What Are Riders Wearing to Stay Safe? - Red Bull Rampage 2017

Oct 26, 2017
by Danielle Baker  
The steepest drop on the hill okay maybe bar Vink s but on of the smoothest under pilot Cam Zink. Just a straight-air today tomorrow who knows...
Seeing Cam Zink's drop from 2015 at this angle really puts the risk the riders face in perspective.

Standing at the top of the Red Bull Rampage site - on any given year - is enough to evoke even the most buried sense of self-preservation, and it can be hard to imagine anything short of wings being able to protect you should you fail to land your 60-foot gap (or whatever it may be). But the experienced athletes who compete here each have their own individual preferences when it comes to what they wear to help them feel confident when they are staring down from the start gate. Whether the choice is made around keeping things consistent and wearing what they ride in usually, padding up a little more because of the higher consequences of this specific event, or making specific choices based on past injuries and crashes - it's important that they stay true to what works for them and gives them the most assurance before they drop.



Fist bump for the 2010 winner and still the man responsible for the heaviest move in mountain biking now 4 years ago.

CAM ZINK

• TLD full-face helmet
• TLD knee pads
• TLD slimmed down chest protector

bigquotesAs they say, you should practice with what you race, so I know I should wear more protection, but find it hard to implement into my day-to-day routine. I hate gloves and can deal with skinned hands, I had been wearing ankle braces, but last year decided to go without them on contest day. I hate elbow pads but have been thinking about running a chest protector because of the vitals, but I can’t handle wearing a neck brace.



Connor McFarlane
Connor MacFarlane took more than a few tumbles last year.

CONNOR MACFARLANE

• POC Coron helmet
• POC kneepads
• POC elbow pads
• POC back protector
• POC goggles
• Ossur ankle braces
• Pants which have built-in hip protectors
• Mouthguard
bigquotesI wear the protective gear that I wear to keep me safer – obviously – and because it is all gear that I don't really notice I am wearing it doesn't restrict me in anything I do.


Nico Vink went a tad too far to the left off his ludicrous drop and high-sided hard off the landing. He rode his bike down the course after this happened.
Nico Vink easily had the gnarliest line off the top of the course in 2015. What made it even gnarlier was the fact that the first time he hit it was in his qualifying run. Unfortunately, he went a tad too far to the left off his massive drop and high-sided hard off the landing. He - luckily - rode his bike down the course after this happened.


BRETT RHEEDER

• Fox RPC Full Face Helmet
• Fox Launch Pro D30 kneepads
• Mouthguard
• Fox Attack Gloves
• Space Brace Ankle Braces
• Smith Optics Squad MTB Goggles
bigquotesI wear this gear because it prevents small injuries to my body, as well as head injuries.

Nicolai Rogation took a tumble off a massive cliff today that would have likely killed a regular person. These boys are tougher than you.
Nicholi Rogatkin took a tumble off a massive cliff back in 2015 that would have likely killed a regular person - and this is what he walked away with.

CARSON STORCH

• Giro Cipher full-face helmet
• Dakine kneepads
• Dakine gloves
• Ankles braces
• Kidney belt
• Under jersey chest protector
• Thinly padded compression shorts


TOM VAN STEENBERGEN

• TLD D3 helmet
• TLD Panic kneepads
• Chest/back protector

bigquotesI had a pretty hard crash two years ago at Rampage where I hit a nerve in my spine. Lucky enough to walk away from it but I will never ride Rampage without a back protector again.


Robbie Bourdon rode shirtless with an open face D2. After he crashed out on his second run he enjoyed the view with a cold brew.
Robbie Bourdon after crashing shirtless back in 2015.


REED BOGGS

• Race Face knee pads
• Race Face shin guards with ankle protection
• Leatt upper body vest
• Giro full face helmet


LOGAN BINGGELI

• Lazer Helmet
• Fly kneepads

The most gut-wrenching moment of the day no question was Aggy s horrendous spill after getting blown off-line attempting to spin his cliff-drop. Healing vibes from all at PB
  The most gut-wrenching moment of the day last year - no question - was Aggy's horrendous spill after getting blown off-line attempting to spin his cliff-drop.

