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What is the Most Convenient and Comfortable Armor!?

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3/24/2020 1:01 PM

Hi all! I’m shopping for my stubborn 80 year old father who does not want to wear any armor (other then a helmet) because he finds it hard to get on and to uncomfortable once it’s on.

I’ve tried convincing him, but it’s not going to happen. The best i can do is buy him the simplest, easiest to get on, and most comfortable armor and he MAY actually use it sometimes.

That being said, it’s been very difficult to find this. I’m sure this question will help others as well.

What are your recommendations for gear?

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3/24/2020 1:38 PM

I tested the latest armor from 661 and I was pretty impressed, it's light, comfortable, and breathes fairly well for such a protective piece of equipment. It's also pretty easy to put on and take off. I can see it being something a stubborn and reluctant 80-yr old might agree to wearing - I said "might" HAHA. Props to your dad who's still getting after it!!!

Check out the review here: https://www.vitalmtb.com/product/guide/Knee-Shin-Pads,56/SixSixOne/DBO-Knee-Pad,25968#product-reviews/3731/expand.

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3/24/2020 1:46 PM

Hi, first congrats to your dad for still riding !

To answer your question, the first thing is to determine what kind of armour you are looking for: parts of the body you want to protect (or type of injury you are afraid of) and riding style.

Generally speaking forget everything with a rigid shell and go for d3o like materials. Second if you want to maximize comfort, choose a lightweight/aerated fabric and features like a full zipper to help the removal.

For back protection I love the racer pro top (the ixs carve looks very similar). It protects really well all the back and is otherwise very simple to put/pull off and doesn't keep you too warm (well a bit on the back but it'll always be the case).
A good alternative is a protector backpack. They come in all sorts of sizes and features.

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3/24/2020 5:12 PM

Hey thank you iceman and Rems for the advice and recommendations. Yeah my dad actually is kind of a legend in the mountain biking world.
He opened one of first mountain biking shops in Marin County and was friends with and helped launch guys like Gary Fischer and Joe Breeze in his shop in the 60’s I believe.

I’m most concerned with his pelvis/low back, knees, and shoulders. If you could only pick two pieces of gear based off convenience and comfortability what would they be?

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3/25/2020 1:49 AM

The pelvis/hips are hard to protect without the bulk. I just received an armored base layer from Fox to test, it's really well made and features slightly padded abrasion patches on the hips as well as built in kneepads (and a chammy). Very comfortable, runs a bit on the tight side so check the sizing: https://www.foxracing.com/tecbase-pro-tight/25663.html?dwvar_25663_color=001&dwvar_25663_size=S&cgid=mtb-mens-guards#start=18.

Then add a Baseframe and you're pretty much covered up: https://www.foxracing.com/baseframe/21792.html?dwvar_21792_color=001&dwvar_21792_size=S&cgid=mtb-mens-guards#isShowAllNoScroll=true&sz=38&start=33.

Stuff is modular so he can add/remove pads depending on the ride.

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3/25/2020 9:25 AM

Leatt Roost Tee, cheap, nice shoulder and chest protection, good ventilation can't remove any pads but it's pretty much a t-shirt.
Leatt Airflex stealth - has a zipper, can remove pads , good ventilation and much higher level protection.

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3/25/2020 9:32 AM

Hips- G-form Elite liner shorts. Has a pretty good chamois.
Elbow- Gform
Knee- Ion K pact select, most well secured knee guard I've come across, but it's more DH than trail
7Idp Sam Hill knee guard for trail.

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3/25/2020 6:08 PM

Alright, for the knees I find that it is extremely personal. Last time I bought kneepads, I had to try like a dozen brands/models/sizes before finding some that really fitted me well (fox launch pro d3o).

However you can look toward lightweight "xc" kneepads like gform, poc air, etc They aren't always certified but even then should provide some pretty decent protection. Just beware the sleeve type kneepads aren't always more comfortable since they can't be adjusted (but they usually "breathe" better).

For the pelvis/hip protection, I use the 661 evo compression short. They are very comfortable and add almost no bulk but they don't provide much protection for the pelvis, only the hip/thigh. On the plus side, you can choose with or without chamois.
There are quite a lot of options out there from the major companies (poc, 661, ixs, fox, gform, leatt, troy lee, 7idp, dainese, bluegrass, alpinestar).

Anyway, in your case if I had to pick only two, I would go for a good set of lightweight kneepads and a shirt with good shoulder pads. As said before, the pelvis area is very difficult to protect well without feeling like robocop.

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3/30/2020 7:25 AM

For back and chest problem protection I wear the Fox Raceframe Impact Guard. It’s CE level 1 but as comfortable as a Moto style roost guard. Can be worn under or over jersey.

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