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Do you wear pads for XC

andy_welchandy_welch Posts: 1,101
edited April 2012 in MTB beginners
Hi Folks,

Bought my first mountain bike (Trance X2) for over 20 years last week (although there have been plenty of road bikes in that time) and am enjoying getting out and about on local (Aberdeenshire) trails. Mainly interested in exploring forest trails (and maybe the red route at Pitfichie) but even the natural trails can get steep and tricky (at least for me) at times and I've had a few spills. So was wondering about pads of some sort, but is there anything that is light enough for long XC rides but still gives some protection or should I just accept that the odd graze is inevitable. Helmet and gloves are covered, but is there anything else worthwhile?

Cheers,

Andy
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Posts

  • peter413peter413 Posts: 5,120
    I nearly always wear knee pads when out on my bike. About the only time I don't is when I'm on the road or the occasional XC ride. I've worn them on 40 mile XC rides and had no bother from them, just make sure you get ones that fit properly.
  • andy_welchandy_welch Posts: 1,101
    Thanks. It sounds as though I need to go to a shop rather than but online then, but are there any particular brands/models to look out for ?

    Cheers,

    Andy
  • BigJimmyBBigJimmyB Posts: 1,302
    661 and Troy Lee do some good stuff.

    I'd try to go with something that doesn't cover everything (i.e. could of straps at the back as opposed to a 'tube' style pad if you know what I mean, as they will tend to make you hot.

    I havethese for elbows:

    https://www.troyleedesigns.com/product. ... 05&id=2884

    These for knees:

    [deleted by mod due to malware from bikereviews . com. Please DO NOT embed images from this site]

    Thought these would prob be better in terms of heat!

    http://www.wiggle.co.uk/troy-lee-knee-pads-adult-fit/
  • i wear 661 knee/shin gaurds. even for light xc stuff. seems overkill but twice ive come off and been grateful that i was wearing them so i wear them religiously now.
  • felix.londonfelix.london Posts: 4,067
    Where 661 Kyle Strait knee pads & long sleeve 661 Subgear for pretty much every ride.
    "Why have that extra tooth if you're not using it?" - Brian Lopes

    Votec V.SX Enduro 'Alpine Thug' 2012/2013 build

    Trek Session 8
  • angry_birdangry_bird Posts: 3,782
    Will depend, if I'm just heading up to Cannock for a quick blast round the trails then normally no, if I'm off to somewhere new or somewhere rocky and hard like Wales or the Peaks then yes.
  • Mojo_666Mojo_666 Posts: 860
    661 Evos for XC stuff where I might do something on rocks or hard pack (trail centres etc), natural stuff I don't bother as it is usually soft and slower going anyhow.
  • bennett_346bennett_346 Posts: 5,029
    I wear these

    CGFR0002KK.jpg

    But prior to that i didn't wear armor at all and i'm still alive.
  • I wear 661 kyle straits for xc.
  • A pair of 661 veggie shins - partly to keep warm on cold mornings, and also to protect my right shin from wraparounds as it's kind of brittle following a car accident.
    (I know - if I had decent technique I wouldn't need them, but it is more for my peace of mind)
    2007 Felt Q720 (the ratbike)
    2012 Cube Ltd SL (the hardtail XC 26er)
    2014 Lapierre Zesty TR 329 (the full-sus 29er)
  • andy_welchandy_welch Posts: 1,101
    Thanks folks,

    It still seems weird to don protective armour for a ride in the country. I've been quite happy to bomb down country lanes and mix it with traffic wearing nothing more than some lycra a pair of mits (and occasionally an inch of Styrofoam on my bonce) for protection for years. But as I'm currently nursing a grazed elbow and a sore shoulder from my last two spills that 661 subgear is starting to look attractive. Just wondering whether I'd be trading a bit more protection for the risk of boiling to death instead :)

    I haven't hit my knees yet, so will probably wait until I do (and regret it) before buying knee pads.

    Cheers,

    Andy
  • BigJimmyBBigJimmyB Posts: 1,302
    You'll get used to wearing the kit, so no worries there. Just make sure (as I said), that you don't choose anything that might heat you up too much.
  • RockmonkeySCRockmonkeySC Posts: 14,770
    661 Kyle Straits are ok but mine have started to fall apart after a year of riding.
    I never use any pads unless I'm either riding somewhere rocky or on DH/FR trails
  • ThewaylanderThewaylander Posts: 8,594
    I think Knee pads, gloves and helmet are essential items.

