Safety equipment for a beginner

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by lisasian86, May 28, 2016.

  1. lisasian86

    lisasian86 New Member

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    Hi guys, so I'm at the beginning of my cycling journey and aside from obviously purchasing a decent helmet I was wondering if there are any other pieces of safety equipment I should invest in? I haven't cycled for a long time because I actually have a bit of a fear of cycling due to some nasty falls when I was a kid. Anyway, I want to get back on a bike but I'm anticipating falling off quite a bit while I'm practising and getting my confidence up. Is it a good idea to get knee pads or protective clothing or do you think a few bumps and bruises would help me to toughen up a bit and be less afraid of falling off?
     
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  2. Destiny3614

    Destiny3614 Member

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    It's important to always wear a helmet, that's a given. But, if you're expecting a lot of falls it's a good idea to wear knee and elbow pads. You should also consider wearing protective clothing too.
     
  3. Corzhens

    Corzhens Well-Known Member

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    Well, if a crash or falling is your concern then a helmet is definitely a must. I would suggest that you buy the complete getup of a newbie rider - the vest and the protective pad for the knees and the elbows. Those protective pads were primarily designed for that purpose - when you crash, the joints are the usual victims. Not to forget a good pair of riding shoes that would protect your feet all the time.

    You are lucky because when I started riding, nothing was in fashion yet so I had my sneakers and regular shorts. Even the helmet was a rarity although I was already considering it at that time. If there was that protective pads, maybe I could have saved some bruises on my elbow and knees.
     
  4. cyclenthusias44

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    I agree with you but think we should give the highest priority to the helmets. Elbow pads are just optional.
     
  5. SirJoe

    SirJoe Active Member

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    I think while you are starting up it's a good idea to use some knee and elbow pads. Once you feel comfortable and confident riding you can put the to the side. The helmet on the other hand is a must whether you are starting up or a veteran cyclist.
     
  6. sharkantropo

    sharkantropo Member

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    The helmet is an essential protective gear for road cycling. The others, such as knee or elbow protection pads, will cover you mostly from bruisers. With a helmet, you are avoiding to suffer a potential head trauma when falling off the bike. I only used full protective gear for mountain cycling, because is more dangerous.
     
  7. divinemaredi

    divinemaredi New Member

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    Yes, the helmet is most paramount, but in addition to those already mentioned, I'd say gloves would prove useful too, especially when falling off (whatever the reason might be), one can feel free to use his/her hands for support keeping bruises and injury to a minimum.
     
  8. Lisajohny543

    Lisajohny543 New Member

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    Most important equipment for riding is a helmet, and also use knee and elbow pads, they both will protect you from a big injury and you will feel very comfortable as well. I used to buy these stuff from the ski bum discount code at Reecoupons because their quality is outstanding if you wanna buy you can go there.
     
  9. Yojimbo_

    Yojimbo_ Member

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    Why do you anticipate falling off? What sort of riding do you want to do?
     
  10. greatscott

    greatscott New Member

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    I really don't think you need pads unless you'll be riding off road on real rough stuff, or you never rode a bike in your life so you may crash a few times till you get the hang of it! LOL!! I seriously doubt you've never been on a bike; so unless you're riding off road on rough terrain skip the pads, nobody wears that stuff for road or even gravel riding...err at least I've never seen anyone in over 40 years of riding wearing that stuff.

    Helmet? YES YES YES! Get a decent helmet, if not sure what to get look at reviews or just make it simple and get Specialized brand they seem overall to be a bit better or at least equal to in crash tests except for the new Bontrager foamcell, or whatever it's called, but it's real expensive for the time being. If possible get a helmet in a neon type of color like neon green, orange, or yellow; yes I know those colors may clash with your outfit but they do stand out better in goofy lighting situations, and the whole idea is to be seen and not felt, and besides the color of blood will really clash with your outfit! The Specialized Chamonix with MIPS is a great deal for a helmet and it comes in a neon yellow, but also other colors just not neon.

    If you'll only be riding in the daytime I would recommend you get a real bright rear flasher like the Niterider Sentry Aero 260, this is the brightest tail light you can buy and it doesn't cost much. For the front get a Cygolite Hotrod Front flasher. The ideal behind flashers during the day is in hopes of waking up the dead that are texting while driving, the rear is the most critical, the front is important but you have the advantage of watching for traffic and see if someone is doing something stupid. If you think you will ever do some night riding then the rear tail light I mentioned works fantastic but instead of flash mode you put it on steady mode, that's because at night a flashing red light makes it difficult for a motorist to ascertain how far they are from you, whereas a steady light prevents that. For the front I would skip the Cygolite Hotrod and move straight into a light that has a flash mode to it so it can serve double duty then get either the Lezyne Lite Drive 800 XL or the Cateye Volt 500 XC, the Cateye's battery lasts longer than the Lezyne in run time, the brightness levels of each are very close to the same, so I would go with the Cateye. Now all those lights I mentioned are trying to keep the price down under $50 for each so as not to break your bank or freak you out, but the headlight will be adequate for night, and it has a flashing mode for day, and since the price of the Cygolite is about the same as the Cateye I would just go with the Cateye so you have both, a light and a flasher, just in case by accident you get stuck out after dark.

