Have you ever ridden over miles and miles of whooped out trail or through a rock garden, the kind that feel like your teeth are gonna fall out? Well, basically, that's when the kidney belt comes in really handy! ;)
I clipped this from a website on the subject for a more descriptive explaination:
"The devices themselves, vary in design, but are generally manufactured from layers of elasticised material, with Velcro ends for attachment and adjustment, and may or may not have vertical support stays for additional support. The belts are usually thicker at the back and narrower at the front and are stretched around the person’s lumbar region and waist area and fastened by Velcro at the front or side. This then is claimed to offer support to the lumbar area, by increasing the intra-abdominal pressure and supporting the spinal column, and surrounding organs. The kidney belts are used as a kidney support device in motor sport applications, such as off road motorcycle racing, and apparently help to hold the kidneys in place during rough terrain riding, and is supposed to prevent kidney bruising and blood in the urine, and are also non-specifically said to reduce pain."
I didn't wear a kidney belt for the first 2 years of riding because I didn't think I needed it. Then one day a friend took us on the desert ride from hell and we were on a really rough trail for some time. Rocks, whoops, the whole gamut, and at the end of the day my lower back was killing me. That's when I discovered the beauty of the kidney belt. I bought one right away after that trip and I haven't experienced pain like that again. :)
Simply put a kidney belt keeps your innards from boucing around and helps support your lower back. I wouldn't ride without one, whether it's a 10 minute or 10 hour ride. I've even worn one riding my streetbike on occassion. Try on a couple different sizes (width & length). A kid's kidney belt may be the best bet, as the taller ones can slide up and end up being a boob belt - not very comfortable!
The main function of a kidney belt as above is to keep your innards from bouncing and bumping around. It helps old men with dunlop disease to support their backs too. A kidney belt also offers a surprising amount of protection in a fall to keep your sides from getting scratched up and your innards in place. Without one I always seem to get it below the chest protector.
I have always worn a kidney belt, and swear by them. I didn't wear it one time, and I was very sore for a few days. My problem though, is trying to keep the thing in place. It always slides up on me. I bought a kids one, and it still does the same thing. I have the Fox Blackbelt and the 661 kids belt. Any suggestions? Is there any other brand that stays in place?
I've always used a kidney belt and would highly recommend using one. With all the lumps, bumps and rocks at Carnegie (my usual riding place), the support that a kidney belt provides for my lower back and gut area is critical--and I've never had a problem. I use an MSR Rage kidney belt, which is totally comfortable; I can't even feel it while riding, other than having a sense of security, and haven't had it ever slide up on me. I wrap it (over my jersey) quite snugly, with the bottom edge starting at my hip bones and the top edge right under my rib cage (so that the center of the belt is at my waist). Then my pants easily fit over the belt (I wear men's Fox 360 pants, and buy a size larger than I normally would wear in 501 Levi's). I hope that this helps!
I used to wear one on and off, mostly for long trail rides and any MX, but the darn things irritate the heck out of me. I've tried wearing it over and under my jersey, I've bought 3 or 4 different ones (MSR, Fox, EVS, HRP) and none of them fit right. No matter how tight I try putting it on, it always ends up wrapped around my ribcage right under my arms. I can't stand it.
For you girls who wear them, what brands/models do you have? I think the HRP one I have now is the best of the bunch but I still dislike wearing it. I would like to find a more comfortable one.
try a belt that feels a little to tight, it will break in and fit right after few rides and tuck it into your pants on top of your jersey. if it still rides up put velcro on the belt and inside of you pants! it works trust me, just make sure you sew in the velcro. keep the belt tight or it will ride up!
Wearing gear that is 'too' tight can cause more problems than solve. Remember the history of the 'fainting couch'? They had them everywhere because women who wore those tight corsets would faint all of the time. I think getting a belt that is mutli-adjustable is better in the long run than buying something that doesn't fit. Just my $0.02. :cool: