Crashing is an integral part of mountain biking. Everyone crashes from beginners right the way through to the best riders in the world. By wearing the correct protective equipment we can minimize the risk of injury from a fall
There are also techniques you can use whilst crashing to reduce the risk of injury, learn about them in the crashing section.
I have been riding off-road for nearly 30 years including BMX in my childhood, mountain biking in my teens, several years of motocross race experience before returning to my love of riding remote and challenging high mountain trails whilst more recently riding DH the past couple of seasons.
If you have a look at the pictures on this site won’t see a rider without a helmet. This is also the case out on the trails. Most keen mountainbikers won’t ride without one and have at least one ‘if I wasn’t wearing a helmet’ story to tell. From personal experience I know helmets save lives, not just in terms of life and death but also reducing the severity of head injuries that have an effect on quality of life.
Wear a helmet, it could save your life.
Helmets designed for gentle trail use are light, well ventilated whilst still offer enough protection against slow speed tumbles and falls onto smoother ground typical whilst learningthe basics.
Take a look at the latest styles.
When riders fall off, the first thing they tend to do, especially until they know better, is to put their hands out to break your fall. Gloves will keep your skin in place.
Gloves with extra palm padding can also help with hand fatigue on longer rides.
Knees and Elbows
Whilst not essential for gentle trail riding, if you plan on progressing to rougher trails and the more advanced skills featured on MTB Techniques then I would recommend a set of elbow and knee pads. These bony areas are the next most common points of impact. Pads will stop grazes, cuts and bruises in these vulnerable areas.
Soft shell pads like 661's Veggies pictured are recommended until you attempt to ride severe terrain as they are lighter so you will notice them less whilst riding.