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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Feb 2007

    Body Armor Commuter Style

    Before the title scares you away ("what does commuting have to do with mountain biking?"), hear me out. I'm looking for body armor, upper body mostly. In order of importance, I would like it to be-
    1. Ventilated and cool for those hot-hot days
    1. Tough as nails
    2. Lightweight

    Yes, the double "1." is on purpose. Now, I have two reasons for wanting armor.
    1. I've got some pretty rugged trails around my town, and some armor would be pretty nice to have. There have been too many times that my tender body has gone tumbing over jagged stone, and quite frankly I'm tired being an unprotected (except my noggin) pile of flesh.
    2. I'm going to be commuting 20+ miles a day on busy roads. If there were no cars, I'd have no problem, but there are tons of cars. More cars bring more people, which brings greater odds of me encountering one of those anti-bike crazies who like to run people off roads, launch fast-food missiles at my back. And sometimes people simply end up hitting cyclists, crazy or not. This unfortunate reality and far too many encounters with such things leads me to the natural conclusion that a little bit of protection could be good.

    I've been looking at the Dainese Impact Jacket Race 1 and to a lesser extent the Dainese Impact Armour (apparently the jacket version is more intelligently designed and clearly has protection in other places, like the shoulder blades and arms.. A roadie did a review on the Dainese Impact Jacket Race 1 and said it's great and has saved him in wreck he had. So that's where I'm leaning. I know it's pricy, but it seems to fill my armor needs well, and seems to me like a wise investment.

    Does anyone have an opinion regarding this? Is there better armor? Am I wasting my time? I need some input before I go jumping into this.

  2. #2
    LCI #1853
    Reputation: PscyclePath's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Your best armor is sitting between your ears... e.g. your wits, riding experience, and common sense to stay out of trouble.

    Frankly, there's no helmet or body armor that will protect you from a collision with 3000 pounds of motor vehicle. Your defense, then, is to ride defensively, so that you don't get in an accident situation, or at least have the skills to know when you're getting into one so's you can get out of it with minimal or no damage. Check with instructors in your local community for one of the League of American Bicyclists' "Road I" and "Bike Commuting" classes. Robert Hurst's book, The Art of Urban Cycling (sold now as The Art of Cycling) is an excellent reference if there are no LAB course available in your community.

  3. #3
    squish is good
    Reputation: Clutchman83's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Reminds me of the time I threw on my full face and moto style chest protector for a road ride. I was just trying to stay warm it was about 20 degrees outside! Got a lot of funny looks that day.

    Anyways, I agree with PscyclePath, I doubt body armor would make a huge amount of difference in a bad collision with a car. Now as for the trail, I prefer to do bits and pieces rather than a full on flack jacket. I use mostly shin/knee guards and elbow/forearm guards at the most for trail riding, hell thats pretty much all I run when shuttling too. I've never used an armor suit thingy or whatever those are called so I can't help you there.
    Bike good, work bad.

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