First Alps XC trip. Arm/knee pads a must?
If that’s in the les arcs area I would say at least knee guards.
I had a trip there a few years ago and was blown away by the elevation and natural riding. Even if you are doing Xc I’d imagine you will utilise some sort of uplift to get to the best trails. With that elevation comes very fast and very long descents, more than you can experience in the UK.
I would say get your brakes in good order, tough tyre sides walls for the rocks and a qr seat post in case it gets steep.
Might be best to check with bike village see what they advise
Have a great trip!Posted 4 years agomikewsmithSubscriber
You don’t “NEED” them, however I’d say it’s a good idea and something worth having in the kit bag going forward.
I look at my Knee/Shin and despite not falling off much they are hammered from rocks picking up, trailside debris and vegetation. It’s good to keep on through the right line while the shin pads take the abuse.
Also on a longer riding trip you can cover some big distances mostly in a down direction. Once your tired and pushing it anything can happen 🙂Posted 4 years agoOnzadogSubscriber
I’d say no, not needed. I’ve not used armour in the alps and I’ve been okay. Just because the mountains are bigger, doesn’t mean you have to ride faster. If you’re not used to armour, it can be a distraction. That’s why the wife has been using hers as much as possible before our next trip away.Posted 4 years agoallmountainventureMember
I’d say yes.
Imagine how gutted you’d be if you fractured your patella and had to be rescued off the mountain and then spend weeks in a leg cast. WCS you split you knee open at the same time and have an open fracture.Posted 4 years agojambalayaSubscriber
They are not essential, you don’t need them unless you all off ! You do see quite a few people without them.
Joking aside I think knee pads at least are a worthwhile investment, the ground is typically hard and rocky – I had a fairly minor tumble last year and was lucky not to chip a bone in my shin (stupidly my pads were in my backpack after a longish climb/pedal and I fell off on a flat bit !). Knee pads as a min, knee and shin better (rocks tend to fly up from trail/front wheel also). Alpine XC will probably still involve some challenging descents. You should get some that fit well and get used to riding in them, remember it can be very hot out there in the summer.Posted 4 years agoalfabusSubscriber
GeForce Junky – Member
Why do you think all of a sudden you will be crashing more often? Just because it’s a beautiful mountain, doesn’t mean you need to ride flat out down it like a crazy man. Just wear what you normally would.
simple statistics – at home on a long day, you might get 1000m of descent in, and a lot of that will be rolling, or non-technical.
In the alps, you are likely to get up to 3-4000m descent of proper techy descent every day for a whole week.
So no, your chances of crashing per mile of technical section probably won’t be higher, but you are covering that much more ground and have paid a lot to be out there, so the chances of having a spill that ruins your holiday are very very high.
Get some knees on at least. More if you have a DH day.
DavePosted 4 years agonickcSubscriber
Maybe, maybe not. I’ve done trips where no-one fell off and no-one broke their bikes, to total nightmare trips where the tally was a destroyed wheel and 4 mechs and a bust shin and elbow….
Overall I’d say wearing pads is not much of a PITA and could possibly save a bit of hassle.Posted 4 years agocardoSubscriber
If you are going to wear a helmet to protect your head , then it makes sense to wear some protection on other bits that tend to hit the floor in a OTB or even a slow speed off where you bump your knees and elbows…. the 661 d30 pads are really comfy and flexible… We’re due a week of Alps XC in the Summer and I’m taking my pads just in case I lose concentration or become complacent…
Oh by the way enjoy the Alps, it is an addictive place to ride you’ll love it.Posted 4 years agoNorthwindSubscriber
As above, it’s not all about likelihood of injury, it’s mostly about risk of spoiling your holiday. At home, if you bang your knee and have a week off the bike, it’s just annoying, it’s not pouring £100 notes into the bin. And good knee pads are no bother to ride in.
I’ve not been to BV but doing a pedally week in the Pyrenees, it was just assumed that everyone would be padded, and for long climbs we just took a moment to put them on at the top (well, I wore mine all the time but I’m used to them)
The rest of it is down to the rider- will you be cautious all the time? I’m not going back to the alps to roll carefully down every descent and take all the easy lines, I’m going there to ride interesting and unfamiliar trails as fast as I can for as long as I can. I wouldn’t bother going otherwise tbh. That pushes the likelihood of a ****up way further. Also some of the trail types are quite unfamiliar- proper alpine switchbacks, deep dust, etc.
But ymmv, you’ll know your own head.Posted 4 years agojambalayaSubscriber
50 the Alps trip is more likely to be a one off as opposed to an annual event.
