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  1. #1
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    Let's talk about body armor...

    I'm talking about upper armor here, not arm or leg stuff.

    My Azonic Z-5 should have been retired the day I bought it...yet 5 years later I'm still putting it on in some feigned attempt at protecting my core. There are about 100 varieties of the Pressure Suit, which one sucks the least? Back in the day the 661 stuff didn't fit me worth a damn, but that's probably changed. I'm trying to avoid selling a liver for Dainese...if possible.

    What about the Race Face jacket? Looks solid, and there are no arms to cut off, which is...convenient.

    Finally, as a digression, any opinions on a Leatt brace? My first thought is that I'm a pooner hack and have no business wearing something that core. My second thought is that I'm a pooner hack and should be doing everything in my power to protect myself.
    Remind me. We'll send him a red cap and a Speedo.

  2. #2
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    Nov 2001
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    Quote Originally Posted by bagtagley View Post

    Finally, as a digression, any opinions on a Leatt brace? My first thought is that I'm a pooner hack and have no business wearing something that core. My second thought is that I'm a pooner hack and should be doing everything in my power to protect myself.

    Ask Tara Llanes what she thinks.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
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    Ogden, UT
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    My .02- I went through the same deal two seasons ago. I didn't like the fit of the current 661 Pressure suit I had, and I wanted the best ventilation to deal with the summer heat and humidity. I settled on the redesigned 2007 Rockgardn Flack jacket, because A) it was rated just below the Dianese stuff for ventilation, B) had removable arm armor so you could cool off a little between rides, and C) cost significantly less than the Dianese. The armor is burly, has a breathable mesh construction, and has a removable back panel. SuperChief initially ordered the RaceFace shorty you mentioned, but was less than impressed, so he sent it back and got the Flak Jacket as well. Looks like Rockgardn is making a shorty as well this year, probably worth a look.

    ..................................
    Edit: Good review of the 07 version here: http://www.derailedonline.com/archives/000131.html
    Last edited by MarsB; 07-09-2008 at 03:38 PM.
    Montani Semper Liberi

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Carbondale
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    9,466
    I have the new flak jacket.... I like it, skied in it a lot this year and have ridden with it about 3 times this bike season.... breathes well, makes you look like a storm trooper without a shirt over it....

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    I tried the RaceFace armor and thought it's shoulder pads didn't provide much coverage, I ended up with a Rock Garden Flak Jacket, it has removable elbow pads, and provides good all around coverage.
    All stunts performed without a net!

  6. #6
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    Just suck it up and get the Dainese. I can even wear mine without an undershirt - no nipple rub!

    I'd like to try out the Leatt brace as well.
    I'm so hardcore, I'm gnarcore.

  7. #7
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    Oct 2002
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    That Flak Jacket looks like a Z5 remake...I'm a little skeptical. Does the mesh hold up when it's drenched with sweat, particularly when trying to remove it? Is the zipper burly, or does it belong on a wedding dress?

    Edit: Hmm, it's "Leatt Brace compatible". Well, that's fortuitous.
    Last edited by bagtagley; 07-08-2008 at 12:32 PM.
    Remind me. We'll send him a red cap and a Speedo.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
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    The mesh held up fine after mid-August days at Wisp and Snowshoe under a long sleeve jersey, and I am a sweater. No issues with the zipper so far. Little chest rub the first few times I wore it, until I developed my nipple callouses. Nah, not bad, really- don't usually wear anything under it.
    Montani Semper Liberi

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    825
    I was on the fence between Dainese and the Rock Garden jackets pretty recently. Then my friend got paralyzed (XC not DH accident). That made my choice easy...I went with the Dainese becase of the honeycomb spine protection. Even though I don't know for sure how much better that is than just plain plastic, my reasoning was that if motocycle guys use it it's made to withstand more force.

    The other issue for me was bulk/breathability/weight. The rock garden jacket size small was bulky and heavier than an XL Dainese by a long shot. It was a lot of money, but I haven't thought twice about it. The availability was sparse (no more through the distributor, new prod is coming from Italy), but I found a couple places that had my size. I got it for $320 too which I thought was pretty good since they're hard to come by.

