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Thread: Armor? Do I need it, what kind should I get?

  1. #1
    Senior Member silkworm's Avatar
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    Default Armor? Do I need it, what kind should I get?

    Hey all, I've been riding pretty solidly for a year now - and am pretty athletic so I picked it up pretty quick. I find myself being more and more daring on the downhills, and feel I would be a little more confident with some shin/knee guards and some elbow guards. What's your opinion on "armor"? Do I need it? What is good, where should I buy? Fox? Let me know when you get a moment.

    Thanks!

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    bikeaholic bikeadict's Avatar
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    Maybe you should get some training wheels while your at it!!

    Ok I'm just kidding, if you feel like you'd ride better with some armor get some armor and ride. I have no experiece with armor so I can't suggest anything to you.

    Be sure to keep in mind that its F'in hot in Cali and you might never wear it.

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    Whine on!
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    you can do a search of this site and find some old threads that cover the topic. i've been putting off buying some real ones for too long.
    "Are you being serious? Or, are you posturing after publicly condemning those that poach?" ~ D. Downer

    Free Disco

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    Zack Attack tkblazer's Avatar
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    unless you are really pushing yourself and finding your limits (crashing often) i don't really think armor is needed. just IMO, but i'm a freakin roadie now
    SurlyGal: I kept waiting for it to get hard and it never did

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    Quote Originally Posted by silkworm View Post
    find myself being more and more daring on the downhills, 'and feel I would be a little more confident' with some shin/knee guards and some elbow guards. What's your opinion ....
    IMHO- while extra protection is always a good idea, let it not be the source of a 'false sense of security'.

    One should ways ride within one's limits, regardless of attire.

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    Intense Whore mfoga's Avatar
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    I have Race Face Rally FR and they saved me at a 4x race in Fontana. I believe these are the same as the Roach pads a few people here spoke highly of. I would say try one a lot and find the ones that fit the best. Everyone will have slightly different bodies and some may fit one great and be too long or too short for another.

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    STR Veteran Piranha's Avatar
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    I use Fox Launch knee & elbow guards. The only downside to me is their weight. They work well for bushwacking & P.O. protection too. I put them on for most of the DH singletrack that I ride. Better safe(r) than sorry IMO.
    Quote Originally Posted by silkworm View Post
    Hey all, I've been riding pretty solidly for a year now - and am pretty athletic so I picked it up pretty quick. I find myself being more and more daring on the downhills, and feel I would be a little more confident with some shin/knee guards and some elbow guards. What's your opinion on "armor"? Do I need it? What is good, where should I buy? Fox? Let me know when you get a moment.

    Thanks!

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  14. #8
    I fall a lot Justin's Avatar
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    I got some fox elbows and knees for when I try something that scares me a little bit. that way if i fall it doesn't take me out for too long. i rarely wear then though.

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    Iron Pony rjcornelia's Avatar
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    PM sent

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    volcomsteban's Avatar
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    I have a 661 preassure suit and 4x4 knee/shin gaurds. i love em. i haven't used any others so i cant really compare to anything, but i will say this. the only downside is that they are hot if you're not going downhill. i would recomend them for shuttle runs only not if you're going to be doing any hike-n-bikes or uphill at all. and like that other guy said. don't let armor give you a false sense of security. it's not a safety bubble. if you fall you can still get hurt. dont do anything stupid!!!

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    STR Veteran 2wheel_lee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DDB@OCR View Post
    IMHO- while extra protection is always a good idea, let it not be the source of a 'false sense of security'.

    One should ways ride within one's limits, regardless of attire.

    While that is true, I won't do certain things without full gear.
    - Speed has never killed anyone, suddenly becoming stationary... that's what gets you.

    - May the air be filled with tires!

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    Team Rider DownHillPhil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2wheel_lee View Post
    While that is true, I won't do certain things without full gear.
    Don't let people give you a hard time Lee...bunny hopping curbs is scary!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2wheel_lee View Post
    While that is true, I won't do certain things without full gear.
    So, what yer saying is exactly what I was saying, only differently.

    Thanks for that.


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  26. #14
    STR Veteran 2wheel_lee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DDB@OCR View Post
    So, what yer saying is exactly what I was saying, only differently.

    Thanks for that.

    You are again correct!

    But to throw something else out there, I think people should occasionally ride beyond their skills. If people don't push themselves, how would they gain new skills? If you keep doing things that you already can do, how would you learn to do things that you can't do? You have to live with a little discomfort to get better. I have a friend who's been riding for many years, but he doesn't have any more skills than he did after the first year or two because he won't push himself past his comfort level.
    - Speed has never killed anyone, suddenly becoming stationary... that's what gets you.

    - May the air be filled with tires!

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  28. #15
    l'homme plus DownhillWebKook's Avatar
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    Default Here are a few suggestions...

    I am a gear whore and buy new stuff all the time so I have tried quite a few things. My selection criteria are overall fit and performance, look and feel, and durability (although I don't expect more than a season from my stuff). I will sacrifice some performance for look and feel. I hate stuff that looks or feels super awkward--I ride like crap if I don't think I look dope in my kit.

    Current knee protection

    Troy Lee T-Bones (~$50) - They protect the knee and upper shins. I like them because they don't really get in the way, they look sick (see Sam Hill), and they don't slip at all if you do take a slam. Drawbacks: no lower shin protection--I run SPDs so I am not as concerned with that.

