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Thread: Knee and elbow pads....worth it?

  1. #1
    Tricycle Rider
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    Knee and elbow pads....worth it?

    I've always been pretty accident prone and since I took up MTBing a month or two ago I've had the odd low speed tumble, nothing major but my handling is getting better after a joining a local club and getting tips.

    A few of the more advanced riders there wear elbow and knee pads and although they're much more likely to be riding in riskier situations where extra protection would be needed I was wondering if it's worth me getting a decent pair.

    The guy at my local bike shop actually tried to talk me out of it, saying they'd likely restrict my movement a bit which I guess I can understand but as long as it didn't make riding difficult or dangerous I reckon I'd be happy to sacrifice a degree of that for the extra safety and protection the pads would offer.

  2. #2
    Wheel Buckler Mully's Avatar
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    To some degree, you can ride for years, ride within yourself and never crash but it only takes something stupid. Puncture, snapped pedal, broken wheel, ice, getting something in your eye and you hit the floor hard. Its just luck. Eventually it runs out and you'll be glad you were wearing pads when it does

  3. #3
    Whistler Wannabe steve_sordy's Avatar
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    When I started riding, for several years I thought that if I were to wear knee and/or elbow pads that I would be showing off. It seems silly now, but it felt as though I was shouting "look at me, I'm good enough to need this stuff!" (in fact I was bad enough to need it). But as time passed, my skills increased, and I went faster and faster down trails that I would have thought were insane when I started. I started picking up injuries; deep grazes to elbows and knees here, damaged shoulder ligaments there, a cracked kneecap,and so forth. Some injuries had me off the bike for weeks, some restricted my movement for months. Eventually my physio strongly recommended no further shoulder injuries.

    I now wear knee/shin pads and elbow pads whenever I ride. Not when I'm tootling around the village, but whenever I go out on my mtb. I have tried several different makes and types of armour and I can recommend the Shock Doctor range by Troy Lee Designs. They are light, unobtrusive, wash easily, and pull off that trick where they never feel hot in summer, but keep your legs warm in winter! They are slim enough that you can pull on another layer or a waterproof without having to remove them. OK, they are not as good at fending off high speed impacts onto pointed rocks as the plastic faced DH armour, but pretty damned good at everything else.

    knee/shin: http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/t...g&gclsrc=aw.ds

    elbow: http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/t...s/rp-prod59943

    elbow/forearm: http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/t...d/rp-prod59942
    If you can't learn to do something well, learn to enjoy doing it poorly.
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  4. #4
    Bike Tester PI's Avatar
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    I've been MTBing for nigh on 30 years and had some spectacular crashes but still wouldn't bother with knee/shin/elbow pads.I just don't see the point.They're too hot/sweaty and/or restrictive.I have an old knee injury from my Motorcycling days...700 worth of Leather and Kevlar couldn't prevent that...so I wouldn't hold much hope for 40 MTB pads anyway
    I've busted my ribs a few times and chipped a vertebrae but wouldn't wear body armour either as it's just sheer bad luck and will only happen once in a blue moon IMO.
    I must be good a falling because judging by my gloves I always seem to land hands first so good gloves and helmet and I'm good to go
    I'd say try to borrow some before you buy as not everyone can get on with them and 2nd hand values aren't very good if you don't like them.

  5. #5
    Kerb Jumper
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    I got some and never use them, tried 661 D30 knee pads (Too Bulky), some Fox knee and shin things (too Stormtrooper) and some Nukeproof stuff, (fits well but too uncomfortable).

    I was mainly after shin guards as my shins take forever to heal, just decided to be more careful and ride within my limits. Boring but a more comfortable way of making sure I don't need time off sick.

    Reminded me I must have a spares sale and get rid of the Nukeproof pads.

  6. #6
    Whistler Wannabe steve_sordy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allan93 View Post
    ............... tried 661 D30 knee pads (Too Bulky), some Fox knee and shin things (too Stormtrooper) and some Nukeproof stuff, (fits well but too uncomfortable)........................
    I agree with that assessment. The 661 D30 gave excellent protection, but as Allan93 says, too bulky (and very sweaty).
    If you can't learn to do something well, learn to enjoy doing it poorly.
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  7. #7
    Spokey Dokey Rider
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    Always dismissed people wearing pads as flash and thought them unnecessary
    Had stupid slow speed over-the-bars-experience
    Visited A&E for numerous Xrays of arm and elbow
    Visited operating theatre to have elbow fixed and reshaped
    Visited physio for nine months of masochistic pain
    Now one of those flash riders who never goes out riding without elbow pads

    I have some POC pads that have the D30 padding and are great, but have never tried others so cant really compare. The D30 ones are better than rigid pads as they are not restrictive and can be worn under outer layers.

  8. #8
    Kerb Jumper Poey50's Avatar
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    it is amazing how people decide on these things for reasons of what other people do or what other people may think rather than some reasonable assessment of risks. I'm not immune to that kind of thinking myself but I've always done risk sports and seen many consequences (including the death of friends) of people not thinking risk through and making their own balanced assessment. Most of these discussions are about reasonably high probability but relatively low consequence crashes but you see little discussion of low probability but high consequence crashes. I don't want to have time off recovering from broken bones or lacerated flesh but I'm much more against breaking any part of my spine and especially my neck. So I always wear a backpack that has a back protector (an Evoc) since this is very little extra weight and inconvenience and I'll now wear a full-face helmet and neck brace for uplift days.
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  9. #9
    Bike Tester PI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poey50 View Post
    it is amazing how people decide on these things for reasons of what other people do or what other people may think rather than some reasonable assessment of risks. I'm not immune to that kind of thinking myself but I've always done risk sports and seen many consequences (including the death of friends) of people not thinking risk through and making their own balanced assessment. Most of these discussions are about reasonably high probability but relatively low consequence crashes but you see little discussion of low probability but high consequence crashes. I don't want to have time off recovering from broken bones or lacerated flesh but I'm much more against breaking any part of my spine and especially my neck. So I always wear a backpack that has a back protector (an Evoc) since this is very little extra weight and inconvenience and I'll now wear a full-face helmet and neck brace for uplift days.
    I've lost five friends(three before they were 21 years old) through Motorcycle accidents.All were wearing full protection.It just happens.You can't accurately risk assess everything.
    On the flip-side all five of them and me included rode Moto-X/Trials bikes and push bikes/BMX with no protection whatsoever as kids(from being 6 or 7 years old) and most of us are still here.
    Accidents will happen.The likelihood of major damage is slim IMO.I myself have hit the tarmac at 100+mph(AKA 70mph Officer)and had little more than bruising,cut knee and hurt pride.

    You can cut yourself chopping spuds.

    You can break your arm,leg,neck slipping on the stairs.

    If it's going to happen it's going to happen.In most cases it doesn't.
    Or maybe I'm just lucky?

  10. #10
    Kerb Jumper
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnny_rider View Post
    I use knee pads and I can ensure you - it's worth it.
    Tempted to report as a spam account.
    Last edited by xendistar; 06-Apr-2016 at 02:49 PM. Reason: Remove spam link from quoted post

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