    First items that make contact usually in any crash are knee's and hands, i have to wait up many trails areas for someone to be carried of by an abulance as there knee's are cut to peieces and they can't walk which would ahve been completely prevented if wearing knee pads.

    On advice of which ones, it's persoanlly i like my Kyle straits as the guys above say, btu go try a few on :)
  • .blitz.blitz Posts: 6,197
    andy_welch wrote:
    Just wondering whether I'd be trading a bit more protection for the risk of boiling to death instead
    You won't be hot in a Subgear. They are a tight fit and wick and disperse perspiration very effectively. You might get hot on the climbs but as soon as you ease off or start moving quickly you will cool down.

    Have worn one since they first came out they won't make you indestructable but if you're tired of using your elbows as brakes or pinging off trees they're great.

    The ss version is just as good and can be combined with elbow protection for mince + gnar rides.
  • DodgeTDodgeT Posts: 2,255
    For some light protection, my mate swears by the 661 rythyms, for knees and elbows. He wears them pretty much all the time.
    For me, if its somewhere where i'm doing drops, lots of rocks etc, i'll wear kyle straits knees and long sleeve sub top. Don't get too hot, but, it feels like it gets wet, doing its job I suppose.
    For other / tame stuff, its just the lid and gloves.
  • simonp123simonp123 Posts: 490
    I never wore any knee protection until I had a nasty a couple of years back early in my MTBing. I panicked going over a narrow plank over a stream, the bike went to the side along with half of me and my knee ran along the chicken wire covering the plank. It ripped big chunks of flesh out and hurt like hell for weeks. On anything more than smoothish paths etc I wear some 661 knee protectors now!!
    Ironically I haven't come a cropper since, though I have saved some major bruising from clouting trees inside turns on occasion.
    As you try more technical stuff you WILL fall off and hurt yourself a bit so if you want to limit the pain I would protect some o fthe sticky out bits.
    Mind you, not much would have saved me from the thorn bush I went in to after losing control trying to keep up with my 29 year old nephew :roll:

    I use the 661 Kyle Straight knee pads. Sometimes yoy get a little sweaty in hot weather on climbs, but it is not too bad. After a while you forget they are on.
  • EH_RobEH_Rob Posts: 1,134
    I use Fox Launch Pro's and gloves for most rides - I really like them. As with all pads it's more comfortable and cooler to not wear them, but I've been glad of them a few times now.
  • I rode the Pitfichie red route last Sunday and for sure wore some 661 knee pads. Like simonp, i never used to wear knee protection until i fell off the bike and planted my knee into a boulder. Definitely a lesson learnt and wouldn't go without now.
  • craigw99craigw99 Posts: 224
    i always seem to land on my head or hands -so dont have anything other than helmet & gloves! i think most people land on one thing or another so pick the pads you need! i had a mate who always landed on his one side and gave himself massive 'hippers' all the time didn't matter how he fell off...
    opinions are worth exactly what you pay for them ;-)
    2012 boardman team F/S tarting has begun..
    1992 cannondale m1000 still going just
  • Welsh_TomWelsh_Tom Posts: 571
    661 Kyle Straits are ok but mine have started to fall apart after a year of riding.
    I never use any pads unless I'm either riding somewhere rocky or on DH/FR trails

    I have got the 2010 ones, Got them on clearance about 10 month ago.. and they are almost in bits :lol:
  • Stop worrying about what others think of you, as that is exactly what causes people to ask questions like this, wear what you want, ride how you want.

    This MTB lifestyle is meant to be fun!
  • ThewaylanderThewaylander Posts: 8,594
    Stop worrying about what others think of you, as that is exactly what causes people to ask questions like this, wear what you want, ride how you want.

    This MTB lifestyle is meant to be fun!

    I'll remind you of that when your knee's are bleeding and you've blocked up my local trail :P which i've seen happen on more than a few occasions.