    Troy Lee Lopes Knees (~80) - These are a hard shell system that uses a knee gasket as a foundation. You can wear the gaskets for lightweight protection and then throw on the integrated shells for full knee/shin protection. They look sick, are comfortable, and can be used in two modes. Drawbacks: the white armor plates show scuffs more easily--bad for OCD types like myself.

    Others I have tried:

    Dainese knee shins (~$90) - They look bad ass, but don't quite work as well. I found many of their models to slip easily (could be that I am too skinny).

    661 Tomcats (~$50, discontinued) - These were similar to the current TLD T-Bones and probably my favorite pads for all the same reasons as the T-Bones. I would ride these if they still made them and our team wasn't sponsored by TLD for protection. Drawbacks: The cool 661 logo would scuff off to easily, fabric pad covering tears too easily.

    661 Kyle Straits (~$50) - Good idea, but they didn't hold up as well as the Tomcats and don't provide as much impact protection as the T-Bones. Crappy.

    661 also makes a wrap that you can use with any hard shell knee pad to keep them in place. This is an excellent upgrade to any hard shell pads you may already have. The new 661 EVO line looks fantastic although a bit pricey.

    Others I would certainly try:

    Fox "The System" (~$60, est.) - This pad system is basically what I had always wanted from a full hard-shell pad. I used to wear spandex knee warmers under my pads and then another one on top (pulled over the knee cup) to prevent slippage and provide comfort. Fox's The System has taken my ghetto set-up and integrated it properly into the pad. Very smart.

    Elbows

    I never really run elbows, sorry.

    Body Armor

    Dainese (~$150) - They make this super sleek hard shell "vest" that has the classic Dainese back armor, chest and abdominal plates with articulated shoulder protection. I love this thing. Super light weight and doesn't make you look like an umpire. Check these out at their store in Newport. Sort of like the Gucci of body armor.

    Spyder ($?) - These guys make a reactive armor gillet jersey. The armor is actually embedded in the jersey and the thing makes you look ripped up. I have not tried this, but I would consider it for sure.

    Hope this helps to some extent.
    Downhill Web Kook
    Git sum!

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  30. #16
    STR Veteran Winger's Avatar
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    I ride XC and just picked up a set of knee pads last week for a trip to Mammoth and they saved me when I endoed. They are the Fox System leg armor. I got them at The Path, which had a great selection of protection, and they were very helpful with helping me try on every pair.

    I tend to fall on my knees and have ended up with stitches and scars because of it. I'm always kicking myself afterwards because a minimal amount of protection & time putting on knee guards would save me from the pain & time off the bike.

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  32. #17
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    That Spyder jersey is pretty sick. they also have shorts that do the same thing. BUT........ They cost a lot. $200 for the jersey and $160 for the shorts. I know some of you might say 'thats how much armor costs anyway' but its only light protection. it's nothing compared to full foam and hard plastic shell protection

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    Gone riding.... denmother's Avatar
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    Yeah, I know armor is for girls!!! I so much enjoy watching the guys sit around picking their scabs off their knees and elbows because why???? Cause it looks cool and chicks dig scars???????????? NOT!!!!!

    My husband's (Just_me) favorite saying when we head out to trail ride is "I'm not gonna ride fast" so I don't need them!!!! My answer to him is "I always ride fast" so I'm gonna bring mine!! BTW, ask him next time you see him about the time he rode at Mammoth and fell in the pumice and scraped off an entire layer of skin on his shin after an OTB experience!!!

    I am currently using the new 661 EVO elbow and knee. A bit pricy but comfy and low profile (so you can peddle in them).



    Last edited by denmother; 07-10-2008 at 12:30 PM. Reason: typo
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    I have been looking into shin protection, saw the Lizzard Skins shin protectors and thinking of picking they up. They aren't armored type, but they have an insert in them for added protection.

    I am just worried about my shins, as i have an old mountain bike injury on my left shin. I had a puncture wound that i got when i first started to ride, the injury opened back up after 4 years, TRAPPED BACTERIA!! So I have a skin graft on it now, which I need to protect. The scar tissue is sensitive.

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  38. #20
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    Default Hey Denmo...

    Do you know who would stock these and what a set (knee and elbow) would go for? I'm thinking I need to finally get me some pads. I've donated enough skin and blood to last me a life time. Time to be smart and let go of my hippie (free) beliefs.

    I want to get some for this weekend in BB. I wonder if InCycle in Pasadena carries them. I'll call and see.

    Quote Originally Posted by denmother View Post
    Yeah, I know armor is for girls!!! I so much enjoy watching the guys sit around picking their scabs off their knees and elbows because why???? Cause it looks cool and chicks dig scars???????????? NOT!!!!!

    My husband's (Just_me) favorite saying when we head out to trail ride is "I'm not gonna ride fast" so I don't need them!!!! My answer to him is "I always ride fast" so I'm gonna bring mine!! BTW, ask him next time you see him about the time he rode at Mammoth and fell in the pumice and scraped off an entire layer of skin on his shin after an OTB experience!!!

    I am currently using the new 661 EVO elbow and knee. A bit pricy but comfy and low profile (so you can peddle in them).




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