elbow forearm padding - when to wear?


I finally got a chance to do some real trials stuff this weekend and it made me really consider getting forearm/elbow protection.

I was looking at the 661’s at http://unicycle.com/shopping/shopexd.asp?id=399

I don’t really see a use for them with the type of single track riding I do, but if I want to play around on some rocks, logs, benches or even steps that are at the park, it makes me want to consider them.

This Sunday, I was playing around on a rock and went down, but scraped up my elbow as I rolled off the rock on a UPD. Yeah, it only stings when it gets wet, but it could have been worse.

So when do you guys wear the arm armour? On the trail, or more for trials?

I always wear a helmet, leg armor, Active Ankles, and wrist guards.


I wear 661 4x4 (leg) and 2x4 (arm) armour, gloves, and helmet on trail rides, when I’m doing trials-like stuff, or riding Blue Shift. I wear gloves and helmet only when riding a Coker because I can run a UPD out on it. When I first started learning ww, I used elbow pads AFTER I smacked one on the pavement in a backward fall.

My leg and arm protection have saved me on the trail (falling onto rocks or sharp sticks) trials (falling onto all kinds of irregular concrete features) and Blue Shift (falling off and sliding on concrete). Almost any time I fail to put on gloves to “try something for jsut a moment”, I loose skin off of my hands. I don’t own wrist protection but David Maxfield and Tom Jackson both say they have been saved more than once by them.

Elbow protection is nice because hitting your elbow really hurts. Elbow protection isn’t needed as much as leg armor, but when it gets used you’re glad you have it.

Elbow armor is very handy for acting as a kind of bash guard. If you’re riding a trail with lots of trees and turns you’ll find that often end up using your forearms as a bumper to help you avoid hitting a tree or to help you make a turn. The Roach and 661 style arm armor is very good for acting as a bash guard because they also cover the forearm.

well, heres an oposing view. I got a pair of roach arms almost two years ago and I hardly ever use them. only really when it’s too cold to wear just a T-shirt but not cold enough for a warmer shirt do I wear em. on the other hand, my dad wont go Muni’ing without them.

I was trying wheel walking and was making some ground, then I had one of those backwards falls that I had up until then only read about.  I went down hard and didn't have any armour on at all.  I thought I broke my elbow, had a real bad sidewalk rash too.

I bought elbow pads the next day.
When just riding around and trying things out in front of the house or at club meetings it seems like such a pain to gear up but that seems to be the only time I get hurt; trying freestyle stuff.
If I don’t feel like gearing up, I don’t do anything beyond just cruising around.

I’m with Max, I got arm armor about a year ago and I have only worn them twice. I had smacked my elbow and decided that I needed them. I don’t recall smacking my elbow since and a good thing, too. I find them too uncomfortable to wear and I feel like a heavily laden, armor clad knight when wearing them. However, I hardly do anything except technical freestyle without wrist guards and I try not to do any hopping without leg armor.

Learning wimpy old freestyle one-foot riding with the weak foot I was glad to have my elbows on when I caught the foot in the crank and went down flat on my elbows onto asphalt. It didn’t hurt and I popped back up and went on trying. Without them I would have been really hurting.

I basically wear everything all the time because I’m rarely doing things that I can already do safely.

I’ve hit everything that I can hit now except the spine and I’m working on that kind of protection.

Skeletools has some interesting padded shorts and padded upper body protection.

I just saw the shorts at a local bike shop today. They look like they might be good.

I have smacked my spine. I was doing one footed and I swung my left foot forward–the pedal with the back of my foot and I went on to my back. I was bent forward so it left a blue line down my backbone. My elbow was hurting for a month after this. I think I must have bruised the bone somehow.

I wear my elbow guards for trials when I’m doing new stuff or stuff that I consider dangerous, and the same thing for freestyle. Whenever I’m out doing muni, I manage to find something rocky and technical to do so I always wear all my pads for muni.


Last year I put 125s on my Coker and really went for it on some flat tarmac. I couldn’t run out of the UPD and I took skin off both elbows and both knees. That was a pity, as I was dancing the next night, in a white costume.

A couple of days later, I bought elbow and knee pads. I soon decided that the inconvenience/discomfort wasn’t worth it for day to day riding. Surprisingly, I have always been able to run out of UPDs since, though.

I virtually always wear a helmet (except when performing) and virtually always wear gloves with padded palms. It was the same accident which convinced me about the gloves: the palms peeled right back to the wrists, but my hands were unhurt.

Although I always wear a helmet, I don’t think I have ever come close to my head hitting the floor in a UPD. In fact, in the big bale out mentioned above, I clearly remember tipping my head back to keep my helmet off the ground - it was new, you see. ;0)

I occasionally wear shin guards, but my shins have never taken a knock. I only ever seem to get my calves when the pedals sneak up on me from behind.

I’ve hit my head a few times now, twice at last years Red Bull (I was quite tired) once while just riding along when my hockey unicycle pedals were a bit broken and my feet slipped off and once on a muni night ride when there was almost zero visibility because of thick fog, I was in a hurry to catch a train and I was riding really fast over a trail strewn with rocks and with sudden big ruts appearing every so often.

Hitting your head does happen, but usually only when you’re doing something particularly stupid like riding too fast in the dark.


This is what separates us (we?) unicyclists from the ordinary people.

To paraphrase: “It is stupid to ride a unicycle in a hurry in thick fog at night along a trail strewn with rocks and deep ruts.”

An ordinary person wouldn’t need the words, “in a hurry in thick fog at night along a trail strewn with rocks and deep ruts.”:smiley: