In recent years, MTB protections have evolved a lot thanks to the arrival of intelligent materials. Some protections harden according to the impact. They absorb and dissipate the shock wave, the protections become softer, more comfortable and lighter. Manufacturers use breathable and technical materials to limit the formation of perspiration. Soft fabrics and flat seams are preferred to avoid chafing.
The protections can be adjusted and closed with velcro, clips, elastics or a combination of several techniques.
Types of protections
- Protective vest
Dedicated to the most committed disciplines, the vest forms a very complete protection. It often integrates a mixture of foam and rigid protections, to cover mainly the back and the shoulders but also on certain models, the elbows and forearms, the chest and the abdominal belt.
As mentioned earlier, some models use smart materials that harden on impact to give you a powerful and adjustable armor! Some vests are elbowless or even sleeveless to give you the choice to wear elbow pads if needed and therefore be more versatile.
- Back protector
The back protector is lighter than the vest, it protects only the spine and leaves the athlete the choice of protections for the rest of the body. The back protectors can be integrated directly into a backpack.
- Elbow pads
Elbow pads are available in different ranges. Depending on your needs, you'll find more reinforced models, with possible forearm protection, or lighter, more flexible models.
THE PRODUCT EXPERT'S ADVICE:
A pair of shorts with protections forms a first protection against shocks. In addition, the fabric limits the risk of burning the skin. The undershorts protect the most exposed areas in case of a fall, even at low speed.
- Knee pads
Knee pads are now available to all riders, especially with the appearance of light and airy models that do not hinder pedaling. Mountain bike knee pads come in many forms: soft or reinforced with a rigid shell, they can cover the knee only or protect the shin at the same time. Some wrap around the entire leg and fit like pants, others cover only the front and sides. To improve comfort and eliminate chafing, some manufacturers offer sub-knee pads that are like sleeves that are put on before the protection.
The hiker can choose lightweight, breathable knee and elbow pads without hesitation. They provide a precise and comfortable fit.
The latest technologies offer the All-Mountain rider the choice of flexible and very effective protections, easy to slip under clothing. For the practical side, the back protector can be integrated into a backpack. This allows you to "free" your back with a gesture when taking breaks.
DID YOU KNOW :
|Some riders get into the habit of loosening their knee pads before tackling long climbs: make sure you choose a tightening system that is easy to handle with one hand, such as Velcro straps.|
Here, protection comes first. Knee and elbow pads and a back protector, or a full back vest, help to prevent high-speed falls, which are common in this discipline.
A mixture of rigid and variable density foam protections can be chosen. However, comfort and breathability should not be neglected: you should not suffocate when linking up with leg strength and you should keep a good freedom of movement to feel your riding.
Finally, accessories such as ankle protectors avoid unnecessary pain!
TO REMEMBER :
- Choose lightweight protection
- Choose your protection according to your discipline
- Each protection is important, none is negligible