Knee and elbow pads?

Regarding pedals, these may be worth considering. My wife has a set and they are still nearly like new after more than 1,000 miles. The treads are replaceable and they have built in reflectors. Look makes very good cycling products. You can find them on Amazon or many other online stores.
 

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Wes, you ask why not both - addressing falls prevention as well as consequences. It's a great question.

As a species, we have a tendency to balance risk vs reward. Unfortunately, if we improve our perceived safety margins, we start increasing risk. There is a lot of data on this phenomena, but one of the most interesting was a study measuring driver reaction to cyclists wearing helmets vs those without helmets. The drivers left more room for the riders without lids - presumably because they decided helmets provided some magical protection for the rest of the body when 2 tonnes of badly controlled metal goes wrong?

We also tend to take more risks when we start feeling more protected. Paradoxically increasing our chances of being involved in an incident.

Unfortunately, knee and elbow guards do not improve our chances for the most unpleasant aspects of urban cycling. They are designed to reduce a particular style of injury - direct impact to exposed contact points in tuck and roll escapes. And I use that word intentionally - sometimes bouncing through a rock garden is the escape route.

Car vs cyclist? Cyclist vs pedestrian? Cyclist vs road surface? These interactions need entirely different types of protection
 
Wes, you ask why not both - addressing falls prevention as well as consequences. It's a great question.

As a species, we have a tendency to balance risk vs reward. Unfortunately, if we improve our perceived safety margins, we start increasing risk. There is a lot of data on this phenomena, but one of the most interesting was a study measuring driver reaction to cyclists wearing helmets vs those without helmets. The drivers left more room for the riders without lids - presumably because they decided helmets provided some magical protection for the rest of the body when 2 tonnes of badly controlled metal goes wrong?
Hmmm... Maybe someone needs to make a helmet that looks like a bare head.
 
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Hmmm... Maybe smeone needs to make a helmet that looks like a bare head.
Next part of motorcycle but not cycling mentality :)


A small reminder how cyclists look like and what helmets they wear :)

1698353198665.png
 
Hilarious.

I wish I wasn't too vain to wear one of those :)

IN Australia, we've had compulsorily BICYCLE helmets since the 1970's , there's some really interesting data showing increased bicycle accident and mortality rates immediately following helmets becoming compulsory. (ie people perceiving less danger so taking extra risk - nb it was mostly cars hitting kids- NOT kids crashing by themselves ) . It took decades for the data to filter through, and my that stage we were seeing a secondary increased harm - obesity from reduced cycling participation ( those old stack hats were horrible ) . We have publicly funded programs analyzing road trauma data , and there are boffins paid to crunch numbers on historical figures to try and justify their bosses existence...... but in recent years it's been interesting to see a move towards the psychology behind it all. Hence the study measuring how close vehicles pass cyclists with / without helmets . I'm aware of that study because for MTB riding I wear a full face lid (bell super air - an awesome lid) . I was questioning if wearing that on the road might de humanise me / produce a paradoxical increased accident rate. There is cycling data on lid vs no lid, but none I could find of full face. It'd upset someone else if I brought up the motorbike data on open vs full face and other drivers behavioral changes, but needless to say I don't wear my full face when cycling on the road.

I have several choices of knee and elbow protection , and I don't wear them on the road . My ONLY reason for this is I don't want to do anything that might increase the risk of a car driver hitting me. I guess if you were riding in full length pants and top you could wear pads under the clothing ???
 
I've had 2 different pedals with those anti-skid lugs, which are much taller and sharper on the current set.

Lifting off the pedals has never been an issue with a variety of soles, but shifting foot position laterally always requires a lift-off on the current set.

My biggest problem with the current set: The scratches on my legs when they brush the pedals while stopped. Getting better avoiding contact. Love the big pedal surface and the mid-foot pedaling position they allow, so no plans to change.
I have the same set. I wear work boots. Those pedals feel great.
 
