Pinkbike Poll: Protective Gear - or Not

Jan 5, 2015 at 0:51
by Richard Cunningham  
Sam Hill picked up where he left off with his last win here in 2010. It s been four years since Sam has taken a win it seems only fitting he did so here.

Sam Hill for the win at Mont Sainte Anne, 2014.



Reportedly, Sam Hill became the first male pro to win a World Cup DH event wearing a neck protector when he crossed the finish line at Mont Sainte Anne. One wonders why so few pro DH racers choose to race without similar protection, or why so many race without even basic protective gear like arm pads, gloves and spinal armor at all. Straw polls show that rank-and-file riders are more willing to pad up - even for XC trail rides. Among gravity competitors, the amateur classes are the best protected, with the lion's share decked out with elbows, knees neck protection and the obligatory full face.

Bike park riders are all over the map. High fashion for Whistler's hard core descenders is knee pads, a sleeveless T-shirt, neck protector and a pricey full-face helmet. Gloves and goggles are optional. Ride the Alpine parks on the European sub-continent and Whistler-esque fashion is quite prevalent, although matching gravity kits are the norm. Full-face helmets are proudly mandatory for European enduro and the EWS series, reportedly, because the courses are oh so demanding. Yet, when the rock stars of enduro are ripping down the same trails on off days, you'll find almost every one if them wearing the extended half-shell that is popular among E-racers in North America.

Perfect invert-form from the man from an upside-down country. There were whispers McGarry would go for it and when he came screaming in it was clear it was on.

Kelly McGarry for silver at Red Bull Rampage, 2013.



Riding off road on a bicycle guarantees regular, sometimes health-threatening contact with terra firma. Those are risks that we deem acceptable when weighed against the rewards of mountain biking. That said, the rule of inverses seems to apply to those who routinely put their lives and limbs on the line for mega style points. Where there is the assurance of great risk and small reward, it seems that protective gear is shunned. Freestyle, slopestyle and big-mountain riders - men who are sure to hit the ground hard and often, commonly choose slim knees under cotton/Spandex stretch-jeans, paired with a choice of a full-face or a skate helmet, with shirts, gloves and eyewear optional. Rampage riders are known to wear full kits, but many choose a light version with knees, stretch-jeans or DH pants, and pair that with a favorite cotton T-shirt for upper-body protection. Gloves, while worn by sponsored riders, are frowned upon.

Nowhere does the inverse rule apply more than with urban street-style BMX - where riders often launch from rooftop to rooftop, wallride second-story lines and huck to flat between concrete slabs and stairwells - without brakes. In the seedy cityscapes, the unspoken law for top 20-inch riders is: no helmet, no shirt, no gloves, no eyewear and, uh, shoe laces are optional equipment.

Sam Pilgrim

Sam Pilgrim, 2013 FMB World Tour Champion.





OK then, if you didn't guess by now, the polls for today are:

What kind of protection do you normally ride with?

Check the boxes that apply



...And, what kind of riding do you most often do?

Click one box







218 Comments

  • 213 2
 This comes up a lot, and the answer is usually: who gives a crap what the fashion police dictate, wear what makes you feel safe and comfortable and go have fun.

But always wear a helmet.
  • 12 1
 you can get gear that fis under your clothing, but its worth having the gear and wear it. Its your life on the line, you choose to live riding, or not ride anymore, up to critical injury or worse, death.
  • 16 10
 I reckon when you start to go really big, beyond a helmet protecting your head other protection does little to prevent broken bones. Maybe thats why the big boys dont wear much extra protection.
  • 98 2
 I used to wear full armour when I was doing extreme freeride - sessioning huge gaps in rock filled quarries, and big drops off 'north shore' timber trails surrounded by broken branches and spikes.

You are going to crash, and crash hard at some point.

Yes, the armour will only limit the biomechanical damage to some degree, but in my experience wearing good armour changes the way you fall (because you can) and prevents many abrasions and impalement on sharp stuff. It can also make the difference between sliding in a crash and coming to a sudden stop - its not the fall that hurts, its the rapid deacceleration that causes the damage!

In my old shop in Surrey (UK), we used to sell a lot of body armour and had regular customers who were stuntmen from the movie industry working on local productions like Harry Potter and Pirates of Carribean. Very common choice was the 661 upper body jacket and 661 knee / shin guards, both of which would fit under most costumes worn during filming.

These guys knew their stuff about falling, taking measured risks and choosing protective equipment for stunts. They were blown away by some of the photos and videos I'd show them of riders sending huge stunts only wearing a piss-pot helmet.

Body armour can and does work, and can give rider a confidence to develop their skill base whilst doing what is practically possible to reduce risks. But it cannot eliminate risk.
  • 11 2
 I've found full body kits, and even shin and arm protectors really uncomfortable and I like riding comfortably, then again 6 weeks in a neck brace isn't comfortable either (5 fractured vertebrae, oops) a good helmet is definitely the #1 thing to have
  • 16 26
flag chyu (Jan 9, 2015 at 1:36) (Below Threshold)
 No pads no gloves. D3+Leatt I'm ready to roll.
  • 17 1
 @ScottStedman I agree with you. Fashion is forcing a lot of riders to just use a jersey. Even in motocross the most of the riders are "naked" I mean no protection just a boot, jersey, and good MX jean.
I was so unfortunatey to fell into this fashion and not wear any back protection, I broke 3 vertebras in '12 because of this.... Since then even if I ride dh on a small choco-cup, or in the park, I wear that f*cking back protector.. and also switched to carbon helmets just in case...
In my opinion, a lot of riders should sit down, and think about they life, will thise few grams, or a small drawback in comfort worth the "prize" of a lot of backpain in the entire life, or other consequences from crashes...

Ride safely! Smile
  • 24 13
 In my case, I just relate full body armor with roughest high speed crashes I had, even armor as good as Dainese. After years of not wearing it I took it on again and hugged a tree and permanently dislocated my collar bone. Hence my experiences make me stay away from it, I don't even want to bother to think if it was just conincidence, bad luck, if it limits my movements, make me dare too much, I don't give a F. I also relate full body armor with poor riders in bike parks, it is surely a matter of own perception, as a few guys I know who ride way better then me wear armor, but this is what my brain registers and classifies.

