HELP - sewn in armor vs strap on armor?

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by jfdirtybiker, Mar 10, 2009.

  1. jfdirtybiker

    jfdirtybiker Roads are to explore

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    I personally participate on multi-day and some multi week rides with at least 50% dirt \ 50% paved and I always wear gear with sewn in armor. My jacket has shoulder and elbow armor and the pants have knee and side hip armor. Comfortable and safe but some of you are stating these are not as safe as strap on armor?
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    However, IMO strap on armor can irritate the skin due to consistent friction between the straps and the skin (ouch) and especially during long hot days eventually causing pain - right?
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    Then I hear riders state that strap on armor is better because the armor itself is a higher quality armor then what is provided in sewn in gear? REALLY?
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    What do you use &#8211; for what kind of rides &#8211; and what do you think is better?
    #1
  2. rags_splat

    rags_splat Adventure Commuter

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    :lurk
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  3. BigEasy

    BigEasy Fish Eyed Heathen

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    hehe you said strap on:rofl
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  4. Thumpercrazee

    Thumpercrazee Long timer

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    Due to the absence of armor in my Dakar Pant, I picked up some Bionic Knee Protection by Alpinstar which uses velcro straps to wear them. You are absolutely correct that occasionally they chaf and become uncomfortable. I usually wear them over some silk long johns. In summer it can really be a bit warm but it is great armor and provides excellent protection when I want to push the limit off road.

    On road trips I usually wear a sewn in pair of riding pants.

    TC:D
    #4
  5. carburated

    carburated Been here awhile

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    My Stich has built in armor top and bottom, the downside is it can pretty easily rotate out of position in a crash. But it is comfortable and easy to use.

    My roadrace leathers fit skin tight and have built in protection. They do not move out of position, but they are also not comfortable and would be rediculously restrictive (in terms of moving around) on a dirt bike.

    With my offroad gear, the leg protection is under the gear. I have strap on knee braces, and hip pads built into my lycra shorts under baggy over the boot pants. To have a pair of pants that offer the freedom of movement required when offroading, you really need to have the leg protection strapped on to keep it in place.

    For the top half, I am sure a strap on pressure suit is the most secure, but I use a jacket with built in armor cause it's more comfortable. It is easy to see how easily the elbow/shoulder pads can be rotated out of place in a crash. Strapped on under the gear would definately be safer.
    #5
  6. JR356

    JR356 Long timer

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    If you go strap on,look at the T Pro/Forcefield stuff from www.johnsonleather.com
    It's as comfy as you are going to find and very higly rated.
    They also have coolmax shirts/pants with built in/removable full armor

    JR356
    #6
  7. Reverse

    Reverse Armchair Tough

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    Hehe, I get to repeat my post from another thread:

    I bought these Forcefield protectors at the IMS in Greenville a few weeks ago. While I like them, they are already falling apart because the straps are too short for a normal person (6'4"/35"), meaning I had to really stretch them and the stitching is already coming apart :-(

    :boid

    [​IMG]
    #7
  8. jfdirtybiker

    jfdirtybiker Roads are to explore

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    Those forcefield protectors look well built from the pictures. However, they don't look very flexible and the straps on that bare skin simply looks uncomfortable especially on long trips.

    Also many riders ride with sewn in armor on jackets but don't report that their armor didn't protect them. Fortunately I have not crashed yet but now I am wondering.
    #8
  9. JR356

    JR356 Long timer

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    I bought the limb tube style,should have clarified that.They seem to be holding up well.

    They are very flexible,much more than the hard shell armor out there,but not at all flimsy like a lot of factory armor already in jackets/pants.

    JR356
    #9
  10. Reverse

    Reverse Armchair Tough

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    I looked at those as well, I would have preferred those. Unfortunately, a lifetime of cycling has left me with calves incompatible with most riding gear, including the Forcefield tubes, and also their full pants with armor (tried those on at the IMS). Bummer...

    Most of the armor I have looked at is 'one size fits all', which really means they fit the average rider. If you're outside the bell curve's center, you're screwed.

    BTW; about built-in armor: in most of my gear (Olympia, Fieldsheer, Tourmaster, HG) the knee armor has the tendency to rotate to the inner side of the leg. It's for this reason that I prefer strapped-on armor. Now I just need to find some that fits me...
    #10
  11. jfdirtybiker

    jfdirtybiker Roads are to explore

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    Reverse - do you mean that the sewn armor rotates when you fall, during when you ride, or anytime? did you feel they were reliatively loos fitting pants?
    #11
  12. The Yeti

    The Yeti Been here awhile

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    I use these

    [​IMG]

    Great protection, not too expensive, and come in different sizes. :clap
    #12
  13. FatChance

    FatChance Road Captain

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    I took the knee armor out of my Darien pants and Roadcrafter and use MX style knee/shin guards. It just feels better and safer.
    #13
  14. Reverse

    Reverse Armchair Tough

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    It rotates while riding. Some more than others, but they all do it. Makes me wonder what they'll protect should I go down.
    #14
  15. jfdirtybiker

    jfdirtybiker Roads are to explore

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    reverse: definetely, if they rotate while riding I can't imagine they are safe during a fall. But that may be a problem with the fit of your pants.

    I have never had my sewn in rotate like that. I guess being a slightly bigger guy (36 waist) the pants have a tighter fit and thus don't rotate.
    #15
  16. jfdirtybiker

    jfdirtybiker Roads are to explore

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    Holly smokes those are some armor. They look bullet proof and for day rides and\or MX races.

    But can those really be used for multi-day or multi-week rally rides?

    Can't imagine it!
    #16
  17. blackmamba

    blackmamba Been here awhile

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    They are pretty bulky. I removed the velcro straps on mine cause it irritated the shit out of my legs.
    Sew it up with Lycra.
    The other downside on this very good guard is that the knee cap/ protector will catch on the shin guard after flexing the knee.................so it slides out but does not want to slide back in ( yes I know)

    cheers
    :1drink
    #17
  18. Ledge End Hairy

    Ledge End Hairy Lost in Space

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    That was the first thing I thought too :lol3
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  19. The Yeti

    The Yeti Been here awhile

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    Actually, I've only had them since last fall, and only have a few rides in with them, and no real long rides. I have worn them all day though, with no problems except the velcro irritating a bit on my left leg only. If I get it positioned just right, I don't notice it at all. (That's a great idea to replace with lycra, but I'm no seamstress.) I do wear underarmor underneath the gaurds, this helps keep the velcro away from the skin as well. I've had no problems with the knee cap catching. I barely notice they are there most of the time.
    #19
  20. BigToad

    BigToad The Bone Destroyer

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    I would not use sewn in armour in any race or rally! my 661 pressure suit saved my ass last year and it took a few hours and hundreds of stitches for me to repair it. Essentially the crash and subsequent pounding tried to rip the suit right off, the fact that it was held in place for the initial impacts likely saved my forearms which took the brunt of it.

    I would rather deal with Chafe than broken bones....

    my 2cents :)
    #20