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Armor/Protection for Road & Recreational Cycling

Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Armor/Protection for Road & Recreational Cycling

Old 03-11-20, 05:39 PM
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Armor/Protection for Road & Recreational Cycling

Hello All. I am new to the sport after re-animating my 1980's clunker bike as I needed it for some local transits close to my house where a car would be less practical. The recent death of a friend saw his widow give me his Salsa Journeyman flat bar bike which is AMAZING. The thing is lightweight aluminum and I can pick it up with one hand, it has disc brakes and enough gears the back looks like a porcupine. What a difference from the old clunker! Given I have type 1 diabetes on insulin and have found X time cycling burns more than X time walking and running is a no go I am doing it more for recreation, local transport, convenience and excercise. However I am afraid of falling, getting hurt or especially getting hit by a car.

I am a very timid and careful, predictable rider that is *NOT* aggressive and does not push any limits. I am a mature rider, in my 40's and a family man so very careful around cars as well and even plan routes that are less likely to have traffic. I will never take this off road, I will never do tricks, jumps, mountain biking or go off road except for some mild dirt trails as the bike can do it as it is a hybrid. I just don't want to get hurt but boy do I enjoy cycling as it has elements of speed, convenience and traffic/urban environment penetration as well as some errand running that allow more exercise to be built into my life.

I was considering getting some pads or armor. I got G force shin and elbow pads already. I already have a MIPS helmet. I already got mirrors for both sides as well as a helmet mirror (cheap and can't be too careful!) I have been cycling in the winter with heavy clothing and that feels easier than summer dress in a clunker so at this point I don't think more padding/armor would limit my mobility as if I didn't mind a heavy jacket and multiple layers (MORE PROTECTION!!! =). I probably won't mind a few more pads around the shoulders and chest but what are they like? Are they hot? Are the more expensive ones less "hot"? What about anything else like a specialized shirt, full face helmet or neck braces? Since I got my nice bike essentially for free I have money to spend on this and it's worth it to me unless someone feels that the pads are uncomfortable and very limiting. But they would have to be pretty bad. One thing for sure I am not getting the full motorcycle Kevlar/airbag setup, that seems like total overkill. But I am open to spending a few hundred bucks or slightly more on a few more safety upgrades and looking for opinions and people's experience on road bikes accordingly.
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