Poll: How Much Protection Do You Wear?

Jun 16, 2021
by Matt Beer  
Loris Revelli with an unfortunate taste of dirt first run down.
The bed surface of bike park trails can be unforgiving, bulletproof concrete.

Crashes can happen on your first lap - we've all been there. But what you choose to armour up with can better your chances of walking away unscathed. Mandatory elbow, glove and back protection is on the rise while racing in gravity events, including enduro racing, yet there are still plenty of average mountain bikers out there that don nothing but a skid lid and bare knees.

If you were sleeping under a rock and missed coverage from the 2021 World Cup downhill from Leogang, racers were chomping at the bit to go fast and prove themselves on the racetrack again. The practice sessions were filled with carnage with barely anyone finishing the day without hitting the deck. A lot of the top athletes had moments they would rather forget about; Danny Hart narrowly avoided a tree in the lower woods at a rapid pace, Myriam Nicole washed the front wheel just 10 seconds into her race run, and Vali Holl laid it down on one of the last corners while on a winning time. Other than Charlie Harrison, most kitted up riders were able to walk away.

But it's not just the gravity racers that crash. Two very decorated female World Cup cross-country athletes, Kate Courtney and Jolanda Neff are currently out with injuries, with the Olympics just weeks away. More protective equipment may not have helped them in those accidents and it would be surprising to see any cross-country racer appear on the start line with knee or elbow pads. Their performance is primarily driven by pedalling power and any idea restricting that would be laughed at, but they do take some precautions, like eyewear.

Puck Pieterse unfortunately just missed out on the podium.
Try riding this with both eyes closed. Eye protection isn't just there to stop a stick in the eye.

Enduro racers are caught in the middle. The nature of the discipline requires athletes to pedal to the top, but race to the bottom, so there will be a compromise between mobility and insurance. They have often argued that their format of racing can be the most dangerous, since they are riding longer stages, with less practice, on trails that could easily warrant a downhill bike.

ALN found out the hard way just how touchy the dirt can be in Northstar

We got glimpse real fire from Loic Bruni for qualifying last time in Maribor but today would be that next level Super Bruni.
Loic Bruni isn't burdened by back and elbow protection.
Back plates are mandatory here at Leogang and that rule left more than a few riders scrambling for protection that meets the event s criteria of a rigid panel. Amazing how Jason Marsh of Santa Cruz Syndicate s Marsh Guards can pull double duty...
Arts and crafts won't cut it anymore.

If you've ever watched Pinkbike's Friday Fails, you've surely questioned the minimal levels of padding that some riders display. But what is the right amount of protection, is a tough question to answer. How much protection you choose to wear can vary too, depending on average trail speed, the difficulty of trails you intend to ride that day, or even the skill level of other riders who you are riding with.

Cross country racing/riding: What protective equipment do you wear?



General trail riding: What protective equipment do you wear?

If your full face helmet has a detachable chin bar, choose: light weight full face helmet.



Enduro racing/riding: What protective equipment do you wear?

If your full face helmet has a detachable chin bar, choose light weight full face helmet.



Shuttle or lift assist riding: What protective equipment do you wear?

If your full face helmet has a detachable chin bar, choose light weight full face helmet.



Downhill racing: What protective equipment do you wear?

If your full face helmet has a detachable chin bar, choose light weight full face helmet.



Dirt jumping/slopestyle: What protective equipment do you wear?

If your full face helmet has a detachable chin bar, choose light weight full face helmet.



The host builder and all around nicest guy on the hill Nico Vink.
When you're using motocross bikes to test jump trajectories, you may as well use the same type of helmet, as Nico Vink does.



177 Comments

  • 276 0
 After this weekend’s event I stuff a knee pad in my chamois.
  • 2 0
 No doubt!
  • 12 0
 My chamois wearing habit is 50% due to the additional groin protection
  • 10 2
 I'm going to Dick's to buy a cup.
  • 113 0
 Damn, congrats, I only use an elbow pad…
  • 16 0
 Might just use one of those all-purpose mudguards. Muddynutz, just reinvented.
  • 3 0
 I wear just enough to protect me from track poles.
  • 2 27
flag DoubleCrownAddict (Jun 16, 2021 at 20:56) (Below Threshold)
 I have to stuff hip pads down there.
  • 10 0
 Surprised the helmet doesn’t cover it.
  • 2 0
 Cricket box sales probably went up as well.
  • 5 0
 My wife wanted more children, so I got the snip. Can’t get more protection than that
  • 1 0
 @bikeracer28: just one?
  • 1 0
 @Waldon83: Whether the plumbing is intact or not, I prefer the boys to remain attached.
  • 1 0
 @DoubleCrownAddict: god im on vacation i forgot you were a thing give me a break lmao

Hows that shimano lawsuit going?
  • 38 0
 When I lived in the Northeast I wore light knee pads, a half shell, and gloves. I moved to Nevada and wear knee/elbow pads, a 3/4 helmet (sometimes with the chinbar), and often hip pads and a light shoulder/back protector. The ground is so much rockier and the exposure so much more that I gear up a lot more.