VINNY T

• Full-face helmet
• Goggles
• Elbow pads
• Knee pads
• Gloves
• Short protector
• Ankle brace
• Body armour
bigquotesIt’s the same as when I ride the Loosefest course. I will wear all of this because I like to know I have enough protection in case of a crash.

Getting back up
Tyler McCaul's crash at Rampage in 2015 put him in the hospital with a pulmonary contusion and bad concussion.

T-MAC

• Fox Full-face helmet
• Smith goggles
• Leatt neck brace
• Chest/back protector
• Fox gloves
• Fox elbow pads
• Padded under-shorts
• Fox knee/shin guards
• Ankle braces
bigquotesI'm pretty sure I wear every single form of gear possible for Rampage! I don’t f*ck around with that out there because you can get really messed up if you make a mistake.

Andreu Lacondeguy looks to be back to usual high confidence and aggression levels after struggling to get comfortable on his line last year.
Andreu Lacondeguy looks to be back to usual high confidence and aggression levels this year after struggling to get comfortable on his line in 2016.

ANDREU LACONDEGUY

• Fox full-face helmet
• Oakley goggles
• Fox knee pads
• Fox gloves
bigquotesIt’s what I always wear.

Gully stacking hard two for two.

Gully rides away slightly busted but not as bad as his teammate Thomas. Both guys took some violent crashes today with Vanderham out hopefully Gully can put together everything he has been working for come tomorrow.
Surprisingly when Gully crashed off the Oakley Sender at Rampage in 2013, he rode away somewhat unscathed.


KYLE STRAIT

• Full-face helmet
• 661 knee pads
• Gloves


All eyes on the reigning champ for the three-peat.
All eyes on the reigning champ this year for the three-peat.

BRANDON SEMENUK

• TLD full-face helmet
• TLD knee pads
• Smith goggles
• Ankle braces
• Mouthguard
bigquotesI feel like they are important pieces; I need them.

The Claw.

DARREN BERRECLOTH

• IXS helmet
• IXS kneepads
• IXS back protector
• Addidas goggles
• Mouthguard

Must Read This Week

170 Comments

  • + 239
 im just wondering what they wear to protect their massive balls
  • + 45
 They have balls of steel!!
  • + 12
 Seems like people who wear the most protections got the most injured in article.
  • + 3
 @soulless Bon scott didn't even come close youtu.be/_W-fIn2QZgg
  • - 56
flag kovaldesign (Oct 26, 2017 at 2:14) (Below Threshold)
 To stay safe, the athletes should really stay away from participating in Red Bull events. There are far to many camouflaged deaths related to extreme sports, but things aren't seem to be changing. It's a dirty advertising.
  • + 2
 @chyu: just like robocop.
  • + 4
 @gcrider: And screws of titanium!
  • + 13
 @kovaldesign: "There are far to many camouflaged deaths related to extreme sports"

Care to expand?
  • + 6
 I'm gonna get myself a mouthguard because freerideee
  • - 17
flag Jackson900 (Oct 26, 2017 at 6:00) (Below Threshold)
 Please leave this at 69 likes
  • + 9
 @chyu: I usually tend to ride more aggressively when wearing more protection.
  • + 1
 @gcrider: Yep. Dual action knee guards. Side to side protection for swinging steel balls.
  • - 5
flag icespec (Oct 26, 2017 at 7:28) (Below Threshold)
 the bigger the balls less body protection
  • + 4
 @Chickenwithshovel: How dare you! Bon Scott is the spirit animal of all these guys combined. It's a long way to the top if you wanna rock n roll.
  • + 5
 Great, let's all downvote the guy for voicing an unpopular opinion. I recall lots of people slating Redbull for their lack of rider insurance last year, now @kovaldesign says something along the same lines and out come the pitchforks..
  • + 1
 @chyu: and here comes the argument we consistently hear from that one friend who always opts for minimal gear. Reality check, it only takes one good crash.
  • + 1
 @chyu: seems like a lot of the more padded up riders have had awful crashes in the past too
  • + 20
 @bonkywonky:
I downvoted for the simple reason he´s been talking about "camouflaged deaths", which is nonsense. They are well known within each community. What he calls camouflaging is simple disinterest by the general public.
I hear what you´re saying, but the way he phrased it is just not correct.

