesson from RBoardman. He's as talented and fast as anybody on here. But shit happens and when you're headed sideways down the mountain you'll be glad you padded up.
    Last edited by K. Trout; 10-15-2020 at 10:48 AM.

  28. #28
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    I wear them like I wear socks. Naked without them now. Don't notice them whatsoever.

  29. #29
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    0% for the same reasons Menso and LeDuke mention above.

    100% for gloves though! (very thin, no palm padding, etc)

  30. #30
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    0% knee pads (except for the random dh race or the rare park day)

    0% gloves

    100% fun

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by HrznRider View Post
    I wear them like I wear socks. Naked without them now. Don't notice them whatsoever.
    +1...

    Pads are so good now I don't think it's a big deal to use them. 3DO and similar material works amazingly well, yet is flexible and light.

    My newest pads are Cromag knees and Ion e-traze elbows, they are very light and easy to wear, yet provide amazing levels of protection.

    However, it's rare that I ride anything easy. I have a 37 lb Spec Enduro and use it as intended.

  32. #32
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    I'm about 99.9% with knee pads since i decided not to then tried to lean into a wet wood bridge.....no mas. lol

  33. #33
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    Zero. Never have.
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  34. #34
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    never. i ride rigid SS almost exclusively. however i did snap my chain last month and put a nice big contusion on my right tear drop VMO. knee pads wouda helped me then!
    i will not yield to DH traffic.

  35. #35
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    No for mission peak, yes for anywhere I plan to jump or go faster.

    I just wish they do better in shin protection against pedal pins without being a full shin pad also.

    Fc, you should do a separate post about glove vs no glove.

  36. #36
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    Knee Pad Haiku

    Quote Originally Posted by fc View Post
    dark red blood

    dripping down to ankles

    I had no gloves neither

    easy trails

    innattention

    it's not the trail, it's all the extra credit

    I rode with a group of 7 noob riders all on ebikes. None of them had knee pads. Zero! I checked all their knees and every one had fresh scabs
    My kid is doing ZOOM Haiku this week for school.... you are SO close!

    Ode to Knee Pads 1 (t-shirt slogan version):

    An inattention
    Blood dripping down to ankles
    It is not the trail

    Ode to Knee Pads 2:

    Dark red blood dripping
    An easy inattention
    Had no gloves neither

    Ode to Knee Pads 3:

    Easy trail no gloves
    Dark blood dripping down ankles
    All extra credit

    Ode to Knee Pads (ebike version):

    Their knees had fresh scabs
    Noob riders all on e-bikes
    Zero had knee pads

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Halfabrain View Post
    My kid is doing ZOOM Haiku this week for school.... you are SO close!

    Ode to Knee Pads 1 (t-shirt slogan version):

    An inattention
    Blood dripping down to ankles
    It is not the trail

    Ode to Knee Pads 2:

    Dark red blood dripping
    An easy inattention
    Had no gloves neither

    Ode to Knee Pads 3:

    Easy trail no gloves
    Dark blood dripping down ankles
    All extra credit

    Ode to Knee Pads (ebike version):

    Their knees had fresh scabs
    Noob riders all on e-bikes
    Zero had knee pads
    More please. This had me laughing over here.


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  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by davec113 View Post
    +1...

    Pads are so good now I don't think it's a big deal to use them. 3DO and similar material works amazingly well, yet is flexible and light.
    .
    This. Iím 100% for all rides where wind would blow through my non-existent hair.

    You donít fall until you fall.

    You donít hit your knee hard until you hit your knee hard.

    You donít spend time recovering until you spend time recovering.

    You donít have perpetual lingering pain until you have perpetual lingering pain.


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  39. #39
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    Ever since that one ride where I was just going for a quick little trail ride and didn't need pads because it was an easy trail I'd ridden 100 times and then bailed in a big tangle of rider and bike and drove the end of a handlebar into the soft tissue on the inside of my knee and now it's kinda f**cked... 100% of the time.

  40. #40
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    I don't wear gloves, but I do wear kneepads.
    Injuries of the knees or feet suck because they affect every joint further up the "chain" of joints. You hurt your knee, and now you are favoring your good leg, this creates muscle imbalances in your hips. If you don't correct it quickly, your habits change in how you walk, stand, and even sit to accommodate the injury. Then your back starts hurting because your hips are out of whack all because you hurt your knee 5 years ago....Ask me how I know : D

  41. #41
    fc
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Handlebar View Post
    Well, except for Super Dave Osborne....may he RIP.
    What da hellz? He gone???

    What's next, the Doobie Brothers gonna break up?
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  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by SikeMo View Post
    Knee pads, 90% of the time, unless I'm pedaling around the city or with my 7 year olds.

    Elbow pads, 70% of the time, unless it's over 80deg and it's an XCish ride.

    Ion K-Traze AMP Zip knee pads are pretty great.
    Much obliged!

    Elbow pads are tough. They seem to be a bit more obtrusive. They slide down more since since forearms taper quite a bit, unlike calves which tend to hold pads up.

    Also, ROI on elbow pads is lower, perhaps since elbow pads are higher off the ground and obstacles.
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  43. #43
    fc
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    Quote Originally Posted by vonasemj View Post
    I think elbow pads would be more useful for me, but I have yet to buy any. I have knee pads but only wore them twice this year out of the 50+ rides I went on because they cause abrasion on the back of my legs which is more uncomfortable than the scabs Iíve had from crashes so far. For me knee pads are now saved for downhill.

    Good point. The ideal mtb product should disappear in the ride. Good knee pads should not cause you any discomfort at all and slow you down on a climb too much or make you too hot.

    If they do, they don't fit or are too protective or are just wrong for you. It is a struggle to find the perfect ones for sure.

    But there are a bunch of good lightweight ones now for everyday use
    Leatt Airflex Pro
    Gform
    Alpinestars
    Troy Lee
    Fox

    If they cause discomfort or call attention to themselves, then it's hardly worth it.
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  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Menso View Post
    Why all the emphasis on knee pads? It's generally just some blood and scars on the knees. If riding with knee pads makes you feel safe pushing your limits, you're just ignoring the risk of broken wrists and collarbones, concussions, and worse, which the pads do nothing to prevent. And I doubt most of us are riding with a Leatt Brace, full face, and compression armor very often. Bottom line, sometimes knee and elbow pads might save you some minor cuts and bruises, but really it's just not a great idea to push ones limits too far.

