What is the minimum amount of padding?

Obviously a personal choice thing, but as a newbie, what type of padding should be used? For awhile I’ll just be riding smooth stuff so maybe just my helmet and gloves will be enough, but soon I’ll have to answer the call from the woods and take the wheel in there.

In my early days of riding, it was definitely the hands and knees that got it the most. After this, it’s probably elbows, shins, and calves, in an order that probably depends on what you’re learning.

I use a helmet for all rough terrain riding, but usually not for flat ground. Head injuries on flat ground are pretty rare there, but of course wearing the helmet won’t hurt.

For starters, bike gloves and a pair of volleyball-type kneepads will offer you some minimal, lightweight protection. That’s what I wear for track racing (with a helmet). Protection, without undue heat and restriction of movement.

If you venture out onto the rocks or are working on new tricks, something more substantial on the knees and wrists is good, as well as protection for your lower legs. I like my Roach pads for that.

Just learning?

Rolerblade wrist guards are my top choice. Then a helmet.

Search the archives, there’s tons of discusions about what is the most important…

Certainly if you whack your head hard enough you’ll go retarded.

However, your head is 99% of the time saved from hitting the ground by your locked-armed, ‘oh my god I’m falling’ 2 wristed impact into floor.

Personal statistics…

Riding for almost 3 years

My head has landed on the ground once after tumbling on the ground. The head came to rest on the ground at the end of my fall. The helmet saved me from an uncomfortable bump, but I can tell that would have been the extent of that injury.

I have to replace my wrist guards now because they are so ripped up (sliding on pavement) and banged up (smashing into pavement) that I fear they are no longer offering me the most protection.