Plus I'm getting old.
  • 30 0
 I live in Las Vegas, and I washed out on a trail I was familiar with. The bike went left, I went right, and my face/head went right into a very large rock. Helmet took the brunt, and has large dents on the temple and just behind the ear. That probably saved my life. I did take a nasty hit to the corner of my eye, but again sunglasses probably helped deflect part of that blow. Ended up with nerve damage, still 2 years later, and a terrible black eye, but no broken bones.

I wear a full face all the time now.
  • 16 6
 I like my face the way it is and dental surgery is expensive, so I'm Full Face & Sunnies Guy most of the time.
  • 24 2
 @boozed: oh, you’re one of those guys...
  • 3 0
 @bdub5696: I'm in Boulder City, so Bootleg is my home ride. Even the friendly stuff there can have some nasty stuff to fall one if you go down. I don't feel self-conscious about all the padding.
  • 2 0
 @MarcusBrody: I caught a wheel on Girlfriend going 0.2 miles per hour and got TORE up.
  • 11 11
 I bet if they did a survey more people land on their hips more than anywhere else.
  • 5 0
 @unrooted: treat your girlfriend better and she might treat you better.
  • 17 0
 @boozed: if i stop and think about it we all wore full face buckets and rode DH bikes. Then overnight we all switched to half shells and enduro bikes…..BUT WE ARE STILL RIDING THE SAME SHIT!! Same (or greater) risk, smaller bike, less head protection. I guess pedalling up became an option with smaller bikes and to deal with the heat the gear became less
  • 4 0
 @lastminutetech: I think you're right to some extent but I would imagine a lot of us back it off a couple of notches when I'm wearing less protection. When I race DH I wear everything I can fit on, because I know I'll be finding my limits and will probably crash riding at 100%. When I hit the same tracks on a ride with my mates I ride at 90% because I know the consequences of crashing with less gear on will be harder.
  • 2 0
 @DoubleCrownAddict: And hips aren't an area well served with mtb padding esp the top point of the pelvis, which is pretty exposed but tricky to design protection for.
  • 2 0
 @DoubleCrownAddict: 100%. I also find that people rarely impact the front of the knee, rather the side of the knee during the typical fall.
  • 2 0
 @boozed: you are a dude. Hawaiian shirts, Anyone?
  • 3 0
 @MarcusBrody: I'm down in AZ riding South Mountain a decent amount. Bootleg scares me for how easily you'll get tore up on an easy cruise. Ok maybe not scare, but I have my concerns.
Check out Leatt impact shorts for some decent thigh, hip & top o' the pelvis protection.
  • 7 0
 @DoubleCrownAddict: I'm forever hitting my hip on my rear derailleur. If only I had a gearbox bike I'd be injury free.
  • 3 0
 @Linkpin: oh god no dont engage with him
  • 4 0
 @MattyBoyR6: I actually have a pair of Leatt shorts from a few years back that I wear a lot. They were one of the few models that covered the upper point of the hip/pelvis.

They made the lower leg openings way to small for the waist for cyclists, but I cut the heavier elastic. They're still a bit tight on the thighs but I don't really notice once I'm riding.
  • 1 0
 @mior: I do have a collection of cheap Hawaiian shirts for riding...
  • 1 0
 @mior: what about fully buttoned polos, full face, aviators and the mustach from hell?
  • 2 0
 @Linkpin: better file that lawsuit!
  • 25 0
 And at this point in my life, protection gear is cheaper/easier than dealing with injury, time away from work, dealing with questions from family/co-workers, etc. So as long as protection isn't super intrusive/hot, then I'm totally on board "overpadding".

With the current crop of lightweight full face helmets, and 3DO/equivalent pad materials, you can really be quite comfortable, and protected at the same time.

