How to choose your MTB protections
If a helmet and a pair of gloves are essential to all cycling disciplines, some disciplines of full-suspension MTB, more engaged like Enduro, All-Mountain or DH, require additional equipment to reduce the risk of injury and to feel more confident.
Depending on your riding style, you will not need the same level of protection. Follow our advice to choose your MTB protections!
Your Trail/All-Mountain protections:
All-Mountain or Trail are generally practiced on medium or high mountain terrains. Because of the steepness and rough terrain, you can opt for soft protections on the knees and elbows. Depending on the type of terrain (loose soil, dry and rocky terrain ...) different thicknesses and types of form exist. Therefore, if you ride most of the time on uneven ground, we advise you to choose D3O or VPD type memory foam. The soft protections will allow you not to be penalized during the pedaling phases. Long gloves are also useful to protect your hands in case of a fall.
Your MTB protections for Enduro:
Mix of technical downhill and uphill portions, you will need protections combining lightness and breathability.
If you wish, you can also opt for a protective undershort to wear under your shorts. The protection zones at the level of the hips, thighs and coccyx will be useful in case of a fall. Depending on your level of commitment, a back protector (integrated or not into the backpack) is also necessary and mandatory on most races. We advise you to choose a sleeveless vest that can also have protections on the ribs.
Your MTB DH/Downhill protections:
A spectacular discipline, DH requires specific and clean equipment to limit the risk of injury. This equipment also plays a role of reassurance when it comes to letting go of the brakes!
In addition to a full-face helmet, you will opt for a protective vest with chest protection and an integrated back protector. The latter will protect your spine in case of a fall. You can also use a Leatt-type cervical protection collar to avoid twisting the cervical vertebrae. These collars must absolutely be used in addition to the back protection (the latter must be compatible with the collars, as indicated in the product descriptions). Rigid elbow pads and wrist protectors (to avoid sprains) are strongly recommended. Brands also offer MTB protective vests that integrate all of these protections in the manner of an American Football player's armor.
On the lower body, protective undershorts, knee pads and shin guards will also be essential to your practice. Some riders add an ankle guard to protect the malleolus in case of impact with bike components (chainring, crankset, etc.).
Equipped and protected, you are ready to go, but since there is no such thing as zero risk, common sense advice and respect for the safety instructions that may govern your playground must always be respected.