ankle-biters - Any good?

I keep knackering my left ankle on muni-rides.
It happens when I do stuff like rolling out 2 foot drops and landing after riding downhill drops etc. I think it’s due to putting too much shock load through my foot when controlling the landing, my foot just folds upward and I end up hopping around for 5 min while the pain recedes.

What I want to know is - does anyone else have the same problem and would ankle biters solve it?


If I were you 'd get active ankles. ankle biters only really protect against light bashing, and keep your shoelaces tucked in. active ankles will help prevent this, along with the added bonus of preent ankle breakage all together. I’m pretty sure they saved me.

Ive got some ankle biters, they are a life saver. well, an ankle saver really. I dont wear them for muni, only trials, cuase my trials uni has cranks that stick out. they are as comfertable as you think they’ll be.

ahh - having looked at the active ankles site - they do look quite cool

Try to find a pair of Axo/661 Dually shoes. They are 3/4 top and have built in ankle protectors. They are amazing.

Since using ankle biters I no longer suffer from continually bashed and bloodied ankles.

Ankle biters will not protect against sprains though. I had an extremely bad sprain while riding and my ankle biters made not a jot of difference. Hi top shoes or active ankles would have been helpful in that situation.

Does anyone know where you can get active ankles in the u.k. and how much they cost?

hmmm i’m thinkin’ of makin my own ankle biters… 60 bucks ot too steep fer me

Do you have a design in mind?

yeah… from soccer shin guards

Re: ankle-biters - Any good?

I think people are missing the point of Joe’s post. Most replies have been about protecting the ankle from getting hit by the crank. Joe’s problem is hyperextending (or is it hyperflexing?) his ankle when he lands a drop. The foot bends too far upwards and that stings for a bit.

Ankle Biters will not help with Joe’s problem. Ankle Biters only put a bit of armour over the ankle to protect the ankle from getting bashed on the crank. Ankle Biters do not offer any support to protect the ankle from hyperextending or hyperflexing.

Active Ankles offer only a little bit of support for hyperextending or hyperflexing the ankle. They are hinged to allow freedom of movement in that direction. Active Ankles are designed to protect you from rolling your foot and twisting or spraining your ankle.

I also sometimes have problems with getting a sting in the ankle when landing drops on the trail. What are people doing to prevent this? Is it technique? Ankle strengthening exercises?

i just thought of one…

how about grabbing an old pair of combat boots and some serrated scissors…then cut the boots somewhere in the middle (just below the ankle) throw away the sole and now you have a laceable,tightenable, ankle guard thingy…

i dont know if you will want to keep the tongue or not but thats up to you…
(click on supports, sport injury products, supports page 2)

sell the McDavid Guardian Ankle Brace which claims to have stops so you can’t bend the ankle up too much. Might be worth a try.

Have you thought about going either to your doctor (free but they’ll just tell you not to ride), or to a physio / sports injury person (costs money but might tell you how to ride and not break yourself).


I also sometimes have problems with getting a sting in the ankle when landing drops on the trail. What are people doing to prevent this? Is it technique? Ankle strengthening exercises?

I’m no expert on physiology but i used to do weights and if I wanted to strenghen the muscles you’re talking about I would use ‘calf raises’- the calfs extend foot downwards so extra strengh here should stop it being forced upwards.
calf raises require a 2" to 3"-ish block of wood, you stand on it with the toe/front sole area of foot and stretch the heel down, then slowly push up so you’re standing on toes, then slowly down etc.
As the calfs are really strong and this is a short range movement, bodybuilders usually need massive weights across their shoulders (i.e. 200 lbs upwards) to get an effect. However, by doing the exercise in a really slow and controlled manner, or by using one foot at a time (either lightly hold the wall or, for extreme balance skill, don’t hold onto anyrthing) you should get some results. With the one foot version you can also hold a dumbell for added resistance.

I’ve done this a couple of times, but nowhere near as often as Joe R, who’s obviously got an ankle problem or something.

I suspect it’s somewhat related to riding style as well, usually when he does it, it’s riding something particularly silly which I’ve decided to walk.


Re: ankle-biters - Any good?

I’ve had ankle problems (bad sprains) so I bought some active ankles from Roger (he had to get them specially as he didn’t stock them). I always where them for Muni and haven’t had a problem since. They do have a strap around the back to help prevent the kind of damage you speak of and I haven’t had that kind of problem while wearing them. They did take a few hours of riding to wear them in but to be fair it said so in the literature.

When I spoke to Kris at BUC10 he said he used to wear them but broke his (go figure) and I guess he doesn’t need to any more, suppose ankle strengthening is the ultimate goal but active ankles are good insurance against ankle injury.

Cheers, Gary

Maybe it’s “coning” related? :wink:

Thanks john for rescueing the thread :slight_smile:

Joe - I have now talked to people who, as you say, suggest not doing the silly bits or finding a way to limit the risk involved. Ie get a brake :frowning:
That support looks good though.

When it happens it’s more than a sting - it hurts like hell.

Apparantly what makes it particularly bad is that my calf muscles are simply too strong for the muscles that pull my foot up. During the high-stress moment when I’m landing and trying to control everything I’m simply overloading the joint ie something has to give. Getting the muscle balance spot-on can apparantly help with this and there are exercises to do this.

Frank - you could be on to something :slight_smile:

Thanks all

Re: ankle-biters - Any good?


One thing you can do, is to place the pedal more in the middle of your foot,
then you wont hyper-extend it.


having worn combat boots for 10 years :frowning: they wouldn’t work well. The heel is very tall, and it is not easy to unicycle in. The bottoms of the boot just aren’t pedal friendly.

I would wear these on my uni rides in the winter for warmth, but they sucked.