Sorry cannot let that go, you are letting the side down … I’ve just hit the magic number and planning many more trips … I’d be surprised if you don’t become addicted
Perhaps you can borrow some, I wear mine just a handful of times a year Alps included so not particularly cost effective. On the clothes note I would take a fleece and a waterproof, changeable mountain weather and all that. I’m sure there was a picture on here last week of fresh snow in Chamonix in June.Posted 4 years agoChrisISubscriber
Its very much a personal choice. We went out to do PdS last year and everyone was telling me I needed pads/armour/etc. I didnt see much point as didnt see it any differently to riding at home, so we went for some G-Form pads as they were lightweight and would help with minor offs and scapes. I did wear them at PdS and it did make me feel a little happier about the risk of having an off on such a long day, but didnt actually need them. As the others have said though, it would be silly to have a small off, mash your knee up a bit and stop you riding for a few days. So in hindsight it was a good idea to have them and I’d wear them again over there. I dont use them at home though.Posted 4 years agoGDRSSubscriber
Just a thought for you – me and the wife take the knee / shin pads when we go abroad. If you are climbing for ages take them off if they bother you or you are getting too hot.
What is a PITA is if you can’t attach them to your pack or to your bike frame when you don’t want to wearing them.
Also a bit of frame protection in the bike bag / box if you are flying….Posted 4 years agochrismacMember
Definately the knee pad not only for the reason regarding spoiling your holiday but also from chatting to an orthopaedic surgeon at work about how difficult knees are to fix. I wear them all the time as I dont want my riding ruining from a dicky knee that never heals as well as an undamaged one.
You make your own choicePosted 4 years agoNorthwindSubscriber
Aye, it is a strange thing- you’re more likely to injure your knees than your head, and knees are easier to effectively protect than heads… Obviously you’d rather have a crippled leg than a crippled brain but ideally I’d like to have neither. But if you don’t wear a helmet you must be a madman whereas if you wear kneepads you must be a buftie.Posted 4 years agoBillOddieSubscriber
Put it another way…why wouldn’t you wear elbow and kneepads or knee/shin armour?
Knee/shin stuff takes about a minute to put on at the top of a climb. Same goes for elbow.
All can be strapped to your pack if you have to do a long climb.
When I was in the Alps for a summer doing XC/AM riding a few years back, I wore RaceFace Rally FR knee/shin armour, it looked like it had been attacked with an axe by the end of the summer.
I didn’t wear elbow pads as I have never found any I am happy with and I found they enhanced arm pump. Thing have changed though and I would think I could find something better now.Posted 4 years agostilltortoiseSubscriber
I fell at the end of the last day when in Austria years ago. It was relatively easy terrain and just a lack of concentration. It wasn’t a serious knee injury but it would have ruined the holiday had it happened earlier in the week. Since then I’ve always worn knee pads if I’m going on a MTB holiday. I don’t “need” them but the tiny inconvenience of wearing them is worth the peace of mind.
As so many have said above, hurting yourself on one of your local regular rides is an inconvenience, but doing it on holiday is a right royal PITA.Posted 4 years agoChrisLSubscriber
Unlike with some holidays Bike Village won’t require or expect you to wear pads. I’ve been there 3 times. Sometimes there’s been very few pads in use, on other occasions there’s been more, but it’s never been the case that a full load of guests have all worn pads.
I’ve used them less there than on other holidays (A Quick Release, White Room) but then I’ve also fallen off and felt a bit of a fool for having not put them on at the start of the day. I think I have on occasions invented some entirely fictitious peer pressure about being the only one putting them on.
Compared to some Alps holidays Bike Village can be pretty pedally. I’d say that pads are a good idea but if you go for them get them and start using them well in advance and make sure they don’t rub. Ones that don’t cover shins/forearms will protect you less but will probably feel less hot and uncomfortable if you do any climbs while wearing them. And try not to feel too odd if you’re only one of two or so guests using them.Posted 4 years agoHicksyMember
Firstly, you’ll have a great time at Bike Village – amazing trails, lovely people and fantastic food.
I wore knee pads the first year I went and although I’ve taken them on trips since I’ve not worn them – not because I think I’m great or anything, it’s just that I prefer not to wear them! As some of the others have said there is a mix of pad wearers and non pad wearers, but there is never a problem stopping to put them on/taking them off.
You would, however, be mad to go without a dropper post!Posted 4 years agoDales_riderMember
kcshaple – Member
Dales rider. More photogenic not to have riders kitted out like imperial storm troopers.
True but more easy to ride, pads were not something I even considered when I headed for the first time to the Alps with my MTB. Now if I was doing up lift and tear arsing down a hill then yes. However most of my ride time was spent pedaling up never ending slopes in temperatures that would make a sauna seem cool, or getting pi55ed on whilst descending never ending hairpin single track where speed is not an option.Posted 4 years ago
You’ll love it 😀
Whatever your choice.
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