Do Mountain Bikers Wear Elbow Pads?

When you are biking and your arms get a lot of work, they can develop road rash. Because of that, mountain bikers wear elbow pads to help protect themselves against accidents and injuries.

So do mountain bikers wear elbow pads? Are these the right type for me or should I look elsewhere?

This article will answer all these questions with guidelines on when it is appropriate to use bike-specific elbow pads as well as general advice about what type of elbow pads to wear.

Do You Need Elbow Pads for Mountain Biking?

No, you do not need elbow pads for mountain biking. While most riders are used to wearing helmets and kneepads, elbow pads are a little less common.

However, they’re a really good idea if you want to avoid the kind of injury that can put you out of action if you ride or race downhill or enduro. Elbow pads can help protect your elbows from scrapes and bruises if you happen to fall.

You may want to consider including elbow pads in your gear if you tend to fall a lot while mountain biking. Cycling is good for your knees, but it is not the best form of exercise for your back.

Wearing knee pads while mountain biking is optional, but they can help protect you from injuries.

What are the Benefits of Mountain Bikers Elbow Pads?

Mountain biking is a great way to get outdoors, enjoy the fresh air, and get some exercise. However, it is also a sport that comes with its fair share of risks. One way to help mitigate these risks is to wear elbow pads while you ride.

Elbow pads protect the elbow joint from bumps and rocks that you may encounter on the trail. They also help protect you from injuries that could occur if you fall off your bike.

Additionally, elbow pads help keep the arm stable while riding, which reduces fatigue and makes riding more comfortable.

In addition to elbow pads, mountain bikers should also consider wearing knee pads. Knee pads are necessary for mountain biking, especially if you lack confidence on a trail.

Knee injuries off a bike can be very serious, and a good set of knee pads can save you considerable healing time and loss of confidence.

Along with a good helmet, gloves and decent set of mountain bike knee pads, you will have a kitted outset of body armor to help you come away from a crash scotch-free.

Different Types of Cycling Elbow Pads You Can Buy?

Foam Pads

Foam pads are made from a soft, compressible material that is designed to absorb impact. One of the benefits of foam pads is that they are relatively affordable.

However, one downside of foam pads is that they tend to compress over time, which reduces their effectiveness. Foam pads are typically used by mountain bikers.

Plastic Pads

Plastic elbow pads are made from plastic and are capable of deflecting impact in the event of a fall. Plastic elbow pads are made from both foam and plastic. Plastic elbow pads offer the benefits of both types of pads.

Plastic elbow pads are more expensive than foam or plastic pads. Hard shell elbow pads are typically more expensive than foam or plastic pads.

Elbow pads are typically made from foam or plastic but some also have a hard shell to help protect your elbows from impact. Wrist guards are not typically worn with elbow pads but they can be worn together.

Hybrid Pads

Hybrid pads are a combination of foam and plastic. They offer the benefits of both types of pads. Wrist guards are not typically worn with elbow pads but they can be worn together. Wrist guards are designed to protect your wrists from injuries.

They can be made from foam, plastic, or a hybrid material. I like to separate knee and elbow pads into 2 categories: hard shells and everything else. Hard shell protective gear always offers better protection.

It’s also more durable and breathable. However, soft shell pads are usually more comfortable. They also double as knee or elbow warmers in the colder months.

Hard Shell Pads

Hardshell pads are more expensive than foam or plastic pads but offer the best protection against impact. Hard shell pads come in handy if you are a more aggressive rider or if you tend to ride in rough terrain. Hard shell protective gear always offers better protection.

It’s also more durable and breathable. However, soft shell pads are usually more comfortable. They also double as knee or elbow warmers in the colder months. A combination of hard shell and gel is ideal, though.

By the time the force reaches your joint, it’ll be very weak. You’ll hardly feel any pain as far as your joint is concerned. The surrounding skin might hurt a bit, though.

What size elbow pads should I get?

When choosing the size of your elbow pads, you’ll need to take into consideration how well they will fit. Too loose and they’ll fall down and be ineffective, too tight and they’ll affect blood flow.

You also want to make sure that the pads are thick enough to protect your elbows but not so thick that you can’t move your arms.

There is no one standardization for elbow pads as different brands have different sizes. Furthermore, the Velcro straps at the top and bottom of the pads can be an advantage because you can tailor the fit to your liking. This is one of the most important aspects of pad performance and comfort.

What is the Best Elbow Pad for Mountain Bikers?

Mountain bikers need to wear elbow pads to protect themselves from injuries. A good set of knee pads can protect your skin against abrasion and your joints from damage.