I said that wearing a helmet was a sensitive thing to discuss. The arguments for not wearing a helmet are of a similar gist as those against wearing seat-belts in the cars. It is always "a helmeted person feels too secure" or "the helmet makes you de-humanized and the driver will want to kill you". The fact is the bicycle crashes or spills happen often, and in most of cases do not involve a car.
  • It was a leisure first ride of my female friend on her brand new Como 5.0 (her husband was together with us on the ride). We rode through a recreational area with many people and nice gravel roads. My friend was carried away with the joy of riding her e-bike and she was in the front pedalling at 25 km/h -- which is the e-bike speed limit here (15.5 mph). Out of sudden, a big unleashed dog ran in the front of my friend's e-bike. Inexperienced, she only pulled the front brake lever, and flew Over-The-Bars as if she were a ski-jumper. She fell her whole front and on the face, then fainted. She broke her wrist, and eyeglasses were broken, too. She wore a helmet and that saved her skull and face as the helmet peak stopped the impact.
  • Another friend of mine used to ride recumbent bikes for years without a helmet, the reason being she wears big dreadlocks. This Spring, she joined a leisure group ride I organized, and to meet my demand I would not let a helmetless person join the ride, she bought a helmet and started wearing it on a regular basis. Later this year, she was on a group ride on the pavement and rode into a recumbent bike preceding her. Her leg got entangled into the bike, and her knee was damaged. She hit the pavement with her head strongly but the helmet saved her. She has become a bike helmet advocate since. After several months of rehab, she started riding again, and she bought a new helmet (exactly the same model I'm wearing) and was positively shocked how comfortable and stable the helmet was on her big hair!
  • My closest cycling friend (76) is a stubborn mule who would not wear a helmet as "he sweats too much". He had bicycle spills three times; during one of the rides he wore a helmet as I asked him to do so for a forest ride, and of course he fell with his bike. His last crash was on a speed bump. He smashed his face against the pavement and his nose bled for two days but he still has not learned the lesson...
  • This year, I severely crashed on the pavement while I was negotiating a speed bump at 30 km/h (19 mph). My Echelon II MIPS helmet cracked on the impact. If no helmet, that would be my skull.
I do not need to describe many spills I had in banal situations, such as dismounting the bike, and not being able to move my leg over the bike top tube fast enough :D

For me, someone who wears full body protection off-road but advocates not to wear a helmet in urban environment is either a bigot, or has no experience in urban cycling.

A helmet has always been a good idea.
 
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I said that wearing a helmet was a sensitive thing to discuss. The arguments for not wearing a helmet are of a similar gist as those against wearing seat-belts in the cars. It is always "a helmeted person feels too secure" or "the helmet makes you de-humanized and the driver will want to kill you". The fact is the bicycle crashes or spills happen often, and in most of cases do not involve a car.
  • It was a leisure first ride of my female friend on her brand new Como 5.0 (her husband was together with us on the ride). We rode through a recreational area with many people and nice gravel roads. My friend was carried away with the joy of riding her e-bike and she was in the front pedalling at 25 km/h -- which is the e-bike speed limit here (15.5 mph). Out of sudden, a big unleashed dog ran in the front of my friend's e-bike. Inexperienced, she only pulled the front brake lever, and flew Over-The-Bars as if she were a ski-jumper. She fell her whole front and on the face, then fainted. She broke her wrist, and eyeglasses were broken, too. She wore a helmet and that saved her skull and face as the helmet peak stopped the impact.
  • Another friend of mine used to ride recumbent bikes for years without a helmet, the reason being she wears big dreadlocks. This Spring, she joined a leisure group ride I organized, and to meet my demand I would not let a helmetless person join the ride, she bought a helmet and started wearing it on a regular basis. Later this year, she was on a group ride on the pavement and rode into a recumbent bike preceding her. Her leg got entangled into the bike, and her knee was damaged. She hit the pavement with her head strongly but the helmet saved her. She has become a bike helmet advocate since. After several months of rehab, she started riding again, and she bought a new helmet (exactly the same model I'm wearing) and was positively shocked how comfortable and stable the helmet was on her big hair!
  • My closest cycling friend (76) is a stubborn mule who would not wear a helmet as "he sweats too much". He had bicycle spills three times; during one of the rides he wore a helmet as I asked him to do so for a forest ride, and of course he fell with his bike. His last crash was on a speed bump. He smashed his face against the pavement and his nose bled for two days but he still has not learned the lesson...
  • This year, I severely crashed on the pavement while I was negotiating a speed bump at 30 km/h (19 mph). My Echelon II MIPS helmet cracked on the impact. If no helmet, that would be my skull.
I do not need to describe many spills I had in banal situations, such as dismounting the bike, and not being able to move my leg over the bike top tube fast enough :D

For me, someone who wears full body protection off-road but advocates not to wear a helmet in urban environment is either a bigot, or has no experience in urban cycling.

