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Impact survey


Imperator
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As noted elsewhere I'll be getting my wheel on the 15th. I would like to be able to afford a helmet, crash shorts, knee and elbow pads and wrist guards along with it. I can't. I can only buy a few of those things the week I get it and I won't be able to wait a whole extra week before I take my new toy out.

So I was wondering if you could all tell me which parts of the body you've impacted/hurt on your various falls. This way I can prioritise and buy protection for the most likely parts of me to get hurt.

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You are very likely to start out fairly slowly and only after a few days when you have got the hang of it will you be likely to be going at sufficient speed to really need protection.

I started off with a pair of skateboard wrist protectors which came in a set with elbow and knee guards from eBay for about £10. I cut the knee bit off the knee protectors and used the shin bit on the inside of my legs to save the bruising that most learners suffer with.

The only time my head has come anywhere near anything is when I fell off whilst trying to go backwards.

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Depends how confident you think you will be.  Didn't use any protective gear myself.  Although I did swan dive once while learning.  The only places that really hurt on my falls where places you can't really protect... namely the waist area to the side and also upper arm shoulder area.

 

For a cheaper way to protect yourself is to wear more clothing, 3 layers for example (T-shirt, sweatshirt and jacket).  Maybe to wear a couple pairs of socks to pad out your calves and ankles too.

 

Other tips would be to let some air out of the tire so it will be easier to balance when learning.  Maybe to do some practice runs on other surfaces instead of concrete.  I know a popular one is to grab a shopping trolly and ride around the car park area of your local supermarket, but be careful you don't become dependent on it.

 

However I think the most pain you will feel in your first week are those of sore muscles, as you will be working them out thoroughly.

Edited by Chuts
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Can't speak from experience yet, since I'm still waiting for my wheels, but plain common sense says you should probably wear at least a helmet, and knee- and elbow-pads couldn't hurt. They're not that expensive, unless you go top-of-the-line, I'd guess even a basic bicycle helmet is much better than nothing, and shouldn't set you back more than maybe $20 or less? A single bad enough blow to your skull can be fatal or at least ruin the rest of your life.

 

Personally, at least at first I'm going to rather look ridiculous and overprotected, than end up hurt, breaking bones or even worse, brain damaged, paralysed or dead. ;)  So, I'm heading out this evening to get a full-face helmet (motorcycle), and some knee- and elbow-pads + wrist protectors. In total, these cost around 90-100€, depending which pads I take, with the helmet being the most expensive item (79€). Might throw in a spine-protector also, it's 35€ on top of everything else. Not that expensive for good protection, in my opinion. Plus I plan to do offroad-riding after I get the hang of it, and ride during winter (like vee73).

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In learning phase it's ok to have wrist protectors.

But I have to say, when you will be riding amongst pedestrians, you will not need much protection.

Why?

Because your prime concern is to ride in that way that you don't risk other people. They do not have helmets and pads. So don't crash.

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Thanks for the replies everyone. I've managed to find a bunch of stuff in my budget. Almost everything on my list.

I'll only be wearing this stuff at the beginning. I want to become proficient quickly so I'm going to be practicing rather intensively. To do that I'm just going to jump right in and not be especially careful.

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Don't forget to get some gloves. The fingerless bicycle gloves with gel padding are comfortable and functional (can reach into pockets to grab keys, phone, etc.). Also, I like mid and high top shoes for ankle protection. 

 

Good luck and have fun.

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I'll be getting wrist guards rather than gloves. The kind skaters use. Like these:

https://www.skatehut.co.uk/m/protection/wrist_guards/triple8_roller_derby_wristsavers.htm

The fingers are entirely free. They're designed to to take the impact at the bottom of your palm and then slide to avoid sprains. Then as your palms slide forward, you come down on the elbow pads.

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Yeah look for the kind that have replaceable splints. I don't know how often they break but it would be annoying to have to replace the whole thing when they do. Replacement splints can be bought for a quid or two.

Also because they're designed to slide they really need to be used in conjunction with elbow pads.

The ones you linked to don't appear to have splints at all. They're wrist supports rather than guards.

Edited by Imperator
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I'm new here..  In all honesty..  I've never fallen off bad.  Unlike a bike, your feet are ONLY inches off the ground, so when it goes wrong, it's really easy to bail off..  The problem is that your EU goes flying, and it gets damaged, more then you!!  I've found that the stap is more for catching the EU, and less for actually riding.

 

The most body damage that I've received after 2 weeks now.. is to my inside ankles.  The Normal reaction is to try and clutch the wheel and hold it between your legs.. this is wrong, because it bruses your ankles up.  Instead, once you learn to 'control' it, your stance opens, and you won't bang your ankles up any more.

 

banggood has some cheap pads here though..

 

http://www.banggood.com/Unicycle-Shin-Pads-Unicycle-Practice-Protection-Tools-Protective-Pads-p-965724.html

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http://pages.ebay.com/link/?nav=item.view&id=181602028219&alt=web

These are cheap enough and designed for purpose! :)

I realised that I've only got one of those guards so need to buy some (if I'm going to use some) anyway. Those look like a really good price. They're in Medium though, I'm not sure what size I would be but I tend to be a large in things. I will see what scale they come in.

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If there's any doubt size wise you want the smallest you can get on. The tighter the fit the better protection for your wrist. Loose and sloppy just doesn't cut it! :)

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Now I can chime in on the survey from personal experience:  I got my first wheel today (14" noname-generic-clone), which I got from vee73, while waiting for my Ninebot. Long story short: I faceplanted.

 

I have done now around two hours of riding, including the first 10-15 minutes with the training wheels, then maybe 20 more minutes learning to get moving without them, with the strap tied to the handle. I was riding up and down the street, that has asphalt in poor condition (grooves, small holes and cracks), and a small incline both ways. Everything went well, learned to turn a little (not sharply) and could drive the street all the way from one end to the other in one go for most of the time. Suddenly, I think I lost power (or maybe I was just leaning too much going up the incline, I didn't even have much speed), and before I could react, I was face first on the street. The led-battery indicator was showing 2 out of 4, so it could have been I was pushing the wheel too much, and it shut down. Since I have so little driving experience (remember that this was less than 2 hours after I'd ever stepped on an EUC), so while I had read about it, I didn't really expect it. Luckily, I was wearing long kneepads/shin guards, elbow/forearm guards and a full face -helmet. So no damage really, just some scrapes in the guards and the jaw-part of the helmet (and a bruised ego ;)). After I got up, I felt fine, drove another couple of laps and then came back inside to recharge the wheel. Gonna go for another ride later tonight.

 

I guess you learn to feel when there's not enough juice/when you're pushing it too hard after some time and can just run off when you feel the wheel's starting to turn forwards, but this one came in such a surprise, that I didn't really even understand what happened until I saw just asphalt through my visor. With less protective gear, I would have probably needed stitches in my chin or lips and at least bruised my arms and legs...

 

Stay safe, everyone!

Edited by esaj
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Next time try it without a strap. Without a strap you can use both your hands for balance. Maybe try a couple of times with a strap just to warm up and remember what you learned last time and then try without the strap.

 

When I go rollerblading I use only wrist shields. Haven't hit my head yet, only with biking two times and there should be nothing wrong with me nothing wrong there should be nothing wrong with me.

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