Secondly, i don´t agree with the whole concept of blaming others for ones own actions. Nobody is forcing those guys to live their dream and live life their own way. If that involves risk by putting life and limb on the line for a sugar drink company then that´s their decision. Our society is obsessed with controlling risk for other people and i do not condone that. We are all grown up people capable of our own decisions. The fact that a company is hosting events to showcase ones talents is not a problem for me. If somebody does not want to see those things, feel free to not watch rampage and heck, maybe not even buy a red bull ever again.
However, from where i stand, there´s nothing fundamentally flawed with the concept as such.

Now that doesn´t mean i don´t think there´s a lot of things that need to be improved from RB´s side of things. First and foremost (drastically) higher participation and price money and guaranteed, no limits rider insurance.
It´s not right those guys put it all on the line and all RB does is provide an ambulance to the nearest ER in the event they hit the ground hard.

Also, as far as i know, there have been a lot more deaths outside of competition than in comps.
In the big mountain skiing scene, as sad as it may be, deaths are a given fact each and every season.
And i could name a bunch of guys and girls who died while "casually" riding, not even filming.
Mc Conkey, C.R Johnson, Arne Backstrom, Sarah Burke, just to name a few.
So for me, it´s just the nature of the game and it shows there will always be people who try to push boundaries no matter what. Us mountainbikers are simply not aware of the imminent dangers of the sport in the way other athletes and sports communitys are. We just choose to stay in our small bubble feeling like badasses because we got scratched up a little over the weekend.
  • + 1
 @Loki87: @Loki87: @Loki87: I think you make a lot of good points and it's nicely put. However you say no-one is forcing these guys to ride and then go on to say they should be paid more? Now I have ZERO disagreements with the insurance idea and I don't completely disagree with the money thing, but I do think that's kind of conflicting. If we step back and say "do this at your own risk" I don't think you can then say" here's even more money for the thing you chose to do."

Don't forget also sponsorship's, obviously I don't know figures but given the popularity of Rampage within the MTB community and even its exposure to the general public, there will be a lot of sponsorship incentive for these guys. Especially given that the MTB community is probably the most easily influenced demographic in the world!! For all the wars that rage in the Pinkbike comments sections, people will buy literally anything!
  • + 4
 @whitiemtb:
Well, i guess that's just a controversial point in general. From my standpoint, giving somebody incentice to do something isn't forcing them to do anything. You could always walk away and work a normal job. Moreso since the money these guys make isn't too big really, so the only real reason to do it is to sustain the lifestyle (just as i see it). And i do not see a contradiction in higher pay, that was more meant as an either or thing to compensate for the risk since RB isn't covering insurance, so they are at least able to afford their own good insurance plan.. I highly doubt there's a huge amount of action sports athletes (especially in mtb) who got into it for the money. There are easier ways to make a lot nore money in sports for an athletic person willing to put in hard work. You don't have to do rampage for that. So for me it comes down to idealism and that's the general vibe i get from these guys. They do it cause they want to. Giving them higher pay for me is just the ethical thing to do, given the fact RB has the funds and as you said generates a lot of money from these guys.

There's a lot of things wrong with rampage today, but its mere existence isn't one of them. That's the point i'm making.

Also, good to see there's people on PB capable of a civilized discussion!
  • + 1
 @gcrider: Surgical grade steel like Chris King bearings
  • + 2
 @Loki87: I think that's pretty fair. I agree, incentivizing something doesn't force anyone, I just kinda feel like you're already being paid to do something that you are choosing to do, if that makes sense? I definitely appreciate what you say, this is their craft and its how these guys make their living. Looking at it like you say as using the extra money as an alternative to cover medical costs, I think that's not only fair but necessary, if they (RB) aren't willing to provide the insurance themselves.

Going back to the making their living point, obviously these guys are athletes, no doubt! But I don't think Rampage is about that, yes it's a competition and yes it's crazy physical and all that jazz, but I think in essence Rampage is an entertainment event, a showcase, used to push the limits of the sport and the people in it. That and a big ol' payout for RB of course! But I think it's that point of view that leads me to what I said about the extra money. I don't think this is necessarily the event to help sustain the lifestyle, that's for sponsors, videos and promos and other events and competitions throughout the year. I guess you could single out any event and say that to be fair, but personally I just feel like Rampage is one of the biggest stand alone events.

