Does leg armor fully protect calf agaist steel-pinned pedals?

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.

Thank you.

uni57 (Dave)

Ok first off an onza is not a learner uni it is a uni fr tho who have at last some exprience riding.
But to answer your question yes te roach leg armor is much much better than jeans and probably would have protected you.
So if your gonna try learn on the onza then leg armour is a must.:smiley:


Good advice Cat.

I hope you change your avatar very soon.

For sure the Roach armour is a good idea but it won’t completely protect your calf. For that area it might be a good idea to stuff a shin guard type item… possibly a slightly moulded piece of heavy plastic card would do… in between you calf and the Roach armour backing/straps.

I saw a MUni rider who did this recently and it did give me pause for thought. I may just be doing the same some time soon when I throw the pinned pedals back on my commuter uni to deal with slippery pedals caused by the monsoons that have started again here Vancouver.


The back is thick, but it will not fully protect you from pedal bites. Erin sounds like she has a good idea.


P.S. Your not a big Guns and Roses fan are you?:stuck_out_tongue:

The Roach armor offers enough calf protection from me. I’m a klutz and I sometimes smack the back of my calf with the pedal. When I’m wearing the Roach armor the pedals have never drawn blood. Without the Roach armor the pedals do draw blood. Because I’m a klutz (especially on steep downhills) I test the calf protection on my Roach armor regularly. The calf protection has never failed me.

Putting shin pads over your calf with the Roach armor is overkill IMHO. The shin pads might protect you from a bruise, but the extra protection is not necessary to keep the pedals from drawing blood.

I don’t know about the calf protection on the 661’s. I’ve only used Roach.

I think that’s “better than nothing”. A leg armour protects you aboslutely more on the shin, but on the calf is good too.
If you want, you can wear a “soccer shin guard” (here in Italy they’re very easy to found), on yur calf so you wear it in the opposite way than it will be normal.