How Much Protection Should You Wear For Mountain Biking? | MTB Body Armour Explained

How Much Protection Should You Wear For Mountain Biking? | MTB Body Armour Explained

Body armour can come in many different guises these days, and as riding and racing has evolved over the years so has the protection we wear but do you really need it? What’s best to wear? Here is Rich, with the help of two time Downhill World Champion Fabien Barel, to help explain.

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50 Comments

  1. DJ Sonic - Scotland - on July 31, 2022 at 11:10 pm

    I wear full armour & full face helmet on my XC hardtail EVERYTIME I go out on the bike – even if it’s just a trip to the local shops! Coz ya never know………….



  2. Malcolm Frame on July 31, 2022 at 11:10 pm

    I only wear a helmet and gloves as most manufactures of body armour or even cycle clothing in general think all riders are stick thin if you’re lucky you might find stuff of 3XL to fit a 30in chest that’s about the same size of my thigh either that or the cost is extortionately high, so I just have to risk the broken ribs and the rest



  3. Dropping In on July 31, 2022 at 11:10 pm

    Totally Saved My Spine Bro..



  4. Kym Taylor on July 31, 2022 at 11:12 pm

    At 66 yrs of age having ripped my major rotator cuff tendons off the bones on left and right shoulders. I now wear a armoured light weight T shirt with shoulder, back n chest protection. Confidence is returning but should have had it from start.



  5. Human Being on July 31, 2022 at 11:12 pm

    When I rode motorbikes I never went out without full gear, just in case. Riding at 20mph I suffered 4 high impact fractures because someone decided to drive into me. Without the gear I probably would have lost my leg.
    On a mtb you hit a tree or land badly, a tee shirt or shorts won’t protect you. I’m 52 now and although I don’t ride like most of you do because, I’ve never really done mountain biking, I feel like I should wear this gear just being on the roads today lol



  6. Brian Nhoy on July 31, 2022 at 11:15 pm

    I always wear full body armor now. Almost getting stabbed by the handlebars was not a fun experience. I still got the mark where it punched me in the gut and knocked out my wind.



  7. ShadowGamerAnonymous01 on July 31, 2022 at 11:15 pm

    i do motocross and gonna be starting mtb too so im gonna be wearing my mx gear but i just know im going to get bullied for wearing advanced gear lol . Also a question is a neck brace essential for mtb or not .

    Thanks



  8. Andrew Adrian on July 31, 2022 at 11:16 pm

    Is the "CE" a global standards? I live in CA so was curious. Just started this sport, I’m 29 y/o, and I like protection lol.



  9. Phantoxs on July 31, 2022 at 11:17 pm

    Currently I’m XR rider. But after having problems with the knees, I feel afraid riding my bike with out them. Some people have laughed about it. But I didn’t care because its my health. Have crashed few times. But those knee pads were a savior.



  10. Tito Real on July 31, 2022 at 11:18 pm

    I’ll be like Robocop on my next race



  11. Sam B on July 31, 2022 at 11:19 pm

    Always struggle with my gizes 😅🤣



  12. Jeremías Chajtur on July 31, 2022 at 11:19 pm

    I came back to mtb from off road Big Trail motorcycles just so I can master the wheelie and manual before doing that on a 250 kilos two wheeler.

    Grown so accustomed to full body armor (Enduro boots, CE level 2 knees, hips, elbows, shoulders and back plus a full face helmet), this changed my perspective on PPE around, I used to ride mtb with only a helmet back in the day but now I feel naked going down the trails like that.

    Just this weekend I bought knee + elbow pads and shinguards… I just couldn’t push myself to go fast or even jump whithout them now that I have taken some dives on my big trail and have the PPE save my skin more than once… it just unnatural (and kinda dumb) to do it



  13. The Knights on July 31, 2022 at 11:23 pm

    I know it’s not body armour, but I had brain surgery and the point where they went through my skull was around the temple – exactly where most open face helmets end their protection. I didn’t want to go full face, but the Giro Tyrant is just perfect to cover that area and give me a bit more confidence.



