They’re as important as mountain bike helmets: bike protectors
When it comes to downhill racing, a helmet is a must. However, protectors and pads for your elbows, knees and back are just super important because they also prevent you from getting seriously injured. Protective clothing for mountain biking has really evolved in the last few years. Manufacturers, such as POC, Sweet Protection, Endura and ION use comfortable, shock-absorbing materials that originate from the motorbike industry, so they’re extremely durable.
How to select the right pads and protectors
First you should ask yourself whether elbow and/or knee pads are sufficient for your needs or if you also need protectors. Pads are lighter and allow better freedom of movement, they prevent abrasions, wounds and minor bruises, and they allow the impact energy to be distributed over a larger area. As a result, the risk of injury is reduced. The purpose of protectors is to absorb extreme shocks and protect your joints from irreparable damage.
A durable protector provides enhanced protection. They should have specific features that allow them to protect you, for example they shouldn’t slip during a crash, otherwise your knees, elbows or spine can get injured.
Protectors should fit snugly at all times and remain in their exact position. For a guaranteed great fit, you should look out for elastic materials with hook-and-loop fasteners, siliconized anti-slip reinforcements and neoprene cuffs. Such protectors will provide optimal freedom of movement without disturbing you on your ride.
Protector vests prevent spinal injuries
Protector vests and jackets protect your upper body just like a full-face helmet protects your face during downhill rides. Such vests and jackets come with an integrated back protector. The back protector minimizes the risk of spinal injuries, while the additional pads and protectors ensure that your collarbone remains protected. Cycling vests with protectors provide a reliable fit and they're made of functional materials for guaranteed comfort. Having removable protector elements is convenient for cleaning, and they can easily be replaced after hard falls.