As for your final point, it is rare! But we are out here haha!
  • + 73
 Didn't realize how common ankle braces and mouthguards are!
  • + 11
 I was just about to say the same. I didn't even know ankle braces existed for biking purposes. Before even reading the article though I thought "I wonder if any of them rock a mouth guard?"

Turns out a bunch of em do. Go figure.
  • + 28
 @CF519: Concussions can occur when you crash your jaw together and your upper and lower teeth crash into each other. The shock waves travel up past your temples. Having a mouth guard can stop that. It's that same reason people wear them in rugby, and american football I suppose, not to keep your teeth in place as some people think.
  • + 7
 @ollieF: Not to mention the chipped teeth that can result from a head banger. I did mine earlier this year. Ankle braces are a good idea IMO. Even riding mere mortal drops and jumps puts massive strain on your ankles - I mess mine up a bit if I ride DH lines regularly. Remember how Steve Smith broke his ankle casing a jump a few years before his death? I reckon the Rampage terrain increases the probability of busted ankles many times over...
  • + 8
 @ollieF: Also to avoid you biting through your tongue. You instinctively clench your jaw when you crash and can very easily bite through
  • + 18
 This might be a dumb question but how come neck braces are popular for wc racers but not for events like this
  • + 15
 @VPS13: I'm guessing its because it limits your head movement so when you are trying to spot your landing during backflips or spins, your head cant move as much so you spot it later.
  • + 2
 @VPS13: I think it could be to do with how vertical the terrain is and some of the tricks that are pulled.

I believe that a neck brace prevents you from tilting your head too far back and some people find this restrictive.

Also only a very small number of WC racers use them.
  • + 1
 @VPS13: My person opinion, I think it's due to range of motion and personal preference.
  • + 2
 i started wearing an ankle brace this year after sustaining an ankle injury and it is awesome. seriously considering wearing one on the other ankle just to be safe. the added support improves confidence on the bike for me
  • + 1
 @VPS13: Yea was surprised that the McCauls are the only dudes who wear them.
  • + 2
 @Daire: The newer braces shouldn't limit normal range of movement of your head. The one i have just limits un-normal range of motion. They tend to bounce around without a chest strap on jumps and drops tho. I guess the pros think its uncool to wear them.
  • + 1
 @ollieF: There's not actually evidence to support this. They do protect your teeth/jaw, but studies don't support the idea that they can prevent concussions. Not a bad idea to wear one anyway though.
  • + 1
 Yeah makes a lot of sense...

I am always surprised is that people don't where more hip protection (and companies don't make better shorts/chamois). Just playing other sports, taking a hit/fall there where you bruise isn't super painful but can tighten up. Every time I hip check, I'm always annoyed I don't have protection there because its not that restrictive and helps huge the next day.
  • + 1
 Remember when Stevie Smith blew up his ankle because he case a jump? If he had a brace on he most likely wouldve just had a sore ankle instead. Thats why these guys wear that stuff. Their hitting way bigger jumps. One case could mean big injuries even if you land it
  • + 1
 @VPS13: If you go to do a back flip, itll be hard with a back brace. Crucial tricks to get correct.
  • + 1
 @dhx42: Something I thought of is buying the Nike football compression shorts. The ones that have the pags lined along the hip. Thought they would come in handy? But I dont play football and dont know how padded they are..
  • + 1
 @chillrider199: I had an ankle at least twice its normal size after hitting a tree stump at the wrong angle when I came off the bike on a steep section. Doesn't take as much force to injure it as you'd think..
  • + 1
 @chillrider199: i have tried this. you can buy them with various levels of padding and they really dont get in the way
  • + 1
 @adrennan: So would you recommend it? Because I know of two people now who have blown up their hips while riding. I was just thinking about these shorts like 2 days ago
  • + 1
 @chillrider199: i wear them on occasion for downhilling. i have to imagine if you look around you can find a decent deal on padded shorts.

