Safety Gear? When should it be worn?

I have finally gotten to the point that I can ride a mile on very hilly terain, I came off 4 times in the process, but made it a mile.:smiley: Freemounting is at will now.

So my question is, when do you guys and gals wear safety equipment? I have none now, actually wore one shin guard that is made of canvas and foam for weed eating while wearing shorts. I was taking a beating on my right shin learning to freemount. I am sure I would be more willing to take chances if I was all armored up. That being said, I am sure a ways off from Muni. I don’t expect to be jumping onto or off of picnic tables anytime soon either. If you are just tooling around in front of the house or riding on a track do you bother suiting up?

Re: Safety Gear? When should it be worn?

I’d say there are a few schools of thought on this. I personally pad up every time I ride, at least with head, shin/ankle, and hand protection. Usually elbow as well, and if I’m going offroad, knee.

Why? Two reasons. First, I’m a dad and setting an example for my 9-year-old that he does not get on his uni without protection. Second, even on rides where I feel comfortable, don’t plan on pushing things, etc., there are just too many things that can go wrong and bring you to the pavement. Once you hit 40, it’s tougher to shrug those things off and heal.

For other perspectives and a couple mini-rants, check out this recent thread in the Product Review forum:

Cheers, TB

Actually, I had read that thread which is why I posted the question over here. I thought I could get a broad perspective from people who have already been were I am going. I thought about buying leg pads earlier, just hadn’t made up my mind which ones. I think I know now. It seemed obvious to me to have all that on for trials, and Muni but I wasn’t so sure for just tooling around. I usually land on my feet, and the one time I didn’t, they don’t make protection for that.:smiley: So I was wondering if it would be over kill. Of course I am from the age group that made it through the adolesence w/o helmet laws. I certainly wear one while Mtn Biking as I did when I raced BMX in the 80’s. When I started looking at safety gear I was blown away by the advances.

I am getting close to 40 so I understand the healing issues. You don’t bounce out of bed after a rough fall like you could 20 years ago. Sore always lasts several days. Thanks for the responce. I guess I will try to get some stuff soon. Fathers day is coming soon… maybe a link in an e-mail to the wife is in order.:smiley: She always is looking for ideas.

My padding strategy has evolved according to each new injury. I used to just wear a helmet, then I torqued my wrist. Then an elbow, then a shin, then an ankle. Last weekend I Tenderized the back of my calf with my Muni peddle after a completely lame chicken-out on a relatively small drop. Now, three days later, it looks like a pound of raw hamburger watching a sunset. I’m not sure how to protect against that in the future, as I’ve never seen a pad for that area…maybe I’ll try a second pair of shin-guards facing backward. Any other calf victims find a solution?

You didn’t chicken out, you just re-evaluated a new scenario at an inopportune moment. I saw you. You were picking a different line “down.”

I saw Cliff Cordy at UNICON last year with sections of PVC pipe or something equivalent strapped to his calves. You don’t call Cliff a pansy for over protecting, either.

I had no safety gear until last fall. A few observations from another over 40er:

After landing on my feet for years I started landing on all fours again when I started Muni. I am a believer in leg armor and hand protection.

Now that I am hopping around on stuff, doing lame drops, learned to ride one foot, and trying to learn wheel walk I am falling onto my hands a lot more. I have my worst falls when I am not wearing protection; note to self: wear your Harbingers more.

I have several sets of pinned pedals. Pinned pedals know when you are not protected and will go for your shins and calves like a pit bull. When I have protection they never try to bite me. Go figure.

I still do a fair amount of unprotected riding but I find I am suiting up for more situtations that I never did before.

Not really. But I refuse to ride with pedal pins without my Roach leg armor. The back part seems like tough material. It is certainly better than bare skin!

I tore a two inch long gash in my calf last year. I was just tooling along on level pavement when I did a clumsy beginner-esque UPD. And two weeks ago, I was trying to idle and the uni somehow shot out from under me. I rolled onto my back and almost hit my head. (and I saw somebody actually hit his head in a Coker accident) Now I wear a helmet. I also wear full-finger cycling gloves. I’m sure that as soon as I hurt my wrist, I will start wearing wrist protectors. And so on. Not very smart!

