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  1. #1
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    Protection for Roadies

    Having been recently involved in a bone shattering accident, I'm keen to see if there's anything out there that might at least reduce injury in the event of being helped onto the road at speed.

    Mountain bikers are obviously coming off all the time and it seems pretty normal for them to be wearing body armour inspired by darth vader. I presume this stuff isn't light or particularly aero.

    Is there any relatively lightweight stuff out there that won't affect aerodynamics too much that could help?

    I think I've seen some fairly low-profile elbow pads somewhere, and also found some shorts with some fairly thin foam panels that looked like they might be of use.

    Any suggestions? Or should I just harden up and accept that cycling's a risk?

  2. #2
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    Things to do to lessen crash pain:

    1) Relax - do not tense up
    2) Tuck and roll

    There are plenty of pads out there from hard shell (your idea of Darth Vader) to simple black foam pads made popular by 661's veggie pads. Body armour is actually very light when you realise what it does. I use hard shell Dakine knee-shin armour when tackling gnarlier trails- but generally leave them at home since I mostly do plain old XC/trail riding and hate the heat build up under pads. On the flip side they can actually make you take more risk since you know you have them on.

    If you're considering armour, I don't see why you're worried about being aero. Are you going for fashion first, safety second or safety first? Sure you'll probably get laughed at, but if it makes you feel better on the bike and safer, wear it.

    Other than spending some time to build up your bike handling skills you may also want to look into summer weight long sleeve jerseys or even some All-Mountain MTB jerseys (more like loose long sleeve t-shirts) that sometimes have light elbow padding.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by majura
    Things to do to lessen crash pain:

    1) Relax - do not tense up
    2) Tuck and roll

    There are plenty of pads out there from hard shell (your idea of Darth Vader) to simple black foam pads made popular by 661's veggie pads. Body armour is actually very light when you realise what it does. I use hard shell Dakine knee-shin armour when tackling gnarlier trails- but generally leave them at home since I mostly do plain old XC/trail riding and hate the heat build up under pads. On the flip side they can actually make you take more risk since you know you have them on.

    If you're considering armour, I don't see why you're worried about being aero. Are you going for fashion first, safety second or safety first? Sure you'll probably get laughed at, but if it makes you feel better on the bike and safer, wear it.

    Other than spending some time to build up your bike handling skills you may also want to look into summer weight long sleeve jerseys or even some All-Mountain MTB jerseys (more like loose long sleeve t-shirts) that sometimes have light elbow padding.
    thanks for the reply. i would like to politely point out that no amount of time spent improving my bike handling skills will help if a vehicle hits me from behind again.

    I was hoping to find a solution that would result in zero laughter, but a bit more protection in case of another incident. Maybe that means I'm putting fashion first, but I'm sure I wouldn't be the first roadie guilty of that offence.
    Similarly re: aero, I was hoping there might be some kind of compromise available, that wouldn't slow me down but would help if I hit the pavement. I imagine I will still enjoy going as fast as I can when I'm back on the bike, so remaining fairly aero is an important factor.
    you mention heat build up which I imagine would be a real problem on the road. I suppose there isn't much in the way of breathable, thin protection?

  4. #4
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    Everything out there is either foam based or foam with a plastic shell. Not exactly breathable. 661, and I'm sure others, are making XC padding though, might want to look at that.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by dysfunction
    Everything out there is either foam based or foam with a plastic shell. Not exactly breathable. 661, and I'm sure others, are making XC padding though, might want to look at that.
    just took a look at 661's full suit (vapor), they are actually pretty slimline compared to some of the other stuff I've seen. may do the trick for me.
    the forcefield action shirt looks pretty subtle too.

  6. #6
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    Ah, sorry, I diddn't realise that you were hit!

    Even my SO thinks I look geeky when with my fluro wind vest and rain jacket, although she does agree that it's better that I be seen than be hit. I agree though that even they don't look the best and I sometimes cringe a little when putting it on

    661 have probably the best solution for you here, albeit a pricey one. These pads stay soft when you're wearing them but harden up on impact. The Veggie line is still pretty good though.

    I'm not sure how you were hit or what you were wearing but one thing you might want to consider is prevention... maybe just wear fluro yellow jerseys only. Even a Planet Bike Super Flash or Dinotte rear light that you leave on in the day time.

  7. #7
    vexatious enigma
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    There isn't much protection for a roadie really. At least nothing that you wouldn't over heat in. Most gear is meant for downhill riding or short Keirin races.

    Best advise that I ever got was that you should ride like you are invisible and no one can see you.
    Quote Originally Posted by JoeDaddio
    Unlike Roebuck, you do "do" people.
    Maybe Judas did it for a Klondike bar.

    Life in the fast lane with no brakes

  8. #8
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    I always keep a condom in my saddle bag.

  9. #9
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    Not much you can do really. It's you against a 3000 pound car. It's part luck, and part being at the wrong place at the wrong time.

  10. #10
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    I think the protection you're looking for is to drive a car with seat belts and air bags. I don't think there is much effective protective gear for cyclists or pedestrians against getting hit by cars.

  11. #11
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    Accepting risk

    Quote Originally Posted by kreyszig666
    Or should I just harden up and accept that cycling's a risk?
    You could do that, and it might help to know that compared to driving a car, cycling is 1/2 the risk on a per-hour basis. Or 34 times safer (per hour) than motorcycling.

  12. #12
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    No respectable XC rider wears protection either. Protection makes sense for DH riders, but that is about it.
    My rides:
    Lynskey Ti Pro29 SL singlespeed
    KHS Team 29
    KHS CX 550 Cross
    S-Works Roubaix SL3 Dura Ace
    Pake French 75 track

  13. #13
    Poseur Extraordinaire
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    i think you are thinking about it wrong. go for more visibilty not body armor. be proactive. wear a fred mirror on the helmet or handlebar, hivis everything, lights out the wazoo.

    or as suggested HTFU and get back on the saddle.