but, as with all protection, it is personal preference.
  • + 1
 @ollieF: I think there's definitely something to be said for keeping your teeth intact haha!! Broken bones heal, heck I'll tell you from experience, bleeds on the brain heal! But teeth do not grow back!
  • + 2
 @whitiemtb: Mouthguards are actually meant for concussion mitigation primarily
  • + 1
 @VPS13: Manufacturers claims about concussion prevention/reduction aren't necessarily supported by evidence. Have a quick glance at this study: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17227375. In summary, the authors found that mouthguards are shown to be effective in reducing dental and facial trauma, but not in reducing the severity of concussions.
  • + 1
 @dangerousdave: @VPS13 I can attest to that, a mouthguard did not help me haha! Don't get me wrong, I'm not dismissing that purpose at all and I'm sure there is some benefit there, just saying, they also do a pretty great job of saving your teeth, don't see why that should be dismissed, even if concussion or head trauma is the primary concern
  • + 65
 Me: Full face helmet, chest protector, gloves, full Dianese suit from the 90's, climbing harness, parachute, zorb ball, helicopter to lower me gently down.
  • + 40
 ...and that's just for putting on socks in the morning!
  • + 1
 Me: "aah ready......Honey I'm just nipping to the shops!"
  • + 56
 T-MAC : I'm pretty sure I wear every single form of gear possible for Rampage! I don’t f*ck around...

Kyle Strait: Full-face helmet, 661 knee pads, Gloves ..... I think he is f*ucking around, haha
  • + 82
 Kyle Strait looks very well padded to me hahaha
  • + 4
 @bbh13: bwahahaha yep
  • + 9
 The lead of this article has MacFarlane wearing a cap with the caption "What are Riders Wearing to Stay Safe?" Ya, I'm thinking that's not enough.
  • + 7
 LOGAN BINGGELI

• Lazer Helmet
• Fly kneepads


And that's it. Go figure...
  • + 0
 @rafaelsf: Dude snapped his femur back in 2013. I dont agree with it, but he probably has a mindset where he realizes that when shit goes wrong at that level, your little chest protector most likely won't save you. It's probably not very smart, but then again, mountainbiking isn't a smart thing to do
  • + 46
 i don't understand how someone can drop those insane lines without a spine protector. it makes the difference between walking away a massive crash or rolling on a wheel chair for the rest of your life...
  • + 35
 totally agree, as some one who's broken my neck and back, I bet not a day goes by when paul basagoitia wishes he was wearing a spine protector last year, i'm not being a troll i'm just speaking from experience
  • + 5
 @mark3: I am surprised there is not a required minimum, some of the photos, the guys aren't even wearing gloves? wonder what the insurance stipulations are at an event like this.
  • + 2
 ..
  • + 3
 I've had a couple of crashes where I landed on my back. One of them was high speed and violent and involved a rock. I luckily was wearing a protector and walked away ok, but I'm pretty sure I would have ended up in the hospital without it. I always wear a substantial back protector for DH, and now wear either an Evoc pack or Alpinestars bib for protection on trail rides. Don't discount chest protection either, the guy who died at BME event a couple of years ago was a chest impact.
  • + 3
 @dthomp325: i feel you brah. wend over the bar landing from a drop on an actually pretty mellow enduro trail here in Karlsruhe, where i live. went full front flip, landed on my back. Evoc backpack with integrated protector and, i add, also the water bladder with 1.5 liters of water inside. didn't even feel the rock i landed on.
  • + 1
 @smuggly: there is no insurance. Remember all the articles about it last year and the number of guys that won’t do Rampage because of it?
  • + 3
 I wear a spine protector to the liquor store. These guys are nuts.
  • + 2
 Don't get that either, be it DH racing or a freeride contest. Back protection might add some heat but doesn't really limit body movement. Hit the wrong rock when tumbling down the hill and you'll be rinding two wheels for the rest of your life..
  • + 1
 If I were doing this I would wear one. That said most spine injuries come from axial loading, hyper-flexion/extension, torsion, or a combination of those, and direct impact is less common.
  • + 2
 @Bruccio: Strommastendownhill?
  • + 2
 @colincolin: yup Big Grin the new one...went short on one of the wooden drops in the second sector if i remember correctly
  • + 1
 @dthomp325: Precisely - I always wear a back pack with a hard frame ( a Dakine) for trail riding and enduro races. Judging by the dirt and minor damage I see on it after crashes, it does a pretty good job of insulating my spine from the ground. A full on back protector is great when shuttling a DH track.
  • + 39
 Isn't Andreu usually spotted with some sort of mx chest/back protection at fest events?
  • + 2
 Yeah I was wondering this too, and at rampage also...but he says it´s what he always wears...? weird
  • + 10
 Maybe not a sponsored item so cant mention it with his sponsored kit...
  • + 7
 @shreddingpeas: Depends should be a sponsor of this event. I know what I'd do if I took one look down those runs.
  • + 2
 he used to ride rampage with a Thor sentinel and a fox chest protector ( if I remember correctly)
  • + 2
 Here you guys go. Ive thought about getting one myself. Its a Motorcross roost gaurd made by Thor MX. But yes because of sponsorships he has to keep it quiet.

