Do I need shin guards?

This is really subjective, and it depends on your personal tolerance for pain on the one hand, and hassle on the other. I’ve had the pedal pins draw blood about three times. So far that hasn’t been enough to compel me to wear shin guards. I’ve had knee and palm scrapes numerous times, however, so I now wear knee pads and palm guards every time I ride. I wear elbow pads and a helmet when I ride my 36’r, just because I’m paranoid, even though I have only scraped my elbow once, and have never hit my head. The added height just scares me into it.
So those are the factors to consider. How much does pain/personal injury bother you? How much personal hassle is it to put on protective gear every time you go out to ride, even if it’s been a while since you’ve UPD’d? I think everybody is different on this subject.

I want to avoid both, which is why I wear helmet, elbow/forearm guards, Hillbilly gloves and knee/shin guards. I was just wondering how much damage plastic pins could do, which I think you have answered - thanks.

Don’t forget wristguards!!

Hillbillys have built-in wrist protection.

I don’t think plastic pedals can draw much blood but that doesn’t mean they dont hurt. W/ my juggling clubs I had to add padding to the handles & wear gloves.

I always wear wrist guards, but pad & helmet. For Muni I add knee/shin & elbow/for-arm pads. When learning I wore everything.

Partly to avoid scrapes, but mainly hospital visits. I’ve never hit my head from uni but the brain is hard to fix and multiple small hits can cause problems (I’ve had ~ 5 mild concussions in my life an some symptoms of TBI).

This was mostly done with pins on a plastic pedal (though one gash was done with metal pins - I was^B^B^B am stupid enough to get back on a different uni after injuring myself on the first one)

I bought shin pads after doing that, but still very rarely wear them nowadays - only on the rare times when I’m doing something where I’m likely to get a pedal strike - and can’t remember the last time I did wear them. With the benefit of hindsight I’d only wear them when learning to freemount, as that’s when I did that - didn’t have a problem at all up until then, and rarely since I nailed that. Though I seem to be unusual in the limited amount of kit I do wear - only wore gloves for learning and nowadays very often wear no protective kit at all (was down at the beach riding in just sandals and shorts last week).

The operative word in this post.

Whew. If that doesn’t convince you nothing will.
I had a similar bite once. It leaves a lasting memory er scar.
Never ride without them since that tough lesson. Been there done that.

I’ve been mountain biking (and recently) unicycles for more than 20+ years, my shins look like road maps from all the scars from pedals. One time I tried a friends pads. They wear hot and restricted movement. Never since then have I even thought about wearing them let alone purchasing a pair. Helmet yes. Gloves yes. Shin pads, wrist guards chest protectors (I just saw a pic of a guy on this site wearing a chest protector) NEVER! My advise…Man-up accept the pain, and chicks dig scars. Plus you will always remember how you got the scar in the first place, kinda like how some people think of tattoos.

I have been riding for a while, and can’t remember the last time I wore a helmet. I recently started wearing cycling gloves now that I started playing around with street and trials stuff. The first day with the Nimbus pedals I got a good bite, so now I have all plastic pedals. A few shin strikes later and no more blood.

EVERYTHING you put on your body that is new feels hot and restrictive… Do you really think people are wearing magic weightless+touchless protective clothing???

Your quote reminds me of old people whining about being “forced” to wear seat belts. “Don’t people know that seatbelts WRINKLE CLOTHES? For pete’s sake people!!! Who wants wrinkled clothes? I’ve never been a crash and I’m not going to because I mind control every aspect of everything around me when I’m in a car!!! Wake up everybody! We’re turning into communists with this stupid seat belt rule!!!”

I always wear a helmet and wrist guards. If I’m doing anything more entertaining than riding around the block I add knee/shin guards (learning to hop, go down steps, going on unpaved uneven paths). I’d say it’s what you’re planning to do on your unicycle really. Ride gently around the park, not much opportunity for shin whacks. Learning freemounting and other tricks, lots of opportunity for shin whacks…

I’m with you there. But my riding has now got to the point where for general riding around I don’t feel the need for protective gloves and helmet any more than I do when walking down the street.

I personally find the “all in one” knee and shin guards restrictive and uncomfortable and have never found a pair that fit well (I am 6 foot 5) but I ride allot of MUni and some street/trials and have previously had a few bad hits to my shins and falls on my knees which hurt quite allot.

So what i do is have separate knee and shin guards which i wear at the same time as this gives me full leg protection and feels more comfortable and less restrictive than the all in one knee/shin guards, for me i find them really good.

Just to add i also always wear a helmet and Kris Holm gloves with wrist support built in plus the knee guards and shin guards no matter riding i am doing. I have never tried elbow guards as in all my riding i have never hit my elbows but i am considering buying some just to be safe :slight_smile:

I use these, quite slim so they fit under a shirt or fleece. They never move when riding and very comfortable.

Which separate knee and shin guards do you use?

Thank you for the recommendation, they look good :slight_smile:

these are the ones I use and why I like them,

Nukeproof Critical Knee Armour - I really like these as they offer great knee protection with the hard cap but they also have padding on both sides for added protection. i got the XL size (the biggest one) and they fit well if anything a little tight but not uncomfortable they do not move at all which is good (the size chart on the website is worth looking at before purchase) overall i would say these are a great set of knee pads and the best i have ever worn they are well worth the price as they will protect you really well.

661 Riot Shin Guards - for MUni i find these good as i tend not to hit my shins nearly as much as my knees so i go for the better knee pads over shin pads but for trials/street they are ok as they offer good front of shin protection but don’t offer much to the back of your shins i went for the large size and they only just fit around my leg but i did this so the knee pads could fit together comfortably with them as the knee guards come relatively far down. overall they are good but i would say you probably could find shin guards that offer more protection the the back of your legs.

These are just my opinions I hope they help :slight_smile:

Interesting - I’m another one with separate knee and shin pads from different brands. I also have the Riot shin pads, and whilst I considered those Nukeproof knee pads I eventually went for the Troy Lee ones as they seemed to get slightly better recommendation for comfort. That is a priority for me as I’m not particularly keen on wearing them anyway, and if they’re not comfortable I’ll end up not bothering - extra protection at the sides really isn’t important, as I don’t seem to ever hit there.

Not that I’m sure I’m likely to wear both together all that often if at all - have only once worn shin pads for muni and I’m unlikely to wear knee pads for anything else.

I take back what I said about not bleeding from plastic pedals. Trying to 180 unispin got me good in the shin.

When you start practicing freemounts you’ll absolutely want shin guards. Before then it’ll take a freak accident to take out your shins. So far during learning I’ve taken waaay more skin off the back of my legs than anyplace else.

I have wrist guards but I’d really like to upgrade to full gloves with wrist protection. I rip nails and shred fingertips on the seat hardware when catching the unicycle during UPDs.

That is why, when I’m trying new things or riding the gnar, I always grab for KH Percussion knee/shin armor. Way better protection in the back of the calf than even my precious and way too expensive POC separates. See pictures here.

I’ve got both full and half finger KH Pulse gloves. I wear the full finger gloves in late fall, winter, and early spring but they are just too darn hot in the summer. Also, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. NEVER try and catch a falling unicycle. In a UPD focus on getting clear of the wreckage. Too keep from getting tangled up in a UPD when riding MUni, I’ve been practicing the Nurse Ben technique of jumping off the pedals and launching myself thru the air trying to stick the landing. Let that unicycle fall where it may. They are tough. They can take it! My $3,000 geared 36er is no exception. Drop it like it’s hot!

Dear OP
No, you don’t need shinguards, but after you rip open your shins you will want them.