Armor for light freeriding. Suggestions, please.- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Armor for light freeriding. Suggestions, please.

    I am starting to go a little bigger in my riding lately, and I think it is time I looked at geting some protection. I'm getting to the point where I am looking at a drop thinking "I am 95% sure I can pull this off, but if I don't I'm gonna be hurting bad" I feel like If I can lessen the consequenses, I'll be more likely to go bigger.

    SO what I'm looking for is some protection that I can still do a lot of pedaling in, because all of my riding involves a lot of climbing. I don't think I need anything too over the top as I am still on the lighter side of FR. I don't tend to be going super fast, rather I like hitting very steep, techy stuff that I am not generally flying over. My wrecks (though getting more common) are almost always at lower speeds. Sometimes I land a drop (4' at the most for now) wrong and eat sh1t, or I loose it on one of those steep, rocky sections that I put my faith in the bike and let it roll.

    I thought of using shin-knee-elbow guards (easy to take off), but I realize that's not what I'm really worried about. I've bashed my legs and arms pretty good in the past and I can live with that. It's the bigger things I worry about, like my back, neck, head, collarbone, punctured lung, etc.

    I was at Sierra trading post and they have the 661 SP-2 Pressure Suit for about $110. It felt pretty comfortable and was not too bulky. Is there anything in particular I should know about these things? Can I do some xc miles in this thing to get to where I am going? I figure I'll pick up some knee-shin guards as well, but those are easy to take off.

    Also, what about helmets? I tried on my friend's full face helmet and it felt like a motorcycle helmet. Are there lighter options that go beyond the xc lid I am currently sporting?

    Thanks for any help.

    Kapusta

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta
    I am starting to go a little bigger in my riding lately, and I think it is time I looked at geting some protection. I'm getting to the point where I am looking at a drop thinking "I am 95% sure I can pull this off, but if I don't I'm gonna be hurting bad" I feel like If I can lessen the consequenses, I'll be more likely to go bigger.

    SO what I'm looking for is some protection that I can still do a lot of pedaling in, because all of my riding involves a lot of climbing. I don't think I need anything too over the top as I am still on the lighter side of FR. I don't tend to be going super fast, rather I like hitting very steep, techy stuff that I am not generally flying over. My wrecks (though getting more common) are almost always at lower speeds. Sometimes I land a drop (4' at the most for now) wrong and eat sh1t, or I loose it on one of those steep, rocky sections that I put my faith in the bike and let it roll.

    I thought of using shin-knee-elbow guards (easy to take off), but I realize that's not what I'm really worried about. I've bashed my legs and arms pretty good in the past and I can live with that. It's the bigger things I worry about, like my back, neck, head, collarbone, punctured lung, etc.

    I was at Sierra trading post and they have the 661 SP-2 Pressure Suit for about $110. It felt pretty comfortable and was not too bulky. Is there anything in particular I should know about these things? Can I do some xc miles in this thing to get to where I am going? I figure I'll pick up some knee-shin guards as well, but those are easy to take off.

    Also, what about helmets? I tried on my friend's full face helmet and it felt like a motorcycle helmet. Are there lighter options that go beyond the xc lid I am currently sporting?

    Thanks for any help.

    Kapusta
    Unless you are strictly riding in the winter, there is no way you would want to do the rising you are describing in a pressure suit. Since I am guessing you are in WY (you mentioned going to a STP), maybe it is cool enough, but I strongly doubt it. There are lighter options for armor (Dianese $$$), but still none I would want to wear on extended rides with a lot of climbs. Most people in your case start w/just leg armour, some wear arm too. As for a helmet, a skate lid or something like a Giro Xen would be more durable than an XC helmet, but if you wanted fullface there have been discussions about some of the lighter models like the Specialized Deviant and a model from Pryme which name escapes me (use search or pm TNC, he posted about it earlier this week).

  3. #3
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    troy lee D2 carbon

    4 a full face. Arm and leg protection is all you need. even riders like ricky carmichael (mx) dont wear full pressure suits racing, so i wouldnt worry too much at 4 - 6' drops.
    "Hillbilly in a corporate world"

  4. #4
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    I have found that if you use a camelbak, it will provide more than enough spinal protection for drops in the 4-6' foot range. Ill downhill with it and it will be fine.

  5. #5
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    I usually just ride with some roach shin guards, my rockgarden gloves, and my north face jacket. and a full face of course.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by MTBFreerideCT
    I have found that if you use a camelbak, it will provide more than enough spinal protection for drops in the 4-6' foot range. Ill downhill with it and it will be fine.
    As a matter of fact, 2 weeks ago I landed flat on my back in some rocks, and the Camelback took it all for me.