Dave (uni57)

Safety gear probably should be worn at all times when riding. Having said that I never wear any safety gear apart from clothes. After an accident riding backwards that left my wrist out of action for almost a week, I purchased a set of safety gear. It cost NZ $20 for Knee pads, Elbow pads, and Wrist guards. I bought it especially for the wrist guards with my previous accident in mind. I do not like the idea of wearing something that will get all sweaty and stinky so I don’t wear them. Another accident I had was at the top of a staircase and I must have hesitated because the Unicycle bucked me forwards. I flew down the 7 stairs and twisted my ankle sideways upon landing. I thought I should wear tramping boots instead of shoes more often for the extra support but I have continued wearing the same shoes. Active ankles would be good in that situation but I think I will just try to avoid the twisting instead. Mistakes are there to be learned from, but it is easy to forget them when you have healed.

I’m 19, fit, healthy and strong.
When I fall off, I bounce :slight_smile:

u forgot to mention ‘stupid…’


this is pretty rich coming from me
i mostly ride in the gym and slight bits and pieces off road
nothing serious
shortly after i learnt to ride, i bought the knee, elbow, wrist kit
only i bought the wrong size
and i’ve been meaning to go exchange it and start wearing it ever since

the road to hell is paved with good intentions

When just riding around campus I usually just have fingerless gloves on. When going for a muni I take full gloves and helmet; it’s when doing trials that I take the leg pads out.

I’m usually alright when muni-ing; my falls are generally cushioned by bushes, hedges, undergrowth… :slight_smile:


If I’m going to ride for more than 15 seconds on any Uni, I will don hightop (lite hikers), and wristguards.

For touring on the 29er, playing on the giraffe, or practicing new stuff just out in front of the house: ADD Helmet to the above.

For MUni: ADD Shin Guards to all of the above.

The one thing that is an ALWAYS: Wristguards.

I used to “forget” the helmet more often. But this past weekend, a non-professional competitor in the Memphis in May Triathlon, wearing a helmet and going only 15 mph on her bike, wiped out in a One-Bike crash and was airlifted to the hospital. She’s had 3 brain surgeries since and is (non-verbally) responsive and, we hope, improving.

In a related note: the (same) race director has nixed unicycles in the MightyMite Triathlon with no further explanation.

I’m in the process of moving and it seems that things are never where you want them. Last weekend I rode outside, in front of your son, without the proper protection. I didn’t have a helmit or wrist guards. My bad.

But I was just on my freestyle uni, which has nice flat pedals. I only had on ankle and shin protection. Fortunately I didn’t fall.

If I were on my Muni, with nice tenderizing pedals, I would have turned my soccor shin guards around (the soft kind), and put on the heavy stuff for the shins. I have never actually had to test the calf pads with the Tenderizers, but I hope they would work.

Still vulnerable during freestyle practice are the sides of my knees. I guess Mbxers don’t impact the sides of their knees much, but the frame wacks my right knee all the time.

I also fell on my hip yesterday while attempting to ride backward one foot. Fortunately it was a wood floor. Is anyone selling a butt bumper?


Just showed under “What’s Up”.

I am definitely getting these. I wonder if that padding extends around to the butt.:smiley: That’s what hit the hardest the one time I didn’t land on my feet.

I wear Roach pads which wrap around the back of the calf.

If you don’t want to do Roach or 661 you could try the Core Rat leg armour (It’s a Canadian company so I use the Canadian spelling <g>). Core Rat offers optional calf protection for their leg armour. I have not used the Core Rat armour and I don’t know anyone who has tried it for muni. It looks like it might work OK for muni. Their armour is missing protection on the inside of the knee where you knee may hit and rub the frame. One reason I really like the Roach armour is that it covers the sides of the knee too.

Anyways, here’s the link to the Core Rat stuff:

Calf tracks are a badge of muni courage. :slight_smile:

calf tracks: tracks left on your calf from the traction pins on an errant platform pedal as the pedal scrapes the back of your calf.