    I don't know... maybe cause knees are rock magnets? Or maybe not everyone rides as well as you?

    And like everything in life, all items/dangers are not equal. There's always a ranking of risk so a neck brace may not as important as gloves on every ride.

    It's no so much as pushing it too far. It's the nature of our sport. And most crashes are caused by inattentiveness... on moderate trails.
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  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by JenLightly View Post
    I don't wear gloves, but I do wear kneepads.
    Injuries of the knees or feet suck because they affect every joint further up the "chain" of joints. You hurt your knee, and now you are favoring your good leg, this creates muscle imbalances in your hips. If you don't correct it quickly, your habits change in how you walk, stand, and even sit to accommodate the injury. Then your back starts hurting because your hips are out of whack all because you hurt your knee 5 years ago....Ask me how I know : D
    Very, very good insight. And when the knees are down, pretty much all riding sux.
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  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loll View Post
    No for mission peak, yes for anywhere I plan to jump or go faster.

    I just wish they do better in shin protection against pedal pins without being a full shin pad also.

    Fc, you should do a separate post about glove vs no glove.
    Sooooo true. I've been doing no gloves lately since I can feel the traction better! And everything is easier to handle. But.....

    Anyway, knee pads now are getting so good and seamless. Gloves too. Not cheap though and the search is not easy.
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  47. #47
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    Back in my first stint of riding, I only wore kneepads/shinguards for lift-serviced riding, given that by the time good ones (read: not merely BMX-adapted ones) were widely-available, my riding habits were so that on-balance, they didn't justify themselves in the SoCal heat... for the most part.

    In retrospect, I just wasn't in the habit of wearing them, as much as I should've taken cues from others for a given ride. This is from the Palm Canyon epic from not crashing.

    You wear knee pads on each ride?-img_1241.jpg
    Damn brush/ocotillos.

    (Aside: the actual crashing of this ride left me with a separated shoulder.)

    In my current stint of riding in NorCal, kneepads haven't become relevant yet as I'm still dealing with other issues (getting my old bikes back online/updated/tuned, hand numbness, and general lack braap-braap). But my significant other came into the riding fold at the same time (because it was something we can do in these pandemic times)... and she bruises if you breathe on her wrong. And she's got very fair skin, so her legs are a phantasmagoria of purple, green, and yellow splotches. I get her into some old Dainese knee/shin guards.

    Not too long ago some dipshit kids made a snide "compliment" to her about them one day and now she's a little self-conscious about wearing them.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by fc View Post
    What da hellz? He gone???

    What's next, the Doobie Brothers gonna break up?
    Ummmmm..........nevermind.
    The member formerly known as Redtires....

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    I only wear them if I'm going to do multiple days of riding on a trip. Kneepads wont save you from an amputation, but will save you from having a nasty scraped knee, which sometimes can be worse. But thats my two sense. I am part of the group of people who wears jeans, and a flannel while im sending, and my local trails are pretty easy, so you dont really have to worry about crashing, they are basically flat.

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by DtEW View Post
    Back in my first stint of riding, I only wore kneepads/shinguards for lift-serviced riding, given that by the time good ones (read: not merely BMX-adapted ones) were widely-available, my riding habits were so that on-balance, they didn't justify themselves in the SoCal heat... for the most part.

    In retrospect, I just wasn't in the habit of wearing them, as much as I should've taken cues from others for a given ride. This is from the Palm Canyon epic from not crashing.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Damn brush/ocotillos.

    (Aside: the actual crashing of this ride left me with a separated shoulder.)

    In my current stint of riding in NorCal, kneepads haven't become relevant yet as I'm still dealing with other issues (getting my old bikes back online/updated/tuned, hand numbness, and general lack braap-braap). But my significant other came into the riding fold at the same time (because it was something we can do in these pandemic times)... and she bruises if you breathe on her wrong. And she's got very fair skin, so her legs are a phantasmagoria of purple, green, and yellow splotches. I get her into some old Dainese knee/shin guards.

    Not too long ago some dipshit kids made a snide "compliment" to her about them one day and now she's a little self-conscious about wearing them.
    Ocotillos...back when I lived in Tucson, I got an Ocotillo thorn embedded in my shin. It was there for a year, couldn't get the thing out. Then one day I casually scratched my shin and the thing popped out. It was about an inch long.
    The glass is twice as large as it needs to be

  51. #51
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    About 5 years ago I started wearing knee pads and elbow pads on occasions. I found some knee pads that were open in back and fast to put on. They were really comfortable and cool. I started liking how they protected my legs even on normal rides from the thorns and branches, especially in the thick woods of CT where I ride while working there half time. As such, I started liking them as much as socks, gloves, and helmet. And every time I stopped wearing them, as luck would have it, I would have a crash that left yet another souvenir on my legs.

    The elbow pads started getting hot, and so I don't wear them much anymore except maybe when doing Rocky Ridges or something like that. Instead I find my Solumbra cooling windbreaker (with SPF 100 sunscreen too) is good enough to prevent trail rash and scratches from thorns.

    I find crashes happen most often when I'm not paying attention and least expect them.
    It's not slow, it's doing more MTB time.

  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by DtEW View Post
    Back in my first stint of riding, I only wore kneepads/shinguards for lift-serviced riding, given that by the time good ones (read: not merely BMX-adapted ones) were widely-available, my riding habits were so that on-balance, they didn't justify themselves in the SoCal heat... for the most part.

    In retrospect, I just wasn't in the habit of wearing them, as much as I should've taken cues from others for a given ride. This is from the Palm Canyon epic from not crashing.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_1241.jpg 
Views:	48 
Size:	192.0 KB 
ID:	1370965
    Damn brush/ocotillos.

    (Aside: the actual crashing of this ride left me with a separated shoulder.)

