after sliding out on some ice I was down for a season due to 9 stitches in a tender area. i've been riding comfortably with these bad boys for 3 years now and they've literally saved my ass a number of times. one of the hip plates did start to crack (1-2" along the edge) after a particularly aggressive interaction with a rock, but they're still doing work daily. i've rocked these for MTB downhill racing as well, they're versatile as hell and comfy too. i honestly forget i'm wearing them, until i bail off/into a rail and thank the lawd allmity i'm protected.
tl;dr: WEAR PROTECTION. no reason not to. Getting stitches in the sphincter hurts like a bitch, take my word for it.