I'm lucky in some ways, I grew up riding dirt bikes (trail riding, not moto) and a full face feels totally normal to me while I'm out riding. And with that, some lightweight breathable elbow pads (Leatt Airflex), and a decent pair of knee pads (7IDP Sam Hill) I feel pretty prepared heading out and riding.
  • 9 0
 remember old 661 jackets /kneeshin pad that was impossible to wear and pedal, nowadays protection super comfy to ride and actually super slim to wear
  • 6 29
flag DoubleCrownAddict (Jun 16, 2021 at 21:01) (Below Threshold)
 Climate change is making it really hard to be comfortable in all the gear I would really like to wear in the summer.

www.google.com/amp/s/www.cbsnews.com/amp/news/heat-wave-western-united-states
  • 9 8
 @DoubleCrownAddict: adapt or die.

I know which one I want you to pick....
  • 2 0
 @conoat: Stil Hardcore to pedal to the top with all my gear. My gear without a backpack makes me almost 8 kg/17.6 lbs more heavy. Including everything, even the jersey and riding shorts ..

The torso protection is really tha hot shit.
I can run the same gear while everything is frozen around me. I am still comfortable. But with the heat, na I can't get up hill in time or at all... Riding Enduro..
  • 24 1
 Oh this is my poll right here.
I am a new rider. I wear All the protection. When people see my kit they say "Lol... Look at this Kook/ Jerry/ Loser".
However I feel safer more confident and have more fun with the pads on. So it's worth the name calling I guess.
I can usually be seen wearing:
D3, Leatt Brace, Airbrakes, mouth guard, POC Chest, Back, Elbow and Knee pads
Padded gloves (fox defend)
Hard Toe flats (510 freeride pro)
Various DH pants
  • 41 0
 Where are you riding that people are calling you names? Honestly it gets talked about a lot here on pinkbike but I just don't see it anywhere that I ride. I only come across two kinds of people, those who keep to themselves with a quick hello and then off again, and those who are the nicest kindest friendliest people I've ever come across.

That being said if you're wearing all of that on a XC loop some gentle teasing might be appropriate. But you do you man!
  • 19 0
 People are calling you names? Where the hell are you riding? Round your local elementary school?
  • 24 0
 I like how you've kept your sponsorship options open by pretty much naming every protection company. I wish I had though of that.
  • 8 0
 @friendlyfoe: Well of course, you're Canadian.

In all seriousness I wear all the protection except elbow pads and I only occasionally wear my neck brace (something people my age usually don't) and I've never once been made fun of.

Someone should talk to all the bmxers who don't even wear helmets though.
  • 1 0
 @friendlyfoe: most of my trails are xc leaning but if you slip on a rock then you pretty much die
  • 1 0
 @PeaFunk: It's not random people, it's his buddies. No one rips into us more than those in our riding groups!
  • 4 0
 @rrolly: nerds i dont get made fun of because i have no riding buddies
  • 4 0
 In college I did a couple road bike group rides on a borrowed road bike for pe credit. At the time I only had a light duty full face and wasn't able to borrow an open face. Yeah, road biking in a full face... I got some strange looks and felt a bit self conscious. Oh well, better than running for a pe credit!
  • 2 0
 @friendlyfoe: All over BC, Squamish north shore and whistler. To be fair if you're an experienced rider who just wears a normal level of protection then there's no reason to make fun of you, so of course you don't see it. All of the pejorative terms like Kook, Jerry, Pleb, Basic Btch, those are all terms I'd never even heard before being called them here in BC on the Mtb trails.
  • 3 0
 @RideThicccBC: half of me feels like you’re trolling

“Basic bitch” lmao
  • 1 0
 Stay hydrated
  • 1 0
 @friendlyfoe: great point. Never heard anyone calling anyone names. I've heard it inside my head but that's about it.
  • 19 0
 Can it really be called enduro if you don’t have goggles?
  • 31 1
 Enduro is French for goggles
  • 10 0
 Goggles over sunglasses is the new standard
  • 14 0
 I love my knee pads and they have definitely saved my bacon more than a few times. But this one goes out to my elbow pads, I feel naked without you. So many times I’ve fallen hard on those things and they have definitely kept me out of the hospital. Think about it you’re elbows are much higher off the ground compared to your knees and plus they don’t have a knee cap to disperse the energy. I’ve definitely popped up more than once after in pure rejoice because I’m 90% way less hurt and now I can keep the flow going without rolling back to the trailhead with my tail between my legs
  • 6 0
 Don't need to think about it, the metal plate in my elbow tells the whole story. Had an OTB and separated the tip of my elbow, just floating in the skin. Since my rides are pedal up ride down they come on basically every ride as they fit perfectly in the outside of my pack and I can put them on at the top. I used to also only bring my chin bar when riding black trails, but the one blue trail I ride still has some high speed rock sections and the rock on the blue trails looks every bit as hard as the rock on the black trails (have not tested this to confirm).
  • 9 4
 I struggle to understand the logic behind people not wearing elbow pads.

