Do we know what elements are essential for a Motocross session with our friends? And what is the function of each of the garments and accessories we gear up with? Take a look at our tips in the following article:
In contrast to a set of road gear, motocross gear has many and varied protection elements. Here we find accessories that are more familiar than others, like underwear, knee guards, lumbar protectors, boots, breastplate, neck brace, as well as the jersey-pants set, gloves, helmet and off-road goggles amongst others. In this article we want to demonstrate the importance that each of these elements has for our comfort on the go; from the socks up to the goggles, and above all, that take into account the order we should follow in order to gear up correctly. Everything has a reason!
When gearing up, we should start with the underwear. Depending on the ambient temperature, we should think about wearing thermal underwear (for winter) and with optimum ventilation (especially in summer), as practicing motocross requires an important physical exertion. These garments should be flexible and comfortable, to the point that we forget we’re wearing them once on the bike.
First, start with the knee sheaths. Their aim is to provide a pleasant contact with the skin, as well as to avoiding direct rubbing against the knee guard and its articulation. These sheaths have been devised for bulky knee guards, such as the orthopaedic ones, that could harm the skin if they were constantly rubbing. Also, remember that there are long socks, like sheaths that could substitute the knee guard sheath.
Once we have the sheaths on, it’s time to put on the knee guards, trying to avoid direct contact of the knee guard with the leg, especially if using bulky protections, such as the orthopaedic guards.
As regards the vest, it’s very advisable to wear one, regardless of the exterior temperature. The vest provides a pleasant feel against the body and minimises possible rubbing with the torso protectors, such as the breastplate or the neck brace. To this end, there are different types of vests available, some more breathable and others with better thermal protection, that we should use depending on the external temperature. We should emphasis the need for the underwear to be hyperventilated, as motocross is one of the two wheeled sports that involves more physical exertion.
Once we have the underwear on and the knee guards tied, it is time for the pants. When purchasing this motocross garment, you must always bear in mind the type of knee guard you’re going to use, as these must always go under the pants. To this end, it’s advisable to use wider pants that can harbour the protections in the knee area. If using orthopaedic knee guards (the bulkiest), we must go for some high range pants that already include very elastic areas for an optimum freedom of movements. The pants will also be useful for the correct protection of the knee guards from wear and tear, lengthening their life.
Putting on the motocross boots may well be the hardest part, for their rigidity as well as their weight. In order to minimise our effort, it’s important that we are not wearing any of the gear for the upper part of our body as this limits our movements, for example, the breastplate or lumbar protector. Motocross boots should be devised for minimising our effort when putting them on and taking them off. For this, they normally use the micrometric system as a simpler fastener, quick to fit to our foot. Of course, in order to fasten them properly, you must manipulate the fasteners from the bottom to the top, when doing them up or undoing them. It’s advisable to use a chair to help you put your motocross boots on properly.
One of the most important parts of your gear for practising motocross is the lumbar protector. Although many of you believe that the lumbar protector is only for those with back pain or lesions, nothing is further from the truth. The specific lumbar protector for motocross provides optimum fit and protection of the area, although we have to know how to put it on properly. For this, you mustn’t squeeze the torso too much with the main fastener of the lumbar protector, but adjust it via its side straps. In this way we get a perfect fit to the body, at the same time as allowing for a wide range of movements. We should also mention that the lumbar protector should not be in direct contact with the skin; to this end, we should wear a fine or thermal vest, as mentioned previously.
The motocross breastplate has been specifically designed for the practice of this sport. It usually has removable accessories in the chest area, for whether we wear a neck brace or not. Therefore we should pay special attention to the compatibility of these two protection elements, as well as dispensing with the accessory in question if we’re using the neck brace. It is important that the protections do not overlap, as their designs must adapt to the shape of our body and not to other protections we may be wearing. As its main functions, the breastplate will protect us from any falls with the bike as well as from the impact of rocks and earth that might fly off the rear wheel of other bikes.
The motocross or off-road jersey can go over the breastplate or also under. As before: if we want to lengthen the life of the breastplate, avoiding unnecessary wear and tear, use a loose jersey, a size larger than that that we usually wear, so that it can go over the breastplate and adapt correctly to our movements on the go.
We are getting it all together now. For those of us who use a neck brace, you have to open it on one side and carefully insert it around the neck, then close it and check that it is correctly secured and that it doesn’t cause us any nuisance at any point. The neck brace should be tied with two straps that we place under our armpits. Remember that, in function of the breastplate we’re wearing, we should dispense with the upper parts, as you must remember that the protection elements must never overlap.
Put the helmet on. Making sure that the ventilation system is open or closed as required. Also check that the padding is correctly in place and, once on, that we have a certain freedom of movement with the neck brace, such that it allows us to properly fasten the helmet.
Gloves and goggles
Once the helmet is on and securely fastened, we can put the gloves on. Some are more breathable than others, depending on the time of the year. Thus we put on the motocross gloves and then the goggles. For this last item, we must ensure that the goggles are well held, that the strap is correctly placed around the helmet’s shell and that the strap cannot shift towards the nape of the neck whilst riding. The goggles are always the last thing to put on, in order to avoid misting up.
Just one thing left: maximum concentration so that all these protection elements don’t have to intervene more than necessary!