The subject of protection is filled with many conscious and subconscious fears causing the rise of high emotions, therefore people go nuts when discussing it, giving weird arguments, often getting on high horse, holding their position. I remember myself thinking of people commuting to work without helmet as immoral because I thought they are giving bad example to kids. I don't even want to mention how much hate and anger I used to feel for people not wearing helmet in skateparks or on Dirt jumps. I'm fine now, i sitll feel such bloke is straight stupid and short sighted but I am flatter on it. For that reason I think it is best not to discuss it at all, as the first comment suggests, it is hard to find a topic filled with more irrational behaviour and decision taking. It may also be due to paradox that riding a mountain bike at high speeds, doing big jumps, going warp speed by gigantic rocks, on hardly walkable crazy steeps is a highly irrational activity and attempt of bringing any factual sense to it is a lost case?
  • 15 3
 I had a crash this summer and landed head first on jumps way to big for me. Without a doubt my neck brace saved me now i won't ride without it
  • 4 0
 always wear a lid and knee pads alpine terrain dictates an additional protection such as elbows and spine for me...
  • 3 0
 @wakidesigns - do you mean you put the armour on then got the injury?
  • 11 3
 No I put armor on after like 2 years of riding without it. 2nd ride in it and I hit a tree. I fall very very rarely, because I a m a pussy aware of his own abilities and unwilling to get out of comfort zone. I am just saying that majority of my bigger crashes when I was going: I am going to die, happened with armor on, hence I relate them. That is purely my own attitude towards it. I still ride with back protector but I do not want anything on my arms and elbows. I cannot explain why, I just don't feel comfortable with it and I know I am not the only one.
  • 5 0
 but if you did not have it put on, you must have that bone in a million pieces Wink
  • 8 3
 Maybe I would not go out of balance on the wooden bridge before it and I would not hit that tree at all if I had more freedom of movement? Maybe if I would not come to riding that track with attitude: this track is so scary I better put armor on, then it would be better? Maybe if someone put padding on that tree it would be better? Maybe if caught diarrhea attack on the lift up it would not happen? What if mountain exploded? I am not spending my life thinking what if, I prefer it's gonna be alright Wink
  • 9 0
 Fair do's.

Personally I ride with as much protection on as poss, in my opinion comfort/fashion is secondary to saftey. It doesn't make me think I'm superman or a better rider than I am, I just do what I can do.

Slowly progressing to bigger and better, but only when I feel I have necessary skill / mind set.

At 35 I know I don't bounce very much anymore and injuries tend to be worse and take longer to recover from so I just try and keep it real, have a laugh and generally enjoy myself :-) but I have no aspirations of being the next Steve Peat or other such legend of the sport.

For the (generally younger than me) guys that are pushing boundries as well as skill set and have the ambition to genuinely be a contender are being incredible short sighted following fashion. If it all goes tit's up and you do have a major crash they could be destroying that dream of topping the podium at the worlds or whatever aspiration they may have.

Comfort and fashion should be at the back of their minds.

No one has to agree but that's my two penith :-)
  • 6 0
 That "What If" game is always in my mind as well. Me and my girl stayed at Mammoth bike park and rode for 4 days, no big issues. A few months later, we arrive at Snow Summit, buy her a full face helmet. Then 30 min later, she low sides and breaks her collar bone in half. I had a boat load of "What Ifs" that day. To my shock, she was able to let it go and continue to ride again once healed up.
  • 7 0
 Lucky you that your good lady rides, I spent £1,500 on a bike in a vain attempt to involve mine.... MAHOOSIVE waste of cash haha
  • 3 0
 leave the girlfriends out of it imo, mine got into it, liked it, rode some blacks, was getting pretty good then we started falling out on every ride cuz she was in an arsey mood and wanted pack in after an hour and spend time in the blood café - she stopped riding, the relationship was fixed........

anybody wanting a near mint white commencal super 4 for themselves or their girl PM me
  • 1 0
 Don't ebay it fella, worst mistake of my life, lost £1,100 in 4 or 5 months!!!!!
  • 3 3
 What if game is a very personal one. I never ever had problem with it therefore I can't take any credit for it. I may be a psychopath because I have next to no regrets hahah Big Grin One thing MTB taught me and that may work only for me is that too much carefulness is dangerous, if I come to a gnarly track I better face it with my head held up or skip it. As soon as I fel that the trail is taking over me, that I start to be affraid, that I am constantly ready to put my foot out and put it on the ground then I try to put myself together and focus on reality what do I need to do to ride down, or I walk down. I am humiliated by the trail anyways. For me fear is necessary to have respect for something but when I commit, then I leave it away, everytime it pops up, the panic is behind the corner and panic is a direct way to eat sht. So I beleive in philosophy that the best way to not get injured is to do anything necessary to keep rubber side down. Well I may be a World Champion of steady pace, you can't win even a local race with that, but I stay in one piece for most of the time, while still having my share of excitement Big Grin I wear stuff that I would not feel comfortable without. Comfort is everything to me, both physical and mental. If I have fear of falling inside of my head, then I just play mental games with myself until it goes away. It's a damn hard skill to learn. One biggest thing that keeps me away from DH bikes is that I know that they allow for riding faster than my skill set allows for. I am truly affraid of them, because speed may go up, experiences may go up, but trees and rocks are as hard as on a stiffie with 1.75 tyres and cantilevers.
  • 6 0
 I don't want to run into your stiffie waki!!! (UK slang for penis)
  • 1 0
 The funny thing with my psychosis is that my "what if" game only applies to my girls safety. For some reason I can let it go when it comes to myself, whether it be riding mx bikes at the desert, track days on my R1, or dh at the local parks.. I think doing something with such high risk requires high confidence and focus. You are definitely right that it is dangerous to let your mind win the battle. The fear keeps you focused on another level.
  • 2 0
 Totally agree with all of that,certainly in the DH arena fear is as much your friend as speed, however I'm no less scared of going big or flat out because I have body armour on, you can still do yourself a proper injustice!

I just see as much bodily protection (as possible) as a necessary evil, an evil that could well save life and/or limb.
  • 4 1
 quite honestly I am scared to sht of getting scared to sht in a close call situation, I am really scared of panicking... fear is my friend at the trail head or at the bottom of the mountain, but not in the process.
  • 1 0
 Well made point :-)
  • 2 0
 That's a much better way to put it. Once you hit the gas, its game on and time to focus.
  • 1 0
 If I'd replaced the word 'fear' with 'respect' it may have been closer to what I was trying to say, a sort of healthy tepidation if you catch my drift :-)
  • 2 0
 Good conversation going on, in this thread.

This is the kind of stunt I rode when I was doing extreme free ride. You may understand why I chose to wear armour. Previous to me sticking this stunt, the previous 5 riders were taken to hospital due to choppy run in and very short landing!

www.pinkbike.com/photo/342965
  • 4 1
 Wear what you want, do what you want, suck up the consequences & don't tell anyone else how to roll.
  • 2 0
 @freeride-forever I never would pass judgement dude, ROCK ON be all you can be Smile my opinion is my own, every man, women and child have their own mind and a right to riding however they want. Whether I agree or not it's totally irrelevant, it is what it is and folk will do as they please. I have a fairly black and white view, the bigger, faster and harder you go the more protection you need, but please don't forget that's my opinion and I'm getting on a bit...........it's unfortunate but it it happens to us all Frown haha
  • 2 0
 @hampsteadbandit that is a serious piece of work at least twice anything I've ever attempted!

In a word LEGEND!