The "uncomfortable" argument is total bs. Pads are lightweight, grippy, flexible and breathable these days. I always ride with them and forget they're on 5 seconds later.

Crashing is all knees and elbows and the smallest damage can fk you up permanently, or at least long term. And it's mountain biking, the probability of connecting with rocks and roots is pretty high.

Stuff like the Leatt Airflex Pros have saved my elbows plenty of times. Even the lightest protection can make the biggest difference.
  • 4 0
 I broke my elbow in Whistler and now always ride with elbow pads. Minor scratches and burns are so typical but many don’t stop to think how easy it is to brake an elbow. I think many slopestyle riders have started to do the same and at least wear one an elbow pad on the side they also tend to roll the most when crashing and it can really save you from visiting the hospital u.u
  • 9 1
 I'm going to add elbow pads to my arsenal after reading those stories.
  • 6 0
 @Ktron:

Same exact thing here.

I broke an elbow on the side of a rails to trails sort of commuter trail goofing off years before I actually started mountain biking. And now I wear pads on every ride.

The Leatt airflex elbow pads have been great. Like you, I've found I think about them when I put them on, but otherwise I don't think about them again until the end of the ride (or I crash).

I've ridden with them up into the low 100f range (103f IIRC), and I still really don't notice them (knee pads I notice more when it gets hot). That said, it IS easier to pad up if you live somewhere you can ride in the cooler weather (easy peasy in the PNW when most riding is between 35-65f), so I get that.
  • 1 0
 @ocnlogan:
How is the fitting from the leatt elbow pads? Im always struggle with the sizes from other companies
  • 2 0
 @Ktron: In my case, I wear kneepads and not elbow pads simply because my knees are covered in scars and my elbows aren't. I've cheesegratered my forearms a few times and although that looks nasty it's very superficial and heals in a week or two in my experience.

My knees (without pads) have a knack for finding the pointiest rock on the whole trail to catch on, whereas my forearms usually just slide.
  • 1 0
 @Hamburgi:

The sizing on the elbow pads was pretty decent, but I'd say order a size down if you are kind of between sizes. I was between sizes and initially got a size XL. While those felt fine in the shop/around the house, they didn't work on the trail (they'd vibrate down my arms), so I went down to the larges, and have been really happy with them since.

I intentially went with lightweight elbow pads, specifically because I figured if I got heavier duty ones, I'd not wear them 100% of the time. And the only thing worse than getting a busted up elbow/road rash because you didn't own any pads... is getting busted up elbows/road rash because your pads were at home/in the truck. And so far I've stuck to this plan, and wear them every ride.

I do have the older generation though (they redesigned them in 2020 IIRC), so its possible they have changed.