  10. #10
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    $320 = a lot less than an ER visit. and that's assuming you just get a quick once-over and everything is OK.
    I'm so hardcore, I'm gnarcore.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Particle View Post
    $320 = a lot less than an ER visit. and that's assuming you just get a quick once-over and everything is OK.
    Okay, two things. One, the last two times I've been to the ER, it hasn't cost me a dime, so I don't really understand when people say that. Two, is the Dainese really gonna prevent an ER visit that much better than a Rock Gardn/661/etc.? Serious question. Cause, the couple people I've know that had Dainese suits liked the protection, but complained about the durability. Also, as shitty as my Azonic is, it has still prevented some bodily harm. I'm not ruling out the Dainese, but is it really that much better?

    Let me just add that, I sort of think the jackets provide a false sense of security. Sure, they'll prevent some scuffing, and generally the back and chest protection are pretty useful. But when it comes to pretty common and significant bike injuries (neck, back and collar bone) it's really not gonna do much. That's not all directed at you, J, you just got me thinking.
    Remind me. We'll send him a red cap and a Speedo.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Juniper Creek
    Posts
    258

    Leatt Brace

    I just picked up a Leatt Brace this past week and tried it out at DV this weekend. It takes a bit of set up time to get it dialed, but once you've done that you hardly know it's there. You do feel it a bit if you arch your neck to an extreme but after riding for a bit I completely forgot about it. I highly recommend it.

    It was kind of a no brainer for me after the wife got hurt. I'm still not a believer in the benefits of a body armour suit though. Nor was the neurosurgeon who operated my wife.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by TuaDog View Post
    I just picked up a Leatt Brace this past week and tried it out at DV this weekend. It takes a bit of set up time to get it dialed, but once you've done that you hardly know it's there. You do feel it a bit if you arch your neck to an extreme but after riding for a bit I completely forgot about it. I highly recommend it.

    It was kind of a no brainer for me after the wife got hurt. I'm still not a believer in the benefits of a body armour suit though. Nor was the neurosurgeon who operated my wife.
    Yeah, you're the reason I started looking into it.

    Where did you score it? Did you get the Club?
    Remind me. We'll send him a red cap and a Speedo.

  14. #14
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    Jul 2007
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    Picked it up at Go-Ride. I got the Club and it seems plenty light. I see no need to fork over extra benjamin's to get more carbon fiber on there.

  15. #15
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    Dec 2007
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    I'm with bagtagley - I've had a shitty azonic jacket for about 5 years now. It was pretty cheap, and it has prevented lots of minor bruises and scratches. That said, if I really went down hard I would be very impressed if it or any other jacket had any effect on any major injuries I would end up with. I think those jackets are great for keeping my skin in good condition - no scrapes and no stitches. However, I think they do next to nothing to prevent more serious injuries like broken limbs.

    I'm not trying to advocate not wearing one; I wear mine fairly often, but as a couple people have said, I think that some people come away with a false sense of security. I think the best reason to go with the Dainese or something spendy like that is that they're super comfy and vent a bit better. Its like helmets - when you spend more money, you don't really get better protection (they all pass the same ANSI / SNELL tests). Rather, you get lighter weight, better fit, etc.

  16. #16
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    Dec 2006
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    WV
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    I haven't tried on the Dainese suit, but have seen it on other riders, I don't think the elbow pads are removable. The Flak Jacket has definately taken it's share of tumbles, usually my helmet takes the brunt of my crashes. Availability and price... I'm not sure the Italian suit is worth the extra scratch, my personal view of the function of the body armor is to reduce road rash and allow you to push corners and speed a little more. I don't see what the plastic chest panels are gonna prevent other than scratches, I hope I don't have to prove mine by taking a heavy hit, I am confident that the elbow pads and shoulder pads will help. I also only run the spine protector on the race course, which is a drawback because I lose the kidney belt support when I remove it to run laps on non race days. I feel my camelbak does a sufficient job of protecting it, due to the 100ML of force crash force absorbing H2O in it. For the Flak jacket money you could some leftover for the Leatt brace.
    All stunts performed without a net!

  17. #17
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    bags - totally agreed, plastic is pretty much plastic. I just use the money argument for medical expenses as justification to get the best protection available. It might be flawed logic that the most expensive = the best protection, but oh well. I'm rolling with that. And of course upper body armor isn't going to prevent broken bones. I was wearing hip armor when I broke my hip skiing, I might as well have been naked for all the protection armor has against an impact like that.

    tuadog - cool to hear you picked up a leatt, I'm going to check them out at go-ride this week. are you still in Utah or back in WA?
    I'm so hardcore, I'm gnarcore.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Particle View Post

    tuadog - cool to hear you picked up a leatt, I'm going to check them out at go-ride this week. are you still in Utah or back in WA?
    I'm in Utah til next Monday so give me a shout if you want to ride.

    The Leatt's aren't cheap, but neither are neurosurgeons.........except when they tip.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    Sell your liver
    Hello darkness my old friend

  20. #20
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    Mar 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by bagtagley View Post
    Two, is the Dainese really gonna prevent an ER visit that much better than a Rock Gardn/661/etc.? .


    NO


    Dianese stuff is over rated in my opinion (at least the older style that all the mtbers wear). Fall once and the jacket's done. Go look at how those elbow pads are 'held on' to your arms....one flimsy elastic strap. You wear a jacket because it provides more protection than elbow pads. The scar tissue on my elbows prevents injuries better than the elbow pads on those things.......because my scar tissue stays in place. The shoulder pads on those things are equally as effective. Dianese jackets are good for one thing. Comfort while riding. I've seen more people torn up wearing those things than any other jacket. Even those old first generation pillow suit 661s provided more protection.


    I've got the newer azonic jacket. It works fine. It's also exactly the same molds as the rockgardn one. They come from the same sweat shop in timbuk 4.
    Last edited by kidwoo; 07-09-2008 at 10:51 AM.
    Besides the comet that killed the dinosaurs nothing has destroyed a species faster than entitled white people.-ajp

  21. #21
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    I've got the Rockgardn flak jacket and it's definitely saved me at least 1 trip to the hospital. (stump to chest still leaves me bitter )

    You're welcome to try it on, it's just been hosed down. I'm not in love with the elbows, but they are tough and the mesh is way burlier than you think. I've tested it more than I'm able to remember. I wear a thin polypro under it to keep the nipple chafe down. My only real complaint is that the kidney protection slides up 2.4 seconds after I put it on. Now that I think about it, maybe that's due to the polypro.

    I think I'll be joining JoshP tomorrow night, if you're there, you can try it on. BTW - How's that spring workin buddy?

  22. #22
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    Search next time: https://www.tetongravity.com/forums/s....php?p=1788350

    Quote Originally Posted by Summit View Post
    Flak Jacket looks like a tough choice against the Acerbis Koerta (which ROCKED for DH)






    I guess you trade some collar bone protection for some side protection.
    Quote Originally Posted by blurred
    skiing is hiking all day so that you can ski on shitty gear for 5 minutes.

  23. #23
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    Mar 2006
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    Thanks for the link summit!



    I just learned that the rockgardn has two more plastic pieces along the love handles than any other jacket! That shit looks awesome. Thanks!
    Besides the comet that killed the dinosaurs nothing has destroyed a species faster than entitled white people.-ajp

  24. #24
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    Apr 2002
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    utah
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    bags - if you're interested - I'm selling my Dainese Wave armor, which didn't get that much use.



    It's super protective, but I didn't feel like I could move around in it as well as I can in the Fox Launch suit.


    And I've never found any armor where the kidney belt doesn't slide up on me as soon as I move. I'm not sure there's any way of getting around that, being a girl. I just put the belt on loose and low so it stays down over my hips. When I put it on tight around my waist, it jams the spine protctor up into my helmet and I can't move my head... or see. Which is really useful. And they all seem to do the same thing. I wish someone would make one where you could adjust the attachment point on the kidney belt.
    Last edited by altagirl; 07-09-2008 at 08:38 AM.
    "Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, "Wow, what a Ride!"

  25. #25
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    Damn, AG, that thing is burly. I'll come by and try it on, thanks.

    phat, I haven't had a chance to get the big bike out since I put the spring on. The sag is right, so I think it should be money. Where will you be joining JoshP?

    Summit, it's pretty rare for a biker to break their collarbone from a direct impact.
    Last edited by bagtagley; 07-09-2008 at 09:18 AM.
    Remind me. We'll send him a red cap and a Speedo.

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