Cheap soft padding can protect your skin against abrasion, but it is not the best option. We recommend Troy Lee Designs Raid Elbow Guard.

What To Consider When Choosing Cycling Elbow Pads?


When choosing cycling elbow pads, you need to take size into consideration. You don’t want the pads to be too small and cut off circulation or too large and slide up and down your extremities. The best way to know what size you need is to measure everything beforehand.


Padding is an important consideration when choosing cycling elbow pads. You want elbow pads that have enough padding to protect your elbows in the event of a fall, but you don’t want so much padding that it interferes with your ability to grip the handlebars or shift gears.

Two features distinguish the gloves mountain bike riders wear from the gloves of road cyclists: padding and finger coverage. Because grips are padded on a mountain bike, having padding in gloves is optional.

Gloves with no padding, though, are lighter, cooler and allow you to maintain a better bar feel—a plus when you’re doing steep, fast or technical descents. All mountain/enduro riders need thicker, longer pads.

Downhill/park riders will also need them, often adding a pair of shin guards to complete their coverage.


When choosing elbow pads for cycling, it is important to consider breathability. Most elbow pads are made of breathable mesh and vented to keep you cool. Elbow pads that use mesh fabrics and cut-out sections on the inner arm are more breathable.

It is also important to choose elbow pads that are flexible and have a Velcro strap around the thigh. This will help hold them up on small thighs.


When choosing cycling elbow pads, you need to decide what style of cycling you are into. There are lightweight and durable elbow pads that will ensure your protection no matter what style of cycling you are into.

The 100% Teratec pads have some great features. The pre-curved elbow cup is housed in a long elasticated sleeve, making the fit really snug and secure. There’s good coverage around the elbow and the D3O-style armour is very pliable.

The sleeve extends a good way up, leaving movement uninhibited, but the wrist cuff is crazy-tight and we found that on prolonged downhills this contributed noticeably to the arm pump.


The weight of the elbow pads is an important consideration. You need to choose a weight that is comfortable for you to wear while mountain biking. A beginner may want to opt for a heavier elbow pad for more protection.

However, a more experienced rider may want a lighter-weight elbow pad that doesn’t interfere with their riding.

There are three main types of helmets: full face, half shell, and standard full face. If your full-face helmet has a detachable chin bar, choose a lightweight full-face helmet. Half shell helmet is the lightest and most breathable option. Standard full-face helmet offers the most protection.

Gloves are another important consideration. They protect your hands in the event of a fall. Look for gloves that have padding on the palms and fingers.


The material of the elbow pads is one of the most important factors to consider when choosing which ones to buy. The three most common materials used in elbow pads are plastic, Aramid fiber, and EVA foam. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages.

Plastic is the most durable material and will last the longest, but it is not as eco-friendly as the other two options. Aramid fiber is a lightweight, breathable material that is very comfortable to wear.

However, it is not as durable as plastic and may not last as long. EVA foam is the most comfortable material and is also eco-friendly. However, it is not as durable as the other two options and may need to be replaced more often.

When choosing elbow pads, it is important to consider what material will best suit your needs. If you need pads that are durable and long-lasting, then plastic is the best option.

If you need pads that are comfortable and breathable, then Aramid fiber is the best option. If you need pads that are eco-friendly and comfortable, then EVA foam is the best option.


When choosing cycling elbow pads, it is important to consider fit. Elbow pads should fit snugly and not be too loose or too tight. Most elbow pads use velcro to stay in place and need to be strapped tight.

If the elbow pads are too loose, they will not provide adequate protection. If the elbow pads are too tight, they may be uncomfortable to wear.


Elbow pads can range in price from very inexpensive to very expensive. You need to choose a price that is comfortable for you to pay. Elbow pads are most expensive when they offer maximum protection.

Elbow pads are soft, machine washable, and stay in place. Youth pads sold by G-Form are best suited for older kids, while the Prevelo branded G-Form pads work well for younger rippers.

Other Mountain Bike Protective Gears You Should Buy

A Helmet

A helmet is the most important piece of safety gear for mountain biking. There are three main types of helmets: half-lid, full-face, and breakaway.

A half-lid or “normal” helmet is great for everyday rides that don’t involve a lot of technical terrain or big features. A full-face helmet is engineered to protect all angles of your head as well as the front side of your face including your pearly whites.

A breakaway helmet provides the best of both worlds: you can use them as a “normal” helmet for your everyday cross-countryesque rides and then you can strap on the chin bar to make it a full-face for bike park terrain or rowdier trails.

