Shoulder Protection?

Forums Mountain Bike Forum Shoulder Protection?

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    • #108256

      I am a XC rider, but I seem to clip my shoulders on trees on the inside of corners as I try to maintain speed. Previously, I would get some bruises but nothing serious, and now I am stuck with a separated shoulder due to this problem. Is there any type of shoulder protection that would help this? I don’t want to wear a full upper-body compression suit for XC but would like to try and prevent injury in the future.

      Thanks for the responses.

    • #108257

      I don’t know of any that aren’t a part of a full-blown set of body armor.

      The obvious solution would be to take corners a little bit wider so you don’t smack the trees–they’re not slalom gates you know, they don’t bend when you hit them!

      Thirdly, you might consider getting some wider handlebars. If you have bars that are at least as wide as your shoulders, if not a little bit wider, that might force you to keep your body away from the trees.

      Finally, when you are leaning your bike over in the turn, are you leaning your body with it? The lean of your upper body should not be nearly as dramatic as the lean of your bike. You want to try to keep your weight over the outside pedal (which should be all the way down at 6 o clock) in order to keep pressure on the wheels and maintain traction. Without pics/vids its hard to say, but it sounds like you might have too much weight towards the inside of the turn.

      Hope this helps man. Get better soon!

    • #108258

      I have been trying to prepare for the upcoming racing season and was trying to gain speed through the corners. I have tried the wider handlebars, but I think it is more of leaning into the turn.

      I will have to experiment more with body position in the turns I guess.

    • #108259

      I agree with greg, adjust your line.

      Riding fast on a narrow tight twisty trail through the woods is way different than say, driving a race car on a race track. You don’t need to aim for the apex of the corner.

      We all clip them every now and then, but it shouldn’t be a regular problem.

    • #108260

      Adjusting the line is the answer. Don’t look at the tree or you’ll clip it. Look toward the best line and you’ll go there. If it is tight slow down so you don’t hit it as hard. All my jerseys have scuff marks on the sleaves. Making your handle bars a bit wider will help but when they hit the tree you’ll suffer when your shoulders hit the dirt. Over the years I have been able to develop "tree radar" to avoid painfull impact. Be kind to the trees because aren’t kind if you make impact. Remember how many logs you have burned over the years and you’ll see it their way. 😄 Later,

    • #108261

      Damn, I just cut an inch off of each side of my bars yesterday! I clip small trees sometimes so I was thinking….Riding today, wish me luck in those turns! 😀:)

    • #108262

      Definitely watch your lines next ride! The trees hurt…

    • #108263

      Maybe it’s the trees that need the protection in this scenario…

    • #108264
      "fat_billy" wrote

      Adjusting the line is the answer. Don’t look at the tree or you’ll clip it. Look toward the best line and you’ll go there. If it is tight slow down so you don’t hit it as hard. All my jerseys have scuff marks on the sleaves. Making your handle bars a bit wider will help but when they hit the tree you’ll suffer when your shoulders hit the dirt. Over the years I have been able to develop "tree radar" to avoid painfull impact. Be kind to the trees because aren’t kind if you make impact. Remember how many logs you have burned over the years and you’ll see it their way. 😄 Later,

      That’s exactly how I broke my clavicle.
      A very shallow left corner that turned uphill. I saw the trees then looked ahead to pick my line and started to hammer on the pedals. My handle bars caught the inside tree and over I went. I had to abort my tuck and roll so I didn’t catch my neck with another small tree. My head glanced off the tree and I landed directly on my shoulder. It was definitely the better of the two options…but still not as good as not crashing. 😆
      It was my second ride on the wider bars so my hands weren’t quite out to the edges. If you can comfortably ride with your hands at the edges of wider bars, I think it helps a lot with the "tree radar."

    • #108265
      "Jared13" wrote

      [quote="fat_billy":26svlsr7]Adjusting the line is the answer. Don’t look at the tree or you’ll clip it. Look toward the best line and you’ll go there. If it is tight slow down so you don’t hit it as hard. All my jerseys have scuff marks on the sleaves. Making your handle bars a bit wider will help but when they hit the tree you’ll suffer when your shoulders hit the dirt. Over the years I have been able to develop "tree radar" to avoid painfull impact. Be kind to the trees because aren’t kind if you make impact. Remember how many logs you have burned over the years and you’ll see it their way. 😄 Later,

      That’s exactly how I broke my clavicle.
      A very shallow left corner that turned uphill. I saw the trees then looked ahead to pick my line and started to hammer on the pedals. My handle bars caught the inside tree and over I went. I had to abort my tuck and roll so I didn’t catch my neck with another small tree. My head glanced off the tree and I landed directly on my shoulder. It was definitely the better of the two options…but still not as good as not crashing. 😆
      It was my second ride on the wider bars so my hands weren’t quite out to the edges. If you can comfortably ride with your hands at the edges of wider bars, I think it helps a lot with the "tree radar."[/quote:26svlsr7]

      Our coach this weekend told us to always ride with your hands at the end of your bars so you know where they are at all times. He also is constantly extolling the virtues of wide bars!

      After spending an entire day today talking about turning, I think the issue is probably with the OPs line choice, vision, and/or body position

    • #108266
      "mtbgreg1" wrote

      Our coach this weekend told us to always ride with your hands at the end of your bars so you know where they are at all times. He also is constantly extolling the virtues of wide bars!

      After spending an entire day today talking about turning, I think the issue is probably with the OPs line choice, vision, and/or body position

      I couldn’t agree more! Your body will know where your hands are so you will not hit the trees. There is a learning curve going from narrow bars to wider bars though (a curve I obviously did not navigate successfully 😆 )

    • #108267

      i have the same issue due to having broad shoulders. I just clip them a lot…..it does bring a new definition to tree hugging, or would it be extreme tree hugging?

      Troy lee Designs vest armor has shoulder protection and is surprisingly comfortable and light.

      Dac

    • #108268

      These are all good points. I have been on my new ride that has wider bars for about a month. I clipped my first tree on Wed. and over I went. With God’s grace, I landed in some soft stuff off the trail without any real damge to me or the bike. I do notice my hands do slide in a bit while I am riding and I am trying to keep them on the egdes of my Ergon grips ( which I love).

      I beleive in avoiding the trees versus getting armor is a better idea!

      Just me though.

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