    In my current stint of riding in NorCal, kneepads haven't become relevant yet as I'm still dealing with other issues (getting my old bikes back online/updated/tuned, hand numbness, and general lack braap-braap). But my significant other came into the riding fold at the same time (because it was something we can do in these pandemic times)... and she bruises if you breathe on her wrong. And she's got very fair skin, so her legs are a phantasmagoria of purple, green, and yellow splotches. I get her into some old Dainese knee/shin guards.

    Not too long ago some dipshit kids made a snide "compliment" to her about them one day and now she's a little self-conscious about wearing them.
    Good on yah for finding solutions for the issues that need it. For the self-conscious Iíll have suggestions. New Leatt comes to mind or Fox
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  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by andy f View Post
    Ocotillos...back when I lived in Tucson, I got an Ocotillo thorn embedded in my shin. It was there for a year, couldn't get the thing out. Then one day I casually scratched my shin and the thing popped out. It was about an inch long.
    Same. In my knee as I knelt. It came out 3 months later. .5 inch

    Effin Arizona.
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  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigLarry View Post
    About 5 years ago I started wearing knee pads and elbow pads on occasions. I found some knee pads that were open in back and fast to put on. They were really comfortable and cool. I started liking how they protected my legs even on normal rides from the thorns and branches, especially in the thick woods of CT where I ride while working there half time. As such, I started liking them as much as socks, gloves, and helmet. And every time I stopped wearing them, as luck would have it, I would have a crash that left yet another souvenir on my legs.

    The elbow pads started getting hot, and so I don't wear them much anymore except maybe when doing Rocky Ridges or something like that. Instead I find my Solumbra cooling windbreaker (with SPF 100 sunscreen too) is good enough to prevent trail rash and scratches from thorns.

    I find crashes happen most often when I'm not paying attention and least expect them.
    Hear hear Larry! What do you ride now? How often?
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  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by fc View Post
    Hear hear Larry! What do you ride now? How often?
    I try to ride at least 5X per week for 1-2 hours. If it's bad air or weather, often these days, I use my NordicTrack exercise bike with a good air filter next to it. I don't do 12 hour epics anymore as I have more freedom with my schedule now and it's healthier to spread the riding over several days. But I do like doing 5-6 hour rides occasionally. With the new connections of Calero, I can ride epics now right out of my garage. Hit the trail in 100 ft from my house. Never do the same route with all the options.

    In CA, I still ride my Bronson, my "Trophy Bike". I really like my Di2 electronic single shifter with the 3x11 drive train. The wide gear range can handle everything, without an eBike. I just go slower but I don't mind. I actually like it. Might get an eBike in my later 70s.

    In CT, I have a Giant Trance, my "Mistress Bike". The bike geometry is very similar to the Bronson. I only have a Di2 2x11 on it, which is fine because there's no long steep hills in CT. But I haven't been to CT since March due to the pandemic. Doing engineering and building electronics and optics out of my garage workshop.
    It's not slow, it's doing more MTB time.

  56. #56
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    well here we go.....if you're Mountain Biking, i.e. climbing hills, stopping for views, staying in control, being a courteous and respectful rider not only to other trail users but also to the environment, then NO knee pads. Helmet only, gloves recommended. If you're more concerned with getting off the ground, hauling a$$, "shredding" the trail, how your suspension felt in that G'd out berm and what tire works better then sure, some extra level of protection is warranted. For the record, if you're in the latter group, you ain't Mountain Biking.....period....flood gates opened......

  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silent_G View Post
    well here we go.....if you're Mountain Biking, i.e. climbing hills, stopping for views, staying in control, being a courteous and respectful rider not only to other trail users but also to the environment, then NO knee pads. Helmet only, gloves recommended. If you're more concerned with getting off the ground, hauling a$$, "shredding" the trail, how your suspension felt in that G'd out berm and what tire works better then sure, some extra level of protection is warranted. For the record, if you're in the latter group, you ain't Mountain Biking.....period....flood gates opened......
    Lol, yeah you probably should have stayed Silent_G.

  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by davec113 View Post
    Lol, yeah you probably should have stayed Silent_G.
    I actually agree with Silent G. Most of us aren't mountain biking.







    We're Smashmouthing.

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    Thank you K. Trout!

  60. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by fc View Post
    Whatís your knee pad frequency? 100% or zero. Somewhere in between?

    Iím about 90%.

    But lately itís been hot and Iíve been doing tons of easy rides with my wife. So no pads.

    Last week, I fell backwards and hit my knee in a rock. Out for 3 days.

    This week, I fell on a fire road and dragged my knee for a bit. Out for three weeks.

    Iím a little mad, yes.
    Hey fc,

    I'm 100% as I don't even go put air in the tires, as I prepare for the ride, until I've put on my knee and elbow pads! With modern gear the comfort level is so high I don't see the reason not to use them. To paraphrase this old line from dentistry (only floss the teeth you want to save)....only put a kneepad on the knees you want to continue to use!

    Take care,

    Michael
    If you can't keep the rubber side down......at least smile for the camera!

  61. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by michaelsnead View Post
    Hey fc,

    I'm 100% as I don't even go put air in the tires, as I prepare for the ride, until I've put on my knee and elbow pads! With modern gear the comfort level is so high I don't see the reason not to use them. To paraphrase this old line from dentistry (only floss the teeth you want to save)....only put a kneepad on the knees you want to continue to use!

    Take care,

    Michael
    Much respect and much appreciated. You said it so well!

    fc
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  62. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by davec113 View Post
    Lol, yeah you probably should have stayed Silent_G.
    so so succinct
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  63. #63
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    I was at about 15% with knee pads until recently. My 14yo son broke his arm riding with me, which of course wasn't his knees, but I'm getting older and worried about being stuck in an injury situation on my own. So I bought some additional sets of pads and decided that I'm going to be 100% with knee pads and go to about 15% with elbow pads. I also got some clear glasses for the rides where my other lenses are too dark.

    Of course, last week I took a rough spill when my front wheel washed out. My knee pads probably saved me a little injury, but I got trail rash right where my elbow pads would have been, and an absurdly large and deep bruise on my hip. So now I'm wondering about some padded shorts, too...