Bigger nuts than me, where is that?
  • 3 0
 Either everyone is pushing much harder than I am, or they just don'e have any skills on a bike (based on people's comments of their injuries). My guess is that people are pushing harder than me. That being said, however, I rode 3+ times a week at a bike park in BC this summer and never wore upper body protection at all. Strictly wore full face with goggles, gloves, and knee pads. Sure my elbows got messed up once and a while, but to me, the added falls from discomfort in too much protective gear don't make sense. When you crash more, you're liable to end up with more injuries, regardless of whether or not you have armour on. But, thats just my opinion: my wearing of extensive protection makes me crash more frequently, which I would rather not have happen.
Ultimately I guess it does come down to personal preferences, perceptions, and a brief 'risk-cost-benefit analysis'.
  • 1 0
 I have a full protection suit, with detachable arms, ergo detachable elbow pads, and shoulder pads. I wore it fully for a year in 2013, after my crash in 2012. Last year I just wore it with the arms detached, and it was veeeery comfortable. Like a lightweight backpack, with a huge protection from top to bottom on my back. I dont think this not worth the ability you can walk... Because if yomething could happen it will sometime, and I am lucky that I still can walk and ride bike after crashing on my back, like a frontflip, at about 20-30mph...
  • 1 0
 @jskiff

Cheers for the props.

The stunt was the 'monster step down' at Woburn Sands bike park near Bletchley. It was taken down after a while because it was kinda sketchey and was causing accidents.

You can see the video here www.pinkbike.com/video/109268
  • 2 0
 Not much room for error there @hampsteadbandit
  • 2 1
 You'll tell that to your kids too, right...
  • 1 0
 @randybadger

yeah, the landing was the problem. You had to about 20 feet to touch down and then steer immediate right or you went straight on into a pond full of mud and weed.

In the video I am so stoked I landed that I punch the air after turning around the pond and slid sideways dropping the bike and managed to land running on my feet - you see this at the end of the video!
  • 2 0
 I spent some time at Woburn a few years back. I should have had a guide, there were a lot of lines
  • 2 1
 Those were the times when people thought that the bigger and shittier the jump the better because good landings and run outs were not hardcore enough Big Grin dirt jumps with 4ft high 45 deg take offs and 1ft hight 3ft long 15deg landings and 5ft gap, usualy being a 2ft deep hole. And all those talks about being scared to case ending up with dead sailor flying face forward, overshooting the shitty landing by 6ft. Ehhh...
  • 2 0
 I think a lot of Woburn was pretty well crafted. But I know exactly what you mean there waki
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns

Woburn was very well built, but some of the stunts were constricted by the limited amount of space on offer across the site, and close proximity of trees. We did the best that we could!

you can see some of it in this video: www.pinkbike.com/video/112314
  • 72 2
 does stuffing a sock down the front of my spandex count as protection? #roadielife
  • 40 0
 I asked my girlfriend and she said no
  • 5 17
flag rockhammer (Jan 8, 2015 at 23:33) (Below Threshold)
 Only if you roll it OVER the Johnson like a condom. Or better yet: just wear a condom!
  • 43 0
 I'd rather be able to ride shortly after a decent spill... more riding time, more fun. I'll be fine with my pads.
  • 9 0
 Same here. They may be a slight inconvenience, but if they save me the pain and ER bill for stitches then I'm totally good with them.
  • 38 2
 You get charged for going to the ER for stitches? Universal healthcare FTW!
  • 5 2
 $10 copay, bitches!
  • 5 1
 I ripped my elbow of and the protector sits in the place where it should be, so i would say they just prevent little scratches.
  • 2 1
 Most pads are terrible and just move in a crash exposing the area they're supposed to protect. There are probably some good ones out there if you're willing to look for them
  • 3 0
 Same reason I wear pads and tend to go just a bit slower and more cautiously through technical sections. Sure shaving time, and jumping bigger would be awesome, but I want to ride again tomorrow, and being all banged up is not conducive to that.
  • 1 0
 Pads rule but I'll admit to not wearing them as often as I should. I just dropped some $$ on leatt's airfit 3df suit so I'll never have an excuse to ride crazy lines exposed. Also stoked on the idea of elbows that will stay in place.
  • 3 0
 @iamamodel Yes, the bill was about $1000 for 5 stitches up by my left eye. It sucks. Urgent Care from now on for me. And I didn't even get it from biking.
  • 2 0
 Glad i live in the uk. We get patched up for free.
  • 2 0
 Lol! If I had to pay 1000 bucks for 5 stiches...no. just no
  • 1 0
 Randy.. you don't get shit for free bro. Wink
  • 43 7
 650b-specific, QR, sleeveless, tubeless, travel-adjust, one-by, carbon fiber prescription enduro visor on training rides. Check my Strava, yo.
  • 26 0
 Helmet, gloves, kneepads, eyewear for the regular shred on local trails. Add a safety jacket for park riding I've seen some guys take the helicopter home for looking cool. And a kid at our local dirt park cracked his skull a few years back - it was one of the rare days where he did put a lid on for riding. Would've been killed without... Wear decent protection guys, who gives two f's about how you looked _that day_ when you mess up the rest of your life.
  • 20 1
 Oh, and who cares about what the pros wear. They wear what they get told/paid to. If you put enough money on the table, they will even post pictures of them riding an E-Bike down a trail on Instagram. Just sayin....
  • 2 0
 the title should say "one that WC riders do not choose"
  • 27 0
 The older I get, the more I've been hurt, the more I wear, yet the more conservatively I ride. What a mess.
  • 23 0
 ahhh... people that don't wear helmet/pads, must not have a job they have to go every day. its frowned upon to show up at my job with broken bones or injuries that prevent physical labor. lucky you if thats not your situation...
  • 11 0
 I hear you on this. Child support=wearing pads.
  • 4 0
 remember in school when your friends would all sign your cast and and you would dare them to take a whiff? Coworkers much less amused by those antics.
  • 3 0
 This is my problem. I work on a ship, and I need to be physically able to perform emergency duties if something goes to shit. Any broken bone or dislocation injury will make me miss a trip away and potentially cost me 3 months+ of pay even if the injury doesn't take that long to heal. As a result, I ride with full face, knees, full jacket with elbows and spine protector on even the most minor rides. Whistler gets neck brace treatment.
  • 21 0
 As an "OLD" (42) I guess my perspective is different than most 20 somethings....I find myself riding the park weekly during the season, My skills are mediocre but it's what I love to do. I wear body armor not because I think it looks cool or makes me a better rider, rather simply because I have to be able to support my family. If I go down with a serious injury, I'm out of work...plain and simple. So in the interest of not f'ing up my life entirely and so I can continue doing what I love (riding bikes), I reluctantly throw on my body armor at the park and risk being that dorky old guy.....So far (after two seasons at the park), I've been shown nothing but respect from the younger kids I ride the lift up with. It's all a matter of perspective and where you are in life as to how you view the subject. I don't think anyone is necessarily wrong for whatever choice they make, just don't let your choice form an opinion about what others choose to do or not do...
  • 4 0
 I appreciate your post here, being a 40-something as well. I too walk the fine line between having fun riding and staying alive and kicking for my family. A lot would be at stake if I went down with something major, and it would be a big imposition on several people. Like you, I am also surrounded by younger folks in the places I like to ride and at first felt awkward with all my gear on. I realized that no one really bats an eye though and generally there is a culture of respect for those who gear up rather than down. I now ride with a sense of pride in a way, knowing that at least I'm trying to do what I can to stay safe. Multiple times now, all my stuff has come in real handy, especially the full face and my Leatt. My riding has become more cautious and I usually stick to what I know. We don't bounce back from injuries the way we used to, so might as well take preventative measures, one dorky old guy to another.
  • 17 0
 I found I wanted to tick nearly every box. As someone who rides everything from XC to Dirt Jump to DH to AM/FR stuff, the protective equipment I've got on really depends on the ride I'm on and the bike under me
  • 2 0
 Do you find you follow the trend of each discipline? It's weird, I pad up fully for DH, where I'm actually pretty solid, and then skimp in the skate park on BMX where I'm guaranteed to spill several times an hour.
  • 18 3
 Neck brace, beater + shorts, and knee pads

Pretty much describes anyone who rides park during warm weather..