A helmet has always been a good idea.

If that biggot comment is directed at me, then sharpen up you comprehension skills.! Show me where I'm advocating not wearing a helmet.

I'm using decades of scientific data from one of the first countries to legislate compulsory helmet use, and I'm trying to demonstrate a well documented phenomena in how others react to the perceived level of protection a rider is wearing. This is to point out it might be worth wearing clothing over knee and elbow guards IF Wes still feels the need to invest in them.

Rather than advocating NOT wearing a lid, I've questioned if I should be wearing full face - and until the data is clear, I'm accepting motorbike urban data that clearly shows other road users take more risks towards full face vs open face riders. NB, I wear full face on my motorbike because it has the performance to escape from other road users. I've put more thought and research into this than you can possibly imagine, including long discussions with a research professor of psychology who specializes in driver behavior.

edit, correction, he rides a giant.
 
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Wearing a full face helmet on a motorbike is not an option in Europe; it is mandatory. (We might avoid mentioning motorcycles whatsoever in the context of Class 1 e-bikes, will we). Wearing a bicycle helmet on a bicycle or a 25 km/h e-bike is optional here.

I hope we both agree Wes should wear a helmet. Should he wear elbow and knee pads? It's an option that he might consider. A good hit in the knee or elbow can hurt for six weeks. Ironically, "zero speed spill" hurts the most.
 
If that biggot comment is directed at me, then sharpen up you comprehension skills.! Show me where I'm advocating not wearing a helmet.

I'm using decades of scientific data from one of the first countries to legislate compulsory helmet use, and I'm trying to demonstrate a well documented phenomena in how others react to the perceived level of protection a rider is wearing. This is to point out it might be worth wearing clothing over knee and elbow guards IF Wes still feels the need to invest in them.

Rather than advocating NOT wearing a lid, I've questioned if I should be wearing full face - and until the data is clear, I'm accepting motorbike urban data that clearly shows other road users take more risks towards full face vs open face riders. NB, I wear full face on my motorbike because it has the performance to escape from other road users. I've put more thought and research into this than you can possibly imagine, including long discussions with a research professor of psychology who specializes in driver behavior.

edit, correction, he rides a giant.

In my reading of your comments, I didn't think that you were explicitly advocating against helmet use, but my overall impression was that you were at least a little skeptical about their value. I believe that your comments could be interpreted, possibly misinterpreted, by someone that helmets are of marginal value. My concern was and is that those comments and the "research" could easily allow someone who would rather not wear one to justify that behavior. Here's what you said:

There is a lot of data on this phenomena, but one of the most interesting was a study measuring driver reaction to cyclists wearing helmets vs those without helmets. The drivers left more room for the riders without lids - presumably because they decided helmets provided some magical protection for the rest of the body when 2 tonnes of badly controlled metal goes wrong?

IN Australia, we've had compulsorily BICYCLE helmets since the 1970's , there's some really interesting data showing increased bicycle accident and mortality rates immediately following helmets becoming compulsory. (ie people perceiving less danger so taking extra risk - nb it was mostly cars hitting kids- NOT kids crashing by themselves )

We have publicly funded programs analyzing road trauma data , and there are boffins paid to crunch numbers on historical figures to try and justify their bosses existence...... but in recent years it's been interesting to see a move towards the psychology behind it all. Hence the study measuring how close vehicles pass cyclists with / without helmets

Here is the problem with the "research" you cited and the reason I put it in quotes. Nothing I read in your comments mentioned the actual probability of injury or death with and without a helmet in those situations (roads and streets with cars) where the "helmet phenomenon" might cause some car drivers to be less careful. In my opinion, research that merely finds that drivers think differently about bikers who wear helmets is of little or no use in assessing the value of helmet wearing. Even research that quantifies the amount of space the cars left between them and the cyclists is of little value. The metrics that would be the most informative and compelling would be the relative probabilities of accidents (minor, major, and fatal) involving cars, with and without helmets. You provided no such hard data (numbers).

