Armor? Pads? Anyone?

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    • #201452

      Last year I had a bad wreck.  It was not an overly difficult section, but it was high consequence. I was slightly distracted for a split second and down I went, face plant on a log and rolled into rocks .  I was not knocked unconscious, but nearly blacked out. I thankfully had nothing broken but had extensive bruising, a concussion and soft tissue damage. I was unable to ride or do any exercise for a while. I upgraded my helmet, but have been thinking about pads.

      I never see ANYONE wearing pads (I ride in the Midwest).  The reviews here on singletracks are all positive, so I can’t help but wonder if the reviews are solid why does no one actually wear them?  Are the reviews too kind? Are they not helpful enough in a wreck to be worth the hassle (or money)? Are they horrible to wear? Is it not wanting to look like a chicken?

      I don’t want to buy them, haul them around and wear them if are uncomfortable or they don’t really help.  I’m not proud, so looking like a chicken doesn’t bother me.  Just wondering if it is worth it.

    • #201459

      Pads are definitely a good investment if you’re afraid of hurting yourself. I have crashed many times and have always thanked any padding I have been wearing at the time. For trail, I wear a full face with Fox kneepads. You said you upgraded your helmet: Good! Now look into some kneepads, which are the minimum protection for trial riding. Even the pros wear kneepads when they out on the trial.

      Yes padding, even full armour, is all its cracked up to be. Quality stuff keeps you cool, safe and comfortable. And yes, like I mentioned above, any padding at all in crash is a good thing. It really works well.

      Padding, in any form, is a good thing. There is no such thing as too much protection. I am actually going to get a Fox Titan full armored vest soon for when I race and jump. Get as much padding as you want and more importantly, what allows you to feel comfortable and safe. Ride on bro!

    • #201531
    • #201643

      A Few of My Favorite Things: MTB Tools and Accessories Holiday Gift Guide

      the 7iDP pads seem pretty good.. and seen some alpine star one’s but haven’t gotten around to getting any yet!

    • #201677

      I am 54 years old and have had a couple crashes that always mess up my shoulders.  I now have a  full torso / shoulder pads 661 assault suit, knee pads and elbow pads on all single track trails.  Yes they are warm in the summer, but I really don’t notice it until I remove them.  The only step I haven’t taken is the move to a full face helmet.  I am the exception out here in the Midwest though, most do not wear torso padding and occasionally I see people with knee or elbow pads.  Unfortunately I see too many folks with no helmets as well!  Good luck!

    • #201685

      I have a 661 assault suit from my motocross days, but I have not worn it mountain biking yet. My full face helmet is actually a Bell Super 2R with removable chin bar, I just rarely take it off. My riding buddy has the same helmet and rarely puts it on.

    • #201716

      You can’t go wrong with a Bell super. Those things rock!

      Also, fox racing kneepads are some of the best on the market. I have some, and they are comfortable, cool, and quite protective.

    • #201718

      Protect yourself!

      I’m in my first year of this, so I shelled out the bucks for a Bell Super 2R, Fox Enduro elbow pads, and Fox Enduro knee pads. I also wear Fox Attack gloves.

      The helmet is great – I don’t notice that it’s a fullface until I try to drink – and the pads are perfect for what I do.

    • #201722

      I mostly ride in Midwest as well and only few trails where I put my full face and knee pads are Spirit Mt and Copper Harbor.

      I do crash sometimes on intermediate trails but still not wearing pads because it’s hot and humid and pads make it even worse for me.

      Its a personal choice to wear pads or not. And the best answer to your question would be to try it by yourself.

    • #201724

      i use a Bell Sanction Full face helmet and alpinestar paragon knee and elbow pads with alpinestars moab gloves

    • #201993

      Thanks everyone, I probably will give them a try. Most of the votes are they are tolerable and wrecking without them ruined almost my whole fall riding last year. Hopefully I never need them, but I guess it’s the same reason to buy insurance.

    • #202258

      The Bliss ARG Minimalist pads are my preferred pads of choice. For most Midwestern bike trails, only knee pads are needed, if that. I only wear pads if I am at a trail that is more risky (Think downhill purpose built stuff), or I already have raw or skinned knees. They are worth their weight in gold in those situations! I like the Minimalists because they are light, breath well, an stick to your legs well.