That might just be me
  • 10 0
 Well you always gotta ride park.
  • 3 0
 me and u sonnn
  • 9 0
 whenever I wear the beater aka stank top when it's hot I'm guaranteed to go down on my shoulder and loose about a cubic yard of skin. it's all good, I love picking scabs.
  • 9 1
 When riding DH in the park, I wear full kit (knee, elbow, chest, spine, full-face), usually with 1-2 layers of shirt (thin/tight shirt under armor, baggy one over top). Even when it's +35 Celcius. I guess the heat just doesn't bother me. While I'm riding the chair I'm not exerting myself, and on the way down there's always a steady breeze Smile
  • 2 3
 ^** goon***^^ jkjk i someties very rarely use spine stuff just neck bracke and knee pads , sometimes gloves too
  • 10 0
 I broke a vertebra even with back protection. But without they promised that my spine would have snapped in half. So I'm happy that I'm not paralyzed. The back protector was garbage after that crash. Now I never ride without leat and good back protection.
Thank you Dainese for saving my ass Wink
  • 14 1
 life or death?.........sadly some people find this to be a hard choice. Always wear your helmet.
  • 9 0
 After seeing someone split their face open and ending up in plastic surgery after wearing the skate lid + goggle combo riding downhill I will never skimp on a full face on the DH bike. No point wearing it on the "enduro" trails here, they're more highways built for roadies.
  • 7 0
 Stuff is too rocky here not to wear a full face helmet even on enduro stuff. I don't want to lose my teeth
  • 11 0
 They forgot to to inlcude "blue dickies work pants" in the gear section...
  • 5 0
 haha , it's not just me then ! Can never find DH trousers long enough , or in a colour would be seen dead in
  • 1 0
 I have a snickers work jacket thats great for dh in winter. If it wasnt for the cut my nicer work trousers would make great dh pants.
  • 1 0
 Yeah! "Action Trousers" ftw!
  • 5 0
 I've broken fingers, multiple ribs, fractured my sternum, heel, ankle, clavicle, bruised my hips etc. etc and gladly, never a concussion Smile

I always wear a full face helmet, neck brace and knee pads when riding DH. I will wear full armor, which adds body, spine, arms, carbon plated gloves, padded shorts and shins on days where I will ride over big rocks or go off bigger jumps.

Trail riding, I have g-forms for descending. I will wear the knees every time, the fore arms when I'm going over a certain comfort level. I will pack a full face and neck brace when it's even more than that.

Everyvtime I've bruised or fractured ribs, I was never wearing my body protector, which is why I wear it more now than years before.
  • 4 0
 Let's just say I always "dress for success." I NEVER dress just to look cool. If I'm doing a sketchy, rocky boost I'll turtle-shell up. If I'm riding XC I'm in thin knees and a XC lid. I could rule out street cloths and skinny jeans though... That's not me. I don't ride a fixie MTB...

I'm still on the fence about neck protectors.... I can visualize the crunch/compacting benefits, but I can also see the leveraging/hinging downfalls as well. Plus, I've tried three different brands and they all seemed to get in my way.
  • 2 0
 If I'm honest, my Leatt is not particularly comfortable and, as designed, restricts my mobility. But I think about how uncomfortable I'd be tooling around in a wheelchair and just wear the shit. (to say nothing of the lack of mobility a spinal injury brings)

I learned long ago, I crash far too hard and far too often to let fashion trump function. Several concussions later, I'm happy to still be able to ride at all.
  • 4 0
 The worst thing to see is a kid rider without any helmet. I never leave for biking without a helmet, gloves, knee pads and special, stiff riding shoes. Every part of the set is so important to me, that I can't feel calm without. The only situation in which I ride without any gear is a short test ride after service, still it is not even effective since I cannot feel the bike without my shoes and gloves. I noticed that I never crash hitting a knee, so this is more about feeling safe than protecting. Grinding a knee is beyond my worse imagination. Riding without knee pads, or helmet, makes me feel cold, because of wind. I usually hit one of my elbows, but I never use elbow pads, because they become wrist pads after a while, or block blood circulation too tight. I am still searching for a kind of jersey that would have some thin and comfortable elbow pads. 661 offers a good one, but it is too tiny for me and it is meant to be only under pads.
  • 1 0
 If I were to go for an extreme trail, with high probability of going down, it would be a pair of big impact shoes, knee&shin pads (maybe the stiff ones), thick and soft, long and stable elbow pads, full face, gogles and a pair of gloves. Maybe some shorts with thin hip pads. They don't make gloves with palm pads now. I used to have xc gloves with gelly pads inside them on the base and it was comfortable and safe. Having all of the gear I mentioned, I would feel really safe. Well it definitely depends on a rider, psychic and how is he used to falling, because some people like to toss and roll and some (like me) like to land on palms and elbows. I do not remember any crash in my life that involved a helmet touch and it does not mean I won't use it anymore to save weight. The best protective gear is the one that is so comfortable that there is no need to take it off. I'd prefer to use a full face all the time, if it was not because of 4 reasons. Heavy breathing issues, no space for headphones, even if without them I hear close to nothing in fullface and the peripheral seeing is limited so there is a lot of head shaking from side to side. I use gogles only in day time. I see nothing in gogles at night. The rest of my outfit is a strong double layer military material, so the layers slide agains each other when I crash.
  • 4 0
 Any time I ride without knee pads on a rough trail I inevitably get mega bruises from the top tube
  • 3 0
 I started wearing helmets when I decided to try snowboarding instead of skiing (and hadn't done any mtb beyond easy XC stuff yet). With a snowboard at least, when you go down hard, its almost impossible to stop your head hitting the floor. A helmet is DEFINITELY needed.

