Armor- What I learned after the crash

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by motoinmoab, Jul 4, 2011.

  1. SnowMule

    SnowMule still learning what is and isn't edible Super Supporter

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    That's what I really really really like about the Tekvest... The armor's soft enough that its flexible, making it less restrictive than a hard-plastic roost guard, but still durable enough that it offers pretty damn good impact protection from sharp pointys or handlebars. Kind of the best of both worlds.
    UHMW's the plastic used in there, it's the same stuff used in rail car liners and cutting boards if that tells you anything about its abrasion/cut resistance too.

    I tried some of those foam "armor" impact-suit setups... the protection and coverage it offered was laughable at best.

    [​IMG]

    My race vest has another 1/8" of UHMW over the chest and back in addition to the "sandwich" of armor pictured above.
  2. OKDQ

    OKDQ Been here awhile

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    Well thought out and reasoned response with which I agree. Everyone's experience is different, no matter how similar it may sound on an internet forum. To say that one must learn to tuck and roll to prevent or lessen injury during a crash is not consistent with my personal experience. I've been able to roll away from some crashes and agree with the principle, but many times I have been slammed to the ground practically before I knew what was happening - tucking & rolling in that case was not an option. I've spent time in the hospital from off road crashes, so I personally won't ride without gear. I do reduce both the under and over garments worn with gear to reduce built up heat and increase air flow, but I do not skip the protection. I try to dress so that I can go to work on Monday morning to earn more money to spend on more gear! I ride tight trails, sandy trails and rocky trails and I "crash" to one degree or another nearly every time I go out. Maybe I just need to not push as hard or get some lessons...I dunno!
  3. Perun

    Perun Been here awhile Super Supporter

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    I need help to measure differences between Adult and XXL size of Leatt 5.5 PRO HD chest protector. I want to find out what are differences in size of front and back element.

    I took pictures of XXL chest protector.

    Back element, inside:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    As you can see, back element is 46 cm (20,4 inches) tall, lower part is 30 cm (11.8 inches) wide and upper part is 34 cm (13.3 inches) wide.

    Front element, inside:

    [​IMG]

    Front element is 36 cm (14.2 inches) tall.

    I would really appreciate if someone can take this measures of Adult size?
  4. team ftb

    team ftb Befuddled Adventurer

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    Fantastic protection but you'd keel over within 15 minutes of riding in the Tek Vests over here:lol3. I was deliberating about their Freestyle vest but after talking with a guy that rides with it in Nevada he said it was stifling hot out there and needs to be in 4th gear to make it tolerable.
  5. rvsixer

    rvsixer Adventurer

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    Tekvest Freestyle is for cool weather. Rally Max is for hotter climates (greater ventilation, coolmax liner, built-in hydration bladder pouch, etc). After trying out several types of gear, the Rally Max is the most comfortable/convenient high-protection solution I have found yet for riding hot/dry southern California deserts. As to how it fares in hot/muggy environs, we are contemplating a move back to central Texas so I may yet find out.
  6. team ftb

    team ftb Befuddled Adventurer

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    My mistake, i meant the Rally Max. If I remember correctly they even do a custom design that is a bit cooler but I have not checked their site in a couple years. Like you i believe it offers the best protection in terms of warding off injury. The downside for me is the fatigue and heat (which leads to crashes) it will produce in my environment has kept me from using one over here. Nobody I know wears them in temps above the 80's and those are guys in the desert of the SW. Their speeds definitely have slow, difficult rocky sections but then the terrain will open up to generate some airflow as they can get into 4th gear etc. along a ridge top or something. My day rides over here are usually all day 1-3 rd gear. This I believe will be a liability for the Tek Vest in the hot muggy stuff where I cannot get airflow.

