Safety equipment - budget alternatives?

Can anyone recommend budget alternatives to the KH and 661 gear with regards to knee/shin protection and wrist guards?

I know they are great and you should always buy the best when it comes to safety but at the moment things are that tight I really cant pull out those kind of prices but I know without something i’ll hold back too much.
In time i’ll upgrade of course, but I just want something to get me going for now.

Edit: I should really get a helmet too!

Sometimes they have very good sales and they have a lot of stuff in stock :slight_smile:

Hi Monkey Mark

I started out with hockey shin pads and wrist guards from jjb or sports direct, can’t remember which. My helmet is a bog standard bmx, cost about £15.

I have upgraded to kh gloves and shin guards but I have not got a new helmet yet.

Some forum members may disagree with me here but I personally can’t emphasize (cor all these big words so late in the evening:p ) the importance of a helmet right now, especially while learning.

I usually add that I don’t get paid while off sick from my job so I have to take every precaution for that not to happen :roll_eyes:


Duct tape and closed cell foam. Rolled up news papers. Or just don’t ride until you have proper gear.

Would you drive a car that had no seats or seat belts?

Pricepoint has 4x4’s for $25. I can’t say if that meets your definition of “budget,” but it’s a pretty good price.

That would have been good, shame im in the UK though. :roll_eyes: Thanks anyway.

As stated, i’m wanting to get the protective equipment so i can get on learning, so your statement relating it to driving is irrelevant.

If you want to go along them lines: Do you only drive cars with the highest Euro ncap crash test ratings (or whatever the US equivelant is)? If not then you might as well be driving a dodgem covered in bubble wrap.
See, completely stupid statement.

Yes i want budget, but just to get started. Surely something that is CE marked is better than nothing?

(At the end of the day, my children are seen to first, then whatever is left is mine to play with. Id rather have something than nothing because maestro8 said it would be better if i didnt bother until i had “proper” gear.).


If you look at where the knocks tend to occur, and protect those areas

for me when beginning was knees, hands (wrists), and shins

I never actually got any ‘proper’ protective equipment until recently.
I used football shin pads - I ha some that came down over the ankle bones too.

I used some fingerless cycling gloves
and found a pair of volleyball knee pads for about 5 GBP from a local sports shop. although not really for outsde use, thay were cheap and well padded, and quite protecive

my normal cycle helmet

I didnt bother with elbow pads.

Basically I think you can get and find reasonable protection from stuff you may already have, or be able to pick up cheaply.

since this is what most of the kit is anyway - protection for sport x repurposed for uni (other than KH that is)

with retrospect some protection for wrist area may have been a good idea, but thankfully, never landed too heavily that way.

Indeed - I started learning with no protection at all - didn’t kill myself as I found I always landed on my feet. Once I could ride a little I started wearing some cheap DH MTB gloves I already owned as I found I did sometimes land on my hands when hitting little bumps, shortly followed by buying some KH gloves with built in wrist protection - mainly because I’ve got an old wrist injury I need to protect.

Have also now got shin protection, which I wear when trying new stuff involving jumping etc. where I might miss the pedal. I also wear a helmet (which I already owned) when riding muni. Have never worn knee or elbow pads - have landed on knees a few times, but never anything that’s a serious problem - not too bothered about losing a little skin (I tend not to even notice until I’m in the shower!) Meanwhile when doing transportation riding where I’m very sure that if I do UPD I’ll land on my feet I’m back to wearing no protective kit at all.

I suppose it all depends on your attitude to risk, whether you can cope with some grazes, and how good you are at landing on your feet. Maestro’s suggestion is a good one for shin pads, which may be useful when beginning depending on how pointy your pedals are and how bad you are at missing them. You can get heavy duty gloves cheap at garden centres etc. - if you feel you need wrist protection (a good idea IMHO - though I don’t know if I’d be so bothered without the wrist injury), then a bit of stiff plastic taped to the back might do the job - otherwise cheap inline skate wrist protectors. Not going into the helmet debate - I mostly ride without, despite always wearing one, and insisting my sons wear one on a bike, though I wouldn’t like to try and justify either position.

Thanks for the help everyone.

If I can find them I still have some wrist guards from when I played street hockey. Have some padded cycle gloves too.

Dont mind a few cuts and bruises, always played contact sports but had an operation on a knee last year so think i’ll have to look after those.

I’ll see if I can find something in the uk similar to those 4x4’s posted earlier as I like that style.

If you’re still after wrist guards and, if there’s a decathlon store near you, they’ll probably have budget sets (as well as decent budget helmets, other pads, cycle shorts etc).

Though a lot of people wear various types of gloves instead.

As you’re just learning and using a 20", I don’t reckon you need shin protectors- I’ve been riding over a decade and never used them for riding, I think they’re mainly necessary for doing trials/muni type stuff where you’re using pedals with pins and coming off a lot. If you do feel the need for some, then any kind of sports shin protection can be used.

There’s a lot to be said for a helmet when learning though- head impacts are very rare, but can obviously be very bad if they do occur. Again, just get a basic budget model from any decent cycle shop.

I also learned to ride without wearing gear. I had a helmet and skating wrist guards but wearing them never seemed worth the trouble since it was very rare to not land on my feet. I think I landed on my butt a total of 4 times (out of many thousands of UPDs) and most of those were while learning to free mount. Having shin guards while learning to free mount (or just wearing long pants but I learned during the summer) would have saved my calves from a few scars. Once I left the driveway and started riding off-road I put on the helmet and wrist guards, and soon bought some shin pads.

That’s a false dichotomy. Wikipedia will explain it to you if you aren’t already savvy to logical fallacies.

Given the very low cost of a helmet and pads, in comparison to the costs of an injury, you’d be foolish to ride without. Just as you’d be foolish to hop in a car without seatbelts.

Who’s going to see to your children if you fall and knock your head? Even more reason not to ride without gear.

Like I said in my post above, there’s a lot to be said for wearing a helmet.

But, let’s face it, it’s totally a personal choice and I see no reason to be throwing around accusations of foolishness and irrationality to those who choose not to use them.

The chance of a substantial head injury while learning to unicycle is ultra-low:- are there any actual incidents of such for someone learning to ride?

Yes, there’s always a possibility of such an injury, but there comes a point when the probability is less than that of being injured in the head while walking on the pavement.

Leave him to make his own mind up, please let this not descend into yet another pointless helmet pressurization thread.

You may be able to find cheap hand/wrist protection in the form of work gloves. Cut off the fingers if they’re too hot.

And don’t listen to maestro, he mostly avoids injury by driving his Ferrari at 100+mph on public roads instead of riding unicycles. (I am not making this up).

My perspective to body armour/helmets, what is your physical health worth to you?

If you aren’t riding with intense platform pedals, and you are just learning the basics you don’t really need protection (although i also support protection) you may end up with some cuts and bruises (character markings of course)

Here’s what I just got


Shinpads and gloves for $20 shipped is a pretty good deal. I haven’t tested them out really but they fit pretty nicely.

This should be more than enough proof to satisfy anyone who doubts Tom’s attempt at defaming me.

£9 Helmet A few better looking ones for a few more quid if you look on that site

£17.99 Knee Shin Guards

This weekend there is an extra 10% off at chain reaction cycles as well

Sorted :slight_smile: