Body Armor for Enduro?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Body Armor for Enduro?

    I have been racing XC for over ten years now, and I'm going to be trying out some enduro racing this year to mix things up. I already have a full face helmet and some knee pads, but I wanted to get people's opinions on upper body armor (chest protector, vest, etc). I did some searching around the internet and it seems like body armor isn't usually talked about a whole lot for Enduro, but being a dad and provider for my family, I think I wouldn't mind a little extra protection for piece of mind. Does anyone use upper body armor for enduro?

    If so...do you use hard shell or soft?

  2. #2
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    It is a good question and something I think each person needs to decide for themselves what and how much. Physical fitness is going to be the biggest factor. Fatigue will lead to more mistakes and crashes and the fitter the person the better they rebound from injuries. Full face, knee pads, gloves, maybe elbow pads and I would highly consider a back plate. I also utilize a liner short with hip/femur protection. Consider protecting against the potential injuries that are could be life changing.

  3. #3
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    I've been contemplating this myself this off season- I bought myself a TLD Stages full face to wear for racing for all stages, but i think some body protection is definitely in order. I think I'm going to go with this https://www.foxracing.com/baseframe-...376-001-S.html, looks light weight enough and not bulky, the subframe looks ok, but the back pad looks like maybe too much for a day of pedaling; but may be good in a park

  4. #4
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    Body armor can result in a bit less pain/stitches, but in general isn't going to keep your from breaking bones in a big get-off. My go to protection is as follows:

    Helmet, knee / shin and sometimes elbow, gloves, shoes that cover ankles, hydration pack which can help with back...that's it.

    Nothing is going to protect your humorous, tib/fib, radius/ulna, collarbone, neck, femur, etc. If your times up, it's up. Chest protectors and kinda useless IMO.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by ArizRider View Post
    Body armor can result in a bit less pain/stitches, but in general isn't going to keep your from breaking bones in a big get-off. My go to protection is as follows:

    Helmet, knee / shin and sometimes elbow, gloves, shoes that cover ankles, hydration pack which can help with back...that's it.

    Nothing is going to protect your humorous, tib/fib, radius/ulna, collarbone, neck, femur, etc. If your times up, it's up. Chest protectors and kinda useless IMO.
    Hmm except for when you slam your sternum in to a sharp rock and get cardiac tamponade (blood around your heart)...spine protector will definitely protect from breaking your back from again point impacts. Won't do anything for compression fractures. Both are not foolproof but to say they don't do anything is just silly.

  6. #6
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    i was thinking on the same thing, last weekend my local enduro club gave a class at a local park with really big drops, jumps and nice corners, i ordered Leatt 4.5 Chest protector just in case i fall in the drops or something else. Nothing happens, learned a lot of technical stuff.



    Yesterday i went to my local enduro trail like i do about 4 days a week, i saw the chest protector in my trunk and i decided to use it. There is a nice downhill section which i ride every time i go without any problem, well i made a mistake and my crash was really bad, couldnt breath for a few seconds, check my arms, legs, helmet and everything was ok, my chest protector did have a massive hit on the chest, honestly for sure a broken rib if i didn't use it. From now on, i don't care if i look stupid on the trail with the chest protector, it save my ribs, my money and definitely some recovery time.
    SC Megatower, SC Hightower LT(sold) , SC Tallboy 3(sold), Scott Genius, Commencal Meta HT

  7. #7
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    The cost of protection and the loss of a little bit of comfort is significantly less than having to pay to get yourself fixed in the hospital. I've had to get stitches 2x on my elbows for the same issue that would have just been me jumping back on the bike if I had my elbow pads on.

    If I'm riding fast, FF, chest/back, elbow, knee and hip protection. There are plenty of lighter weight options out there
    https://youtube.com/c/jamesstoup - Check out my racing on Youtube

  8. #8
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    Any suggestions for favorite pieces of gear? Any experience with dainese?

  9. #9
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    That fox piece posted above looks nice, I've run these the race face flank and now a g form pro x.

    The race face was a bit much for an enduro, I like that it had a back protector but its pretty thick and the shoulder pads are thick, just overall pretty uncomfortable to pedal around all day in.

    the G form is much nicer to pedal around in, still much warmer than wearing nothing under a jersey, I dont like that it has no back protection though. Say if I've got 20 miles of transfer/stage miles, where i know its not a big issue at all to pedal that, ill wear it. but if its a BIG day, hot and i know its gonna suck, i wont. Like someone above posted if it wears you out more, that just increases your risk of crashing.

    Still looking for the untimate solution, something like the G form, but with some back protection, maybe a little better breathability would be nice.

  10. #10
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    I bought the POC VPD Air Tee for riding at my local bike park last year. I bought my nephew one as well, as he rides with me a lot. He over shot a double and bounced into a tree back first (while I was right behind him, so scary). Luckily he was wearing his armor and got up without injury.

    I decided on the Air Tee because it has built in shoulder pads, is form fitting and breathes very well.

    I will wear it this year for the local enduro race.

  11. #11
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    The Leatt Airflex Stealth short/long sleeve shirts look pretty nice, appear to have good protection and lightweight. I just started doing endure and park riding this year and have been using a friends Fox Raceframe Roost. It isn't too heavy but want something a little more snug fitting.
    So many trails, so little time.

    Ibis Ripley V4, Pike Ultimate 140, I9 Trail S Hydra

  12. #12
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    Nobody wears neck protection? I ask because some years ago the top of my head met a tree at speed. Leatts weren't really a thing yet, but I had an old EVS neck nut that I stuffed with extra foam. It limited mobility and was uncomfortable, but my doc swore it was the difference between a bulging disc and paralysis/death....

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