www.thormx.com/products/?productGroupId=302598&productId=458426
  • + 2
 Does that actually protect against impact? Those are for roosts of mx riders infront of you arent they?
  • + 1
 This is lame. If I was a sponsor I'd want my riders to be as safe as possible and not give a damn if they were riding someone else's product. I'd use that as motivation to make new products.
  • + 1
 @me2menow: Light impacts Im sure yes. But remember, something is better than nothing. Im sure it keeps his torso from getting scratched/cut up.
  • + 1
 @PHeller: Im sure this is why they say he can still wear it in competitions. They want him to be safe and comfortable. But seeing that the product is a company thats in a different sport all together, it would make sense to keep the product unlisted in articles like this.
  • + 1
 @PHeller: My apologies. I just realized he is now sponsored by Fox Head. They have roost gaurds but companies dont like to directly market a product like a roost gaurd for Motorcross to be chest peotection to mountain bikers. Make sense? I could put money down that tomorrow he will have a Fox Head roost gaurd on him.
  • + 6
 A bit crap that they don't mention it at all. No brand names, maybe don't even say it's a moto product. It does sort of defeat the point of the article. As far as I know nobody makes a mtb specific mouth guard and yet they get mentioned
  • + 2
 @chillrider199: it's actually quite used among riders. Ratboy raced in it many times
  • + 22
 "Nicholi Rogatkin took a tumble off a massive cliff back in 2015 that would have likely killed a regular person"

No. Can we please stop glorifying this crash already. I give the guy a ton of credit for getting up and riding down (as stupid as that was), because he clearly had to be in some pain. But the fact that he didn't break his neck, crack his skull, shatter his legs, or suffer any other serious injury has nothing to do with him being tougher or stronger than anyone else. It was nothing but pure luck plain and simple.
  • + 21
 Semenuk, storch ,bingelli , rheeder & lacondeguy... Hope you don't crash on your back guys..

Strait has no back protection either but in case of crash its the mountain that will break Big Grin

PROPS TO VINNY T
  • + 12
 For this years rampage im just wearing my normal gear, no pads or neckbrace for me..i dont feel its justified and it does restrict your head movement when your trying to look around, ill just be rocking my usual reclining chair and ruling that tv remote ....bring it on !!
  • + 4
 I'll be wearing gloves though, the beers are a little bit cold
  • + 11
 Hold up... WHERE is the Giro Switchblade?? That salesman said it was DH certified and would make me full enduro!
  • - 2
 I have one, and it’s a super protective helmet that is DH certified. These guys don’t wear it cause they don’t need to take the chin bar off. EVER. It’s a waste of helmet. If you don’t need that functionality, then a regular full face will work perfect.
  • + 10
 @lindblomxc: That joke flew ovee your head...
  • + 1
 @chillrider199: Correction: he couldn't truly Fathom the satire behind the comment. Wink

//www.giro.com/us_en/products/men/helmets/fathom-15.html
  • + 2
 Ouch, mad L taken. I understand the joke now.
  • + 7
 What I don't understand is how many of these guys wear no upper body protection aside from the mandatory full face helmet. The newest gear these days really isn't restrictive, and the risk of tomahawking down the rocks is very real...
  • + 5
 Someone once said to me many many years ago, watching me send it without pads: "the next time you do that with me on a ride without pads I will put you in the meatwagon! You can always buy new parts and pads but not your body."
  • + 5
 What I take from this is basically most are just not wearing anything like enough. I have been banging on about lack of protection at WC races but here I think it should be in the contract to ride they wear pretty much everything available..
  • + 8
 I understand those guys know their limits very well, but sh** can happen anytime.
  • + 5
 Understandably the riders here need to feel as comfortable as possible to be able to put the best run down.