My guess is that the increase in the probability of injury for wearing a helmet, if any, is dwarfed and rendered irrelevant by the increase in the extent of those injuries. What we need to see is a table something like this. My guess is that the numbers in the second row completely dominate those in the first row.

1698429596760.png

You didn't mention if the studies tried to assess the mindset of the cyclists. Are the cars really driving more closely to the cyclists or is it the the cyclists who ride farther into the car lanes because they feel safer? I would bet that some of the blame lies with the cyclists themselves. The data above also needs to be broken down by age of the cyclists and, if possible, of the drivers. We don't let kids drive cars, but we do let them ride bikes. And it would be helpful if the studies took into account the skill and experience of the cyclists and their physical abilities. This is why it is so difficult to do meaningful and useful psychological studies.

Finally, you did not provide any links to the actual studies. Who did the studies? What were their credentials? How were they funded? For years the tobacco industry paid "researchers" to produce studies showing no harmful effects from tobacco use. Other industry, including some pharmaceuticals, have done the same. Were they published in any reputable journals? Reputable journals carefully vet submitted papers by peer review. If they don't pass, they don't get published in that journal.

In my graduate studies in psychology, we looked at a lot of "studies". Sadly, a large proportion of them had serious flaws making the "findings" meaningless or even misleading. The ones trying to quantify intent or mindset were the most difficult and the results the most subjective. Psychology is not mathematics. 2+2 does not always = 4.

In short, I don't think you were trying to discourage or disparage helmet use, but I do think that your comments can be easily misread in a way that can be dangerous.
 
Wes, most of the data I read when doing my own research was produced by https://www.monash.edu/muarc/research/research-areas/transport-safety. It's technically a self funded organization attached to a university , but they get most of their grant funding via industry - either motor vehicle manufacturers, road trauma insurance companies, or government funding. I preferentially read their data because I have insights into their model of operation so can generally gauge to what extent the journal articles are biased by industry factors / the academic needs of the author etc ( and I have direct access to people who have worked there if I'm in doubt about the author ) .

If there is a particular phenomena you'd like me to go back and drag out the original articles, then let me know - but I'm definitely NOT here trying to argue against helmet use so am more than happy to take your comments as an attempt to calm the waters over Stefans bigott comment / let me know I wasn't clear enough . ( and thank you for that input, but I have enough experience with him to know who the bogott is. Perhaps you could search this forum for threads where " ignore button" is mentioned to get some insight )

To be clear, though, if you do intend to pursue wearing knee and elbow protection whilst cycling in an urban enviroment, I'd be willing to explore with you the better options available. In particular, give me a link to an online bicycle gear distributor you are comfortable using, I can look at what they currently have in stock / on special and make recomendations. But please understand, nothing beats trying these things on in a shop - fit and comfort are important because they are useless sitting on a shelf. But please, if you're going to be wearing them try to recognize their limitations - they DO NOT reduce the joint injuries we receive from crashes with cars. They are mostly for impact absorption at contact points during tuck and roll crashes.

To be absolutely clear, if I wasn't worried about the increased risk from car drivers when I'm wearing visible protection, I would be wearing ATTGATT - full face, knee, elbow, body armour with back protection, my neck brace, one of my 3 pairs of 5/10 shoes chosen depending on how much walking I was doing, my really nice gloves with impact absorbing gel at strategic contact points, eye protection, and when the weather suits my abrasion resistant long cycling pants. I have no doubt this gear is phenomenal at reducing some of the injuries during single vehicle falls - 45 years of bouncing along the ground on everything from bmx to overpowered high speed motorbikes, plus 30 years earning my wage looking after people who have bounced along the ground. I've experienced the improvements in armor first hand over the decades , AND watched my children benefit from modern gear. I'm particularly disappointed with the specialized knee pads because my daughter was sucked in by branding and refused my advice to use an alternative - she learnt the hard way that sponges are not as effective as impact absorbing gels. She now wears g form elbow and ixs knee pads. By the way, she was wearing a full face leatt helmet in her last crash - it saved her life AND face - no question in my mind about that. If she had been wearing an open face helmet in that crash she would have sustained a 5 point facial fracture, I was 15 minutes away and I'm not sure I could have directed my son over the phone re keeping her airway open without causing further trauma.

