safety wear advice

mar_k
mar_k Posts: 323
edited January 2012 in MTB beginners
I have now decided on my bike but I now need to know what safety equipment Im likely to need.

Helmet
knee pads
elbow pads

do I need anymore than that for XC and single track riding?

what do you guys wear?
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Comments

  • Helmet
    safety glasses
    gloves
  • cooldad
    cooldad Posts: 32,599
    I wear a helmet and gloves. Some guys I ride with wear knee pads. One or two wear elbow pads. One looks like a stormtrooper.
    I don't do smileys.

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  • angry_bird
    angry_bird Posts: 3,786
    mar_k wrote:
    I have now decided on my bike but I now need to know what safety equipment Im likely to need.

    Helmet
    knee pads
    elbow pads

    do I need anymore than that for XC and single track riding?

    what do you guys wear?

    Add gloves to protect your hands to that and some sort of eye wear to keep dirt/flies out your eyes and I'd say it'd be a sensible list.

    Some riders choose more, some choose less, some can't see the benefits, others can, some just can't be arsed. All comes down to what you feel comfortable with and what you can be bothered to wear.
  • mar_k
    mar_k Posts: 323
    I forgot to add gloves,
    I had an accident cycling to southend 2 years ago on my Bianchi road bike,
    I went down the crack in the pictures being thrown over the bars.
    I skinned my hands, bot terribly but bad enough to realise that you need gloves....
    I managed to claim for the damage to my bike and some extra for my troubles.


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  • Northwind
    Northwind Posts: 14,675
    "need" isn't the important thing here, you don't really need anything- but don't let that put you off, it's your skin. It's hard to advise since it'll depend on what you want to ride, how well you ride it, how hard you push yourself, how averse you are to a bit of pain, and how well you'll crash.

    Knee pads is a bit of a funny one... There's a lack of good stats, but the Belford Hospital study (Fort William and surrounding area) and the ongoing Borders and ERI study (Glentress and Innerleithen) both found a lot more knee injuries than head injuries- even including facial injuries which obviously aren't protected by an open face helmet. Basically, it seems when you fall off you're more likely to knock your knees hard enough to do them damage, than you are to knock your head hard enough to do it damage. Makes sense to me, knees are quite delicate, and totally exposed, and you tend to fall on them. Whereas heads are quite well armoured, and not so close to the ground, and your instincts are to protect them. Knees are also easy to protect, whereas XC helmets are really pretty limited in what they can do.

    But, the norm is to wear helmets but not knee pads. I suspect you're better on average to wear knee pads but no helmet. Personally I wear both and i wouldn't want to put anyone off wearing either.

    But mountain biking isn't terribly dangerous, so it's really your own call.
    Uncompromising extremist
  • cooldad
    cooldad Posts: 32,599
    Depends where you ride I suppose. Down south it's not very rocky.
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  • angry_bird
    angry_bird Posts: 3,786
    Northwind wrote:
    But mountain biking isn't terribly dangerous, so it's really your own call.

    But at the same time there is the possibility of really fucking yourself up. Know 2 people who will never ride again due to neck/spinal injuries. But don't let that put you off. It's a tiny minority that serious injuries happen to and quite often protective gear will do sod all in these cases.
  • Northwind
    Northwind Posts: 14,675
    Oh aye... But then, I almost never rode again after falling over on a patch of ice while walking :oops: Nobody gets out of life intact...
    Uncompromising extremist
  • angry_bird
    angry_bird Posts: 3,786
    Yeah shit happens, I was just highlighting that in a sport like mountain biking quite serious injuries can happen and there's not much protection will do to stop them. It can't do much harm to wear it though.

    I also knew someone back at school who will never walk again after being tackled in a game of bulldog. Personally I managed to break my ankle and leg in 3 separate places playing tennis :oops: and have been in hospital twice in the last couple of years with hockey ball to face/head related injuries, since I've been playing keeper I've had even more injuries depsite wearing god knows how much armour...

    If you get through life without ending up in hospital at least a few of times you're doing it wrong :lol:
  • gezebo
    gezebo Posts: 364
    I would start off with helmet, gloves and maybe glasses. Some people really advocate other forms of protection others not so.
    You really need to make your own mind up on other padding/protection and that comes with experience.
    I was riding today with someone who admittedly had a new bike but turned out to have very little experience and the went hurtling down some single track over some table tops and stacked it (it was very funny!) They had some padding on but landed on the places where they had no padding and punctured their thigh. After they calmed down and I stopped laughing they said two things about the protective gear...

    1. I thought it would stop we hurting myself
    2. I bought it to give me confidence.

    I've heard people say the above a number of times... The debate goes on but this is what I've seen...