    • #202275

      I have worn knee armor since ’00 in some form or another on all rides. What everyone else does, wears or says does not bother me in the least. Furthermore, as a dentist my hands are pretty important and thus I have worn wrist armor for as long. My current knee armor favs are the Dakine Slayer and for wrist guards are Triple 8 wristsavers over full finger gloves. Otherwise, I wear either a Giro Montaro or Bell Super for my day-to-day rides. I may go the route of a convertible helmet at some point, but my protection level currently covers my bases (tuckus). Also not wearing a fullface helmet makes me not ride further over my head than I might otherwise. I have no problem not hitting some line, drop, jump, whatever and riding again tomorrow versus the contrary. Party.

    • #202432

      I use Troy Lee Designs KG 5450 Adult Knee / Shin Guard and love them. I can wear shorts most of the winter because the pads are warm and comfy. I have minimal problem with the pads slipping down my legs. I think knee pads, gloves and a helmet are the “least” you should wear. I wear elbow for some rides but have not found any that are comfortable or don’t get annoyingly hot. One trick I do with all my gear is that every few rides I spray pads and shoes with a little lysol spray. I also keep all my pads in a mesh laundry bag so they can easily air dry. It is great when you are camping. After a ride you can just hang your gear on your bike rack or from a tree and let it air dry. The mesh bags are super cheap and also keep your gear together.
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    • #202608

      Biking is about having fun.  If you have more fun with pads on, wear them!  Who cares what it looks like.  One crash with pads on and you’ll know why you had them on.  Spend money on a good set and you’ll hardly notice them.

    • #202610

      I would recommend looking into G Form

      Not for downhill riding but for regular trails it will keep you safe. You would want to wear it all the time because it’s light and comfortable

    • #202630

      I’m 51 yo guy who didn’t start seriously riding till I was 47. Yes I wear pads. I like Poc products. Vpd jacket mostly just for shoulders and elbows  and their bones knee pads. Usually I just wear the knee pads unless I’m planning a rowdy ride or going full DH. Can’t tell how many times this gear has saved me from the ER. I’ve done epic endos fallen down 10’embankments  rag dolled down rock pikes etc. never a serious injury while wearing armor. Before I started wearing armor i got a grade 3ac joint separation and cracked ribs. Wear the stuff!!

    • #202650

      I wear knee pads and a wrist guard.  I’m about to order several pieces of under-the-jersey body armour from Amazon to see how they fit.   I’ve had a few crashes – not enough to injure me, but hard enough to scare me into thinking about more protection.

    • #202653

      to Midwestmtbiker I suggest the 661 assault suits selling on ebay.  I own 2 pairs of them and really love them.  They are selling on ebay for 50 bucks!  I wear a large and am just over 6′ and 175 pounds.  Good luck.

      • #202739

        Thanks triton189.  I’ll definitely check those out!

    • #591044

      I have several pairs of elbow and knee pads of various brands and wear them every time I point the bike downhill.  Lots of steeps and sketch in Socal.  I also have a chest protector shirt and full face helmet for bike parks.  I dont crash a lot but the pads have saved skin when I do crash.  And I just feel safer wearing protective gear which combined with skill progression makes me more confident on the trails.

    • #591218

      Here in Albuquerque, New Mexico many MTBers wear pads.  Our trails are rocky, and even more, there are cacti all over the place looking to leave a spine in you for just passing by!  I have found for a good balance of protection and comfort, I really like sleeve style pads.  I wear now on every ride POC VPD Air knee and elbow pads, the sleeve kind.  The elbow pads especially, I can easily feel like I am not even wearing.  I had the VPD Joint Air knee pads for awhile, which were really good too, but I felt them, but nothing that distracting from riding.  I only got a couple of rides in with the VPD Air sleeve style knee pad before my own bad crash tearing my rotator cuff.  The other benefit of the sleeve style knee pads, is if you like me care, then no skin shows from the bottom of your shorts to your knee pads.  From the waist down past the knee all covered up even when pedaling so no MTB fashion flub.

      If you decide on the POC sleeves, and find yourself between sizes, get the next size up is my advice.

    • #591230

      I am in the southeast. Not a lot of big rocks but, plenty of hard pack clay, trees and loose rocks. A helmet is a must have. I wear a full face when the trail calls for it. Combo knee and shin pads and padded gloves. I have learned through experience where my typical crash contact points are and that is what I cover. Everyone is different so it is always better to overprotect than under protect even if you look out of place. I don’t do big downhills.

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