  64. #64
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    Your knee pads definitely saved you as they are often in the Direct line of fire. Iíve had about a dozen unplanned get offĎs were I thought my kneepads didnít do anything I didnít get hurt. But upon further inspection of the kneepads they definitely had some hard stuff. And the key ones are when my knees are those stiff but thereís no damage whatsoever. Thatís a true evidence that they wouldíve been shredded otherwise.
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  65. #65
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    I snagged my handlebar on a manzanita branch on an easy section of trail today and went down hard. Big bruise on my left upper thigh and a nasty scrape across my back but my knee pad took the hit for my right knee.

    I blame this thread in general and fc in particular for my crash.
    The glass is twice as large as it needs to be

  66. #66
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    I figure I only injure my knees/shins once a year or so, I take that trade off vs the constant uncomfortableness of wearing pads.

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    I have Leatt knee pads and wear them every non XC ride. Pads and helmet technology have come a long way. Super comfortable and breathable. Totally a non issue for me to wear at all times.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  68. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaycagney View Post
    I figure I only injure my knees/shins once a year or so, I take that trade off vs the constant uncomfortableness of wearing pads.
    I like that... quota system. Like an annual deductible thatís been reached
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  69. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by vcolf View Post
    I have Leatt knee pads and wear them every non XC ride. Pads and helmet technology have come a long way. Super comfortable and breathable. Totally a non issue for me to wear at all times.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Leatt for me right now. But Iím curious to try other lighter stuff .

    They kind of work like knee warmers on chilly rides
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  70. #70
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    For most stuff around here (fire roads) no. If the ride becomes technical - Demo, Rockville then yes.

    That said, where what you need. I've had a friend nearly lose his kneecap on a fireroad washout. Rock stuffed in just the perfect softspot under the kneecap. Yeech.

    So, what's the perfect NorCal knee pad? Apparently I have thicker legs. Too big for POC XL (I asked). What do some of the bigger riders out there use? I need pedal friendly - no park level armor.
    Don't harsh my mello

  71. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by wg View Post
    For most stuff around here (fire roads) no. If the ride becomes technical - Demo, Rockville then yes.

    That said, where what you need. I've had a friend nearly lose his kneecap on a fireroad washout. Rock stuffed in just the perfect softspot under the kneecap. Yeech.

    So, what's the perfect NorCal knee pad? Apparently I have thicker legs. Too big for POC XL (I asked). What do some of the bigger riders out there use? I need pedal friendly - no park level armor.
    I have bigger legs (~6 foot ~220 lbs ) just got the troy lee designs speed sleeves in XL/2XL fits well. There a good daily guard. Mostly for easy impact / daily abrasion protection. I forget they are there when riding. Sometimes they feel a little warm in ~85 degree heat. But not uncomfortable ( IMO ).

    https://troyleedesigns.com/collectio...e-sleeve-black


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  72. #72
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    I'm about a 95% wearer. Of course... I only crash when I'm not wearing them though. For example: I did a race a XC race week ago and had an embarrassing crash during my start. My shoe didn't clip in all the way and I went down pretty hard trying to shift/power through my gears. Bruised my ego more than my knee... but still got some good road rash.
    It's the perfect time of year, Somewhere far away from here.

  73. #73
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    Maybe .1%. I rarely even wear gloves. Helmet is about my only requirement that I can't imagine not wearing (except if I am doing a quick grocery run).

  74. #74
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    pearl izumi pads have been very good to me. they are so light and unnoticeable that i have no reason to not wear them.
    https://www.pearlizumi.com/US/en/sho...rd/p/143A2001#

  75. #75
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    This is a timely post, @fc

    I have a set of POC VPD 2.0 knee and elbow pads and I only have them and a Full Face for when I ride Northstar. Was really more of an excuse to buy more cool stuff. Have never crashed hard enough at N* to ever need them

    I have never used them for any trail riding local or even Downieville. I hate the way they feel. Hot and skin irritations.

    About a month ago I crashed at high speed descending John Nicholas Trail. There is a roller into a left veer and it unweights the front wheel every freakin time. I usually have a little moment and give a quick shout to the forest and keep going. It always seems to take me by surprise. This time, I was riding my eBike and it s very new to me so the bike obviously behaves different. It's super planted and gives even more confidence. But in this case, there was no moment. Just an instantaneous front end slam to the ground and my left knee hit first and hard. I could care less about the rash, cuts and leg covered in blood. My knee took a hard impact. the only reason I was able to ride out was because I was on my eBike. Lost at least 2-3 weeks and was pretty nervous about another long term injury and recovery. Luckily, that was not the case.

    I'm seriously thinking about knee pads on trail rides now, but still having a hard time committing. I have large quads and calves and even though my POC's fit, I'm constantly fiddling with them. Too tight, too loose, skin abrasion. Hate them. I've had people recommend every brand under the sun.

    It's not like you can buy and try knee pads and return them if they don't suit you. Trying them on at a store (if you can even find someone who has a decent inventory), still does not tell you how well they will work for you while doing multi-hour rides.

    I'm struggling with what to do. I'll start carrying them on my pack and putting them on at the top of the mountain, but not sure what I will end up doing when riding laps somewhere...
    I will ALWAYS yield to DH traffic. Go get some!

  76. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shamis View Post
    This is a timely post, @fc

    It's not like you can buy and try knee pads and return them if they don't suit you. Trying them on at a store (if you can even find someone who has a decent inventory), still does not tell you how well they will work for you while doing multi-hour rides.

    I'm struggling with what to do. I'll start carrying them on my pack and putting them on at the top of the mountain, but not sure what I will end up doing when riding laps somewhere...
    I took advantage of this. I bought a set tried it on and sent back. Itís a long process. But they will give store credit for used gear.

    https://www.backcountry.com/sc/returnguarantee

    I was in the same boat as you local LBS donít stock enough sizes and brands.


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  77. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by bk_mtb View Post
    I took advantage of this. I bought a set tried it on and sent back. Itís a long process. But they will give store credit for used gear.

    https://www.backcountry.com/sc/returnguarantee

    I was in the same boat as you local LBS donít stock enough sizes and brands.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Good share, thanks. But did you actually go out and ride them?
    I will ALWAYS yield to DH traffic. Go get some!

