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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Been putting more miles in than ever before lately and while Im not anywhere near some of the levels as some of the people here Im definitely riding just at the tip of my razors edge. Yesterday at Deems I had a nice easy (near full speed) get off when the front washed out in the rocky section on the south side of the loop. No problems at all from it cept a bit of skin loss but I hear it grows back. I still have to go fast in order to feel like Im having fun so slowing down isnt much of an option for me. My concern is on a trail like that with all the rocks off to the side, how much protection is too much. Im ordering some Kyle Straits for the knees and some elbow pro too this week so that is covered.

Barring wearing a full face what do most do to protect the face? Mouth guards? Cross the arms in front of the face and pray? Working with the public I cant come to work with a busted mouth or face so a full face might be the best option but some of the more experienced riders here (which is everyone) may have an idea that I cant think of.

Ideas:
Slow down (Boo not fun)
Full face helmet
Practice breaking rocks with my face
Dont crash
Take up knitting and compare patterns with Drews
 

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Wear as much as you need to feel comfortable to go fast enough to have fun.

Seriously- I have seen guys riding at an average of 6 miles an hour dressed like Gladiators and seen Pro's fly by me averaging what can only be super fast dressed like ballerinas. You have the right idea- you want what you need, not overkill.

Other things to try as you get faster and skills improve is what you suggested- not crashing! LOL- Balance drills, speed skill drills, jumping all help you to be better on the bike and theoretically means less likely to crash (at least you remove some of the crash causing variables). Also learning how to fall properly (tuck and roll, arms in etc) to help for the inevitable. My method seems to nearly guarantee concussion, but saves my face and limbs somehow. I would say if you want a full face- go for it.

What ever you do- Don't slow down!
 

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Blood, Sweat, and Gears
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Sorry to hear about your get off. I was there yesterday afternoon, third time this week in fact. It is rocky and sometimes very loose in parts up there. IMO FF helmets are typically for much steeper DH with big drops etc. With that said, I don't think there is anyone that would feel that properly protecting your melon is ever a bad thing. You need to wear whatever makes you ride feeling protected which leads to riding comfortable and at your best. If you ride feeling vulnerable you will be tensed up and not enjoying your ride, there is a reason the bike shops and web sites all have a protection section right? I'm sure I'll see you up there some time.
 

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What cstem said.
I wear knee/Shin pads and elbow/forearm pads every time I ride. Not because I need to, but because I don't like my arms and legs getting beat up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
cstem said:
Wear as much as you need to feel comfortable to go fast enough to have fun.

Seriously- I have seen guys riding at an average of 6 miles an hour dressed like Gladiators and seen Pro's fly by me averaging what can only be super fast dressed like ballerinas. You have the right idea- you want what you need, not overkill.

Other things to try as you get faster and skills improve is what you suggested- not crashing! LOL- Balance drills, speed skill drills, jumping all help you to be better on the bike and theoretically means less likely to crash (at least you remove some of the crash causing variables). Also learning how to fall properly (tuck and roll, arms in etc) to help for the inevitable. My method seems to nearly guarantee concussion, but saves my face and limbs somehow. I would say if you want a full face- go for it.

What ever you do- Don't slow down!
Im 100% sure that my fall was due to too high of a tire pressure in a new to me tire. I was using Nevegals on my old bike and my new bike has Panaracers and the pressures are too high compared. Issue resolved once I get comfortable enough on them. The fall doesnt do much to help my confidence in em though. I learned the hard way not to put my arms out a while back. This one was quick enough that all I could do was pull my arms down and take most of the hit on my right side (no cracked ribs like Drew to whine about though) and right hip then rolled to my back. Feels odd being turtled on your camelbak though.

Fletch 1 said:
Sorry to hear about your get off. I was there yesterday afternoon, third time this week in fact. It is rocky and sometimes very loose in parts up there. IMO FF helmets are typically for much steeper DH with big drops etc. With that said, I don't think there is anyone that would feel that properly protecting your melon is ever a bad thing. You need to wear whatever makes you ride feeling protected which leads to riding comfortable and at your best. If you ride feeling vulnerable you will be tensed up and not enjoying your ride, there is a reason the bike shops and web sites all have a protection section right? I'm sure I'll see you up there some time.
Good points all around. I dont so much feel unprotected while riding. Its moreso an afterthought after I hit the bottom of the section and think back and have that "I so shoulda died when... " thoughts :) I ended up riding the longer DH section after the switchbacks as though it was a large pump track and probably took 2 breaths the whole way down I was puckered so tight. I feel loose and dont feel out of control so Im sure Im at least riding correctly but the inevitability is that I will crash and Im ok with that. Just wanna stay looking pretty for the ladies.. errr I mean my wife.
 

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I really should probably wear more protection now that I am a little older, but honestly it's a personal risk that I decide to take. On the other hand, when I ride Moto-X or roadrace I wear just about every piece of gear that I can- over $2000 in helmet, boots, gloves, leathers, underliner (to prevent burns when sliding across pavement at high speed) and spine protector for road race alone. And that is mainly due to the fact that I am not as comfortable in my skills in those sports as I am on a bicycle (probably flawed thinking).

Another point on gear- you get what you pay for. Even though many types of gear are rated by government or independent labs- sometimes the higher end stuff takes thier gear to a higher limit of protection and durability. It tends to last a little longer (stiching and that) which in theory means it will protect you nearly as good as the day it was new.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Had an R6 back in 03. Hit the pavement a few times at firebird. Now we understand our speed issues a bit more :D At least Im not sticking my knee out in the corners! Im gonna see about the knee pads, elbow pads and a new helmet that at least covers the back of my head a bit more. Ill risk the face a bit more and use the hands to cover if need be.

