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Old 03-22-05, 05:27 PM   #1
steel_is_real
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Elbow & Knee Pads?

I just fell off my bike recently and this has made me start considering getting elbow and knee pads. Does anyone have anything to recommend for commuting/road cycling. The pads for mountain biking look way too bulky though I'm sure they work. I'm looking for some basic protection which I reckon would be better than nothing.

Years ago I fell off my motorbike going at a much higher speed than on my bicycle. I slid along the road on my stomach but because I was wearing a ski jacket, jeans, and gloves I got hardly a scratch. Yesterdays accident on my bike gave me significantly worse damage.
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Old 03-22-05, 05:55 PM   #2
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Steel,
Probably a better idea would be to work on your bike handling skills. One of the best ways is to just go out in a grassy field and mess around on your bike with some slow speed manuevers and such. Or you could get involved with either some bike polo or cyclocross. In the end it is much better to work at avoiding an accident than to prepare for another one.

You don't say how you crashed or if you are experiencing a lot of a certain kind of crash.
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Old 03-22-05, 06:52 PM   #3
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Treespeed, see my post "Fell off my bike yesterday" under the Commuting forum. I've been back into cycling since December after many years off and this is my first fall ever.
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Old 03-22-05, 07:13 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by steel_is_real
Treespeed, see my post "Fell off my bike yesterday" under the Commuting forum. I've been back into cycling since December after many years off and this is my first fall ever.
Yeah, I saw that and I'm sorry if it sounded like I wan't sympathetic. I am sorry about your crash. Even the best of us go down sometimes. Though I would still give you the same advice to work on your bike handling in a safe place like a field or something where it won't hurt to fall a few more times. I think pads would be uncomfortable and make you more likely to crash by restricting your legs and arms. It sounds like you crashed at low speeds and this is where messing about in a field would be helpful. Maybe set up some socks or something to use as cones and practice slalom and other low speed stuff. At least this is what we used to do as kids and I thought it was really helpful.
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Old 03-23-05, 08:20 AM   #5
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This is a very interesting problem. There's lot of ways to crash a bike. Elbow pads would probably provide some protection in a crash, but knee pads probably wouldn't do a thing. The impact/slide is more likely to be on your side, especially if you are still clipped in.

Gloves are a necessity, as your palms will most likely contact the road. It's human nature to stick those hands out to break your fall.

The last time a crashed was during a race at speed around a wet corner. I went down hard and fast. Most of the damage to me was skin loss from my hip and upper leg.

Than being said, a hip pad may be in order. There are some very light weight ones made for skaters that may work. I used one for many years while skating and goalkeeping in soccer, and I do mean USED!

I have also used the neoprene knee and ankle support tubes while goalkeeping. They provide a bit of impact protection (better than nothing), and are lighter than traditional knee pads. They will most likely be shredded in a crash, but they did their job.

In the end I agree with Treespeed. This crash may have been an anomoly and you won't have another for a long time, if ever. There are so many ways to crash and become injured on a bike, you just can't protect against all of them and still enjoy yourself.
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Old 03-23-05, 03:13 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by eubi
Elbow pads would probably provide some protection in a crash, but knee pads probably wouldn't do a thing. The impact/slide is more likely to be on your side, especially if you are still clipped in.
This pretty much describes my injuries, mainly on the hip, then elbow, then shoulder, hardly anything on the knee.

Thanks for the replies. Good to know there is at least something out there to consider getting if this ever happens again.
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Old 03-24-05, 09:05 AM   #7
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In cool weather, I'll wear some of my DH gear riding in traffic... (although I only do this on my freeride bike, I am a little too vain to wear it while riding my road bike) If the weather is cool enough that I'd be wearing more clothing anyways, I might as well throw some pads on.

Everytime I fall on pavement, I scrap the exact same section of my right arm... that would be the place to wear a guard, if there was one. When its cool I'll generally wear knee-shin guards and moto pants, and clipless or platform on my MTB Ive never scrapped the side of me knee... for me the pads work. But in wamer climates, you'll probably end up leaving the stuff off, its too hot oftentimes.

I've never crashed my road bike... knock on wood. But handling skills are only part of the equation. A few of the couriers downtown dress as if they expect to get hit by a car. They may know something I don't...

Last edited by ghettocruiser; 03-24-05 at 09:06 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 03-24-05, 09:43 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Treespeed
Steel,
Probably a better idea would be to work on your bike handling skills.
Good point, and one that can also be applied to auto drivers. When I do drive, it's in my Miata, which is not only fun to drive, but also easy to avoid an accident in. On the other hand, I have a friend who is an accident-prone driver, and she bought an SUV on the advice from a friend that if she is so accident prone, she should drive a vehicle that is "safe" to crash. D'oh!

I do wear knee pads and wrist guards when I rollerblade though, since my feet handling skills have a lot to be desired.
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