I've had a few mtb falls this year, and found when its an over-the-bars job, i've gained a few scratches to my helmet.. I'd hate to see what would happen without one!
  • 1 0
 Whenever you fall on back, your head hits the ground. The back of a human head protects the part of the brain, where the sense of sight is located, so it often gets darkish when crashing. It does not matter if it is snowboarding, going down a water slide, or skating somewhere on a rink, but it is rather hard to do it on a bike. I'd prefer fashion designers to come up with some ideas of a casual, elegant helmets used daily in every activity, like a jacket, or shoes. There are examples of such, if you google urban helmets for women. It is difficult to say whether it is still a helmet, or a nice looking hat. I saw one that resembled a stylish, white and red haircut. There should be some for men too. This would work like hats and save lives for sure. It is easy to screw up everything dead in reality, and so hard to fix it, even with the help of modern medicine and all the digitalisation. Things would need to be the other way round. This would be the only way of all the conditions to come, to justify all the crafty carelessness, I could see among young people "having fun".
  • 1 0
 The most controversial aspect of all the protective gear is that they are to protect the highest good in the world, which is human health and life, and still it costs a lot ( about 30% of the bike) to stay well protected. It is the same shit about medical care. Health and safety should not be available to the rich users only. There are now safety certificates, that each gear should be approved with, to be usable. It stays misunderstood why people try to fake, or hide the signs to sell low quality, dangerous gear to naive people. Anyway if you have the opportunity to try snowboarding and simultaneously stay protected by a helmet, you belong to the tiny percentage of world population who can affort it, as well as find snow in the latest climate. Still we should remember there are riders, especially young kids, whose parents bought a bike and saved on buying helmets and pads. This could be a choice between mending a roof, buying food or the promised, small bike. As long as I live, I will claim that since we buy seatbelts and airbags standard in our cars, there should be a matching helmet incalculated in the price of every new bike.
  • 1 0
 I bet I am the Pinkbike record-holder for the amount of times when my ip is saved for possible spamming. The Slavic dialect of English worships more words in relishing, as well as complicated grammar structures. Or it could be just me.
  • 1 0
 I have a nice soccer Jersey that I use for light dh or burly enduro, because it has elbow pads built in. The only thing is that it is a long sleeve Jersey, so it can get hot.
  • 1 0
 @SoMuchBlood Except for Japan, there are no T-shirts with integrated elbow protection. An elbow is usually between the ends of long & short sleeve.
  • 5 0
 First win with a neck brace. Sam Hill would have won three but needed his neck brace big time instead. Wear what you want but I wear what I need to be safe. Chicks don't actually dig scars.
  • 4 0
 Why no separate elbow pads option in the poll? I've got more scars on my forearms and elbows than anywhere else.

These days I ear my g-form elbow pads for anything beyond standard XC. I have no excuse NOT to wear them. They are light weight, low profile. If I'm wearing a 3/4 or long sleeve jersey, you can't even tell they are there. They do a great job at stopping abrasion and reasonable job of minimizing impact.

Helmet, eyewear, elbow pads.
  • 3 0
 I don't care how dumb or if anyone makes fun of my Rollerblade specific knee pads, joey rental elbow gurads, and bulky, thrift store bought body armor, I'm always glad I had it in a crash.
  • 7 1
 I only wear neck brace...
  • 5 0
 no option to select my 3 piece sporting tweed suit with plus fours and galoshes?? really PB...
  • 2 0
 I've moved to wearing a full face for pretty much everything. I've heard enough stories about innocuous falls where someone has done severe damage to their face to make me realise that, for me, it's worth the discomfort. I always have knee and arm pads on, though they are fairly light-weight, but I don't currently own any body armour so I don't ride anything I think requires it. The full face has helped with confidence, I less worried about washing out and grinding my face through the gravel, dirt, roots, rocks etc. so ride a bit harder.
  • 2 0
 Put up with the uncomfortable or awkward. All it takes is one bad one and you will wish you did. Bad crash for me in 2008 with a neck brace on resulted in broken neck. C1-c6 and broken sternum. Without it doctors said I would certainly be paralyzed. Was it worth riding with protection? Damn rights
  • 2 0
 For, me I have to have a spine protector and neck protector. For the spine I got one when I first started riding DH (having a curved spine thought it would be a good idea), never really needed it but I got used to having it on so i never felt like it limited my movement, one day though in a rooty section I was going to fast over shot the double and went over my bars into the roots there was no sliding or anything instant stop got up grabbed the bike and kept going, at the end of the day take the protector off and there are two huge dents in the plates that was enough to tell me it's a good thing I had it on who knows if I would of damaged some discs but the bruise alone would have taken me out for a bit. For the neck brace I have discs fusing in my neck so any way to preserve my mobility there with out earlier surgery is a bonus for me. gloves to me are a no brainer they prevent your hands from looking like hamburger. Knee pads hit or miss if they actually stay in place or not.

Short form: wear what you are comfortable in, I ride better and faster in a spine plate, neck brace and full face compared to just full face, others ride slower. Wear what is right for you, just always wear a helmet.
  • 1 0
 That's a good way to learn The same reason why I started wearing protection gear
  • 2 0
 I wear it because I am shit, not because I am the shit. Make no mistake my employer wouldn't be too chuffed for me to take weeks off because I broke myself, nor will they have access to the best physio's or doctors. Plus the older you get the less you bounce!
  • 2 0
 A family friend (friends 14 year old brother) was in accident where he ended up crashing and doing significant damage to his spine. He was wearing a helmet and all the gear, but no neck brace, and he'll never be able to walk again. It's something you never really think about in your teens and early twenties, but seeing some 14 year old boy who will never ride again, will never run again, and will never walk again; it really drives home the point that you're not invincible. I've always been a helmet/shins/gloves/goggles guy, now I include a neck brace anytime I'm doing DH riding.
  • 5 0
 Sorry, but the first poll's answers are pretty awfully laid out
  • 2 0
 Yeah i reckon. I wear kneepads but don't wear gloves but it won't let me enter that.
  • 5 0
 Depends on the mood/wheater/lazyness/track/spot/how it smells
  • 1 0
 Ok, this year I had what I would consider a pretty bad DH crash. Hit a slippery bridge and bike goes sideways off of bridge, feet come off the pedals and when I land sideways, I get the back of the seat right in the groin area just above the 'jewels'. I wear all the gear but I don't know of any protection for that area. Any options out there?
  • 5 0
 A cup?
  • 1 0
 Looks like Troy Lee Designs does. Or at least for the inner thigh. Otherwise, you'd need a cup, LOL.
  • 1 0
 Err, a jock? Not sure what you call them there.
  • 1 0
 I try to wear as much protection as I can without being too hot or limited in my movement. So for now, that's a half helmet (ordered the convertible Bell Super 2R), biker eye wear, biker shoes, gloves, knee pads, and elbow pads. I am considering getting a protective vest as long as it vents well enough and doesn't restrict movement. I'll probably go with the Dainese Ryholite jacket but it's expensive. But what's interesting is that most MTB'ers around here come from road biking so they wear what road bikers wear and make fun of us who wear elbow and knee pads. Yet, the trails are very tough and people often break bones, myself included. So yeah, who cares what other people think. Just try to find the right balance between safety and comfort!
  • 3 0
 The guys I ride with all took the mickey out of my robocop appearance at first (hardshell knee/shins and elbows) but strangely enough, within 18 months, they are now all wearing armour as well!
Can't speak for everyone and each to their own but I can safely say I believe my armour had saved me from more serious injury quite a few times. Elbows and knees are important joints and even the smoothest, safest trails you can think of have the odd rock or root where, if you landed on it, you'd be in potentially serious trouble. The trouble I'd get from the missus would bit be worth it :-)
  • 1 0
 Or not be worth it even...
  • 1 0
 Before i ride, i always ask my friend how the track condition.
Is it rocky, rooty, or whatever similiar with it.
Is it wet, muddy, or not.

I'm not that kind of rider who just ride a track without knowing the track condition first.
To make it simple, i won't ride until i know the track chracteristic.
I have my own reason.
It's such painful memory of mine.