    Bryan Bosch the owner of Thumper Talk web-sight loves his Rally Max and he's in Las Vegas Nevade where it gets hot. He says:

    "So, what's the trade off? Heat. I'll ride with the product to a point, typically up to about the mid 80s"

    Sadly It's 100F often here. His terrain out near Vegas is more open than some of the stuff I've ridden bushwhacking up tight dry gully's in Lucerne So-Cal. Which is still a lot more open than the jungles here. I hope if you;re off to Texas and you get some experience with the Rally Max there you can post about it. It;s an expensive option which is not a problem if it works, however my fear is it won't be suited to tight and muggy. I hope you prove can me wrong:lol3.
  7. SnowMule

    SnowMule still learning what is and isn't edible Super Supporter

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    Their latest offering is the "crossover" vest, designed for riders who wear a pack and to offer more airflow than their other products.

    [post=23779193]Posted an initial review here[/post], once I get some time on the bike in it I'll do an "official" review. Overall I like it.
    Spent one day in it on the sled, but for me it's not a sled vest. I need shoulder pads and kinda like the protection my race vest offers (The Crossover isn't "legal" (doesn't meet the protection requirements (only on the back)) for snowmobile racing, so keep that in mind if it's your thing.
    The back panel sits about 3/8" off your back, so there's plenty of airflow even with a pack on. The rest of the vest is heavily ventilated, even more than the Freestyle, and still offers a solid front panel like my race vest does.

    I'll try to get someone to take a few pics of me in it at the sno-x race this weekend.
  8. rvsixer

    rvsixer Adventurer

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    Yes Lucerne is one of my stomping grounds, and the Rally Max works into the 90's there in 2nd gear trails (very loosely fitted, and only a Klim Mojave Pro fully vented lightly armored jersey underneath). I didn't start riding dirt until after we moved to California, but I remember being just about wore out simply mowing the lawn in the 95F temp/95% humidity in Texas, so I am suspicious of *anything* working comfortably in hot/muggy :huh .

    I wanted to post the info on the Rally Max, since the TekVest name in general has such a bad reputation as being too hot (thank you Freestyle), when in fact the proper variation of it can be used very successfully in many hotter regions.
  9. pne

    pne Long timer

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    I have never broken a bone before, I would say offroad riding I will wear my pressure suit early and late in the season when it's cooler, maybe 40% of the time. Most times I will wear jersey and elbow pads, with back protector/kidney belt. As my riding has improved over the years, the amount of bad crashes has become much more rare. That's not to say I don't fall, but they are less severe. I try to copy the best riders I see on the trails, the ones you describe as absolutely smooth and consistent, they never seem to be working very hard or struggling with their bike. The pace should be picked up slowly and controllably.

    I doubt I will convince you but learning to crash is very much a skill. Just as applying opposite lock and not chopping the throttle when the back end steps out on pavement. Just as learning not to panic at the sight of a sharp corner and taking the proper late apex. Or relaxing your grip when a tank slapper starts.

    The situation you're describing "slammed to the ground before I knew what was happening" is the biggest indicator of a novice rider. It's not just dirt bikes, talk to people who ski, snowboard, trackdays, etc and they will all describe this feeling. 99% of the time you are getting clear feedback from your equipment that things are going south. But your brain hasn't learned how to react properly or even picking up the subtle clues in the first place. Your eyes aren't picking up visual features from the terrain, or you are giving into panic mode. I can think of very few times I've hit the ground hard without knowing why. If this keeps happening to you, slow down and evaluate what you're doing wrong.

    I read a really good article about pro riders and what separates us mere mortals. The reality is not much. Most people have the wrong attitude, "I can't ride that well because I didn't start when I was a child...those people have talent..." With the right attitude and enough seat time you can get to 90% of that level. I understand the need for safety gear. But I refuse to buy into the belief that I can never become a great rider, and be confident of my skills to prevent me from injury.
  10. 2Stamp

    2Stamp Been here awhile

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    I recently bought a neck brace, the Leatt 5.5 GPX. I took some pics of the interface between it and the 5.5 HD Pro chest protector, and posted them in the review thread (link below). I'll post them here as well as the link to the other, where this is about all armor options, and that thread mainly about the 5.5 HD.