Advice on the elbow forearm pads? Ill be getting the kyle straits for knees.
 

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Blood, Sweat, and Gears
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Me and my girlfriend have been riding the Dainese 3X pads for 2 years now. They are so comfortable, that we wear them on every ride. Even my girlfriend can't fault the comfort, and that is saying something!!

They have been washed every few rides, and are still going strong. They are also incredibly lightweight. Not the cheapest, but excellent durability, fit, and quality.:thumbsup:
 

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ajmelin said:
What cstem said.
I wear knee/Shin pads and elbow/forearm pads every time I ride. Not because I need to, but because I don't like my arms and legs getting beat up.
Exactly. Wear what you are comfortable wearing and what you feel you need and F everyone else.

I wear knee & elbow/forearm pads, in addition to my normal helmet, every ride. I've found that most of my falls are at slow speed and with even a little bit of padding it helps enormously. I've not tested the TLD elbow/forearm pads yet but my Kyle Straits have been well tested. I've fallen plenty and have yet to have a fall that kept me off the bike for more than a couple minutes.

I've also got a heavier set of hardshell elbow/forearm & knee/shin pads for DHing as well as a full face helmet. Don't wear them often but when the ride calls for it you wear it.

You and cstem both know the saying, "dress for the slide, not the ride." :) I've got a leather two-piece suit for track days on my CBR1000 as well. Need a back protector, though...

My last fall without pads was on Lower Cheesegrater and put a nice gash in my knee. The knee itself didn't hurt terribly bad but I stayed off the bike for a week or more and altered my movements (no deep knee bends; kept my leg straight while seated) in order to keep the wound shut, with the help of some butterfly bandages, so it would heal. I probably needed stitches :( With pads I would have had no issues.

While up at Bootleg a couple months ago one of the girls in our group rode with her FF and goggles. She prefers goggles over glasses. No one cared.

The only thing that MIGHT get you funny looks would be the FF helmet. But, anyone that looks at you funny is an ass hole so don't sweat it. :thumbsup:
 

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randyharris said:
My personal take, I feel that if I should be wearing pads - I probably shouldn't be riding it.
I used to think that as well. But, like I said, most of my boo boos come from falling on easy trails at low speed. Usually trails I've ridden a lot and think I can do while sleeping. That never works... :madman:
 

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Blood, Sweat, and Gears
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Totally agree about low speed and on familiar trails. Today, coming down a sweet downhill section of Deems that I've done four times in the last four day alone. I stopped for a rider coming up, once she passed I started in a section that normally I would have been going faster in, washed the front out in the loose stuff and almost went OTB which would have resulted in a face full of cholla. I guess only a FF helmet would have helped in that situation, maybe. I probably looked like a monkey fornicating a football, but I managed to save it.
 

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SamuraiBunnyGuy
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randyharris said:
My personal take, I feel that if I should be wearing pads - I probably shouldn't be riding it.

Spoken like a true XC guys. :)
somewhere there's a happy medium between protection and discretion...
 

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SHNIPE said:
Ideas:
Slow down (Boo not fun)
Full face helmet
Practice breaking rocks with my face
Dont crash
Take up knitting and compare patterns with Drews
I tried the rock thing on Mormon a couple of weeks ago. The result for me was 6 stitches and a sprained wrist, but you should see the rock! Well, actually, the rock is pretty much unchanged except for a little AZBob DNA and a close proximity to a "Bell" plastic logo that is no longer on my helmet's visor.

Ideas 2 and 4 seem good. Only do number 5 if 1 through 4 fail you and you are off your bike for a while.
 

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Eroding into the trail
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The secret to mountain biking is pretty simple. The slower you go the more likely it is you'll crash.
- Juli Furtado
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He who shall rise to the challenge of flight, shall fall in the face of gravity!
- RedBull
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Armor up prior to flight! :thumbsup:

Just my thoughts on the subject!

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Here are a few good companies for armor:

http://www.locox.com/Motocross-ATV (good deals found here)

http://www.motorcycle-superstore.com/1270/MNGR/Dirt-Bike-Riding-Gear.aspx

http://www.extremesupply.com/
 

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+1

twowheelsdown2002 said:
Me and my girlfriend have been riding the Dainese 3X pads for 2 years now. They are so comfortable, that we wear them on every ride. Even my girlfriend can't fault the comfort, and that is saying something!!

They have been washed every few rides, and are still going strong. They are also incredibly lightweight. Not the cheapest, but excellent durability, fit, and quality.:thumbsup:
.....what he said! My wife loves hers as well!!;)

Take care,

Michael:thumbsup:
 

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And some laugh at me as this is my normal trail riding gear.Sometimes I will wear my elbows pads also but not too offten. My noggin and shins is good enough for most of my trailriding.



never know when something like this will happen. This is on hawes lol

 

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clockwork said:
And some laugh at me as this is my normal trail riding gear.Sometimes I will wear my elbows pads also but not too offten.
I'm with you on that. I think I've damaged my elbows/forearms once or twice out of every ten time I've damaged by knees. So, they see little abuse but I still wear my Troy Lee EG5550 guards:



The knees are most important to me because if you jack them up it hinders your mobility. I need something lightweight for my shins now. Maybe some veggies to go with my Kyle Straits. My knees haven't been hurt in a long time but my shins continue to gain character. I would be even a sleeve of neoprene would work fine for the damage my shins take.
 

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I ride with Kyle Straits 100% of the time. I add elbows and shins as needed depending on the trail and my confidence level for the day. I'm planning on getting some coaching as well from Gene Hamilton since I figure the safest way to ride is to learn how to ride in the first place. I add my FF helmet when I'm shuttling.
 
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