  14. Mububban23 on July 31, 2022 at 11:24 pm

    No matter how gnarly or mild the terrain is, if anyone makes fun of what someone else is wearing, they are being a dickhead. Riders should wear what they’re comfortable in. If you want to wear full armour and a full face helmet to ride XC, and lug the weight around and get hot, but it makes you feel safe and more confident, good for you. If someone wants to hit a downhill park in shorts and a t shirt, good for them. Don’t make fun of people for armouring up, and don’t feel like you should NOT wear protection in case someone makes fun of you. Because it’s your skin and bones that’ll need to heal after a crash, and someone’s opinion of you won’t help you then.



  15. MTB Dan on July 31, 2022 at 11:24 pm

    Immediately after watching this with you I bought a back protector



  16. BucketofCrust on July 31, 2022 at 11:25 pm

    Watching while with a broken clavical and body covered in gravel rash



  17. Stephen Keller on July 31, 2022 at 11:26 pm

    4 weeks ago had a pretty big crash on a big table on Freight Train at Whistler. While I did break 2 ribs my crash shorts protected my hip and thigh (still hurt but impact distributed) and my neck brace protected my neck while wearing a full face DH helmet (even when I did have a concussion). Armor makes a difference (I have Leatt full jacket, crash shorts, both w/ D30, and neck brace). Already back riding thanks to great protection. Like the patrol who helped me said…it’s not if you fall but when and how hard. Might as well minimize it to get back on the bike sooner.



  18. Ze Pilot on July 31, 2022 at 11:27 pm

    I only got full body armor after breaking a rib. I was terrified afterwards, but now that I’m a little better protected, I think the additional confidence is contributing to my progression



  19. Wayne Dela Cruz on July 31, 2022 at 11:30 pm

    I went over my bars after hitting a very steep section, if it wasn’t for my body armor I would’ve broken my back and ribs.



  20. Southwest Sasquatch on July 31, 2022 at 11:35 pm

    Good info 🤘



  21. Blazing Batch on July 31, 2022 at 11:36 pm

    You should put prices for these items would help the customer out



  22. Steve Harper on July 31, 2022 at 11:36 pm

    Bust a rib last month so just got first upper body armour from TLD. At 52 I can’t be taking time off work to recover from injuries, mouths to feed and bills to pay. Bikes and trails are faster these days for sure, been mountain biking since 93.



  23. Joe N on July 31, 2022 at 11:37 pm

    I refuse..REFUSE to be suckered into paying endless $$$ for what’s out there. Fox is notorious in charging far too much money for dinky looking stuff. Wear a helmet, knee pads and ride like a human being. I’m not working for Red bull doing insane jumps..ha ha



  24. Hans Lidlwagen on July 31, 2022 at 11:38 pm

    I needed to wear shin guards because I once fell down trying to practice bunny hops and my pedals scraped my shins. Put a deep and massive wound on my shin. It needed stitches but just dressed it up tightly.



  25. Mitch W on July 31, 2022 at 11:38 pm

    I bought the Scott Airflex vest as it was one of the few sleek level 2 back protectors I could get in a soft material. The local downhill and jump line where I live are quiet aggressive and rocky, and I can’t put a price on my spine.



  26. Eduardo Portillo on July 31, 2022 at 11:38 pm

    I always land on my shoulder so is a bit of no brainer what I need terms of body armour! 😆



  27. Justin A on July 31, 2022 at 11:40 pm

    Why not neck protector??



  28. Tchai Quentin on July 31, 2022 at 11:41 pm

    Same age. Full body protection. Fill face, neck brace, body armor, wrist guards, carbon knee braces. Dont give rats a$$ what anyone thinks. I rip and have fun…and worry less about damage.



  29. My Frequencies on July 31, 2022 at 11:46 pm

    As much or as little as you feel comfortable with.