Just really hope no one reads this and thinks "if this guy is riding rampage without a back protector or neck brace then I don't need one" wear whatever you want and feel comfortable in! Never know when some form of protection could stop you becoming badly injured
  • + 1
 Best point on here, full body armour has saved me a few times now.
  • + 7
 nice article pinkbike! Interesting to see the differences from rider to rider.
  • + 6
 I don't think Reed Boggs' is accurate, as he wears a Giro helmet. Also seems weird how few riders wear neck braces, I just feel like your neck is pretty vulnerable in a crash
  • + 2
 When it's that steep you can't bend you head back enough with a brace, I guess.
  • + 3
 Not all riders can handle wearing a neck brace, especially in steep terrain as it limits the movement of the head looking up.
  • + 3
 Was really surprised at that too, plus not many spine protectors. Never worn either myself so don't know how it restricts movement and you have to respect the riders to make the right choices for themselves.
  • + 2
 I can imagine rotational tricks (i.e. front- and backflips) can be hindered by a neck brace.
  • + 1
 @Verbl-Kint: But its supposed to be a big mountain event. Not a slopestyle competition.
  • + 3
 @frankwizza:

In the freeride scene in UK some years back everyone wore 661/fox/dianese body armour; riding the quarries, 'North shore' trails and private stunts no messing around sometimes failing to stick a landing= nasty.
  • + 4
 T-MAC FTW. Keeping it real and sensible. It's really not worth the risk not to wear all the protection thats available IMHO. I don't get the no elbows thing. They're usually the first thing to hit the dirt when I crash.
  • + 1
 I agree, literally put my shin pads on dicking around in front of the house the other day, better than skewering your shin on metal spikes.
  • + 3
 I don't understand how some of these guys just wear what I normally wear for a trail ride (helmet, gloves, knee pads). I'd be kitted to the nines if I was crazy enough to do what they do.
  • + 6
 At this level all protection should be compulsory.
  • + 3
 I'm a firm believer of dress for the ride not the crash philosophy but NO NOPE FK NO HELLLL NO really surprised at the lack of spine protection
  • + 4
 Ankle braces, never thought about that but makes sense. Any recommendations?
  • + 2
 TSG is making some good ones. I wear them for BMX/Dirt stuff
  • + 28
 Don't ride Rampage, even if you do have ankle braces
  • + 2
 661 used to do them back in the days of "huck to flat"
  • + 3
 I just ordered some Space Brace's, after braking my leg last year my ankle has been pretty weak and these seem to be the go to braces for most mtb athletes. www.thespacebrace.com
  • + 3
 www.thespacebrace.com
These are insanely good. I broke my ankle (Both Tib/ Fib) in January and these braces are literally the reason why I can still ride a bike. So comfy as well and you forget they are even there
  • + 3
 Like Alex and Richey said, space brace is where it’s at. A little pricier than some other options, but by far the best value for money ever.
  • + 1
 Duck Tape over Sock or anything with laces that you can do up properly. Velcro ones only work when new. Anything more than 2.5m in height difference can end in a Charley Chaplin like stance.
  • + 1
 has to be lace up with non stretchy strapping, i use mueller ones, essentially does the same job as a good taping job but easier to remove, unless you are hitting big jumps or have already messed up your ankles to badly to ride without them you're probably better off without.
  • + 1
 i am using one from ASO (found on amazon) most other designs seem to be some variation on the ASO or just rebranded. Laces has straps that support everything then a big strap to cover everything up. super awesome design, not too expensive (ASO is the generic version of the space brace mentioned above)
  • + 1
 Space Brace is a new one on the market, a lot of top guys are wearing them in BMX and MTB. Haven't tried them myself but they were created by Mike Gray (i believe) a pro BMXer and many riders seem eager to get them.
  • + 1
 Its crazy that T-Mac is the only one of the boys wearing a neckbrace. I wear an Alpinestars BNS for everything other than the most chilled trails and to be honest the only way I even remember it's on is when I look back at my GoPro footage and I can hear it knocking off my helmet on super steep runs.
  • + 2
 I like storm troopin it like TMac. I think the envelope of plastic is the only thing standing between Cam having a meltdown when he has to commentate his little brothers run so I completely get it even from that angle!
  • + 1
 This is good info for people, in the coverage it is hard to tell what body protection (if any) is being worn, especially with stiff getting so slim. Good for folks to know the Pros are going in protected, and encourage more people to do so.
  • + 5
 Balls of steel - screws of titanium.
  • + 2
 Did Paul B wear a back protector on his nasty crash?
Not even wearing a thin back protector is something I will never understand.
  • + 3
 Thanks PB, would love to see that also at every WC race, something that I am very interested in.
  • + 14
 Neko Mulally: cardboard back protection lol
  • + 3
 not too many neck braces or spine protectors :o
  • + 2
 neck braces i get due to flips an spins but,
spine protection :0
  • + 3
 Robbie Bourdon doesn't need any protection.
  • + 1
 Don't remember who it was, but a few years ago someone rode down Rampage wearing a tank top, that almost made me feel uncomfortable watching.
  • + 2
 Szymon Godziek did.
  • + 2
 Pinkbike, PLEASE! PLEASE Rampage bike check in detail

