Pro Mountain Bike Racer Teal Stetson-Lee Shares Her Gear Essentials
When you race an enduro, what all goes into your pack?
My Enduro hydration pack includes a bladder that I fill with water and an electrolyte drink mix, 2 multi tools, extra chain, chain tool, energy bars, GU energy gel, electrolyte tablets, shock pump, 2 extra tubes, patch kit, tire lever, pump, 2 CO2 cartridges and air cartridge chuck, tool pouch, long-sleeve jersey, extra T-shirt for transfers, chain lube, Airflex Pro knee guards and Airflex elbow guards. I wear my helmet for racing stages as well as transfers.
What makes the Airflex Pro knee and elbow guards great for racing enduro?
I wear my Airflex Pro knee guards and elbow guards for all enduro racing stages. Usually, during long transfers I remove both sets of pads and place them in the outer, easily-accessible pocket of my pack so I can ride the climbs without pads but can easily put them back on when I reach the top. During short transfers, I leave both sets of pads on for convenience because the breathability and airflow design is very high-tech and I don’t overheat. When I do put the pads back on before my race stages, I put them on about 20 minutes before my start and sit down on the ground in a soft area and either pull them over my shoes or take one shoe off at a time to put the knee pads on.
Taking my time putting on my protective equipment gives me a moment to slow down, get centered and focus on the race ahead. They are easy to pull on, lightweight and very protective. Unlike some of the bulkier pads I’ve worn for protection, the Airflex Pro pads are soft and malleable for general riding movement, but hard and protective during impact. I barely notice I have them on until I really need them. The sizing of the Airflex Pro guards fit perfectly and they don’t cut off blood circulation. During hot races, they are still comfortable and enable airflow.
Since I began enduro racing, I have tried four different varieties of pads and have found the Airflex Pro pads to fit the variable enduro conditions the best and with the most comfort. Whether it’s a pedally XC enduro course, or a gnarlier technical downhill enduro course, I am comfortable and protected for both.
One of the best parts of having good quality, protective pads is that I have one less factor to worry about when I’m racing and training. My overall riding performance has improved because of the simplification of my protective equipment. Now I know I’m prepared and can focus on picking strategic lines, instead of worrying about my safety.