    It's your call!
  • It only takes one wrong 'off', the threat of weeks off work, surgery and not riding again and you'll wish you had worn some knee pads. They will never guarantee you're not going to do yourself serious damage, but they sure reduce the odds.
  • Northwind
    Northwind Posts: 14,675
    gezebo wrote:
    I1. I thought it would stop we hurting myself

    What else is it for :? It doesn't prevent all injuries but it does prevent some and reduce some.
    Uncompromising extremist
  • gezebo
    gezebo Posts: 364
    Northwind wrote:
    gezebo wrote:
    I1. I thought it would stop we hurting myself

    What else is it for :? It doesn't prevent all injuries but it does prevent some and reduce some.

    What I was getting at was people (particularly beginners) buy the pads etc often in the belief that they prevent injury. Combine this with modern bikes that can allow someone with not much skill to ride quickly and they are soon in the position were their perceived ability and confidence outweighs there actual ability.

    I'm not against people using pads etc but I'd rather see a novice going a bit steady using the natural fear to limit speed and let them have a few minor hits. This way they can learn what to do and build on technique rather than mask the effects of falls and see people go faster and faster until they end up out of control without the experience to fall back on.

    Ask yourself how many times have to been at a trail centre and seen obvious beginners hurl themselves down stuff in body amour (of various guises) and just get away with it? Would they of done it differently without extra pads?

    Anyway just a thought.... Discuss?!
  • Northwind
    Northwind Posts: 14,675
    gezebo wrote:
    What I was getting at was people (particularly beginners) buy the pads etc often in the belief that they prevent injury.

    Which they do. They just don't prevent all injuries.

    I agree with what you're saying though, I think some folks think they're more protected than they are, same goes for helmets o'course. Protection's well proven to mess with people's risk perception (there was a brilliant study in Korea, they had 2 standard issue helmets- one was bulky and heavy, the other one smaller, but both equally protective. But soldiers with the heavier helmet got shot in the head more because they felt safer sticking their heads up.)

    But at the same time, a lot of beginners are liabilities regardless of what protection they wear... Not sure that breaking a kneecap is a valuable lesson (unless you're a drug dealer) but the same crash with pads on will probably still give them something to think about.
    Uncompromising extremist
  • 1mancity2
    1mancity2 Posts: 2,355
    Northwind wrote:
    But at the same time, a lot of beginners are liabilities regardless of what protection they wear... Not sure that breaking a kneecap is a valuable lesson (unless you're a drug dealer) but the same crash with pads on will probably still give them something to think about.

    I've had 3 big offs over the past 3 months and on each one Im glad of my kneepads and helmet, the first I hit a jump to hard and couldn't correct my landing ended up hitting a tree log with my knee, hurt like hell for days with knee pads on, without would have been a lot more serious.

    If you have any doubt pad up and give yourself some extra protection than just your skin and bones, won't prevent serious injury but will prevent minor ones.
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  • mar_k
    mar_k Posts: 323
    intresting reading guys,
    I think I will feel comfortable with the following...........

    Helmet
    Gloves
    Knee pads
    and some form of glasses.


    if I feel I need more or less then I will adjust as time goes on.
  • bennett_346
    bennett_346 Posts: 5,029
    gezebo wrote:
    Northwind wrote:
    gezebo wrote:
    I1. I thought it would stop we hurting myself

    What else is it for :? It doesn't prevent all injuries but it does prevent some and reduce some.

    What I was getting at was people (particularly beginners) buy the pads etc often in the belief that they prevent injury. Combine this with modern bikes that can allow someone with not much skill to ride quickly and they are soon in the position were their perceived ability and confidence outweighs there actual ability.
    People said this about full sussers when they came out too, i have an MBR from '02 where some guy complains that they give newbs too much power.

    Anyway i see what you're saying, don't buy them in the mind to go faster than your skill allows, buy them to protect yourself when you come off on stuff you're already skilled enough to do and let them give you that confidence push to try new things you have the skills for but maybe feel nervous about.
  • Remember "you can't wear too much armour but you can wear too little"
  • The Rookie
    The Rookie Posts: 27,812
    Rot, too much makes you hot and sweaty and very uncomfortable.

    Helmet and gloves for me, glasses in daylight but not in the dark as I'd rather have a better chance of seeing what may hurt me than hitting it and relying on glasses!

    Elbow and knee pads - had three injurous offs, none would have been helped by either so I don't wear either.

    Simon
    Currently riding a Whyte T130C, X0 drivetrain, Magura Trail brakes converted to mixed wheel size (homebuilt wheels) with 140mm Fox 34 Rhythm and RP23 suspension. 12.2Kg.
  • Northwind
    Northwind Posts: 14,675
    Rot, too much makes you hot and sweaty and very uncomfortable.

    Aye, I agree with this one. My mate who wears a pressure suit for XC is forever having stupid crashes and I reckon a fair number of them are because of distraction and overheating. Course, he doesn't want to wear less armour because he's always crashing.
    Uncompromising extremist
  • Briggo
    Briggo Posts: 3,537
    Northwind wrote:
    There's a lack of good stats, but the Belford Hospital study (Fort William and surrounding area) and the ongoing Borders and ERI study (Glentress and Innerleithen) both found a lot more knee injuries than head injuries- even including facial injuries which obviously aren't protected by an open face helmet.

    Doesmt it have something to do with the fact your body automatically protects its vitals at any cost if it can, i.e. it'll put your legs/arms out to stop your head or chest getting splattered.

    So with that basis and the fact the majority wears helmets than other pads I'm not surprised with their finding.
  • Northwind
    Northwind Posts: 14,675
    Briggo wrote:
    Doesmt it have something to do with the fact your body automatically protects its vitals at any cost if it can, i.e. it'll put your legs/arms out to stop your head or chest getting splattered.

    Aye, absolutely, like I say your instincts are to protect your head- especially with arms. Knees, not so much, they're just naturally more in the line of fire.
    Uncompromising extremist
  • milko9000
    milko9000 Posts: 533
    Helmet and gloves for me, glasses in daylight but not in the dark as I'd rather have a better chance of seeing what may hurt me than hitting it and relying on glasses!

    Can't you wear clear lenses? I wear glasses to stop getting mud 'n stuff in my eye mainly, don't fancy conjunctivitis much. Not that they're entirely proof, had two rides in a row where some managed to get up in there somehow.
  • The Rookie
    The Rookie Posts: 27,812
    Tried clear, but even then I find in woods were even with good lights your looking at shadows and shading you miss too much detail....

    If I were doing downhill then I probably would wear more, for XC most injuries I have had and seen in my club would not have been helped or prevented by elbow or knee pads.

    Simon
    Currently riding a Whyte T130C, X0 drivetrain, Magura Trail brakes converted to mixed wheel size (homebuilt wheels) with 140mm Fox 34 Rhythm and RP23 suspension. 12.2Kg.
  • Northwind wrote:
    gezebo wrote:
    (there was a brilliant study in Korea, they had 2 standard issue helmets- one was bulky and heavy, the other one smaller, but both equally protective. But soldiers with the heavier helmet got shot in the head more because they felt safer sticking their heads up.)


    I see from the brains coming out of the back of your helmet that you have just been shot. Would you mind answering a few questions for my GCSE survey on battlefield conficence.
  • Hi all,

    after going for a ride yesterday at my local trial center and falling off coincidently injuring myself in a few places i say protection would have saved me from my minor injuries. i was wearing a helmet and gloves but no knee pads or elbow pads and these were to 2 places that i managed to injure :wink: unlucky me i guess but its all down to preference.

    sticks and stones may break my bones but skin is not replaceable :|
  • No amount of body armour would have saved me from my recent injury.

    Came off the bike, leg landed, over-extended in a deep rut, this has stretched the ligament so hard it actually snapped my fibula. As I've crumbled, the weight of my body and the frame has pressed the leg at the knee out to the side, this in turn completely tore the LCL and ACL and broke the Tibula too.

    Now got 12 months off the bike, with a big operation to reconstruct my knee coming up day after tomorrow.

    Armour may help out with little bumps and scrapes, it does not however make you bulletproof (unless it's bulletproof armour, in which case, it does). If it helps give you confidence though, imho it's worth the investment. If you've got the confidence to carry more speed without grabbing handfuls of brake, that in itself will almost certainly prevent accidents (to a point).
  • mar_k
    mar_k Posts: 323
    You lot are scaring me!
    I dont want to be hurt to the extent Im off work for months, lol
  • lol, just one of those things. Could just have easily happened tripping off a curb or falling down some stairs.
  • Rushmore
    Rushmore Posts: 674
    For normal Trail riding I wear;
    Helmet
    Protective Glasses
    Gloves
    And the best pads u can buy in my opinion for a new rider are padded shorts or under shorts... As that little botty gets bruised easily! ;)

    p.s. As we are on the subject of injuries,,, the worst I have ever had are bruised ribs and dislocated thumb... I go over the bars all the freakin time... remember just to tuck and roll.... no amount of pads would have really prevented those injuries.... :wink:
    Always remember.... Wherever you go, there you are.

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