Specially designed gear will protect you if you crash.
Protective gear is a must for anybody who rides a bike. All bicyclists should wear a helmet, but other layers of protective gear can be added, depending on the risk involved. A mountain biker will want more protection than someone out for a spin around the neighborhood. Just remember, it’s better to have too much protection than not enough. Many companies produce a wide range of gear and apparel, including some with molded, polyethylene panels on the chest, shoulders, back and elbows.
1. Assemble all of your protective gear. The exact items will depend on the type of riding you plan to do and how it fits when you ride. For examples, check out a few of the many companies that specialize in protective gear, including: Bohn Body Armor, SixSixOne, O’Neal MX, Chain Reaction Cycles.com, Azonic and XSportsProtective.com and Azonic Cycling.
2. Start by putting on protective underwear; this will act as your base.There are many companies that offer fully armored long johns constructed from tight fitting Lycra/Meryl fabric. They are designed to hold padding close to your lower body, hips and tail bone for a more secure fit.
3. Put on your protective outer pants or shorts. Some riders just wear padded pants. You can also provide padding for the calves and shins by adding plastic shin and knee guards that attach securely and easily to your legs with Velcro straps. These are hidden under your pants.
4. Add your protective undershirt. This is worn underneath the jersey, close to the body, to offer upper arm and elbow protection. Slip your chest protector over your protective undershirt. This will help shield you from injuries to your chest, back and shoulders or collar bone, including damage from flying rocks and dirt. Wear your jersey on top (some riders prefer to wear the chest protector over the jersey).
5. Put on your helmet, making sure it fits properly. It should be snug, but comfortable. Secure the strap so it will protect you if you fall. Next add gloves with appropriate padding. These can prevent pain and injuries from road shock, and protect your hands from road rash, scrapes and bruises. Some gloves also have carbon-fiber knuckles and forefingers for added protection.