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MTB Elbow Pads for Kids

MTB Kids Elbow Pads

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Riding mountain bikes (MTB) can be a fun and exciting activity for kids. However, it does come with some risks like falling off the bike. Wearing the proper protective gear, like elbow pads, is important to help prevent injuries. Elbow pads cushion the elbow in a fall, preventing scrapes and bruises. They also provide some protection from breaking or fracturing bones.

When looking for MTB elbow pads for kids, you’ll want to consider things like fit, comfort, protection level, and additional features. Having pads that fit properly helps make sure they stay in place and don’t slide around. Breathable and padded materials add comfort so kids will actually wear them. The level of protection needed depends on the type of riding. And handy features like easy straps can make taking them on and off a breeze. Getting the right MTB elbow pads helps kids safely progress their riding skills while building confidence.

Finding the Right Fit

One of the most important factors in choosing MTB elbow pads for kids is getting the right fit. Pads that are too loose can slide around and leave parts of the elbow exposed. Ones that are too tight restrict movement and feel uncomfortable.

Kid’s elbow pads are sized based on age ranges or measurements like arm circumference. Within a particular size range, many elbow pads have further adjustable straps. These help get a more customized fit around the arm. When trying pads on your child, you want them snug but not overly tight. Have them bend their arm completely to ensure full mobility. If there are adjustable straps, take the time to tailor the fit so the pad stays centered on the elbow even through arm movements.

Take into account the circumference of any jackets or jerseys your child may wear under the pads too. A good option is to try pads on over these garments so you can get a feel for the best fit. Getting properly fitted MTB elbow pads is key to making sure they work right when needed most.

Padding for Protection and Comfort

The padding in MTB elbow pads helps cushion impacts whether it’s from an abrupt landing off a jump or a simple spill. For mountain biking falls usually involve tumbling onto a rough trail or over rocks and roots. Quality padding absorbs shock and prevents scrapes. But it also needs to be comfortable enough for kids to wear without constant adjusting or taking off.

Many elbow pads use foam or EVA padding as a soft cushioned layer. Some incorporate advanced materials like D3O that stiffens on impacts. Multiple layers of padding target key areas like the tip and sides of the elbow for maximum protection. Venting in padding helps moisture escape keeping kids cooler and drier.

Padding density is another factor affecting comfort. Light and moderate density foams offer more cushioning for smaller impacts. Firmer, high-density foams withstand heavier hits better. The right amount of padding balances protection and comfort based on your child’s riding style and skill level. Trying on different pads can help get a feel for this. Just a few millimeters thickness difference in foam can make a big comfort difference during active riding.

Protection Levels for Different Riding Conditions

Elbow pads have varying levels of protection based on the materials used and areas covered. Matching that to the mountain biking conditions helps keep kids safe while preventing overprotection that limits mobility. When selecting elbow pads for kids, consider the typical trails they ride along with skill level.

On smoother trails or at bike parks with easier terrain, basic elbow pads work well. Lightweight build and ventilation keep them comfortable for less demanding riding. These pads cover the elbow itself focusing protection on direct impacts.

For technical trails, enduro riding, and rough terrain, more coverage and security is needed. Elbow pads extend further up the arm and incorporate secure closures. This guards more skin against abrasions while keeping pads locked in place. Added forearm and bicep shields provide extra protection taking spills at speed.

Full sleeve pads with 360° coverage are the most protective option for extreme downhill riding. However, these limit motion more so best suited for skilled riders hitting big jumps and drops. Match your child’s pads to normal riding conditions so protection complements developing skills rather than hindering them. Adjust as their abilities grow to help avoid injuries as the next levels.

Easy On and Off Design

One key to kids actually wearing elbow pads is making them simple to put on and take off. Kindergarten through elementary school aged children may need some help getting pads situated right. While middle schoolers want the independence to gear up and down themselves. Smart design features cater to young riders at various stages.

Pads with single main straps allow for quick slip ons and offs. The strap tension then further dials in fit. Low profile and flexible materials make sleeves easy to pull up arms smoothly. Extended pull tabs give extra grip leverage for getting sleeves in place.

Velcro closures eliminate tricky adjustments of sliding clasps or side release buckles. These closures also hold pads firmly in crashes compared to looser slip on sleeves. Help your child test different fastening systems to find which work best for their needs and abilities.

Taking the time to teach proper elbow pad use pays off in consistent wear and safety. Check fit each ride until it becomes habit. And assist getting pads on straight after washing when still damp. Building these skills form good protective gear habits carried through adulthood.

Matching Protection to Skill Level

As kids progress in mountain biking, the right elbow pads grow along with them. More advanced pads guard against specific risks that evolve from beginner trails to advanced trick riding. Staying updated with the newest elbow pad innovations also ensures the latest protection technology guards developing skills.

