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Trail Ninja
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6,040 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Looking for a set of elbow+forearm pads that tick all these features:

- softshell, but protective (e.g. d3o)
- good coverage
- comfortable and rugged enough to wear on every ride
- has straps above and below the elbow (as close to the elbow as possible)
- does not have straps on the bicep or forearm (big no-no--DO NOT put elastic straps on tapered body parts, as they will slip down to where it's narrower)
- okay if it has a strap by the armpit and wrist
- straps aren't too stretchy
- no silicone grippers (the desensitization process with rashes is no fun, and it still pulls hairs and causes hair to become in-grown)
- doesn't turn me into a walking advertisement
- no sharp edges (e.g. contoured pad edge that digs into arm when fully straightened)
- not too bulky, minimal parts to catch on other objects
- can be worn over close fitting long sleeved tops

I'd be willing to put $120 up for such a cutting edge piece of protective gear. I wear a RaceFace Flank knee/shin guard for every ride, if any need a reference. I've tried TLD EG5550, G-Form, 661 Evo, Roach/RaceFace (hard shell), and some bargain bin ones and didn't like any of 'em.

Protection #1. Stays in place #2. Comfort #3. Compromising comfort for the other two isn't a deal breaker. I can get used to pads that get a bit toasty. A pad that I can wear on any ride, whether it be a 5 hour epic, a road ride, and isn't too bad off the bike like in the car or post-ride refreshments, that acts as insurance is what I'm after. If I can fall and laugh it off, and get up without readjusting everything, that's already a pretty big win, but it has to be comfortable just enough for me to actually not be dissuaded from putting it on.

That or how about something like the 661 evo pressure suit that can be worn for every ride?
 

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Oh, So Interesting!
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5,084 Posts
I use Ion e-traze and am super happy with them. Had a hard crash and was amazed at their ability to dissipate the blow, the same crash did major damage to my shoulder unfortunately...

For you though, maybe TLD Raid with a couple mods, they are pretty good and stay in place really well, lots of coverage and protection and I think you could put something over the silicon and they'd still stay in place. You can add straps easily if needed.

I doubt there's anything that has everything you want but good luck!
 

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Trail Ninja
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6,040 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
I nixed the idea of spending $120 for elbow pads, and just doubled that to include armor for the back, shoulder, and chest. I got the Leatt AirFlex Stealth long sleeve.

I broke-in my body's adaptation to it and it feels likes a keeper so far, after about 500 miles of regular use. Highly recommended. I've put the elbow padding to the test at least once already.
 

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After fifteen years from a very sizable crash, last week I had a slow motion crash on a set of steps and landed on my knee and shoulder ... nothing broken but made me realize that I have been probably a fool to stop wearing armor after my previous crash. Armor should much easier to wear than 15 years ago so there should be no excuse not to!

So I am out there shopping and this is what I am considering:
  • Knee. I ordered a Fox D30 Enduro, and considering ordering a POC VDP System Lite to compare
  • Elbow (to answer your question). POC VDP Sytem Lite or POC VDP Air ... not sure about anything else (maybe G form, but you do not like it).
  • Shoulders. G-Form Compression Shirt or Leatt 3DF AirFit.
I would consider a Fox Baseframe, that has shoulders and elbows but it seems to be out of stock in the medium.
 

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Oh, So Interesting!
Joined
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5,084 Posts
After fifteen years from a very sizable crash, last week I had a slow motion crash on a set of steps and landed on my knee and shoulder ... nothing broken but made me realize that I have been probably a fool to stop wearing armor after my previous crash. Armor should much easier to wear than 15 years ago so there should be no excuse not to!

So I am out there shopping and this is what I am considering:
  • Knee. I ordered a Fox D30 Enduro, and considering ordering a POC VDP System Lite to compare
  • Elbow (to answer your question). POC VDP Sytem Lite or POC VDP Air ... not sure about anything else (maybe G form, but you do not like it).
  • Shoulders. G-Form Compression Shirt or Leatt 3DF AirFit.
I would consider a Fox Baseframe, that has shoulders and elbows but it seems to be out of stock in the medium.
Fox D30 Enduro are excellent, I have the elbows and they stay in place. The knees are a bit minimalist, if you want something a bit more check out 7idp Sam Hill... I'm going to give these a shot after wearing out some Ion K-Pact, which are great too but Ion's poor-quality velcro is basically a deal-breaker. Also, the SAS-Tech 7idp uses can be laundered, 3D0 can't so you have to remove it before washing. Not a big deal with some pads but with others it's a hassle.

I'm not a big fan of POC, knees I tried wouldn't stay up and were uncomfortable, and a friend with a POC helmet that needed a part got the worst customer service ever from POC. He was continuously put off for a year, then gave up. If that's what you can expect from POC then no thanks!

I have a Race Face Flank Core shirt I use when I don't wear my evoc pack, it's great but I'm split on shoulder protection. In some cases the extra thickness may just make things worse. My shoulder injuries haven't been the result of direct impacts either, except for one separated shoulder, I was wearing pads and they didn't help in that instance.
 

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Trail Ninja
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6,040 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I considered the more protective Leatt options, but in the end, I felt that the elbow pads were the key component I wanted, and the usual slipping-down issue would be minimized if they were part of an upper-body system. I wanted comfort to use it on all rides, so I valued low weight and comfort.

The back is important to protect, esp considering I wear a backpack that has stuff like a minipump and other hard objects that can concentrate forces in one spot. Combined with the shoulder pads and elbow pads, it would encourage a roll upon crash. The nastier alternative would be to crash on outstretched arms, which typically leads to collarbone breakage, among other injuries.

I have RaceFace Flank knee/shin pads that I'm already satisfied with, if you want a suggestion. I went through various ones like POC VPD 2.0, which had a distracting hotspot and "cut" into my leg with its straps, on top of having hardly any coverage too. When kneeling on them, they were very unstable laterally.

1909221


I figured that weight wasn't really an excuse if I had motor-assist. I've weaned off of assist, able to ride a 57+ lb ebike in full get-up for hours unassisted with draggy DH tire, but the assist surely helped during the adjustment period. Heart rate, sweat rate, temp regulation, all normalized by now (80% of the normalization happened in 2-3 weeks).
 
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