I’m getting back into unicycling after a years long break and I have a boring cycling helmet but my cycling shorts are years old and worn out. What’s the best option in recent years? Should I also buy gloves? My antique KH leg armor still works fine for now.
I would recommend wrist guards, I use dakine that have plastic support in them which have saved me a good few times
Shorts are something you have to try yourself, as it mainly has to fit your bodyshape… I find anything that works on bikes will generally work quite well on a unicycle, so i just go by reviews from MTB magazines/riders since they are a much larger database.
I use whatever gloves are on sale at my local bike store. I would highly recommend getting some, but personally I’ve never felt the need for wrist guards, and I only find them annoying.
Wrist guards are good. Mine have some deep scrapes in them, indicating that they have saved me some pain. I’ve had knee injuries in the past, so I wear knee braces as well. I’ve got elbow pads, but I haven’t found those have been necessary. It seems that 99% of the time I fall on my feet, knees and hands.
I hear others recommending shin guards, but my shins haven’t really been banged up that much. Doing muni however I find that my helmet is frequently hitting branches.
It depends a lot on what type of riding you are doing. Cruising through a park doesn’t really need more than a helmet. For muni or giraffe, leg and elbow pads and gloves might be nice. I’ve fallen of my giraffe and landing on your chest, scraping your hands, and whacking your knee into the pavement hurts. I would get gloves if you plan on going fast, giraffe riding, muni with rocks, or anything else that has worse falls. Typically I land on my feet for muni and gloves would probably cause more discomfort than the save me from, especially since it is rarely cold enough to where a even a light sweatshirt over a short sleeve shirt while unicycling here. It hits 115 degree F in the hell or as some may know it, summer, so pads and gloves are too hot even in the cool (90 F) parts of the day. Wear a helmet because that protects from more than recoverable injuries.
The possibility of falling is never far away on a unicycle, especially if you push hard and have to negotiate rough surfaces.
As they say it is not the speed of the fall but the sudden stop that does the damage. Consequently sliders are a good idea especially palms and knees if you are riding on concrete and tarmac. I am a big fan of Hillbilly Gloves which have huge palm sliders.
I also have some 25 mm thick high density closed cell foam pads inside calico coin bags that I tuck between my padded shorts and outer shorts to protect my hips. These have definitely saved me from serious injuries. Once slid out on my 29 and went straight down on my right hip. It was so painful but I recon I would have broken my hip without the pad.
I recommend bib shorts. These have straps that go over the shoulders so keep everything up and out of the way, I also have braces to hold up my outer shorts for the same reason.
Took a spill mounting my 32 on cement yesterday, just didn’t land my studded pedals right and went down, I never saw it coming I had wrist guards on as always but got a severe snake bite on the left shin and ankle and a scuffed knee and fore arm on the right. One of these days I’m going to wise up and get some shin guards. If you are unigeezer or a unimart fan on youtube you will see they never ride without shin guards or helmets.
I tend to wear wrist guards and helmet every ride *except if playing hockey.
Helmet cause bike riders here have to wear them every ride, and wrist guards because having a wrist fracture is really not cool.
Leg armour only for muni or perhaps trying new things.
Knee coverage (eg. Jeans fabric) most times
Where I live though, it can be warm and my last local muni trip I took off the leg armour part way through the ride cause it was too warm.
I tend to wear padded bike shorts or bibs for the seat cushioning. The bibs are better than the bike shorts, I seem to get the bike shorts stuck on the seat - bibs hold up better.
Sitting on a jeans seam while riding becomes very uncomfortable for me after a while.
As far as shin and knee protection, is the Kris holme leg armor most ideal for unicycling or is there other brands I should be considering. What always keeps me from ordering the KH leg armor is getting the proper size.
I’m a bit of a KH leg armor hater. There are companies in the MTB market that focus a lot of their energy on making the best pads possible, and there is nothing too special about unicycling that would make those not applicable. When you compare KH to cheap pads you would find in a supermarket, the KH stuff wins. But the higher end mountainbike specific pads fit worlds better, stay in place better and are less bulky while protecting as well or better. They’ll likely cost a fair bit more however…
I wear Ion Kpacts, Race Face Ambush seems to be very popular, for shin pads Fuse makes the most popular ones. Those are just some options, ideally you would go to your nearest MTB store (if there is any), and try what they have to offer - how well they fit you is extremely important. I find that I don’t need shin protection often, so I don’t wear any, but if you want ones that have both knee and shin together, you can find those too.
Thanks , great advice, we have several good shops in my area. For comfort I prefer to ride without leg protection but I seem to have one good snake bite a year. I hope this was my one and only for 2021.
I second that, my wrist guards have saved me dozens of times!
I absolutely will never ride without wrist guards, my livelyhood depend on me having a pair of
My livelihood doesn’t really depend on me having perfect use of my hands, but high quality wrist guards are both cheap and effective and easy to put on. There’s a little bit of a bulge where your palm should be, but I find once you get used to it, it’s really not in the way that much. I’d rather have that ability to slam my palm into gravel without pain than the extra 1% of control I might get from the added dexterity.
This! One ride when I didn’t wear those I slipped on wet grass (trying to give way to someone on the single track path) and hit the gravel of the path with my hips. I had a hard time walking for some time.
I also have a friend who hit a stone with his hip on a mountain bike, which lead to a broken hip and a few surgeries. He was lucky not to get an artificial hip joint.
You also get good protection gear for your hip in motorbike stores, mostly on the heavy side, though.
A bit pricey, but if it fits and the protection is in the right place then it should be quite comfortable.
My pads definitely are not low profile or stylish but I would bet they work better than anything commercially made.
I paid $5 for the huge sheet foam at the tip shop. I think it was some kind of camping mattress. Two sheets bonded together with a tendency to roll up so the curve fits nicely to my hips. Probably used about twenty cents worth for the pads. I work in a Credit Union so the two calico coin bags cost me nothing.
I can chuck them straight in the wash. Because the foam is closed cell they don’t absorb water so dry very quickly.
They have definitely saved me from serious injury at least a couple of times. The best protection gear you don’t even notice you are wearing until it matters.