  78. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by Menso View Post
    Why all the emphasis on knee pads? It's generally just some blood and scars on the knees. If riding with knee pads makes you feel safe pushing your limits, you're just ignoring the risk of broken wrists and collarbones, concussions, and worse, which the pads do nothing to prevent. And I doubt most of us are riding with a Leatt Brace, full face, and compression armor very often. Bottom line, sometimes knee and elbow pads might save you some minor cuts and bruises, but really it's just not a great idea to push ones limits too far.

    I kind of agree with this. Not sure how much real protection knee pads provide, outside of protection from scratches and gashes caused by road rash, which I guess is maybe the point? I definitely don't think about pushing my limits if I'm wearing knee pads and elbow pads. I learned that lesson the hardway when crashing with full dh gear on and cracking a rib.

    But I guess if it makes a rider feel "safer", even though they really aren't, then maybe it has a placebo effect. Just think that a better protection system would be something to protect ribs, collarbone, and neck for whiplash...

  79. #79
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    I think the idea is wearing knee pads is basically a costless measure of protection that will protect you from rather common and painful knee gashes and bruises.

    Certainly agree that it shouldn't encourage more risk taking, but why not reduce some potential pain in exchange for a bit of sweat on your knees? I wear my TLD Raid knee pads around my ankles when climbing and then put them on for the decents on my more "enduro-y" rides. Just purchased these to wear on more XC-oriented rides.

    https://www.competitivecyclist.com/f...ro-knee-sleeve

    Not going to save my knees entirely, but enough to hopefully prevent cuts.

  80. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by sfmtber View Post
    I kind of agree with this. Not sure how much real protection knee pads provide, outside of protection from scratches and gashes caused by road rash, which I guess is maybe the point? I definitely don't think about pushing my limits if I'm wearing knee pads and elbow pads. I learned that lesson the hardway when crashing with full dh gear on and cracking a rib.

    But I guess if it makes a rider feel "safer", even though they really aren't, then maybe it has a placebo effect. Just think that a better protection system would be something to protect ribs, collarbone, and neck for whiplash...
    Nah, the whole line of reasoning is illogical and untrue.

    I've never hit my head (knock on wood), yet I still wear helmets.

    Modern 3DO type pads offer incredible impact protection even though it doesn't seem possible. They CAN save you from major injury.

    You're most likely to hit your knees, elbows and hips. Knees are the most likely to hit hard.

    If you feel different mentally due to pads that's a whole 'nother issue and discussion. Pads are more about statistical probabilities and the amount of risk you are willing to take vs comfort, cost, and hassle. Even if I don't hit my head often I'm not willing to take the risk, I always wear a helmet. Knee and elbow pads don't bother me much or cost much vs the potential upsides, at least for me. I do feel like part of the sport is improving my riding abilities though, not everyone does, but those who feel like riding within some sort of comfort zone is a guarantee not to get badly injured are delusional. Unfortunately, injuries are a probability no matter how you ride, and riding in fear makes injury much more probable.

  81. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by davec113 View Post
    Nah, the whole line of reasoning is illogical and untrue.

    I've never hit my head (knock on wood), yet I still wear helmets.

    Modern 3DO type pads offer incredible impact protection even though it doesn't seem possible. They CAN save you from major injury.

    You're most likely to hit your knees, elbows and hips. Knees are the most likely to hit hard.

    If you feel different mentally due to pads that's a whole 'nother issue and discussion. Pads are more about statistical probabilities and the amount of risk you are willing to take vs comfort, cost, and hassle. Even if I don't hit my head often I'm not willing to take the risk, I always wear a helmet. Knee and elbow pads don't bother me much or cost much vs the potential upsides, at least for me. I do feel like part of the sport is improving my riding abilities though, not everyone does, but those who feel like riding within some sort of comfort zone is a guarantee not to get badly injured are delusional. Unfortunately, injuries are a probability no matter how you ride, and riding in fear makes injury much more probable.
    Actually, you are most likely to break your wrists, your clavicle, or dislocate your shoulder.

    https://www.singletracks.com/mtb-new...-world-series/

    And overall, the largest burdens were shoulder dislocations, clavicle and wrist breaks, and concussions.... I'm sure in all these cases, knee pads could have saved them from such injuries...

  82. #82
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    Just to clarify... I'm not anti knee pad. But in relation to injury protection, you're better off staying within your riding limits or wearing pads that will prevent shoulder, clavicle, wrist injuries and of course, a helmet to hopefully prevent concussions. Knee pads seem like misplaced trust to "push the limits"...

  83. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by sfmtber View Post
    Actually, you are most likely to break your wrists, your clavicle, or dislocate your shoulder.

    https://www.singletracks.com/mtb-new...-world-series/

    And overall, the largest burdens were shoulder dislocations, clavicle and wrist breaks, and concussions.... I'm sure in all these cases, knee pads could have saved them from such injuries...
    That's misleading as most EWS racers don't wear pads to prevent wrist and shoulder injuries, and shoulder pads are much less likely to prevent shoulder injury vs knee pads preventing knee injury anyways. All riders wear knee pads.

    IME, there is no doubt the most likely part of your body to hit the ground is knee, elbow and hip. Often it's the case that a hit to the arm is the cause of shoulder injury via dislocation or subluxation.

    So, it's a bit more complicated than just looking up some statistics without understanding what you're looking at. As for your last sentence,

  84. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by sfmtber View Post
    Just to clarify... I'm not anti knee pad. But in relation to injury protection, you're better off staying within your riding limits or wearing pads that will prevent shoulder, clavicle, wrist injuries and of course, a helmet to hopefully prevent concussions. Knee pads seem like misplaced trust to "push the limits"...
    As mentioned, pads are not very effective in preventing shoulder injuries. Wearing wrist braces is not practical. OTOH, wearing knee and elbow pads is easy and very effective.