  7. #7
    TNC
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    I use lightweight, well-ventilated MX stuff for the upper body. This always sparks a lively debate around here, but I still insist that most doing the nay-saying aren't familiar with "some" of the MX armor that's out there. Many envision all MX gear as being like the old roost protector style which I agree doesn't do much impact absorption. The Answer Apex set that I use has impact foam inserts at key points. These attached inserts do two things: 1.They absorb impacts when you hit the ground, or something else. 2.They hold the vented plastic panels away from your body for air flow. Pressure suit style units definitely offer some more protection, but pedaling around with one of them on for any length of time in a real trail riding scenario can be just about unbearable. Some riders say they take them off and on while having them strapped to their Camelback when not in use. I'm sure this works great for some whose riding conditions and location make this convenient, but I'm constantly going up and down stuff, so the hassle wouldn't work for me. Here's a couple of pics to show the unit and some construction. I've worn this in 90+ degree weather, and it's totally bearable. The elbow guards are not part of the main unit. They are Fox elbow guards that I attached, and they have worked quite well...and they don't slip down. I mention this as a good alternative for hot weather or extended riding use. Oh, one other nice feature...your Camelback is held off your back for better ventilation...a nice benefit I didn't see coming.

    On a useable full coverage helmet for extended trail use and warm weather, look a few posts down titled something about helmets with Giro Remedy, 661, and Deviant in the title. I posted some pics there along with some description of what I did to a Pryme AL. I "always" wear this helmet...well, not when I'm riding my road bike...LOL!
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  8. #8
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    well i think the mx stuff could be the way to go for u. hardshell plastics their comfortable well ventalated. plus if u ever wana step it up and do some downhill or freeriding ur cool for that. but if u wana stick to what ur doing now u could just get the 661 straight jacket, or half jacket. i wouldnt recommend them for downhillin or freeriding. they dont offer the protection you need for it.
    Looking for a 7.87 x 2.25mm shock, any brand any age that runs well!! cheap would be appreciated!

  9. #9

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    if you want leg protection, i would go for fox launch, super nice and well ventilated. if your into huge stuff and insane DH i would go for something more but i think the fox launch is a nice leg armor if you want light weight

  10. #10
    HJB
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    Quote Originally Posted by TNC
    I use lightweight, well-ventilated MX stuff for the upper body. This always sparks a lively debate around here, but I still insist that most doing the nay-saying aren't familiar with "some" of the MX armor that's out there. Many envision all MX gear as being like the old roost protector style which I agree doesn't do much impact absorption. The Answer Apex set that I use has impact foam inserts at key points. These attached inserts do two things: 1.They absorb impacts when you hit the ground, or something else. 2.They hold the vented plastic panels away from your body for air flow. Pressure suit style units definitely offer some more protection, but pedaling around with one of them on for any length of time in a real trail riding scenario can be just about unbearable. Some riders say they take them off and on while having them strapped to their Camelback when not in use. I'm sure this works great for some whose riding conditions and location make this convenient, but I'm constantly going up and down stuff, so the hassle wouldn't work for me. Here's a couple of pics to show the unit and some construction. I've worn this in 90+ degree weather, and it's totally bearable. The elbow guards are not part of the main unit. They are Fox elbow guards that I attached, and they have worked quite well...and they don't slip down. I mention this as a good alternative for hot weather or extended riding use. Oh, one other nice feature...your Camelback is held off your back for better ventilation...a nice benefit I didn't see coming.

    On a useable full coverage helmet for extended trail use and warm weather, look a few posts down titled something about helmets with Giro Remedy, 661, and Deviant in the title. I posted some pics there along with some description of what I did to a Pryme AL. I "always" wear this helmet...well, not when I'm riding my road bike...LOL!
    Hey is that an Airstreem?

    I agree on the Pryme AL, I love mine. It's light, well vented, and comfy. My only complaint is it's a little tight at the temples when I just want to wear glasses instead of goggles.

  11. #11
    TNC
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    Ear hole padding.

    Quote Originally Posted by HJB
    Hey is that an Airstreem?

    I agree on the Pryme AL, I love mine. It's light, well vented, and comfy. My only complaint is it's a little tight at the temples when I just want to wear glasses instead of goggles.
    I removed the ear hole padding on my modified AL for cooling. It allows you to wear any sunglasses/glasses that you want. Remember though, that my AL is used for all around trail riding as a substitute for an open face XC lid. My AL will give way more protection to the cranial area and the rest of my head/face than the traditional XC or skate lid, but removing some padding will reduce some protection compared to an unmodified AL or other full coverage moto-style helmet.

    No, not an Airstream...a Casita...looks like a 16' fiberglass egg.
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    Last edited by TNC; 11-10-2005 at 07:54 PM. Reason: add text

  12. #12
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    Ahhh, Camp To-kill-ya..

    Where is the sign?

    Funny this pic is not that old and your bike don't even look the same!

    On the armor thing.... funny I thought my C-Back saved my back more than once. I am glad to see other bladers have died for their country also.

  13. #13
    TNC
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    Mmmm...To-Kill-Ya.

    Quote Originally Posted by texheckler
    Where is the sign?

    Funny this pic is not that old and your bike don't even look the same!

    On the armor thing.... funny I thought my C-Back saved my back more than once. I am glad to see other bladers have died for their country also.
    You're making me thirsty. Makes me want to search the archives and look at that picture of SMT's refrigerated high end tequila. Hey, that Bronte camp pic will be a year old in two months. Time flies when you're having fun...or drinking too much tequila.

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