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Lyte Ryding: What type/brand safety gear is best ? #148983 09/12/20 07:18 PM
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Woods Walker Offline OP
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As a new XT225 rider at age 63, I'm in need of safety gear and don't know where to start. What gear is the most important to use all the time ? What is the minimum I would need for "Lyte Ryding"? What brands and cost ? I plan on riding trails but taking it slow and easy until my skills develop and even then, keeping to the "Lyte Ryding" style. With high deductible insurance, a trip to Urgent Care or worse, to the ER could get very expensive and I don't heal like I used to. If anyone here would like to share their experiences, riding style tips, and favorite safety gear it would be very much appreciated. Since products are always evolving and changing, I thought some new information on the subject would be helpful to many like me instead of links to products that are no longer available.
Thanks in advance!

Background:
I have a long history of street riding, but none on dirt or trails. I'm very much looking forward to dirt/trail riding since it's something I've always wanted to do and I'm not getting any younger.

Re: Lyte Ryding: What type/brand safety gear is best ? [Re: Woods Walker] #148984 09/12/20 08:28 PM
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Az4x4 Online Content
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I'll tell you what works for me, or I should say 'worked' for me. At 81 I recently sold my last trail bike and intend to stay away from exploring on two wheels while I'm still healthy and well. At my age I feel great in every way, but wisdom says that were I to go down in some remote area, and there's always a chance that could happen, riding solo as I've done out of necessity most of my life would no longer be something I could justify.

Anyway, you've got some good trail riding years ahead of you young as you are, so at a bare minimum you'll want a comfortable pair of riding boots, plus anything you feel is necessary in the way of light weight body armor. Riding pants or jeans and a comfortable well fitting helmet pretty much complete what I'd suggest as necessities.

Basically you're gearing up for a worst case situation as you might imagine it taking place, while riding comfortably with an eye towards avoiding iffy unpredictable riding choices if at all possible, and with a little thought it should be.


The voyage of discovery that truly matters is not in seeking new lands but in seeing with new eyes.
Re: Lyte Ryding: What type/brand safety gear is best ? [Re: Woods Walker] #148995 09/13/20 05:55 PM
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peejman Offline
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My thoughts on minimum gear... helmet, boots, gloves, and a jacket. And I mean real riding gear, not work boots or gloves, a jacket with back, shoulder, and elbow pads. Riding pants with hip and knee pads aren't that expensive.

All my current stuff is the Bilt brand from cycle gear. It's definitely not the fanciest stuff, but its affordable. I consider it "one crash" gear, I'll have to replace it after anything more than just falling over. I had to get a new jacket after a tumble on a gravel road a few years ago. I was fine except for a few bruises but the jacket was done. I had to replace my handlebar too, as it bent more than I was able to bent it back.

For me, the transition from street to dirt was like opposite land. Most of the techniques I learned for going fast on the street, you do the opposite in the dirt.

Here are some videos I like for learning dirt. https://www.youtube.com/c/CrossTrainingEnduroSkills


This shall pass, be still and know.
2006 XT225, UNI filter, ProTaper bars, MSR handguards, SS front brake line, Shinko 241's.
Re: Lyte Ryding: What type/brand safety gear is best ? [Re: Woods Walker] #148996 09/13/20 06:58 PM
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Those are really good videos! Thanks for posting. It's also interesting to see the rider preload the front suspension to encourage the front wheel to lift. Given the limited power of the XT225, a preload is really important. If you don't preload and time that with a throttle punch and weight shift it ain't happening. It's also important to learn to pull on the bars evenly as the front wheel (and bike frame) wants to be at 90 degrees to the face (or obstacle) you're trying to get over.

Practice is so important with incremental graduations to gain skill with managing bigger stuff. You can setup a 16" 2x4 on it's edge. Makes a 3.5" tall obstacle. Practice lifting the front wheel of the bike over this. You can hinge and spring return this if you're riding alone. If you mess up, no problems as you just knock the block over. The CV carb on the XT225 doesn't help either as it's throttle response is sluggish. And it does make a difference with popping the front wheel up.

You'll find many hours of practice required to master this skill if you've only done street riding and have no mountain bike experience. The same skill can be applied to wheelie drops off edges. Anyone with trials experience has a HUGE advantage with dirt skills. That's why Graham Jarvis is the rider he is.

We did a lot of trials and MTB practice with a portable system we made. Would setup in the park and play around for a couple of hours. I was about 55 years old in this video and probably pushing the envelop a bit. Jeannie would have been about 52. Not sure I'd have the sack to pull off any of those moves now some 10 years later. Just don't bounce as well as I once did. Still have the Echo Pure trials bike in the shed with 2 flat tires.


Trials and MTB practice session. Ouray, CO.

As for motorcycles, it's amazing what skilled riders can do on a heavy bike getting up and over things you'd say are impossible. And a dirt bike can get you in and out of some really cool places like nothing else. Mountain biking is really good for cross training. Burns up calories too. Enjoy and ride safely.


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