    And again, if wearing pads gives you "misplaced trust", that's a whole 'nother issue, it has nothing to do with whether pads prevent injury.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sfmtber View Post
    Just to clarify... I'm not anti knee pad. But in relation to injury protection, you're better off staying within your riding limits or wearing pads that will prevent shoulder, clavicle, wrist injuries and of course, a helmet to hopefully prevent concussions. Knee pads seem like misplaced trust to "push the limits"...
    I agree that #1 to prevent injury is to stay within limits, but sh** happens. Myself as a case in point. Middle of an "easy" Tahoe trail and before I know it broken neck, fractured skull, brain bleed because I wasn't paying attention due to fatigue. Helmet saved my life. Helmet didn't give me the balls to hit something I wouldn't have otherwise hit, just insurance against the unknown and unavoidable (of course my accident was avoidable, always look before you hit blind features) but my point is pads, helmets, gloves, etc. just mitigate the always present risk. Like others are saying if pads make you ride faster that is just dumb and a whole other issue.

    I now only ride with DH-rated enduro helmets. Not because it means I can go faster, but because I know what severe TBI feels like and I will deal with the extra weight / sweat if it reduces the risk of that, even a little. On top of that I of course will continue to ride within my limits.

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    75% for knee and elbow pads. Mine are hard pads too.

    100% on gloves. full finger.

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    I wear pads on anything but the lightest trails. JMP, Skeggs, Demo, Pacifica, I'll wear them. I've worn them for so long that I forget what it's like to ride without pads.

    POC VPD 2.0, love'em.

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    You wear knee pads on each ride?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shamis View Post
    Good share, thanks. But did you actually go out and ride them?
    I didnít. But in theory you can? Maybe call them to confirm. The pearl izumi ones I got 100% didnít fit without needing to ride.

    The TLD speed sleeves fit a little snug straight off the package but is just right after some rides.

  89. #89
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    I'm a big fan of mesh style knee-pads like these:
    https://www.pinkbike.com/news/daines...s--review.html

    Great airflow, and I forget that I'm wearing them. They're considered more light protection, and not super heavy duty, but I wear them every time out, definitely better than nothing.

    As for sizing, most places do free returns. Just order the 2 sizes you think you might be, try them both on and return the ones that don't fit. Piece of cake.

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    100% for iXS Flow kneepads. Totally forgettable until I hit something. 100% for full-finger gloves. 0% for elbow pads and full-face, though I can see regretting this at some point.

  91. #91
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    When I crash, 90% of the time it's on my knees and forearms. That's why I wear pads. I protect myself from road rash type scrapes. In these narcissistic, social media obsessed times, that's very important to me

  92. #92
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    chicks dig scars? I'm married these days anyway.

  93. #93
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    I bought some G-Forms for my then 8 year old son. He started testing his speed on downhills and I figured he was going to slide out in a corner sooner or later. He hasn't done that yet, but we had to walk it through some boulders on a ride. He slipped on the wet rocks and put his knee right into a sharp rock. He never flinched, just got back up and kept pushing. That got me thinking about all my scars and gouges. I bought a set for me the next week. We always use them on our tougher trails with a lot of rock and
    downhills, or if it's a new trail to us and we don't know what's out there. Our week night trail is tight twisty single track we normally don't wear them there. The G-Forms did take some time to break in and get comfortable, the next pair will be something with a cut out behind the knee though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SikeMo View Post
    Knee pads, 90% of the time, unless I'm pedaling around the city or with my 7 year olds.

    Elbow pads, 70% of the time, unless it's over 80deg and it's an XCish ride.

    Ion K-Traze AMP Zip knee pads are pretty great.
    Same, but I'm wearing elbow pads almost as much as knee pads now because when I fall, I usually hit my posterior forearm and elbow before anything else during a cornering wash out.

    G-Forms for me on trails. Fox, IXS, and Leatt stuff for park.

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    100%. Don't even notice they are there, so why not.

  96. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shamis View Post

    I'm seriously thinking about knee pads on trail rides now, but still having a hard time committing. I have large quads and calves and even though my POC's fit, I'm constantly fiddling with them. Too tight, too loose, skin abrasion. Hate them. I've had people recommend every brand under the sun.

    It's not like you can buy and try knee pads and return them if they don't suit you. Trying them on at a store (if you can even find someone who has a decent inventory), still does not tell you how well they will work for you while doing multi-hour rides.

    I'm struggling with what to do. I'll start carrying them on my pack and putting them on at the top of the mountain, but not sure what I will end up doing when riding laps somewhere...
    I am right there with you. I have large quads and had a hard time finding a decently fitting knee pads. It seems the G-form are doing the trick. Although I had to go XL!
    I have more scars on my knees and elbows that I care to remember; and counting.
    I always have my G-form elbow pads in my pack, and always wear them on the downhill part of the ride. It became a ritual, and I donít care if I donít look cool.
    For rougher / sketchy trails ( San Juan inOC) Iíll throw the knee pads in the pack as well, and usually put them on at the top of the trail.
    For parks, I usually use my old Dainese hard shell s

  97. #97
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    battery powered motor bike

    Quote Originally Posted by fc View Post
    Whatís your knee pad frequency? 100% or zero. Somewhere in between?

    Iím about 90%.

    But lately itís been hot and Iíve been doing tons of easy rides with my wife. So no pads.

    Last week, I fell backwards and hit my knee in a rock. Out for 3 days.

    This week, I fell on a fire road and dragged my knee for a bit. Out for three weeks.

    Iím a little mad, yes.

    Just to stir it up a bit:

    If you are riding a battery powered motor bike why wouldn't you wear knee pads, elbow pads, full face, spine protector, neck guard? Even for pretty pedestrian trails - it costs you nothing (other than initial investment) and you never know - armor up people! Be safe!

  98. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by tunajuice View Post
    Just to stir it up a bit:

    If you are riding a battery powered motor bike why wouldn't you wear knee pads, elbow pads, full face, spine protector, neck guard? Even for pretty pedestrian trails - it costs you nothing (other than initial investment) and you never know - armor up people! Be safe!
    Knee pads and gloves for sure too 100% of the time. Beyond that, things start to interfere with the ride and it's hard to get through the bike path switchbacks.
    IPA will save America

  99. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cicch95 View Post
    100%. Don't even notice they are there, so why not.

