Several days ago, I did a clumsy UPD and ended up with a nasty gash on my calf. I was riding the Onza 20" Trials uni WITHOUT leg armor. The Onza comes with steel-pinned pedals.
I am a beginner and most of my UPDs are uneventful – this painful one being an exception.
When I got the injury, I was just trying to ride a few feet on a paved, level surface. I had little idea that the steel pins could be SUCH a danger in that scenario. I think what happened was this – my UPD began by taking my weight off the rear pedal – the pedals were level. My weight was now on my right foot on the forward pedal. This propelled the uni forward and my right foot came off in front of the pedal. One of the pedal pins ripped a two-inch long gash in my calf.
In retrospect, I understand that I was foolish, not to mention clumsy. Now, I refuse to ride the Onza without my Roach leg armor. And I’m still not sure exactly what happened (which leaves me defenseless to a repeat of my blunder). Except that next time, I will have leg armor.
Here is my question, at last…
Clearly, the FRONT of the Roach leg armor is impervious to steel-pinned pedals. But what about the back of the leg armor? The material seems strong, but can a pin pierce or tear through it? Also, the pins did NOT tear my jeans. Experiment: try taking one finger and poking it into the fabric of something like a T-shirt or other thin material. See how the material bends around your finger? That’s what happened with my pants – they covered the pins (“pin”, actually – one pin did most of the damage). The fabric of my jeans merely “dulled” the pin by covering it, but the pin was still pointy enough, given enough force, to rip my leg open.
So again, what about the back of the Roach leg armor? Is it strong enough and stiff enough to prevent a gash from a steel pin? Will it stay flat enough to prevent the cutting action of the pins? And if so, will I just get a painful black-and-blue bruise instead? That sounds much better, if I had to choose.
Does anyone have personal experience with this? Is leg armor simply “better-than-nothing” calf protection or is it actually sufficient calf protection? Your thoughts on this matter would be greatly appreciated.