Recommendations Needed: Protective Gear to Work on Gravel Descending Techniques

So one of my weaknesses is descending on my gravel bike, and one of the issues I have on working on this is fear of falling and hurting myself / tearing myself up - give a 54 year old a break. So I’m looking for recommendations for protective shorts / elbow protection / etc. that I could wear gravel biking when I’m working on my descending techniques.

Bonus points if you know of any good gravel technique schools / classes / teachers in San Francisco / close to San Francisco.

I would imagine you could use any number of different Downhill protective pads as a starter…elbow, knee, shin and even back protectors.

Just gonna be really hot climbing up, though…

years ago (don’t ask me how many :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:) Pearl Izumi made “Criterium Shorts” which had padding in the hip area…but they are long out of production.

Whomever makes DSM’s kit uses dynema in the tops/shorts. Won’t stop bruising/impact but it will reduce gravel rash.


That would be… DSM, owners of Dyneema amongst other things.

Well, how about that then!

Clearly, the advertising about their kit has worked wonders!

Look into gforce for pads.

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POC make some clothing with ceramic added to the areas where you are most likely to get road rash to offer some protection- could be worth a look?

I wouldn’t go the route of needed padding, etc. to practice gravel descending. You’d be better off getting in to CX racing which helps you learn to corner on narrower tires. Practicing at slower speeds and what to do if you tires start to slide is much better than bombing something and needing padding.

Just my $0.2

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I would also recommend getting a pair of cheap composite flat pedals to practice with. Feeling untethered from the bike can be confidence inspiring. Also it can give you the option to do the same corner over and over, incrementally increasing the speed, until sliding occur, and easily put your foot out & back to the pedals as needed to keep in control.

I’m not planning on crashing, but the fear of crashing is making me overly cautious. So I’m looking for something to give me a little more confidence so I’m not so cautious that I don’t try and stretch my limits.

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Yeah, nothing wrong with it at all. I actually encourage use of safety gear as appropriate.

As you note, it leads to improved confidence in most cases, and it there if/when you find the limits and hit the deck. The gear allows you to approach those limits and try to learn how to handle them with a reduction in consequences if you fall. All good IMO.

Couple that with selection of when and where to practice and session in spots that minimize risk as well is a good start.

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Install a dropper post and never look back…

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