  30. The Butler on July 31, 2022 at 11:47 pm

    On trail motorbikes I used to ride with a full leather jacket… As I upgraded to a YZ250, I downgraded to long sleeve MX shirts but added MX body armour… the downside, very little forearm protection.
    I found Kids hockey shin pads (with ankle protection) fitted perfectly in my sleeves and gave excellent outside lower forearm protection.
    I used to ride skateboards back in the 70-80’s (back when tic-tac-toe was about the only trick) so was used to face planting in a press-up muscleman type posture (or shoulder tuck n roll).
    With these pads I damaged them quite badly but never had any damage to my arms… (Not that I didn’t try, with bouncing off trees or supermaning off the track into the undergrowth).
    Chest armour was a definate plus.. impaled on a branch a couple of times with no damage…
    Now I ride MTB and I’m back to near naked… Bare arms, helmet and gloves, often fingerless but always leather palm. Maybe at 53 I should go the forearms again…



  31. garioch_gravel_rider on July 31, 2022 at 11:48 pm

    I always wear knee pads, gloves and protective t-shirt with back, chest and shoulder protection. Thankfully not needed it yet but guarantee the day I don’t wear it i’ll wish I had!



  32. Jude Hall on July 31, 2022 at 11:53 pm

    I had a nasty fall when I very very first started mountain biking and my mum forced me to buy full body armour, knee pads, neck brace, elbow pads, full face and gloves and to this day even though I’ve got so much better at riding and crashing I’m still forced to wear it



  33. Phil Bagus on July 31, 2022 at 11:54 pm

    Not fair enough ???



  34. computerbob06 on July 31, 2022 at 11:54 pm

    Years ago, I bought a SixSixOne full armour jacket from an MTB store because they were cheaper from there over the specialist winter sports shops, as I was getting serious with my snowboarding!
    I was glad I did, because when I hit a tabletop doing a 360 while going for a grab, I rotated landing on my bent back!
    I pulled every tendon in my lower back but the doctor said that without the armour I would have likely broken my back!
    Nowadays, I’m trying to get back into MTB riding and feel that as well as the protection it provides, the armour will give me the confidence to hit the jumps, just as it gave me the confidence to get back onto the board!
    Don’t care what anybody thinks – and if they ask, I’ll tell them about my friend who spent a month ‘in traction’ laying on his back not being to move an inch!



  35. Never2Late_MTB on July 31, 2022 at 11:56 pm

    A couple of nasty offs caused me to injure my ribs in the same place. Nothing broken, but really painful and took a long time to heal. As well as ending my day there and then. I hunted around and plumped for a Troy Lee vest. I liked that I could remove some pads where I didn’t need them. But it covered the area that I’d damaged, which many didn’t. it’s a pretty warm bit of kit, but overall it’s comfortable and I can, and have, worn it all day. I think knee and elbow pads go without saying. What should have just been a dented ego turns into something a lot nastier. Again, day brought to an abrupt end. XC or pump track, just elbow and knee pads for me. Hit the woods for some DH, then on with the padded vest.

    It won’t save you from a really bad crash, I saw one guy go down on the South Downs and break a collar bone. But to add insult to injury, his unprotected knees and elbows were badly gashed from going down on the chalk and flint.



  36. Acceleronics on July 31, 2022 at 11:56 pm

    My most recent crash resulted in "several" (according to the hospital report) broken ribs and a partially collapsed lung. I was not going particularly fast. It was an OTB somersault that dumped me on my back on top of a domed rock. Now I wear my Troy Lee Shock Doctor unless I’m 100% sure there’s no chance for a repeat.



  37. Michael Moesby on July 31, 2022 at 11:56 pm

    Bodyprotection comes just as natural for Me as wearing a helmet.
    I´m 55 and accept My balance and agility is not the same as it used to be.
    Riding My MTB is a great way for Me to get out and have fun, but I never compromise My safety.