www.pinkbike.com/news/2013-Red-Bull-Rampage-BIKES.html
  • + 2
 How about one of those giant inflatable human hamster balls?

Seriously, if you ragdoll off a cliff...
  • + 2
 Would be nice to know which specific line of gear they wear. Doesn't TLD make like 5 different knee guards?
  • + 2
 • Full-face helmet
• 661 knee pads
• Gloves

This is what I wear too....at my local bike park!
  • + 2
 My Rampage gear list:
-Shorts by Depends Adult Undergarments
  • + 1
 If it's good enough to protect Connor MacFarlane, it's good enough for me. That man take some hits!
  • + 1
 Rogatkin always wear protection, he should be an example to other competitors in slopestyle
  • + 1
 My shins would be my first point of protection, why do they all wear knee pads?
  • + 2
 Remember when Cedric wore a Capitan America Costume? Epic...
  • + 1
 I don't get the bit about a tumble that 'would likely kill a regular person'?
  • + 1
 I’m sure you can find video of his crash. It was ridiculously gnarly and in line with Rogatkin’s massive fall down the cliff.
  • + 1
 @RichardJBos: yeah I remember the crash, just an odd statement I guess.
  • + 2
 They wear what they get paid from to wear.
  • + 3
 Not all of them are fully sponsored. Either never were or aren’t anymore.

But you can see who’s trying to get in good with the sponsors based on the description provided.
  • + 1
 All that decides is what brand of protection they wear, not how much they wear
  • + 1
 They wear their sponsors' products, but how much (or few) protection they use is up to them I guess.
  • + 2
 @cherouvim: pretty funny to read the write ups. like you can tell what products are sponsored because they give a very accurate description then they are like yup full face helmet for non sponsored items
  • + 2
 Wheres all the neck protection??? why only tmac!
  • + 1
 I wonder what the liability waiver must look like that these guys have to sign.
  • + 2
 Reinforces my feeling that zinc is just nails.
  • + 1
 I think I wear more than half of these to commute to work
  • + 2
 Commuter life is probably more dangerous! Lol
  • + 1
 Red Bull rampage jockstraps for sale soon
  • + 1
 My name is Shin-guard. Please, don't ignore me!
  • + 1
 i don't know why people hate elbow pads, I love mine
  • + 1
 arm pump
  • + 1
 @JC9won4: never heard of her
  • + 1
 Symon Godziek protective gear...tank top
  • + 1
 Can we get this content for world cups too please?
  • + 1
 What - no Kellog's Cardboard-Boxes as seen in UCI-DH Worldcup-Racing?!?
  • + 1
 nobody is wearing a cup?
  • + 0
 BINGGELI
  • + 1
 I dont know if that saying excists in english aswell but "less is more"
  • - 4
flag RedBurn (Oct 26, 2017 at 1:17) (Below Threshold)
 "I'm gunna win Rampage this year"

Logan Bingelli, 2016 .. haha!
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