The protections mostly i use are neck brace, knee, full body armor, full face helmet,padded shorts, gloves, and goggle.
But, for an enduro ride, i just change the full face helmet, with my half-shell helmet + mouth guard.
  • 2 1
 I fall off my bike quite a lot. Usually just a jump into a bush or a run out and never really been one for protection. I think knees are a fad, even though I wear knee pads. Gloves I could take or leave. But it only took one landing to my face to convince me an XC lid isn't enough for me. My face hit the dirt and I still broke my nose and bled everywhere. If I'd landed on a rock I'd have been in hospital for a while and have an even funkier looking face.
  • 2 1
 I wear a full face and knee pads for alot of AM trail riding around here as I feel safer. Helmet on the bag on the fire road climbs and more protection on the way down, the weight is a minor sacrifice. With the improvement in bike tech in the last 10 years we are riding downhill trails on a AM ride so the possibility of an injury is high. Had a mate taking the p*ss out of me on a ride, then watched him bail face first into the floor and end up in a right mess.
  • 1 0
 I could not really imagine racing Enduro with a Neck Brace, and a full upper body protection. Usually I use minimalist elbow pads and my hydration pack as back protection. but always propper kneeguards. Fullface when racing, halfshell when riding at home. I would say that is the norm for Enduro?

Eyewear, always, but that's just because the wind makes me cry like a baby Wink
  • 1 0
 If I'm doing downhill I go out like a storm trooper, the pros don't have to worry about having a bad accident as much as us meer mortals, my boss would be none to chuffed if I told him I'd need to take the next few months off becuse I was stupid and broke myself due to not wearing any protection. If a pro goes down hard then they will still have the backing of the team, they also have the best insurance and access to the best doctors.
  • 1 0
 I ride a 120mm AM/trail hardtail,but I ride everything on it, even some light dh trails. I had a bad crash with no protection and got messed up for a few months,no riding,no jogging nothing for MONTHS!!!
So now I wear a ripstop Jersey and jacket for my arms, half shell helmet,glasses,hard shell knees and always gloves.the knees are so Uncomfy but it's worth it when you stop and think about what we actually do. I need my body in one piece for work and if my riding gets an more aggressive I'm getting a full face and goggles and soft elbows.

I'd still like to be able to ride my bike after crashing into a rocky thorny ditch at 30kph+
Protect yourself or wreck yourself- whatever the confidence level.shit happens
  • 1 0
 I ride DH, and i usually look like a SWAT man. I always wear full body armor with spinal protector, knee pads, full face helmet, and gloves. The quality also imporant the plastic hardshells make more damage, instead of protecting you (for example my left clavicule injured because of this) - so if you can buy the higher priced SaS-Tech or Evo protection, its really worth it - no joke! On the downside it is super warm in the summer days, and i must drink like 7-8 liters of water for a day, on warm days it is even more. I also have to mention that it is much harder to move the bike to the direction that i want to go, which is bad if you are competing all the time with your same level frirends Big Grin . But after all i feel save, especially in the critical areas head, spine, knees. I might buy a neck protector in the future but the price they are asking for such a thing is ridiculous...
  • 2 1
 Sometimes because I am so awesome, my head gets to big for my helmet and then I give myself a hard on and I can't ride with trousers on. So I just ride naked. The problem is my big balls rub on the rear wheel when I'm riding massive drops. Wear what you want but it's not just you who is affected if you hurt yourself from not wearing protective gear....
  • 3 2
 It has made me laugh when must people have put down that they ride Enduro!! Lol. If you are really honest its just trail/xc riding on local trail centres. I ride a so called Enduro bike (Whyte G150s) and ride trail centres and local woodlands so I certainly wouldn't class that as Enduro!! Just because you may ride an Enduro bike didn't mean you ride Enduro come off it!!
  • 1 0
 Although I support you wearing whatever want (or don't want), I personally think you're a complete moron for not riding ATTGATT (All the gear, all the time) if you do downhill or freeride. You are GOING to eat shit, and hard, at some point. I promise you. A full set of gear might be the diference between getting up and dusting off, versus having a handlebar shoved in your spleen (ask me how I know)
  • 1 0
 Your first sentence is interesting.
  • 1 0
 I've seen some pretty horrific injuries, and had one happen to me, from not wating to be uncomfortable in an amor suit. Never again. If you don't like them, hey, that's your choice, but don't say I didn't warn you.
  • 1 0
 It's interesting because you are basically saying that you support people that you think are morons. Didn't really have anything to do with whether or not one should or should not wear protection. I just thought you uttered a logical fallacy in the form of a contradiction.
  • 1 0
 I meant what I said, just because I personally think you're missing brain cells for riding gearless (or will be), doesn't mean I want to take away your right to do so. Just like I support motorcyclists who don't wear helmets, or people who don't wear seat belts.

I figure it'll just thin out the gene pool a little.
  • 2 0
 I'm past my teens and 20's - doesn't matter what I wear or how I wear it they'll be faster than me. Upside - I'm not in my teens or 20's so don't really care what others think about how I look on the trails.
  • 2 0
 Pinkbike, please don't cross tab the two poll results. Many of us ride varying disciplines and answered the protective clothing question accordingly, but were then asked to choose only one type of riding style. Dumb.
  • 1 0
 I ride with a 661 protective jacket (spine, chest, shoulders and elbow pretection), however it is quite bulky and is hard to put under my clothes. Could anyone recommend upper protection that is more slimline and can wear under my jersey without looking like the hulk?
  • 1 0
 Troy lee makes some nice upper body armour which is quite slim. Think it's called the hot weather armour or something similar
  • 1 0
 Love my Poc body armor. I wear it under normal jerseys, it's comfortable and has saved my back and shoulders a few times.
  • 1 0
 Too many riders have no problem dropping 4K on a bike but balk at the cost of protective gear. How much money would you pay to be able to ride that bike while your out from an injury?

If your so self conscious about what you look like that you choose not to wear protective gear, mountain biking could do without you.
  • 1 0
 When I first starting riding i had a full face, knee and elbow pads and gloves but most of the time these went unused as they were uncomfortable, hot and limited mobility. These days you can get good protection that goes pretty much un-noticed up until you take a spill, so if you have the money for decent gear why not wear protection?
  • 1 0
 I remember one time I decided to wear my knee/shin guards on an all mountain/xc type of ride, and I fell off a section that was very steep and rocky. My knee after falling 4 feet landed on a rock. I was fine but can only imagine what would have happened if that day I had not worn my Knee/shin guards. Now I go slower there if I don't have them on, and if I do I am careful to not make the same mistake twice!
  • 2 0
 i don't know guys, but IMHO Spinal protection should be mandatory in DH racing. that's the difference between walking away a nasty crash or sitting on a wheel chair for the rest of your life.
  • 1 0
 When I first started riding, I was doing the full face/knees combo. Then as I figured out I was doing a lot of jumping and trying a bunch of new features, I started wearing a 661 jacket. I started crashing more and on features that I was comfortable with. Stopped wearing the jacket, started crashing a lot less. Now I go with full face/knees/elbow. I also started riding with the 661 subgear jersey with its light shoulder protection and minimal chest padding. The subgear is really just for abrasion. But the other padding has proved useful. Thankfully I haven't had to test the helmet protection.