I've only "tested" them a few times, but so far, no problems. But if I was doing propper DH/lift access stuff, I may want something a bit beefier. But for the normal trails we have around here (PNW, so mostly "all mountain/enduro" types of riding), they seem perfect.
  • 2 0
 Force from hits to the elbow also gets transferred up to the shoulder. Most of the people I know with arm and shoulder injuries were not wearing elbow pads. A modern pad can disperse a ton of energy.
  • 3 0
 @ocnlogan: thx! i will give them a try.
Better some lightweight than nothing Wink
  • 4 0
 @Hamburgi: yeah I always go lightweight on the elbows, last time I didn't pad up I gained a lovely 5 inch scar up the inside of my forearm which took 2 visits plus an overnight stay in hospital to fix
  • 1 2
 @DoubleCrownAddict: at least you have some logic
  • 3 0
 I completely agree, I feel elbows are far more fragile than knees and arguably more important. I've also seen a few nasty elbow injuries coming from pretty innocuous looking falls so I wear my elbow pads most of the time. They're also good for elbowing trees out the way on narrow trails.
  • 1 0
 Can't believe no one posted the McGazza quote -- @TEAMROBOT...where are you?
  • 17 1
 I prefer no gloves if I’m not going to fall that day.
  • 5 0
 Every time I go gloveless I destroy a hand. Never fails.
  • 14 0
 Title of the article had me wondering if we were still talking about riding bikes here.
  • 1 1
 I'm XC through and through, I never wrap it. Especially when it comes to my head.
  • 4 0
 Well, after the race face article the other day...
  • 1 0
 If only there was a vasectomy for effectiveness against crashing
  • 1 0
 Yeah it seems like a pretty personal question. I've got one kid and another on the way so draw your own conclusions
  • 10 0
 Where’s the option for Levi’s?
  • 22 1
 "heavy duty knee/shin pads"
  • 7 0
 After going OTB and chipping a couple teeth WITH a full face helmet on (rock knocked the bar down and hit my teeth) I now wear a mouthguard in addition to the helmet and glasses
  • 4 0
 I'm still hunting that elusive 'minimal spine protection! I've had three so far.. a 661 that was OK but, didn't interact at all with my neck brace an the front was styled short so it sat really annoyingly just above my fat belly. Sold it. Leatte, that worked with a neck brace brilliantly, so good I didn't need any straps at all BUT, it felt like a had a damn door strapped to my back!! Sold it after 1 ride! 7idp, the best armour I've ever worn! The back peice was in 3 layers that the wearer could custom tune BUT, I bought a large. Had an injury that put me out for a whole summer during which I was dieting an lost 20kg!! The large no longer fit me an they don't make that model anymore for me to buy a medium!! So bloody annoying! I did like the look of the older Fox vest that had just a thin D30 spine pad but they've changed the model to a wider , full back protector that worries me it'll have that 'barn door' feeling.... A 4X friend of mine recently ended up in a wheelchair, scary stuff! Still hunting that elusive minimal spine protection
  • 4 0
 @nojzilla guessing you mean dewsnap? Ever since seeing Mike go in the wheelchair I cant ride without a backpad, ill take back over knees everyday! Best I've found is the bliss lite vest, nice and minimalist but offers some quality protection! Flaps a bit at the top but neck brace would fix that
  • 1 0
 @rubenmasi: Yah Snappy, I'm a vet cat too. Had some awesome races with him!
  • 2 0
 @nojzilla: nice man, was so gutted for him when I heard, such a good guy
  • 2 0
 I'm running a camelback (without the bladder!) with spine protection, as I figured if I'm going to have something sweaty on my back, it may as well do something useful (like carry snacks and first aid kit). It's not so bad, as it's easier to take off than a spine protector, as it's outside my shirt. Also, some air gets to the pads as well, so they don't saturate.
  • 1 0
 Does a CamelBak count as spine protection? Aside from a lid, gloves and sunnies that's all I wear.

Although 40 years of rolled shoulders gave me plenty of arthritis which, according to a neurosurgeon, saved my back when I went out the front door and cracked a couple of vertebrate.
  • 1 0
 I use the Alpinestars bibs for minimalist protection. Definitely not the most protection, but lightweight and comfy.
  • 1 0
 The TLD soft body armor is pretty good and is neck brace compatible. Wear it on shuttle access rides as well as in some enduro racing. Gets a tiny bit hot but more breathable than hot armor imo.
  • 1 0
 @BorisBC35: it counts of it's a KUDU with the built in spine protector. If not, it's probably better than just a t-shirt as long as the multi tool and pump that are probably in there don't do something nasty
  • 2 0
 @BorisBC35:
Yes, a cameblack Hal full with water and a lightweight down sweater provided better protection than most certified spine protectors in a test by a German bike magazine a few years ago.
  • 1 0
 @nojzilla Raceface Flank Core. www.raceface.com/products/flank-core It's a bit of a pain to put on and take off, but super breezy with the heavy duty fishnet. Pad is probably your best bet since the ones with more shoulder blade protection are always more "door like". However, if you can get used to a bigger spine pad, the Racer Motion Top 2 is a pretty ingenious top. www.racergloves.com/en/adult-protections/639-motion-top-2-lycra-protection-vest-for-bikes.html Elbow/lower arms are zip on/off, and you can put a water bladder in with the spine pad if you want. Not quite as breezy as the RF. Problem with both of these offerings is the chest "pads" are perfunctory at best. I wish they would make these with am external velcro D3O chest pad. In fact, I wish most of these things would have externally installable pads. Slip on the shirt, then slide the pads into their pockets (COD style) Somebody tell me why nobody has done this yet, there's gotta be a reason?
  • 1 0
 @mountainsofsussex: Yea, stopped riding with anything hard in my pack after seeing some of the things that have happened. I guess if you have a pack with both a real pad and a somewhat full bladder, smaller tools on the outside of that wouldn't be too much of a risk. But I figured out how to put all my kit on/in my bike now.
  • 1 0
 @nedersotan: Any chance you could find that and post a link? Very interested to read it. Always wondered what kind of "airbag" effect a somewhat full bladder would have.
  • 1 0
 @Chuckolicious: if that raceface came in a vest it would be perfect!!
  • 1 0
 @Chuckolicious:
www.bike-magazin.de/zubehoer/rucksaecke/test-mtb-rucksaecke-mit-protektor

In German, and it costs €2 for the pdf, or the entire magazine issue [9/18] is about $5 in the Apple app.
  • 4 0
 I spend 10 hrs avg/week on a bike, all season, and out of this about 1.5 hrs/week is commuting - and that's where I'm actually most likely to experience something nasty. It is, of course, also the rides I do with the least amount of protection (half shell only).

