Can I Use Skate Pads for Mountain Biking?

Skate pads, or protective gear designed for skateboarding, have long been used by mountain bikers in place of traditional bike-specific protection. It’s not uncommon to see riders wearing knee and elbow pads intended for skateboarding, and some even opt for full-face helmets too. Whilst this practice is becoming increasingly popular, it’s not without its risks and riders should be aware of the potential drawbacks before using skate pads for mountain biking.


The primary concern when using skate pads for mountain biking is safety. Skate pads are designed to protect against falls onto hard surfaces like concrete, which are very different from the softer terrain found on trails.

For example, the impact from a fall onto a root or rock could be much greater than what skate pads are designed to handle. This means that there is a risk of serious injury if you were to crash while wearing them.


Another issue with using skate-style protection for mountain biking is that it may not be as comfortable as bike-specific gear. Skate pads tend to be bulkier and heavier than their bike-specific counterparts, which can make them uncomfortable to wear – especially on longer rides.

Additionally, they may interfere with pedalling efficiency.


Finally, it’s important to consider durability when using skate pads for mountain biking. As mentioned above, these pads are designed to protect against falls on hard surfaces rather than the more varied terrain found on trails – meaning they won’t last as long as proper bike-specific gear.

In conclusion, whilst it is possible to use skate pads for mountain biking, there are potential risks involved and riders should carefully consider these before making the switch from traditional bike-specific protection.

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Samantha Mckinney