    We are getting options now that are becoming less intrusive than gloves or helmets so why not indeed? Finding the best, lightest one that fits though is tough. And ther.e's all that washing and stuff.

    The thing with knee pads is they take away some climbing efficiency. Maybe 1-5% and so many that prioritize that will never use them
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  100. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by Staktup View Post
    Same, but I'm wearing elbow pads almost as much as knee pads now because when I fall, I usually hit my posterior forearm and elbow before anything else during a cornering wash out.

    G-Forms for me on trails. Fox, IXS, and Leatt stuff for park.
    Appreciate that advice!!!
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  101. #101
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    More Knee Pad Haiku

    Haikus for 0.1%

    Late summer moondust
    Many cornering washouts
    Then scars and gouges


    Fractured skull, brain bleed
    Married these days anyway
    Its a long process


    Stay within limits
    I am not anti knee pad
    Prevent concussions


    *Make a contribution! Guidelines: Should contain most or all of lines from previous posts (but not necessarily the same post). Haiku = 5-7-5 syllables.

  102. #102
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    I ride every day. I wear knee and elbow pads, and a lightweight FF helmet every time.

    1/2 my life is spent in an area where there is approximately 99% chance of landing on a sharp rock if you so much as tip over. The temps up to 40 deg C (104f)

    So many of my buddies got wounds stitched up, the ED doctor started coming out for coffee with us - she called us the ďstitches clubĒ.

    I wasnít wearing them when riding the tamer (less abrasive) trails at home, but soon decided that seeing I rode ďharderĒ, and bigger ďfeaturesĒ at home I should wear them there as well.

    Iíve had 2 elbow surgeries from Motorcycle crashes - so that adís reason for the elbow pads. (I use slightly more protective ďDaniseĒ elbow guards - donít notice them after I put them on.

    I tried them for the knees, but found them too intrusive - using Fox Enduro. Often have to ďrepositionĒ them on the ride - keen to try other lightweight options.

    On a ride where I was ďtaking it easyĒ, I slipped over and face planted a fallen tree - cutting my nose open with my glasses. TLD ďStagesĒ is my go to lid now.

    57yo body. 15yo brain. Wear it every time.

  103. #103
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    Quote Originally Posted by Staktup View Post
    Same, but I'm wearing elbow pads almost as much as knee pads now because when I fall, I usually hit my posterior forearm and elbow before anything else during a cornering wash out.

    G-Forms for me on trails. Fox, IXS, and Leatt stuff for park.
    Yup happened to me this year just like that. No pads on and good size hole in Elbow w 7 stitches and lost a lot of skin deep on knee and shin. Nasty. Now I tend to run knee most of the time and both if itís super tech. At 58 I cant afford to get hurt it takes longer to heal.


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  104. #104
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    Another safety item.

    I upgraded Strava, so that GF/Work colleagues knows where to find the body via the ďBeaconĒ feature.

    Seems like a great idea when cycling Solo through the desert in the dark. (Or Solo in the daytime, in a desert with 7 of the worlds 10 deadliest snakes lurking...)

  105. #105
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    Off road: 100% +elbow pads
    Used to wear also shin guards, but not for the last 5 years
    As mentioned before I feel also naked without them.

    (Road) Bike trails which has a portion with very smooth forest trail: 0%
    But yesterday after a rain there is a wooden bridge with was slippery and I fall (making the turn and breaking same time), I really hope I would had the pads as now don't know how many days without riding, as the first part of my body that touched the ground was my knee

  106. #106
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    POC VPD 2.0 every ride. Last spring I washed out on a flattish trail going 25mph. My knee cap directly smacked a rock. Without the knee pad my knee cap would have been shattered. POC's are comfortable to me, yesterday I wore them in Moab from 8am to 9pm. All day comfort!

    I use POC VPD 2.0 elbow pads - they are in my pack on the climbs and put them on for the descents.

    I have also used the Bell 3R and Super DH for a few years. Has saved my jaw twice. Feel naked without full face now too.

    I am seeing a lot of people wear full face helmets for regular trail rides. It is a good trend.

  107. #107
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    My favorite elbow pad argument was when a buddy of mine was teasing me for wearing pads and on the first descent of the day he washed out and had to get 37 stitches and some staples. He wears pads now.

  108. #108
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    Strange to see how regional this is.

    The number of knee pads you see at high altitude in CO is basically zero. I don't think I've ever seen a person in a knee pad on various sections of the Colorado Trail other than the touristy areas like the sections near Breckenridge.

    Generally, the further you get from a trailhead, the fewer kneepads you see.
    Death from Below.

  109. #109
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    I've been wearing knee pads a bit more, but just because they keep my knees warmer in cooler weather. Wore my elbow/forearm pads this weekend for the same reason. I always wear them on any kind of gravity/jump line stuff.

    I finally have some that are reasonably comfortable.

    As hot and humid as it gets here in the summer, it is easy to leave them at home.

  110. #110
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    Once youíve trained your brain that landing on your knees is safe, youíre better off wearing pads every ride.

    Iím pretty sure I cracked a patella about 10 years ago. I went for a short ride with the dog after work, and didnít bother changing out of jeans. I went down on a feature Iíd ridden dozens of times, and landed on my knee out of habit/muscle memory. Couldnít kneel for weeks.

  111. #111
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    Quote Originally Posted by evasive View Post
    Once youíve trained your brain that landing on your knees is safe, youíre better off wearing pads every ride.