  14. #14
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    For me I try to be aggressive on the road. If I'm doing the speed limit or faster I take the lane. Allot of the time I will stay in the right tire track on the road if I'm gong a little slower. It forces cars to see you and they have to go out of there way to go around you or stay put. I know it pisses people off but they cant say they didn't see me. Its a risky sport and you have to except that or go ride on the dirt.

  15. #15
    vexatious enigma
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    Quote Originally Posted by Love Commander
    I always keep a condom in my saddle bag.
    Because you never know when the time is right.
    Quote Originally Posted by JoeDaddio
    Unlike Roebuck, you do "do" people.
    Maybe Judas did it for a Klondike bar.

    Life in the fast lane with no brakes

  16. #16
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    thanks all.
    i think it's more of a confidence thing for me, i don't expect body armour to save my life if i get hit by a car the wrong way. but if i get knocked off, i'd like to think there's a bit of something between myself and the road.
    anyway, so far i have found two quite interesting items:
    dainese dynamo jacket
    and 661 sub gear compression wear

    The compression wear looks like it may be a solution to the overheating issue.

    the dynamic foam stuff that 661 are using in their newer range is exactly what i was initially thinking of; having seen it in another context i thought it would be great for this purpose.

    anyway i am feeling positive that there may be a way to unrespectable but also unobtrusively safer riding for me.
    Thanks for the riding tips, always good to hear.
    Cheers!

  17. #17
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    Mirror

    Quote Originally Posted by pulser955
    For me I try to be aggressive on the road. If I'm doing the speed limit or faster I take the lane. Allot of the time I will stay in the right tire track on the road if I'm gong a little slower. It forces cars to see you and they have to go out of there way to go around you or stay put. I know it pisses people off but they cant say they didn't see me. Its a risky sport and you have to except that or go ride on the dirt.
    +1

    Riders I see seem to think that if they shrink into the road gutter they'll be safer. I agree with previous poster that you're much more likely to be seen and therefore safer if you are reasonable about choosing your line, i.e. ride in the right tire track. And if you're nervous about getting hit from the rear (and you have every right to be if you've been hit before, even though statistically fewer than 10% of car/bike accidents involve a rear-ender), try one of the many types of mirrors (glasses/helmet mount, bar-end mount, etc.).

    Personally I've never understood why we teach and use mirrors on a car, but consider them unnecessary on the bicycle. Not only can you check behind you easily without turning the head, but a quick sweep of the glasses mount type eliminates any blind spot (unlike car mirrors). Plus they make lane changes and other maneuvers much smoother and easier.

  18. #18
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    Roadie protection...





  19. #19
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken2
    +1

    Riders I see seem to think that if they shrink into the road gutter they'll be safer. I agree with previous poster that you're much more likely to be seen and therefore safer if you are reasonable about choosing your line, i.e. ride in the right tire track. And if you're nervous about getting hit from the rear (and you have every right to be if you've been hit before, even though statistically fewer than 10% of car/bike accidents involve a rear-ender), try one of the many types of mirrors (glasses/helmet mount, bar-end mount, etc.).

    Personally I've never understood why we teach and use mirrors on a car, but consider them unnecessary on the bicycle. Not only can you check behind you easily without turning the head, but a quick sweep of the glasses mount type eliminates any blind spot (unlike car mirrors). Plus they make lane changes and other maneuvers much smoother and easier.

    They give me headaches and annoy the crap out of me.

  20. #20
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    Headaches

    Quote Originally Posted by pulser955
    {Mirrors} give me headaches and annoy the crap out of me.
    So do you remove your car mirrors too?

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken2
    So do you remove your car mirrors too?

    No but they don't hang in front of my face.

  22. #22
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    It definitely makes me laugh that I get all geared up to ride my motorcycle around town at 30 mph, but I have no problem descending at 50+ in thin spandex.

    Miyata 1000

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by akatsuki
    It definitely makes me laugh that I get all geared up to ride my motorcycle around town at 30 mph, but I have no problem descending at 50+ in thin spandex.

    well maybe you should ride faster then

  24. #24
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    I like to be Proactive in Posible Accident sutuations...
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  25. #25
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    wearing body armour shouldn't be discouraged

    I have a way of always breaking something if i fall off so i understand your quest for protective gear.
    After my first crash on a roady i went all out and wore body armour from head to toe: full face helmet; chest/spine/shoulder vest protector; elbows; wrists; thick gloves; hips; knees. I was quite hot, and i looked absolutely ridiculous. Nevertheless, it got me back on the bike. Since then I've scaled back to some low-profile elbow guards, solid gloves and some knee braces to protect from slide injury. My most recent injury resulted in a broken elbow, but the rest of me was unscathed. I'm happy to look a little like an idiot in order to feel more safe so I think that now i'll go back to more heavy duty elbow protection


    Quote Originally Posted by kreyszig666 View Post
    thanks all.
    i think it's more of a confidence thing for me, i don't expect body armour to save my life if i get hit by a car the wrong way. but if i get knocked off, i'd like to think there's a bit of something between myself and the road.
    anyway, so far i have found two quite interesting items:
    dainese dynamo jacket
    and 661 sub gear compression wear

    The compression wear looks like it may be a solution to the overheating issue.

    the dynamic foam stuff that 661 are using in their newer range is exactly what i was initially thinking of; having seen it in another context i thought it would be great for this purpose.

    anyway i am feeling positive that there may be a way to unrespectable but also unobtrusively safer riding for me.
    Thanks for the riding tips, always good to hear.
    Cheers!

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