Suit yourself. Everyone gets to choose their level of risk :). If it helps you in your risk assessment:
I’m a bit of a one-wheeled newbie. For my first proper crash on the road I was wearing shorts and no knee pads or gloves. Took a bit of skin off my palms and cheese gratered my knee badly enough that I couldn’t ride for two weeks. And that was only on my 26er. I bought some Hillbilly gloves and KH leg armour after that, but pretty quickly stopped wearing the leg armour for anything other than muni because it was too much hassle.
Then when I first got my 36er I had a really stupid UPD while turning a corner extremely slowly. No road rash but I smacked my knee on the road reasonably hard. After collecting myself I rode home gently, but my knee was swollen and tender for a few days so again it stopped me from riding.
After that I found some lightweight simple knee pads (Black Diamond Telekneesis) which I wear whenever I ride my 36er on the road. Since I got them I’ve had two superman UPDs from the big wheel but thanks to the knee pads and gloves/wrist guards I just get up and ride away as if nothing happened.
Last week I was riding up the road to town, and I turned off the main road onto a side street. Out of nowhere, my right foot slipped off the pedal (FORWARD I might add), and obviously I hit the deck. Flat on my knees and elbows. Right knee didn’t really hurt unless I walked on it - it only hurt when I straightened my leg, but keeping it bent on the uni didn’t hurt at all, so I didn’t notice how much pain I was in until I got home!
I’ve noticed my knees seem to take it extra-hard, and occasionally my elbows too. Weirdly I’ve not hurt my wrists too bad yet. I’m starting to wonder if I need to invest in pads, but I’m not too keen on the plasticky kind. Would the soft squishy kinds work alright, just for impact crashes as opposed to skids?
It was a very cold day, and I had just gotten on my 20. Wanting to get warm, I rode as fast as possible, stomping down on the pedals just a bit too hard and losing control. After falling, I ran faster and faster for about 30 feet, trying to regain my balance, but somehow that never quite worked out, even though a 20 doesn’t go very fast. I collided with the rear view mirror of a parked car at some point during this long run before finally hitting the ground and bloodying my hand. I wasn’t badly hurt, but had made terrible crashing and banging sounds, which were heard by pedestrians, and when I finally came to rest, my uni was far behind me. A bit of a freak accident.
The G-Form pads are supposed to be pretty good for impacts. They’re the soft ones with the putty in them that hardens on impact. I haven’t tried them but I’ve read good reports from others on the forums.
Half of the trick with knee pads is finding ones that stay put and don’t shift down your legs as you ride. The Telekneesis are pretty good from that point of view, but they have hard plastic shells. I prefer the hard shells myself as I tend to slide a bit when I come off my 36er at speed and that would probably shred the soft shells pretty quickly. All depends how you fall I guess.
Originally Posted by lightbulbjim:
“Oh, and wear some knee pads.”
Good protection lets you go into situations you wouldn’t consider without it. It doesn’t diminish your manhood. The only way you learn to negotiate rocky, technical trails is to ride it and fall off. A lot. If you don’t wear knee pads (and gloves, etc), you’re going to get hurt a lot before you get good at it. To each his own, but just sayin’…
I understand protective gear; I also street luge and wear about 30lbs of kevlar and leather. I’m ATGATT every second I’m on my motorcycle. And my manhood is pretty much nonexistent - I wear bright pink clothes on a regular basis.
But I also didn’t like the previous poster’s tone; there’s a difference between a person asking for a safety gear suggestions and someone blatantly just telling them “oh, and wear some knee pads” when it’s unsolicited.
With that being said, if I was doing muni, sure, I’ll wear some knee pads. But riding down a bike path? I’ll take the skinned knee with a smile.
Edit: If I seem grumpy or quick to snap I apologize… It’s been a strange week for me and a few people’s comments reminded me of things that frustrate me (which are completely outside the context of “hey, put some knee pads on ya dingus.”)
I hear ya on that one. If it’s hot out, and I’m just planning on a leisurely ride down the bike path, I’ll often go with just a pair of gloves and the helmet (my wife makes me wear the helmet no matter what). But I’m careful not to do anything risky on those rides. (I’m old, and it takes me a while to heal. )
Fair enough! Sorry I took it the wrong way. I’m usually not a drama queen but lately I feel like I’ve been wound a little too tight. No hard feelings?
Things always start out as leisurely rides for me and somehow I end up always thinking, “hey, I bet I can break my speed record on this straightaway,” or “that looks hoppable,” or even “I bet I could fit between that.” And that usually ends with… me needing kneepads. :o
I had a real strange fall in Indianapolis while riding a new 28" unicycle. I fell in
front of the wheel with one foot still on the other pedal, the tire hit the back of my leg so hard that it tore a tire shaped hole in my leg! I could clearly see the muscle with the skin flap hanging by an inch. At the ER it was hard for them to stitch up. I had cut a nerve and cannot feel the side of my foot.
This was not my worst injury. I hit a metal beam right between the eyes in 1994. I had bruising on the brain, a broken nose, and a fractured skull after falling backwards. I nearly died. From that day on I always ride with a helmet.
After over 40 years of riding I consider myself lucky and grateful to still be doing what we do.
I was in the parking lot of my gym working on for the lack of a better term, a “walking mount”. Where I would walk and just jump into a static mount and ride off in one motion. I was doing a pretty god job until I had a “hold my beer and watch this moment”.
I said to myself, “self, it would be pretty cool if I ran into it instead of just walking”. So I took off a running, jumped up into it went past the pedal with my foot and got the back of my leg stuck on the pedal. I was leaning to the rear with both my feet stuck on the pedals and went down flat on my back hard. I got lucky and was not hurt badly, just sore.
It is one of the few time I needed all the safety gear I wear but reinforced in my mind why I ALWAYS wear it.