Mountain Bike Racing - Body Armor
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09-01-03, 06:19 PM
Hey everyone. New guy here! I apologize deeply if this is a recurring or commonly asked question, but I didn't have time to peruse the multitude of topics and threads in this forum.
What i would like to know is what are a few good manufacturers and suppliers of "Body Armor" for down hill MTB'ing. I've rented enough now that I could own my own as often I as I ride these days. But I want quality gear.
Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.
09-01-03, 06:31 PM
Armour isn't discussed here often so it isn't overkill. There is a quick search button up top you could use.
Armour is a personal thing for fit. Something that fits me may not fit you. Dianese is the pinnacle in most peoples eyes but it tends to fit small. The creme de la creme.
661 makes a good suit but it doesnt fit me either. I also can't stand having my forearms covered so it didn't work for me. But it is popular.
Azonic makes a suit that is similar to 661.
My personal favorite is a company that makes an upper body suit on the north shore. The hoots jacket fit perfectly, had a small profile, well ventilated and lots of protection in the right areas. No forearms either.
On average you will spend between 200 to 400 for the jacket. For pants and/or the whole outfit it will be signifigantly more. Dainese is the most expensive by far I believe. Cheers.
09-01-03, 07:27 PM
Go here ;
I started using there armor at the beginning of this season. I have gone down hard on rocks, shale, fallen trees and so forth and have only aquired a small tear that was easily sewn up.
I even had a 30' fall onto my chest and the armor soaked alot of it up. Other then a slight loss of wind I was unscathed.
Their prices are also very resonable and they are easy to work with.
09-01-03, 07:47 PM
Dang forgot about them. They even do custom sizing. When I emailed them they said to send measurements and they would get it as close as possible.
for collegiate dh racing, would body armor be a good idea? i've never raced before but the guys in the club urged everyone to do dh instead of xc, but after watching kranked and nwd videos, i just hope the trails aren't those insane death-defying cliff-jumping freeride circuits?
09-04-03, 04:19 PM
Racing is compleatly different. On the semi-pro and pro courses you will from time to time get some good size gaps or doubles but there are no drops over 5 maybe 6'.
The amature classes are even tamer. If you were to enter a freeride competition then you would hit some of those massive drops. DH is a timed event where you go as fast as possible so staying low to the ground and on it when possible is the fastest way.
Could you imagine some rider hitting a 20' drop at 40mph?
And yes. Where body armor. Even if there are no obstacals to crash on, having a handlebar try and gorge you at 30+ mph does not feel all that good. Or having your leg go through the front triangle and the bike trying to twist it off:crash: :D
It's all good though and you should race both. XC and DH. If you have the skills for DH the XC will keep your endurance up.
Some of the fastest Dh'ers also race XC.
09-16-03, 01:32 PM
Personally, I wear FOX Moto-x gear... it's confortable, strong and CHEAP compared to mountain bike specific gear. You can check it out at any good motor-cross dealer.
11-02-04, 04:42 PM
where can i get Hoots and Rockgarden body armour? I live in Victoria, but include lower mainland. Thanks
For protection and value, look to 661 first. There are those who will tell you that Dainese is the living end - - Why? Because it's expensive? Give me a break. Until recently, I wore hockey shoulder pads (after a nasty crash earned me a broken collar bone, three cracked ribs and a punctured lung) because most everything on the market for downhill was a joke. Most of them are glorified roost protectors borrowed from motocross. Or the hard-shell contact points were way undersized for a real high-energy crash.
661 now makes their Pressure Suit with some substantial shoulder protection besides all of the good arm and spine stuff. Look particularly at the SP-1 (Steve Peat) model. If you prefer the hard-shell (M-X-style) armor, the Defender is about the only one out there with suspension in the shoulder caps that amount to anything. Also check out the new Ricochet hard-shell articulated knee/shin. Go to www.vsportgroup.com.
The one caveat on 661 gear is (as other posters warn) it runs large. I'm a scrawny 6'-1" and the straps on the elbow/arm and knee/shin are too long for me. But I'm leery of going down to a small. I just shorten the straps. Location of the guards, etc is right on.
Fox is OK stuff, but is mostly carryover MX gear - - light on energy-absorption suspension. 661 is as good a value and better suited, IMHO.
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