The last 5 years or so, all my tumbles have been at the moments least expected. Not while racing enduro, riding parks, racing XC, or going flat out on the local trails - heck, not even at 70km/h gravel downhill with curly bars, or alpine downhill on my fatbike. It's been while commuting with my brain idling, or on the way back from the trails chatting with my mates.

The faster I go, the safer I am, no matter what type of riding it is. Simply because concentration, and knowing where my limits are.

Commuting with a full DH kit is an option.
  • 6 0
 Also wear a wrist brace because of scaphoid fracture that will never completely heal.
  • 3 0
 scaphoids are so dumb.
  • 17 2
 @pmhobson: totally flawed design. Brings some serious doubt to the whole intelligent design theory.
  • 1 0
 100%. All Sport Dynamics.
  • 1 0
 @edisfo: amen brother. Got to use my HSA for my all sports wrist brace, money well spent after multiple breaks
  • 3 1
 @friendlyfoe: look up the Recurrent Laryngeal Nerve if you want to see some really dumb intelligent design
  • 2 5
 @friendlyfoe: Yet laughably you wouldn't be able to make such an observation if God hadn't created you...
  • 3 2
 @callumreynolds: laughable? If we assume my silly post is correct, that means intelligent design is a flawed concept, and that man doesn't hold a priveledged place in the universe, which we definitely don't. The same people who originally thought man had a priveledged place in the universe also thought non whites were sub human, so maybe not the best starting point for a belief system.
  • 3 4
 Please spell "privilege" correctly.
I disagree. Man can speak and he can build/innovate within an economy. Other animals cannot do that. By this very nature we do hold a privileged position. I agree that Man himself is inherently flawed but that does not mean that the concept of intelligent design is flawed.
I certainly do not think non whites are subhuman but rather that all men (including women) are equal before God.
  • 1 2
 @callumreynolds: please stop capitalizing man.
  • 4 1
 @callumreynolds: hey man, if you're going to believe that an imaginary man in the sky grants you wishes, all we ask is that you try to have a sense of humor about it. Because it sounds crazy.
  • 3 1
 @friendlyfoe: not to mention that "privilege" is "a special advantage, immunity, permission, right, or benefit granted to or enjoyed by an individual, class, or caste" - I think Callum might be mistaking privilege for intelligence, but maybe I'm just not privileged enough to understand.. lmfao
  • 4 2
 Callum also seems to think that humans are the only animals that have systems of economy. How disappointing, if he spent as much time in biology as spelling he might know this. But I think the point is lost to begin with, Callum seems to think that denial of "intelligent design" is some sort of insult to his god. But all these curiosities are easily explained away by magical creationism. Some arguments aren't meant to be hashed out. Leave religion at home next time Callum.
  • 9 2
 I prefer naked with a beer helmet, but you know...laws.
  • 4 0
 The laws of common sense.
  • 8 0
 @Hayden2248MTB: So true. Beer helmets spill too much.
  • 3 0
 fun enough the less overall protection I wear dirt jumping ( helmet as a must, ankle braces, optionally knee pads)
park riding - use to ride without chest protection, last year bar punch my rib cage - now I have leatt (Moto I believe d3 west )

however heaviest injuries like broken leg and shoulder that happened to me, no protection could prevent or even reduce impact;

googles are super Important with FF helmet especially in park/dh, friend of mine had face surgery after crash if ff and glasses;

also
  • 3 0
 After breaking my ribs slamming sideways into a berm while dual slalom racing, I invested in troy lee's padded/vented shirt, and padded shorts, in addition to my elbow and knee armor. Since I added those bits, minor and major wipeouts have not resulted in hobbling around in pain for a week afterwards - I work for a living -don't have a trust fund daddy to pay my bills, and I've come to look at wearing armor as a luxury, instead of a hindrance.
  • 3 0
 I’m surprised at the low number of people wearing hip pads. I use the tld padded shorts and they are probably some of the least noticeable/restrictive/heavy/hot protection you can get and have lessened the severity of quite a few impact for me. They have been at least as useful, maybe more, than knee pads for me.
  • 6 0
 I’m so under protected I could’ve been in a Race Face video
  • 2 0
 I answered back protector because I always wear a hydration pack, and I intentionally use it for protection and hydration. I am suprised more people don't. It can make a huge difference...broken back versus paralysis or death in the worst cases. Two of which I have personally witnessed.
  • 1 0
 You are of cours correct, spinal cord injuries can have very serious effects.