Learning Basic Handling

When first learning to balance and steer on dirt, a basic elbow pad offers lightweight shielding. Focus falls more on bike controls rather than speed or obstacles. A simple sleeve stretches from above the elbow down just past the joint. Light padding absorbs minor spills as handling skills develop.

Single main straps with Velcro closures make taking pads on and off straightforward. Kids build independence geared up on their own after some practice. Flexible stretch materials ensure full arm motion that’s key for bike handling fundamentals. As skills progress to rolling small features in control, these entry-level pads strike the right balance of flexibility and protection.

Adding Speed and Mileage

Smoother single track brings faster speeds where a slight slip can mean a scraped up elbow. Now riding farther from home, injuries take the fun out of a good day. Moving to elbow pads with more padding bolsters against abrasions when least expected.

Extended length sleeves guard more skin with light padding reaching mid-forearm. Dense foam padding adds cushion for small rocks, roots, and other trail obstacles. Secure closure straps lock pads firmly in place rattling through rough sections.

Vented padding breathes better on longer Hot rides. As endurance grows exploring wider areas the extra insurance of coverage stays ready when it’s go time getting rad!

Pushing Limits in the Bike Park

The bike park opens a world of progression pushing bike handling into new tricks and jumps. Skills might be advancing but crashes still happen taking hits beyond experience. When seeking air or mastering technical trail features, extra elbow protection keeps pace.

Full forearm shielding defends against disastrous tumbles or over rotated tricks. Hard shell caps prevent fractures and breaks when accidents happen unexpectedly fast. The latest padding technologies like D3O firm up to dissipate big blows then soften for unhindered mobility.

As park laps add up and progression feels limitless, ultimate coverage ensures scrapes and breaks don’t slow the progress of skills.

Trying New Tricks

Pushing progression to new tricks requires pads ready for heavy crashes perfecting advanced techniques. Whether dialing in a textbook scrub over the 100ft kicker or front flipping the Red Bull drop, pro-level protection prevents interruptions when dialling in show stopping skills.

Full sleeve elbow pads secure firmly covering from shoulder to wrist. Lightweight yet rigid shells shield exposed areas like the forearm and bicep from blunt impacts. High density foams absorb crashes from the biggest hits and highest speeds. Quick release straps allow pads off fast between attempts without losing adjustments dialling in the perfect setup.

As limits get redefined almost daily expanding tricks, pro pads transform crashes into lessons learnt not time lost. Being prepared to fall and get back up uninjured means no tricks are out of reach!

Recommendations for Moms

With Moms often the ones managing kids protective gear, having elbow pads that work for women’s needs benefits the entire riding family. Many brands now offer women’s specific pads with smarter features that make riding safer from dirt jumps to downhill thrill seekers.

For starters women’s elbow pads have more tapered fits and shorter lengths tailored to female proportions and muscle shapes. Curved shapes at openings make getting arms and hands through simple without catching. Strap placements and angles take into account chests and hips for secure all day fit no matter body shape or size.

Padding itself gets an upgrade with women’s elbow pads as well. More cushioning around bony areas like elbow tips prevent bruising from routine diggers. And extra ventilation placed strategically using body mapped data keeps female rides cooler dealing with temperature spikes.

Don’t settle for bulky men’s sized pads to skimp on safety or comfort. Cool graphics unique to women’s elbow pads take customization to the next level. With the entire family now dialed in the right protection, it’s go time to show the next generation how it’s done out on the dirt progressive MTB moms!


Finding the right MTB elbow pads to match your kids’ size, terrain, skill level, and needs is important for keeping them safe on the trails. Good pads cushion falls and prevent injuries so kids can keep progressing their riding without getting sidelined. They also build confidence trying new skills and terrain knowing quality padding protects when pushing personal limits. Taking time to understand different padding types, secure closures, and innovative protection technologies ensures you get the right elbow pads now and as your child’s mountain biking adventures grow. Check out this buying guide to learn more about finding the ideal pads for your kid’s rad MTB progression path!

About the Author

Tony K

Senior Technical Writer,

Tony K is a technical editor at He has a focus on downhill bike riding but still loves xc bikes too.

With more than ten years of mountain biking experience and more than 5 years testing mountain bikes, Tony has ridden and tested hundreds of different bikes and products, everything from XC to enduro bikes. Tony regularly competes in mountain bike races while seeing how long those compontents can hold up which gives me a lot of insight.

When he isn't shredding down a mountain or camping out, he is writing reviews for Mountain Bike Experience.

Rides: Surly Lowside, Canyon Exceed