    It does slightly annoy me when someones lack of self preservation(i.e. wearing sensible safety gear) impacts my own riding.
  • andy_welchandy_welch Posts: 1,101
    Stop worrying about what others think of you, as that is exactly what causes people to ask questions like this, wear what you want, ride how you want.

    This MTB lifestyle is meant to be fun!

    I guess that was meant for me :)

    To be honest I could care less about what others think but I wasn't sure whether the extra protection was worth it for the extra discomfort, so was after some opinions from those who've been down the track before.

    In the last dozen years of road riding I've fallen off twice (both times on ice), but in my last two off-road trips I've already doubled that number :cry: It seems to me that I've got a couple of options: either slap on some protection or change my riding style (e.g. be more defensive, learn more skills or maybe just be less reluctant to get off and push when things get tricky). Oh and MTFU of course. I must admit I expected a greater variety of responses, but it seems that you all slap on the pads for pretty much every ride.

    Cheers,

    Andy
  • simonp123simonp123 Posts: 490
    andy_welch wrote:
    It seems to me that I've got a couple of options: either slap on some protection or change my riding style (e.g. be more defensive, learn more skills or maybe just be less reluctant to get off and push when things get tricky). Oh and MTFU of course. I must admit I expected a greater variety of responses, but it seems that you all slap on the pads for pretty much every ride.

    From what I have seen at least 50% of people don't wear any other protection other than helmet and gloves on most of the areas I have ridden unless it is some tricky quick downhill type stuff. However from my low speed damage I would ignore that and wear at least knee protection for anything much more thna flat path type of stuff.
    From my experience in the early days of your off-road riding you WILL fall off quite a bit, but it us part of the learning process, if you don't attempt the technical stuff you won't learn from you mistakes. So that you don't have to worry about hospital trips, wear the protection. If, when your skill increases, you feel you don't need it most of the time then you can leave it for the real tricky stuff. You can always carry some pads in you backpack for when you need them if you find them too hot on climbs (which I don't in general).
    I don't wear my pads for my mid week towpath rides, but when I hit 28mph down the flight of locks I think I probably should do! I will always wear them on trails with any woodwork, rocks or quick stuff.
  • I bought some 661 Kyle Straight guards as I have a habit of falling off and already have one damaged knee. I'm over 40 now, so it'll never heal. Even though I bought the largest size, they're a bit tight and I wouldn't want to wear them for a whole day.
  • al2098al2098 Posts: 174
    I figure you got the wrong subforum. Shouldn't this question be in the 'Women' forum?
    Aren't pads for pu$$ies?
  • rikkrikk Posts: 734
    I always wear elbow/forearm guards, knee/shin guards and an ankle brace when I'm on the mtb or roadbike, I get a lot of strange looks but only having one leg, I don't want to damage the only working one and if I break an arm I can't put my leg on by myself.
    I was out a once with some people doing our standard not to hard xc route, coming the other way was a guy with a pressure suit on with a load of others all with just helmets and gloves on, most of the guys i was with stopped and laughed/chuckled as he went by with no thought as to why he had it on, I was kinda pee'd off at this and pointed out perhaps he's self employed, he gets injured his family don't get food on the table and a few other reasons.
    Does bug me that people immediately judge without engaging their brain.

    Wear what you NEED to, not what everyone else is.
  • xmadxmoexxmadxmoex Posts: 135
    I never used to until i attempted a small jump over a path and my knee landed on the shifter breaking it and causing a nice scar. if im riding anything other than dirt path/road i have a pair of knee/shin protectors on.. also stopped the peddals clouting my shins on several occasions!
  • simonp123simonp123 Posts: 490
    Well, I proved the benefits of the knee pads at the weekend. I took my new bike for its first trip around the Croft Trail near Swindon at the weekend. I got near the end of the first lap and went o go through one narrow gap between 2 trees (as I had done quite a few times before) forgetting that I now have 40mm wide bars!! :roll: The gap was big enough, but only just and I ended up clipping the right bar and crashing. I made the crash worse by desperately trying NOT to crash and scratch my new frame! Anyway even with my Kyle Straight knee pads on my knee hit something (probably the stem) hard enough to leave a very painful bruise & lump on the side of my kneecap. Without the pads I think that I would be in a bit of trouble.
    I will continue to wear mine when on any sort of technical trail….
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