    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showpost.php?p=24194815&postcount=27

    First, how the back of the brace fits into the back of the Chest protector. It slides down between the white shell and the inside lining.
    [​IMG]

    How the front sits. Same, slips between shell and lining. You do need to remove the think pad inside the shell, it's Velcroed in.
    [​IMG]

    The red tabs are attached to elastic straps that fit over the shoulder part of the neck brace. The fit seems loose, riding will be the test on if they stay. (of note, I did try my Ogio vest on over everything and as the vest sits under the neck brace, it actually sits on the same shoulder pieces pretty securely.)
    [​IMG]

    And a couple crappy shots from the side.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  11. LittleRedToyota

    LittleRedToyota Yinzer

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    i think you make some good points about overheating and fatigue.

    however, elbow armor protects against more than superficial injury. i won't ride without elbow armor. not because i give a shit about cutting/scraping my elbow, but because i don't want to shatter my elbow bones.

    obviously, i've never done a controlled test of falling on the same rock with and without elbow armor, but i have landed on my elbows on rocks (and once on pavement) with elbow armor and not broken any bones. i hit hard. i'm pretty sure i would have shattered by elbow if i had not had elbow armor.

    on an MX track or somewhere else were there are no rocks...just soft dirt...i wouldn't worry about wearing them. but, in rocks, on pavement, etc. personally, i won't ride without it.

    same is true for knee armor. elbows and knees are often the first area to hit.
  12. technogeekery

    technogeekery Adventurer

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    Awesome thread, some great information and food for thought. Appreciate the differing POVs as well - always worthwhile in order to take it all on board and then make up your own mind.

    I'm a road rider and ex-racer - a very poor clubman racer, nothing special at all, but what it did give me was an appreciation for protective gear, as I crashed 5-6 times on the track, and due to full leathers, decent boots, helmet, gloves & back protector I never hurt anything more than a broken finger. Fastest off about 140kmph, and no gravel beds at our tracks - but key point is I never hit anything and was never hit by another bike.

    I'm now getting into adventure style riding, and this thread has brough home the fact that I need to step up my gear level for the dirt. I've basically been riding with my road gear (decent armoured pants and textile jacket) but have never even considered all this offroad armour available. At least some of it looks indispensable, and I'm feeling fragile enough at the moment, having just broken my clavicle really badly falling off my pushbike. It's not too bad an injury to have (plating and screwing sorted me out very quickly) but it is making me think how much easier it is to get hurt on the dirt than on the road / track.

    Thanks for everyone's contributions - even if you have all made me paranoid :p
    Antistatic likes this.
  13. zetabird

    zetabird Been here awhile

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    Attached Files:

  14. zetabird

    zetabird Been here awhile

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    and i like that the sleeves do zip off

    Attached Files:

  15. motoinmoab

    motoinmoab Questioning Reality Supporter

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    Leatt makes great stuff, maybe the best out there. If you blow up the pic of the white suit you can see that it doesn't have armor around the sides to protect your ribs like their 5.5 Pro HD does. It depends on how important protecting that area is to you. I broke my ribs where this armor has no padding but we can always find a way to get hurt, eh?
  16. zetabird

    zetabird Been here awhile

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    theres always a way to get hurt, ive cracked ribs before and it was no fun, even had to preform in marching band with them like that.... no good, i wounder if rib protection can be added like on some of the others
  17. Nacho911

    Nacho911 Been here awhile

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    I have the Leatte above. Love it. Velcro does grab at times, drop off arms are great, zippers do move on their own a bit. It is really comfy. Great airflow

    Good luck stay safe
  18. ILikePowerWheelies

    ILikePowerWheelies Crash a lot

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    What you guys think, AXO aircage, velocity jug, or bionic jacket 1/2?
  19. explodingmouse

    explodingmouse Been here awhile

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    I was just looking at the Badlands Pro thread and some guys suggest the Evo shield hybrid pro shirt for rib protection , Im Australian but I gather it is worn by American football players for rib protection , might be worth looking into ?
  20. bradrh

    bradrh Been here awhile

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    Is a pressure suit adequate for highway riding? Do they provide the abrasion resistance you need if you go down on the highway? My rides usually have a fair amount of highway to get to the good stuff. I have a mesh jacket that I was wearing over the armor, but it bulky to carry around when its warm & I'm off pavement.