But Wes, you describe a completely different fall mechanism for yourself. My original post stands - please consider some balance / flexibility work. If funds are limited, go spend them at a physiotherapist ?
 
If there is a particular phenomena you'd like me to go back and drag out the original articles, then let me know
I think it would be instructive to complete the table in my previous post or one something like it. I am confident that the odds of injury and the severity thereof while wearing protective gear is significantly lower than without that gear and the difference, if any, due to car drivers treating geared up riders less carefully is minimal.

but I'm definitely NOT here trying to argue against helmet use
I believe that it is not your intent, but I am afraid that it is the result. That was absolutely my first impression. Many people may not have the patience or the interest to read all of the details of the studies.

so am more than happy to take your comments as an attempt to calm the waters over Stefans bigott comment / let me know I wasn't clear enough . ( and thank you for that input, but I have enough experience with him to know who the bogott is. Perhaps you could search this forum for threads where " ignore button" is mentioned to get some insight )
I have no interest sorting out who you (or anyone else) think(s) is unreasonable. I find Stefans comments reasonable and useful.

To be absolutely clear, if I wasn't worried about the increased risk from car drivers when I'm wearing visible protection, I would be wearing ATTGATT
It is statements like these that I find misleading and lead me to believe that you actually are anti-safety gear. I believe that they are not based on facts and are, therefore, irresponsible. And I will continue to have this impression until you produce replicable data showing that cyclists are at greater risk while wearing protective gear than when not.
 
Wes, I've moved to private messaging to try and avoid fueling any anti helmet discussion - that's the absolute last thing I want to encourage !!!!
 
And just in case there is any doubt, my son on todays ride;
Bell full face with mips
661 elbow guards
Poc knee guards ( covering his shins)
Gloves
You can't see his eye protection, and he has size 15 feet so we're limited in his shoe options ( he's 6'4" , that's an XL giant regn - a HUGE bike)

20231028_113909.jpeg
 
Daughter, riding my specialized: a few months ago
Bell full face
100% knee pads
You can't see the g form elbow pads and her back protector but they are there under that dharco top
5/10 shoes
Gkoves and I'm going to have a discussion with her about not wearing her goggles!

Sorry, I don't have any photos of myself riding

20221214_135045.jpeg
 
Wes, I've moved to private messaging to try and avoid fueling any anti helmet discussion - that's the absolute last thing I want to encourage !!!!
I don't want to start a private conversation. If it isn't appropriate for the whole group, I don't want to hear it. I haven't read your PM and don't plan to. If appropriate, you can repost here.

In the meantime, I did a (very) little research. I found this table from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. https://helmets.org/stats.htm It provides tallies of fatalities for helmeted and unhelmeted cyclists and the relative percentages. I added the Ratio column to show how many times more likely a cyclist is to die if wearing a helmet or not. I think this data is for the US.

1698475199964.png


I didn't read the entire report so I don't know why the numbers in the Unknown column vary so much. But when the percentage of Unknowns is as high as 33%, the percentages for the "knowns" could be off by a lot. To correct for that, I modified the table above to remove the Unknowns and calculate the odds for just the known fatalities. The percentages don't change as much as I thought they might.

1698476236846.png


In any case, this is strong support for wearing a helmet. Personally, I will always wear a good helmet and I will not worry about the effect of motorists treating me less carefully, because I take total responsibility for, as much as possible, not putting myself in a position where a careless motorists can harm me.
 
Wes, I think I made my rationale for moving to pm rather than posting here reasonably clear - I have zero interest in fueling any anti helmet debate. Some of my pm contains personal information that I don't wish shared in the public forum, but might give you some insight into my background and the insights I have in the data. The rest of it contains complex data that unfortunately can be misrepresented to argue against helmets, and I DO NOT believe the data taken in the context of other events at the time justifies that stance - hence my decision to not share it on this public forum. I will remember to not waste time writing a pm to you again.

I applaud your approach of taking personal safety measures when interacting with other road users.

Anyway , back to your original question - if you want reasonable impact absorbing pads but are willing to cover them with an abrasion resistant layer - check out g form. There are better pads out there, but g form are reasonably discreet, flexible, and surprisingly effective for impact ( NOT useful for abrasion) . If ypu expect to slide down the road using your forearms as brakes, there are better choices!
 
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