  38. Ilja Firmovas on July 31, 2022 at 11:56 pm

    I’m wearing Leat Chest Protector 4.5 kinda moto style, and its really feels great on climbs and descents 🙂



  39. Michael Andersen on July 31, 2022 at 11:59 pm

    would you ever just use a backpack with armor in it?



  40. Carrillo on July 31, 2022 at 11:59 pm

    My protective gear is what makes me feel comfortable not the other way around. Comfortable riding that is.



  41. Bike Trip Bro on July 31, 2022 at 11:59 pm

    Just fructured my shoulder from stupid crash. Currently cannot raise my right arm. Anyway, is there an armor that will prevent fructure and collar bone brake?



  42. Mestizolo on July 31, 2022 at 11:59 pm

    I’m 37 and started riding XC in 2019. Now I’m more into DH and have had some injuries since I started (both wrists, collar bone and have hit my head several times). Now I wear everything, Knee and shin protection, impact shorts, elbow gards, gloves with knuckle protection, chest and back protection, wrist brace, neck brace and a full face helmet. I wear everything under the jersey and under the pants so I really don’t get strange looks. Additionally, my skill level has not stop improving. Body armour gives me so much confidence.



  43. loisbeigli on August 1, 2022 at 12:00 am

    i am 58, freeride and enduro and crash often. depending on the trail i wear full knee/shin hardshell(foxaunch pro) elbows and either a camelback with back protection or short sleeve jacket with shoulder pads. i am lucky i can keep riding the black trails and survive to keep riding another day! cheers from Tucson , arizona



  44. Jonathan Davis on August 1, 2022 at 12:01 am

    I’m a big dude, 105kg naked, if I crash hard I don’t work – I don’t earn money & SHTF.

    I always wear knees and elbows, and min Bell R2 without chin guard. I’m looking at better knee/shins, and a upper body suit with clavical protection, can’t weld/run a business with broken a body & like almost every one I have to work on a Monday so any one giving me funny looks can sit and spin. 🤣



  45. dangolfishin on August 1, 2022 at 12:02 am

    Pretty much just wear a helmet on my local cross country single track. Sometimes even go raw dog if the conditions are right. I love the free feeling of minimal gear. Yes it’s more dangerous but it’s amazing too



  46. Knackered Irishman on August 1, 2022 at 12:02 am

    I took a serious OTB at North Star downhill park about 4 weeks ago. Broke my radius and now have plates, screws and pins. Wearing full face bell MIPS, and it saved my head and face. I had FOX padded vest on that has protection 360 that absorbed a lot of impact. Knee pads also. If not for vest, I would have occurred many more injuries, no doubt. They had to cut the FOX vest off in ER. Need to replace at $200 and contact Bell for discount on crash replacement helmet that probably saved my life. $500 well spent, and will spend again. Come, our bike cost 5k plus…



  47. Charlotte Ice on August 1, 2022 at 12:02 am

    I’m a new rider and I’m looking at going with full protection even for trail riding because I just really, really hate crashing. I hate wounds and all that and I want mountain biking to be fun, so even though it may earn me some weird looks, it would probably suck the really not fun stuff out of the sport.



  48. Adrian Veidt on August 1, 2022 at 12:02 am

    I got traumatised when I broke my collarbone. Is there a body armor that can offer that protection



  49. Erik Horn on August 1, 2022 at 12:05 am

    Currently in the hospital with a broken wrist and collarbone. Gonna buy a protector jacket to go MTBing once I a back on the trails. I would rather look stupid or be wheezing on he cclimb than have to go through thks shit again.



  50. Antero Prazeres on August 1, 2022 at 12:05 am

    I am a fan of full face helmets and I use knee and elbow protection when on bike parks and big gnarly trails. I always use a poc backpack with back protection but the last badly planned jump that ended up in a crash made me think again on what to wear. Fortunately i didn’t broke anything but got some scratches on back and forearms. As i am 45 and still progressing on the sport i am planning to buy a body armour as well. Not full but mainly with chest and back. From my point of view head and back are 2 parts of my body that i cannot live without 😂😂