Does anyone have any suggestions for core protection? I really enjoyed the lift riding I did last summer and some of the shuttling I did. I'd like to add in some core protection. The 661 fit ok, but I'd like something slimmer. The raceface base jersey with the 3do stuff looks promising, but all the reviews I've read the shoulders don't really stay in place all that much.
  • 1 0
 I've been super happy with Poc body armor.
  • 1 0
 It seems to me that there are no companies offering body armour that provides good protection. The old Dainese stuff used to at least protect you well,but you did feel like a ninja turtle. Now the lightweight D3O gear feels great but doesn't inspire me with too much confidence if you were to land hard onto rocks. Who is making quality , protective full DH body armour that you can allows you good freedom of movement?
  • 3 0
 POC. It's pricey but it's comfortable and has saved my ass multiple times
  • 2 0
 VPD 2.0 suit? I had a look at that but haven't tried one on. Is it as good as it sounds?
  • 2 0
 Yes. They're legit.
  • 1 0
 i do a lot of different sorts of riding but the thing that amazes me the most is when i'm down a skatepark and the kids ask me why i'm wearing a helmet, your over 16 you don't have to!!!!!!!! it's almost like as soon as that kid hit 16 he won't wear a helmet! and that to me is so wrong, me personally i always wear a helmet and gloves at a minimum if i'm out on the xc bike i have the same but on the dh bike i wear full body armour, neck brace, full face helmet, gloves and goggles . i'm not the lightest rider being 18 stone so i know if i fall off its gonna hurt so i always take as much protection as i can.
  • 1 0
 For my regular rides I wear a half-face and gloves, but for enduro races I add knee and elbow pads. I like the idea of the Bell Super 2 and having the additional protection for races. I find I go faster with the extra equipment because I can push my limits a bit more and not pay as much if I do take a spill. For riding the bike park, I add a neck brace. I tried the 661 back protector, but found it too constricting paired with the neck brace, and chose the neck brace over the back protector.
  • 1 0
 I were different gear for different times, for dh i were elbow + knee pads, full face helmet, goggles, high top shoes, gloves,neck brace,and a jersey. for big jumps and slope style i were the same but half face helmet and no neck brace.for small dirt, street, and park mtb i were high tops, knee pads ,and half face helmit.
  • 1 0
 depend's on what tipe riding i do if i go road riding or riding the trails around here for fun half shell and gloves depend's on the day riding the trails on longer rides i take knee pads DH i go with full face googles knee pads gloves and a mx thor front and back protector
  • 1 0
 As a downhill biker I wear shin/knee pads, chest/spine protector, neck brace, gloves, racing pj's and proper shoes. The more I wear the more intense I ride. I feel safe and secure in my gear like nothing can touch me so I get wicked confidant and bomb down trails like there's no tomorrow.
  • 2 0
 I'm 43 and look like robocop compared to all the younger dudes on the mountain. For the most part, they're quite a bit better, and if I could hit the jump lines like them, I'd ditch at least the shin guards.
  • 1 0
 I usually wear gloves, eyewear, knee pads and I'm buying some low profile elbow pads because I'm tired of ripping up my elbows. Full face or open face helmet depending on the trail. For Dh racing I wear all that but with a pressure suit and neck brace.
  • 3 0
 It is time the filmmakers stop showing riders sending it with only a t-shirt on. Making protective gear cool to the kids will only happen if the role models are wearing it.
  • 1 0
 I crashed yesterday. 1. I have Troy lee knee protection. Cero injury. 2. I have Troy lee gloves cero injury. 3. I have Troy lee medusa hellmet cero injury. 4. I don't wear my chest protection and I have injury in my shoulder. I have lead brace and don't wear I have pain on my back. I've been one year without crashes. But yesterday happen.
  • 1 0
 I've just recently put my Dainese Old fashioned body armor to the test and did the job very well. Big crash OTB after a jump left me with good bruises and scratches but nothing that last more than five days to heal. And yes I was the only one that did wear Full face and full body armor that day... sometimes when you break the etiquette (of enduro in this case) make you feel ankward .This feel could be even intensified if you ride with a bunch of cool enduro riders with all the best rigs etc... but at the end is your body so you have to think only by yourself what you prefer to wear the moment you eat shit hard , and leave apart any other aspects to make a good choice of protective gear.
  • 3 1
 Enough protection so that if i come off, i won't be out of work for long. Bills won't pay themselves. Saying that, I'd rather not look like the Michelin man.
  • 3 0
 i put i this way: there is no point arguing over preference, style and taste, but helmet is a 100% must
  • 2 2
 I used to wear everything I could get my hands on..

But as the years have gone on, my riding progressed, the more confident I've got, the less armour I've used.

I always was a sucker for the 6661 full jacket etc, but have raced DH with just knees, and an oneal anger st jacket, (vest armour) and that's even after suffering some shitty injurys.

The way I see it with pros and the like, (not that I'm one!) but the more confident you are, the further away from your mind lays the risk, and if thats THAT far away, why would you even think of wearing any ! ?

You dress up like robocop going to a fancy dress party, you know someone's gona ask what you had for dinner (they fed him wet poo in a cup poor sod)

You go riding with tons of plastic crap strapped to your body.. Why ? Because your gona fall off !

You DONT strap any (or much) plastic crap to try body. Why ? Because your going to ride flat out and make more roost than poor old robocop dressed up like a chicken !
  • 1 0
 At the very least everyone should wear a helmet. You can recover from scrapes and broken bones but brain damage is something i'll pass on. I've already killed off too many brain cells in high school.
  • 1 0
 Knee pads with d30 and better pedal so good kinda silly not to wear em. Especially now that we ride our "trail" bikes like dh machines if yesteryear. (The maxi pads rrrr great, but smell)
  • 1 0
 I use my helmet,knee pads and spine protector i have never like having those vest protecting things because i feel like u cant move. Its up to you to choose, but a helmet is something every one should have.
  • 3 1
 I truly don't get the 'no gloves' thing. Nothing stops your next ride faster than scraping the first few layers of skin off your palms...
  • 2 0
 Got a neck brace after my brother broke his neck and back in a bike park so I'll never ride without one, also just got my wife one
  • 1 0
 In motocross background for neck braces at least there's controversy over what is actually safer. Sometimes a lack of flexibility can cost you as much as not wearing anything.
  • 1 1
 I don't understand why arm protection isn't more popular. Everyone seems to wear knee pads but even a fairly modest landing on your arms can lead to serious injuries. The ones I use (TLD) you don't notice you are wearing them until you need them. My knee pads on the other hand are hot and annoying.
  • 3 1
 depends what discipline...could be Xc helmet and goggles (Enduro) or Dh race kit.
  • 5 2
 Dress for the ride not the crash
  • 8 0
 prepare for the worst, hope for the best. You'll be glad if you do.
  • 2 1
 At work at the mo but, I'll expand my theory later
  • 3 2
 Here goes
Simple test, if you fall over with knee pads on you're gonna aim for the knee pads. So they take the impact....
But
If you have no kneepads.. You will aim to save your knees
You will learn to fall better, to hit the ground with less impact to important areas of the body. To roll out of crashes. Like in judo, the first thing you're taught is how to hit the ground an roll out of the impact
This is how as a young bmx'er I learnt how to crash. In bmx freestyle, street an DJ I crashed A LOT! It's part of the learning process