No matter what type of helmet you choose, always make sure it fits properly. A properly fitting helmet will be snug but not too tight. The straps should be adjusted so that the helmet sits level on your head and doesn’t rock back and forth.

Most importantly, the helmet should cover your forehead and sit down low on your head.

Glasses or Goggles

When riding a mountain bike, it is important to protect your eyes from dirt, dust, and other flying objects. Any pair of sunglasses will work fine at first as long as they’re polarized and easy to see in both full sun and shaded trail settings.

If you’re at the bike park and wearing a full-face helmet, many riders opt to wear goggles because there’s less risk of them slipping or falling off when on rowdier terrain. I have the Smith Squad Chromapop Goggles and love them!

If your full-face helmet has a detachable chin bar, choose a lightweight full-face helmet.

Knee pads

Knee pads are an essential piece of mountain bike protective gear. They can help protect you from serious injuries in the event of a fall. There are a few different types of knee pads available on the market: soft sleeve, hardshell, and shin+coverage.

Soft sleeve knee pads are lightweight and comfortable to wear. They provide good protection against scrapes and bruises.

Hardshell knee pads are heavier and bulkier than soft sleeve pads, but they offer more protection against serious injuries. Shin+coverage pads provide protection for both your knees and shins.

No matter which type of knee pad you choose, make sure that it fits properly. The knee pad should not be too loose or too tight. You should also make sure that the knee pad does not impede your range of motion.

Padded Gloves

Padded gloves are not required, but they are an option for mountain bike riders. Padded gloves can provide extra protection in the event of a fall.

Most gloves for mountain biking are padded on the palms to help absorb vibrations and shocks. Some gloves also come with pads in strategic places to provide extra protection.

Mountain bike riders do not need to wear gloves if the ride is short. However, sweaty hands are a minor inconvenience compared to bloody knuckles. Therefore, full-fingered gloves are usually the wiser choice.

Padded shorts

Padded shorts are one of the most important pieces of mountain biking gear. Most mountain biking shorts have sturdy fabrics and plenty of pockets. Downhill riding shorts, for example, should be thicker and longer than shorts worn for other riding styles.

Most mountain bike shorts have integrated padding that can be slightly thinner than road shorts because you sit more upright and your riding position continually varies between seated and standing.

Padding in mountain bike shorts is usually made of foam or gel and is designed to protect your buttocks from the saddle. It also cushions your ride and helps absorb vibrations from the trail. Padding is usually sewn into the seat area of the shorts.

Some shorts have removable pads, which can be helpful if you need to wash your shorts frequently or want the option to use the same pair of shorts for both mountain and road biking.

When trying on padded shorts, pay attention to the fit around the waist and legs. The shorts should be snug but not too tight. They should stay in place when you’re pedaling, but not feel constricting. Many brands offer different sizes and styles of mountain bike shorts to fit a range of body types.

Mountain Bike Pants

Mountain bike pants are an important part of a mountain biker’s gear, providing an extra layer of durable fabric to protect against scrapes and abrasions.

While they don’t always come with padded protection, there are a few options for mountain bike pants that include knee pads.

Downhill mountain bike pants are specially built to withstand abrasions from rocks and dirt. When purchasing mountain bike pants, it is also important to buy tubes for your tires.

Torso Armor

Torso Armor is a vital piece of equipment for mountain bikers. It covers a varying degree of your torso, from the minimal protection of the Leatt Body Tee to the full Leatt Body Protector Pro. You should wear as much body armor as possible for mountain biking.

Protective gear like helmets and knee, shin, and elbow pads will all reduce injuries from falls. You’ll also want heavy-duty padded gloves that will protect your palms from abrasive injuries. Of course, you shouldn’t go overboard.

You’ll still have to move your arms and legs to cycle. More body armor is always better. The helmet is, by far, the most significant piece of equipment. If you have to pick only one piece, always choose the helmet.

It’ll reduce the chance of a concussion or other serious head injury by half.

Neck Brace

A neck brace is a device that is worn around the neck in order to protect it from injury. Neck braces are typically worn by mountain bikers who are planning on riding at very high speeds or who are hitting big jumps.

While neck braces can be effective at protecting the neck, they are also bulky and restrictive. It is important to pair the neck brace with the proper helmet to provide the best protection.


Yes, mountain bikers should wear elbow pads. Elbow pads provide protection against falls and crashes. They can also help prevent injuries to the elbows and shoulders.

To get maximum protection, you should ensure that your elbow pads are breathable, durable, and well-padded. You should also consider the price, comfort, durability, and ease of use of elbow pads before you make a purchase.

There is a wide variety of elbow pads you can buy.

Anna Stones