    These lights all use USB rechargeable batteries, there is a method to keeping the batteries happy for years down the road and that is to recharge them after EVERY use even though that use may have only been a 1/2 an hour, and never let them go completely dead if possible.

    The only other safety thing I would consider is a neon safety vest IF you'll be riding on the road with traffic and not just staying on bike paths. These are really cheap and can be found at any home improvement place, get the mesh style so the air can blow through it and keep you cooler, and get the one with the widest (silver) reflective striping.

    And really as far as safety is concern this stuff is all you really need...except read this: http://bicyclesafe.com/

    Also NEVER EVER get along side a large profile vehicle, or even cars for that matter, but large profile vehicles when turning take up a large amount of space and some will even hop the curb in an attempt to make a turn and if you're there then crunch goes you and your bike! Best thing to do at lights, stop signs etc is to stay behind the vehicle about 6 feet and take the lane. The 6 feet thing is in case the vehicle rolls back for some reason like on an incline, if the incline is really steep you may want to be about 9 feet back. See this stuff: https://cyclingsavvy.org/what-cyclists-need-to-know-about-trucks/

    this is an interesting perspective:

    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lV-rhiGRFTE

    This next video is quite disturbing, but I want you to see it so you can see just how bad it can really be alongside a truck and learn from this lady's very bad mistake, now this is a video that is from a bicycle coalition thing that makes it appear to be the truckers fault in all the wordings displayed in flashups, but in reality the surgeon, the lady, was too inexperienced to be in that situation and got killed because of that. She was suppose to be in the plainly marked bike lane that you'll see another cyclist in, the lane she was in was for buses only, The trucker did have his turn signal on for quite some distance in front of the surgeon but she failed to recognize it. So she makes 5 serious mistakes that add up to her dying, 1) she didn't stay behind the trucker; 2) she didn't use the designated bike lane; 3) she was in the bus lane; 4) she wasn't paying attention to the turn signal; 5) she was passing the truck on the right side. While the trucker perhaps was partially at fault for not double checking his mirrors but the biggest mistakes were made by the surgeon. Now the reason the trucker didn't know he hit someone was because his back wheels on the trailer jumped the curb, so he probably thought the bump was the curb not the curb and a bike/person. This video will show you why you NEVER come alongside a large profile vehicle, in fact even cars could present the same issue if the driver turns suddenly in front of you and you crash into the side of the car, or get sandwiched between the car and the curb; which is why taking the lane and staying behind vehicles is the safest course of action; ok now the video: https://www.massbike.org/anitakurmannvideo
    Sorry you had to watch that but I hope you get my point on this.
     
    #10 greatscott, Apr 27, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2019
  11. greatscott

    greatscott New Member

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    by the way, never use earbuds while riding, this not only can distract your brain from what's really important, but it will also block out important sounds that can alert you to a potential problem, like the sound of a car suddenly accelerating behind you which will probably mean they want to pass you so they can turn in front of you before you reach the intersection or driveway, this action could lead you to bouncing off the side of their car. Also do not be staring 6 feet or so in front of your front wheel, you need to be looking at least an 1/8th of a mile ahead, and keep your eyes moving, scanning from left to right so you can be checking for cars at intersections and driveways. Don't let your vision lock in to one area for more than 10 seconds, any longer and your peripheral vision begins to narrow down; and don't worry about not being able to see a pothole, or a rock, or whatever that could damage a tire because your peripheral vision will catch that anyways and then you can look at it to see how best to avoid it. Never assume a motorist sees you, even if you don't have a stop sign but the other side does, don't assume they saw you and will stop and wait for you, same for yield signs. If possible make eye contact to make sure they see you. Also if you must pull along side a car at a light look at them and wave to get their attention to let them know you're there, and point straight and tell them your going straight through. If your at a goofy intersection and perhaps trying to turn left but the traffic won't let you over to get into the left lane simply dismount your bike and use the crosswalks, once you get to the side you want to be on then remount and ride merrily down the road.
     
  12. Helolumpy

    Helolumpy New Member

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    Recommend getting some good riding gloves. If/when you fall it will percent you from getting road rash on the palms of your hands.

    If you're riding alone, consider a crash beacon. My GPS has this feature and my wife just bought me a new Specialized helmet with ANGI. If I crash, she can find me.

    Finally, have some ID on you. Either something you buy like Road ID or make a copy of your drivers license and laminate it with clear packing tape. I list important phone numbers, my allergy and blood type on it.
     
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