The Ankle Biters will protect your ankle from getting bashed by the crank arm. They will not protect your ankle from twists and sprains. Basically they turn a low top shoe into an armored high top shoe. Comfortable to wear and they don’t interfere with riding. Unicycle.com now sells the 661 Ankle Biters.
The Active Ankles are designed to protect your ankle from twists and sprains. They will kind of protect the ankle from getting bashed by the crank arm, but not as well as the Ankle Biter. The Active Ankles have a metal bar the goes over the ankle bone. That will help keep you from bashing the ankle bone, but that bar will also catch on the crank at the same time. If you hit the crank with the bar it is likely to push your foot off the pedal. I also find the Active Ankles somewhat uncomfortable to wear, they make it feel like my shoe is always about to fall off my foot.
If you have a problem with bashing your ankles on the cranks then get the Ankle Biters. If you are worried about twisting your ankle then get the Active Ankles.
While the original post was being made I was on-line ordering the 661 ankle biters from Unicycle.com. I smack my ankles not only on he cranks but on every other part of the unicyle, too, as I make very dramatic exits from the cockpit. I chose the 661 becasue I hate the feeling on being traped and constricted in my gear. It is bad enough to be clad in all the Roach body armour. I’m beginning to feel like one of those Middle Age knights that can’t get up once he goes down. I’m hoping that the 661 will minimize the bumps and bruises and not take away the freedom of the joint.
I bash my ankles all the time too, and here’s my solution:
Kid’s knee/elbow pads…
You may loose some of your “street-cred” if you opt for the same pink disney theme ones as me (its all I had - honest!) but you can roll your socks down over them if your trousers aren’t long enough and not look like too much of a pansie
Hey, some choose the pink and cute because it’s cheap, others choose the cheap because it’s pink and cute. It’s all good, man. Ride in peace. [end hippie mode]
As for pragmatic, low-cost solutions, why not just use shoes that cover the ankles? Around here they are needed at this time of the year anyways, so no extra investment. I’m using mountain boots now, they keep me warm and protected. To each his own, of course.
As it turns out, my daughter has reclaimed her knee pads, and I did a few miles round town today wearing trainers and ankle-high socks, so no protection at all, with no major mishaps. I clearly bang them less than in my first few weeks when I used to screw-up mounts all the time. So for people in your first few weeks, don’t fret, it should stop happening so often (then again I’m not doing any tricks or muni yet…)
However, this reminded me of the protection I used to start with, which is even cheaper:
Fasten sponges - the ones you use for dishes - piled up to about 8cm thick uncompressed, to the inside of your ankles with crepe (elasticated) bandages, so it squishes down to about 2cm. I used to use this combination to stop my knuckles opening up when I did boxing, and it works surprisingly well for protecting your ankle bones despite there not being a hard shell of any kind. You can always wear hello kitty socks over the top if you feel that blood-stained bandages project too hardcore an image, though these may be hard to find in suitable adult size.
I just bought Lotto brand soccer shin guards from Target for $12.99. There is a nice elastic base with a strap for under the foot, and the ankle has a plastic cup to cover the ankle bone on either side.
As you can see in the photo I have a long leg so the shin guard only covers about 2/3 up. In the other picture my finger is on the rounded ankle bone cup. It is well padded on the inside and very comfortable.
This is my first ankle/shin protection and I went out for about 2.5 miles on my 24" cruiser. They were very comfortable, and the hard ankle piece did not get in the way and I believe it will protect very well. Highly recommended for this price.
I just ordered a MUni and will start riding off-raod soon. I will give an update later after a few rides where both the ankle and shin protection were actually put to use.