Unfortunately, it is unlikely that backprotectors (in shirts, vests or backpacks) provide much protection against them.

After all, most spinal cord injuries, you are talking about bending or rotating of the spine. Think pile driving into the ground, or ‘scorpioning’. Back protectors only protect agains impacts to the spine, like landing on a pointy rock.

So I definitely wear them, but I am aware they won’t prevent many of the serious injuries.
That’s where neck braces can add some protection.
  • 4 1
 Mouthguard is not an option. PB fails again. If only mouthguard manufacturers would advertise on PB maybe they would mention one of the most important pieces of safety equipment.
  • 3 0
 I would say in general the public is not aware of the safety benefits of a mouth guard, from teeth through the lip, to reduced concussion severity, mouth guards are very good bits of gear for sure.
  • 2 0
 Half of your head is the front half; your face. And as we ride forwards it’s the most likely to hit stuff, so a full-face is a no-brainer. And unlike elbow and knee injuries which are often a warning to wear pads in the future, not many riders injure their neck more than once, so a neck brace seems like smart insurance. Don't notice I’m wearing it so there is no downside.
  • 2 0
 Does anyone else consider their pedal choice a safety item? I know I switched to flats because I had a couple stupid crashes where I hit my face on the ground. And thinking about them, if I could have put my feet down faster I could have preserved myself better. So that's what I did. And I found the flat shoes and pedals are so good now that it didn't effect the way I ride THAT much, and now I feel a lot safer.
  • 1 0
 I’ve actually hurt my knee a couple of times with flats. Obviously you can lift your foot up, but unlike clips, your foot stays glued to the pedal if a twisting motion happens while weighted. This has happen to me a couple of times when I got unsorted while cornering high speed banked corners where the g-force of cornering is pushing you into the bike, and it puts a ton of pressure into the knee, where a clip pedal would safely release with the same twist force.
  • 2 0
 I too am amazed by how few riders bother to wear pads and protection. I come from the motocross world, where nobody batts an eye over wearing armor, but in the mtb world, it's viewed as not 'keepin' it real' - where that attitude of how armor dilutes the purity of progression, or some sort of zen mumbo jumbo.
  • 2 0
 Since I turned 30 I began to perceive risks that I did not see before. After thinking about it for a while I decided to start using full face, back protector and neck brace for enduro. Without complex. When you see accidents like Cecile Ravanel's, you think, when it's my turn, I want to be caught prepared.
  • 1 0
 it's not "if", it's *when*!
  • 2 0
 After a surprise pedal strike toss into a rock garden I found that tons of armor front & back don't do shit for my flank, hips, and tailbone.
First major crash in about 8 years of hard DH, and it was right when I was questioning why I was wearing 10x the gear everyone else had.
High top shoes to protect a rebuilt ankle, thigh to ankle hard leg protection, always full face, armored gloves, and now a Leatt compression vest as it has hard flank plates along with their armored short with hip & tailbone padding.
Nothing quite like blinding pain and a long ride down/drive home to make you step up your gear. I still have nerve damage & swelling 2 years later.
In my younger days I literally got stitched up & back on the mountain so I wouldn't waste the full day lift ticket..
  • 2 0
 I've worn a full face helmet for the entire 14 years I've been riding. On 3 separate occasions I crashed jaw first. My helmet potentially saved me from some expensive dental work. 3 times isn't much admittedly, but I just feel safer with that chin bar.
  • 4 0
 Full face is an always. Doesn't matter if I'm just cruising down to the store. I like my teeth
  • 1 0
 I agree that Enduro is a tough one to pick. Sometimes I ride with my full DH full face and chest/back protector, sometimes I go in a half shell and a t-shirt. Depends on what I'm riding, how likely I think I am to fall that day, and how hot it is. DH bike park laps are much easier for sure, I usually just throw on everything.
  • 3 0
 I answered the same for all categories. I should probably get some knee pads for the bikepark/shuttle days, maybe a full face too.
  • 3 2
 I learned a long time ago that their are two kinds of riders, those that have crashed and those that will crash. I wear a full face, elbow, hip, and knee pads to minimize the chance of injury. Coming across an injured or unconscious rider is no fun. No one wants to spend their riding time rescuing hurt riders off the trail.