Now I'm a believer that pads are good for ebrasion injuries, cuts some bruising but, NO pads will protect against ligament damage or broken bones
Which I why I think its important to learn to crash well

Now when it comes to MTB we ride faster and crashes can be unforseen like a wheel washing out an down we go with no warning sometimes unable to prepare for impact so we're gonna get hurt regardless of pads or not

Something mentioned in the article was DH racers wearing very little protection
Here's my theory on that in regards for dressing for the ride an not the crash
DH'ers want to win, they don't want to crash. So layering up in body armour and preparing for a crash is just that
Prepairing for a crash
Not a win

Now for my own personal riding ,I'm not silly. I wear a helmet, eye protection, gloves ,knee pads an a neck brace appropriate to the bike I'm riding be it 4X, DH, trail or XC training
(I'm trying to find a spine protector that I feel comfortable in but, after trying two I can't find one that works well with a neck brace)
BUT
I will admit I wear very little protection. I don't like bulky body armour or hardshell knees because I feel stiff an heavy. Less able to move and flow and therefore more likely to crash

Hence

Dress for the ride, NOT the crash

An supposedly..... Chicks dig scars????
  • 1 0
 You don't get to aim much while rag-dolling. And judo moves with pads are sill gonna hurt less than judo moves without. If you are a highly competitive racer, riding slower because your pads are uncomfortable might have the same impact as a crash - no podium, so I can see leaving them behind.
  • 1 0
 I agree in a lot of ways when it is put like that, I can't even say I'm for lots of protection. Excessive body armour like a full pressure suit is too much for DH WC racers, it gets in the way and slows you down. I am, however, a strong believer in what should be mandatory protection such as helmet, neck and spine brace. If you get chucked off the bike unexpectedly its easy to be thrown head or back first into a feature or a tree or even the wrong angle to the ground. There is no reaction time, or sometimes you just can't change your path. Sometimes protection like that can be a pain, but Why would anyone put their spinal cord at risk and run the possibility of ending up in a wheelchair for life?
  • 1 0
 Totaly agree, I wish I could find a spine protector I could wear. Gonna try the light enduro style next
  • 2 0
 I only had to see the bone in my elbow twice before I went with arm pads all the time.
  • 1 0
 Protect what you wana keep. You can always wear more but when you don't just be more careful. Ride to ride next week-wahahoo! So just party'd that last line.
  • 1 0
 Name one elbow pad that doesn't turn into a wrist warmer unless you have it so tight it makes your hands go numb. Please somebody
  • 3 0
 TLD Shock Doctors always stay up for me, even doing really long rides. Very comfortable.
  • 2 1
 POC 2.0. Maybe I'm just too muscular
  • 1 0
 fox launch
  • 1 0
 Even for XC I have a helmet, knee pads, and eye protection. Some rock gardens scare me that I will split my knee open on them. Splitting skin isn't fun.
  • 1 0
 I took a fall last season and snap ligaments in my knee I wont ride without any knee braces now .so not worth the risk I like walking
  • 1 0
 Where I used to ride in socal if you fell without gloves there is no loam to soften your fall just sharp ass rocks and cactus. Always wear your lid....
  • 1 0
 I still ride with knee/sheen protection and my friends with only knee protection but when we slip a pedal......I still ride and they get a lot of blood.
  • 2 0
 This is F@#% forum of enduro riders, and it is expected that I will get a lot of props down, because they are a lot here !
  • 2 0
 Jason McCroy used to race Cap D'ail in lycra shorts. Bad ass. His theory? Putting armour on made him think about crashing.
  • 1 0
 How do people grip without gloves? Is there some special trick I don't know about? My hands sweat, then I lose control of the bars unless I have gloves on.
  • 5 5
 I assume that most people who say they wear mountain bike specific pants are actually meaning to say they wear dirt bike specific pants.
  • 9 1
 No way! My DH specific moto pants are totally different than a moto specific moto pant.. I'm pretty sure.
  • 6 0
 You're right zimmer. I saw my DH specific moto pants for sale at the moto shop I buy my dirt bike parts at, and they were waaaay less expensive at the moto shop. So I asked the guys at my LBS why my DH specific moto pants were more expensive at their shop, but they assured me that DH specific moto pants were for pedalling, whereas moto specific moto pants were just for standing on the pegs. Then I saw my gloves on sale at the moto shop too. But they were enduro specific so they couldn't be the same.
  • 1 1
 "But they were enduro specific so they couldn't be the same."

Yes, we need Enduro specific pants.
  • 2 0
 Gonna start wearing knee pads on unfamiliar trails...
  • 2 0
 what is the "other" in the riding category?
  • 10 0
 recumbent, lol
  • 2 0
 They forgot helmet and knees
  • 1 0
 Half lid and gloves for most. Then elbows if it starts getting sketch and knees/full face for gnar gnar.
  • 2 0
 I am old, I wear it all...
  • 2 3
 Honestly, when I wear anything more than my usual 3... knee/light shin, gloves, and a dome helmet... I crash more. Everything else just gets bulky and in the way.
  • 1 0
 My knee pads are barely used in Alberta, but mandatory when in BC...
  • 1 0
 Jersey jeans protector shirt and neck brace
  • 1 0
 Pad up and get ur game face on!!!!!
  • 1 0
 mouth guard? i ride with one
  • 1 0
 Wow no option for mtb specific shorts... great poll guys.
  • 4 5
 no gloves gives you 20% more swag points , so never golves , jersey or beater , pants//shorts day depending
  • 8 0
 I must just have sweaty hands. If it's about 60 degrees out riding without gloves is simply not an option for me.
  • 1 0
 I also like gloves for that reason, also makes quick trail maintenance possible.... ever rake a corner on riders of rohan with your bare hands ?? not a great option, I will take better riding over swag any day Smile
  • 1 1
 lol good enough boys
@sino428 get better grips , i suggest silicones
  • 4 0
 In dirt/park/slope we have one big difference - you have so many time to fall in better position (most riders have acrobatic skills), and landings usually are softer,than in DH courses (when you fall just a 0.2 sec and have big one-directional speed - its way harder)
Defense gear? Half-shell dirt helmet (cause its really help when you do tricks - you see all), normal knees (under the jeans - for more defense and to not cling parts of bike), normal shin guard, ankle braces, tough,but not DH shoes. I use this, and most of PRO-riders,that we have seen - too.Maybe gloves and elbows, its choice of everyone.
  • 4 4
 No option for a Condom? Always gotta be prepared when talking protection
  • 3 1
 That's gotta chaff on long days in the saddle.
  • 1 1
 Only lubricated bro
  • 1 0
 Where all ENDURO haters
  • 1 0
 Whatever is comfortable
  • 1 1
 No option for a hector?
  • 1 1
 how about a condom?
  • 1 3
 Unless your racing, theres no reason not to wear as much protection as possible - FACT!
  • 5 6
 Whatever makes me enduro
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