    Iím pretty sure I cracked a patella about 10 years ago. I went for a short ride with the dog after work, and didnít bother changing out of jeans. I went down on a feature Iíd ridden dozens of times, and landed on my knee out of habit/muscle memory. Couldnít kneel for weeks.
    Hear hear. Amen!
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  112. #112
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    I live and ride in Truckee/N. Tahoe and never wear them but might start eventually. Like anything safety related you know, you don't need them.... until you do! I also don't wear my helmet on 45+ minute climbs (attaches to my bags). Love the looks I get sometimes! If I fall and hit my head climbing at 2 mph, I probably need a good smack anyways. I do pack a lot of other safety items though, depending on how far out I am and the time of year. Garmin InReach Mini, PLB, GPS (in phone), headlamp, puffy jacket, emergency bivy, fire starter, first aid stuff, whistle, on and on. I've almost spent the night 10 miles away from the car before when temps were to be in the teens. That sets you straight pretty fast! It's best to scale your protection and gear up and down depending on the ride and conditions. I also ride moto and dual sports and do the same there. To keep from re-packing gear each time, I just switch between a hip pack for shorter rides to the backpack for longer ones and the shoulder seasons when night temps are low.
    2020 Ripmo AF

  113. #113
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    Chamois butter works

    [QUOTE=vonasemj;1503587they cause abrasion on the back of my legs which is more uncomfortable than the scabs Iíve had from crashes so far.[/QUOTE]

    Preventive maintenance so then you reduce the irritation and scabs!😁

  114. #114
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    Whuuuut.....

    Quote Originally Posted by redmr2_man View Post
    0% knee pads (except for the random dh race or the rare park day)

    0% gloves

    100% fun
    When you become such a badass?!? 😮😁😎👍

  115. #115
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    I never used to wear knee pads, but lately fairly innocuous hits have been painful and slooow to heal.
    So, first day out with the new pads, and I'm exiting the bottom section of the fun stuff out in P-town (after my leading 26er got lost in a dust bowl and decided to lay down and take a nap on me):

    [ATTACH=CONFIG]1374289

    Guess I picked a good day to wear knee pads

    ...meaning knee pads 100% of the time at P-town for me.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails You wear knee pads on each ride?-img_1156.jpg  

    This is either a good thing, or a very bad thing.

  116. #116
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    Yes, knee/shins and elbow/forearm every single ride.

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  117. #117
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    Quote Originally Posted by CyNil_Rider View Post
    I never used to wear knee pads, but lately fairly innocuous hits have been painful and slooow to heal.
    So, first day out with the new pads, and I'm exiting the bottom section of the fun stuff out in P-town (after my leading 26er got lost in a dust bowl and decided to lay down and take a nap on me):

    [ATTACH=CONFIG]1374289

    Guess I picked a good day to wear knee pads

    ...meaning knee pads 100% of the time at P-town for me.
    So this is with the pads on right? Would have been so much worse without. I too am wearing every ride now. I overheat in So-Cal but I cannot lose more skin in areas I have already trashed multiple times. Good on ya wearing them.

  118. #118
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    Quote Originally Posted by trmn8er View Post
    So this is with the pads on right? Would have been so much worse without. I too am wearing every ride now. I overheat in So-Cal but I cannot lose more skin in areas I have already trashed multiple times. Good on ya wearing them.
    This!
    And for that reason it was only a bit of skin loss. I would have been hobbling for at least 3 weeks w/out them!

    The pad absorbed/deflected a huge amount of the impact.
    So much so that when I landed, it rolled/scrubbed off my knee and bunch of dirt/dust got rubbed in.
    Needed my booster inoculation I suppose.

    The knee pad question for me still is still about the cx type riding. Dedicated jump trails and areas testing my technical limits is clearly the reason I bought them.
    But because my familiar cx trials can contain an "insignificant" amount of tech or even chunder, and because easy stuff is easy to go fast on, I feel I am evolving towards more protection more often.

    Heck, not only did I start riding before wearing helmets was a 'thing', I didn't start wear gloves until after a few years of riding mtb!
    Seems barbaric now lol
    This is either a good thing, or a very bad thing.

  119. #119
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    You wear knee pads on each ride?

    So yeah I get that so much of what we ride is not always technical, however a simple low side at speed can have really serious consequences. I went down New Year Day this year at speed and trashed myself. Then I had a fairly slow speed get off with out pads and re-injured the same spots. So for me I just have to wear them all the time from now in. Technical or not. I like to push myself and ride 2500 miles a year in dirt. When you ride that much your gonna go down and Iím tired of 🩸 loss. Glad it was not worse for you and this reminds me how important it is to wear pads. Iím still healing from my recent get off. Sucks


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  120. #120
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    Iím glad this topic came up. Although I posted that I hate them and only own them for Northstar, Iíve worn them on every ride and starting to get used to them.
    I will ALWAYS yield to DH traffic. Go get some!

  121. #121
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    Knee pads saved me on a washout today. Wear them!

  122. #122
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    If Iím on my XC bike. No. If Iím on my Bronson or Levo SL then yes every time

  123. #123
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    One nice thing about the weather turning colder now... Good/easier time for folks like me to get used to and break in knee pads.

    Then as Spring rolls around and temperatures slowly increase, won't notice a thing

  124. #124
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    Quote Originally Posted by kevin_sbay View Post
    One nice thing about the weather turning colder now... Good/easier time for folks like me to get used to and break in knee pads.

    Then as Spring rolls around and temperatures slowly increase, won't notice a thing
    Good thought except I only snowboard and ski in the winter! Going to St. George tomorrow though and am going to run some knee pads for the first time on normal trail rides, not counting moto.
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  125. #125
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    I do not use them, even though I have multiple knee surgeries and have road rash scars everywhere. I hate the way it restricts my motion, I guess I am a little old school as I started riding MTB in the 80s.
    I guess I am a little behind the times as well as I love CX and going uphill and I do not go down techie trails anymore.

  126. #126
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    When I started mountain biking I didn't wear them much but I always wore knee/leg warmers during the cooler months. As time went on I realized that a lot of the newer pads on the market are just as comfortable as warmers, so it became the norm for me.

    Nowadays, with a few sets (light duty, heavy duty), I have some pair on 100% of the time... it's a you don't need them until you need them situation type thing. I really don't like the idea of down time due to an injury so whatever I can do to ensure "uptime" is worth it for me.

  127. #127
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    I used to only wear pads when I pulled out the DH bike, but now that pads have gotten light/comfortable to pedal all day I wear trail knee and elbow pads every ride.

  128. #128
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    Yup... didn't use to, generally just wore them on technical terrain or for long downhills. Lately, I have been wearing them for about 95% of my rides. I'm not a spring chicken anymore at 59 and healing is taking longer than it used to. The only downside is, that they really stink up a storm if I don't wash/deodorize them regularly.

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