  • 2 0
 Wrong sport homie. This is MTB, everyone has already crashed.
  • 1 0
 I recently had a bad crash in which my face landed on a rock. I cracked my half shell directly above my eye and broke a goggle lens. In this case, I’m pretty sure the goggle saved me from having more than a bump on my forehead, and might have even saved my eye. Goggles are definitely underrated w/r/t face protection in case of impact, especially with half shell helmets.
  • 1 0
 I tend to change it by bike. Hardtail? Halfshell. Enduro? Pretty much always full face, because I will always try to send it or do something stupid. I'm probably an outlier as far as knee and leg pads go, but I always wear them. I've just had so many crashes where they save the ride.
  • 1 0
 Heat has a big effect for me. In the summer I will go as minimum as possible when its hot as otherwise I end up getting light headed from the heat. Pretty much always ware knee pads though unless just light xc / trail as my knees are fragile. Wrist brace as well if its playing up.
  • 1 0
 What's the deal with specs / sunglasses made from optical glass (i.e. not plastic)? In moto it's advised against, even behind a visor and full-face as the glass might splinter in a crash and cause eye damage, but have no heard much in mtb though I guess the logic would be the same...
  • 6 2
 Naked with knee pads. Oh that was the race face
  • 2 0
 After 6 staples, and a surgical debridement, I wear those i7dip whatever the brand is ankle guards everywhere. Flat pedals for the win!
  • 2 1
 The less I’m geared up the looser and more confidently I ride within my known limits. It does bite me from time to time, but hey my broken ribs are healed enough for park season this year!
  • 6 0
 I can understand why you would feel that way. After I broke my elbow I started using elbow pads and absolutely hated them. Like anything though I got used to them and now it feels weird to be without them. Definitely feel more comfortable going fast geared up one I got used to it. Just food for thought.
  • 1 0
 Ankle braces have become a necessity after experiencing a severe ankle sprain a few years ago. The Space brace is comfortable on a trail ride. Now, riding without ankle braces is nothing but fear.
  • 1 0
 Both of my surgeries (neck and leg) have been from bmx tracks. I stopped riding bmx tracks. And my dj bike too… its pretty, but its very small and clearly not that forgiving.
  • 1 0
 I used to get wrecked on pump tracks all the time
  • 3 0
 Is it Brook Macdonald with the fake marshguard back protector? Oh the irony...
  • 1 1
 I just want to like like Professional mountain bikers, so even if I charge hard, as soon as I am on an enduro bike, or trail bike, I remove all the protections, and wear this cool Jet helmet, Just so much more Instagrammable dude !
  • 3 0
 Can we all agree that back protectors should go on the inside of the jersey?
  • 3 0
 I see no reason to skip protection. It’s when you least expect it that the accident will happen.
  • 3 0
 Neck brace. If you know, you know.
  • 2 0
 Ankle braces are a must for any kind of riding for me as I've sprained both my ankles multiple times...
  • 1 0
 ankle brace are quite good for injury prevention especially hitting jumps
  • 2 0
 Over-dressed, over-biked, holding on for dear life and giggling my way down giving no Fs...fun for the long run!
  • 1 0
 This year I satrted wearing googles nearly every ride, not only fir bike park labs. So much better vision and less dirt in my eyes. Dirt sucks when you relay on contacts.
  • 2 0
 Blows my mind that people will protect their hands from a few scrapes before they protect their eyes from going BLIND
  • 1 0
 Danger BaySmile I get scared, I wear more protection sometimesFrown . F it is the most usual thought.
  • 1 0
 For enduro I use gloves, half shell helmet (MIPS), knee pads.. and that is it.
  • 3 0
 cool
  • 1 0
 Depends, but my hydration pack has saved my back / spine / life more times than I can count
  • 1 0
 Condoms 24/7. Cheaper than a mini van….
  • 1 1
 Normal helmet and fingerless gloves for all riding. Unless it's cold, then thick gloves.
  • 1 0
 Slope style is shin pads for me
  • 1 0
 If only neck braces weren't $500...
  • 3 0
 They aren’t:
Leatt 3.5 $250.
Still a lot of money, but compared to bikes, lift tickets, let alone medical services, it’s not the biggest ticket item.
  • 1 0
 Mask and a condom. So yes.
  • 1 0
 Magnum .38 and and AR15 because Merica
  • 1 0
 my surgeon says i need more, about to miss 3rd season in rehab... again
  • 1 0
 Double wrap….always
  • 1 0
 All of it.
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