Back Protector for Trails

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  • Back Protector for Trails
  • fudge9202
    Member

    There have been more injuries recently where I ride and several have been severe spinal ones, anyone recommend a comfortable back protector for 3-4 hrs riding without looking like an american footballer.

    fudge9202
    Member

    Surely someone on here can recommend one.

    IanMunro
    Member

    Can’t recommend any, but it would be interesting to know if any research has been done on mtb spinal injuries and if they tend to occur at specific points of the spine.

    banks
    Member

    Looked at the evoc freeride bag range? Also, lad I ride with rides with a nukeproof critical back jobby but 3hr + rides are his limit.

    legend
    Member

    If you want proper OTB protection you’ll want a full face helmet and a Leatt – and even they aren’t really proven.

    Normal spine boards/protectors do naff all for compression injuries, but obviously do give some protection should you somehow land back first into a pile of rocks.

    fudge9202
    Member

    Heard of a young guy who came off where I ride, he went backwards down the trail hit a tree with his back and was instantly paralysed, very sad. My mate also came off and struck a rock and was taken off for a cat scan with suspected paralysis, thankfully he was ok . So I’m considering a comfortable back protector.

    legend
    Member

    Well firstly narrow it down between hard shell (e.g. Dainese, 661) and soft shell (e.g Forcefield, Sweet).

    I’ve had both types over the years, but now use a Sweet Protection (when races demand it) as it fits and stays in place very nicely (in comparison to my Dainese, 661 and Force Field equivalents)

    Premier Icon stuartlangwilson
    Subscriber

    Ever since I compressed a vertebra while wearing a dainese back protector, I don’t wear the horrible sweaty thing any more.

    Premier Icon simmy
    Subscriber

    I’ve often wondered if there has been any research or just knowing if a Camalbak will provide any protection ?

    I know it won’t cover the lower back but unfortunately nothing will protect 100 %

    The Athertons young lad Taylor Vernon has had a bad injury recently and he was wearing a back protector at the time 😥

    Premier Icon sweaman2
    Subscriber

    Integrated into a rucksack or separate? I think for integrated look towards snow sports equipment. Deuter and Dakine both have them. I have a Dainese hard shell which I use for skiing but it is too uncomfortable for riding up hills with.

    pymwymis
    Member

    Evoc free ride as mentioned above. Not terribly tech but does a job and though part of a bag (a good thing) can also be worn as a seperate item.

    obviously do give some protection should you somehow land back first into a pile of rocks.

    But so does a camelbak with a padded back, a waterproof and a spare layer. There are a lot of more likely injuries. Ultimately it’s a risky sport – I’m just about up with some leg and elbow armour for riding really big rocky descents when on holiday in Europe but really don’t get where the trend for kitting up like a stormtrooper to ride in the UK has come from.

    legend
    Member

    simons_nicolai-uk – Member
    But so does a camelbak with a padded back, a waterproof and a spare layer.

    Indeed, I wouldn’t rely on an unevenly packed (by design as such as by packing) camelbak full a tubes, tools and whatever else for protection though. Even the protection given by the bladder will change as the day goes on.

    grilla
    Member

    I just bought an EVOC with back protection thingy in it, it certainly feels a lot more comprehensive protection than the camelbak I damaged when coming off and skidding along my back. Who can say wether it will really do any good, but it’s helped me get my confidence back.

    I was a bit unsure about the merits of a water bladder for absorbing impacts, sure it will deform a bit, but water isn’t exactly shock absorbing.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    I would not be at all surprised if a loaded camelbak can exceed the (rather undemanding) CE spec, but you wouldn’t want to rely on its consistency or coverage.

    First thing to do though is to have a think about how you load the pack, motorbiking mate of mine broke a couple of verterbrae after landing on a rucksack which had his lock in the bottom, basically a spine-anvil. Hard or lumpy things are not a good idea.

    As far as spine injuries go, I’ve not seen much of what I’d call good data but anecdotally it does seem to be mostly c-spine injuries that we hear about, and a back protector won’t help that much. It fits the bill, for me, it’s not so much that we’re hitting the ground incredibly hard, it’s more about how we hit it. A spine protector will help to spread and dissipate loads but it obviously doesn’t help at all if you land on your noggin.

    Personally… I just come back to the numbers game, biking is basically very safe and you’re very unlikely to suffer a spinal injury. And it seems like even if you wear a protector it’s fairly unlikely to protect you from the most common type of spine injury.

    If you want a back protector then why not get an Evoc and have a hydration/back pack too?
    Likewise – if you never, normally, use a back protector but you do use a back pack – why not have the added bonus of a built in back protector?
    The bags are great in their own right. If you add in the back protector aspect they become brilliant.

    The Liteshield protector insert is breathable and light so you can’t tell that it’s there when riding.

    As for the level of protection – the insert is made from EPS (same material as most helmets) and is CE Rated so there’s good science and research behind it.

    Clearly being from Silverfish I’m a bit biased but I’ve also crushed two vertebra in the past so do feel somewhat qualified 🙂

    Premier Icon singlespeedstu
    Subscriber

    I’d just stay at home if i were you.
    It’ll be safer for you there. 😉

    Premier Icon tmb467
    Subscriber

    Has anyone ever compressed a vertebrae on a bike with one gear?

    I’ve not hurt myself at all on mine – my assumption is that they are inherently safer 🙂

    I was only Using one gear at the time 🙂

    Premier Icon drew
    Subscriber

    To comply with the mountain of hell regs I had to wear some form of spine protector and was lucky enough to pick up an Evoc Freeride Lite at half price. Initially I was sceptical about the suitcase type access to the pack contents but by the end of the holiday was well impressed at being able to get to objects stuffed into the deeper recesses without disgorging the entire contents over the hillside first. No idea how effective it is as a spine protector as I managed to land mostly on my shoulder, face, and outstretched arms but as a backpack i can recommend it.

    zerocool
    Member

    Evoc back packs? I use a Dianese back protector and it’s been comfy for several hours at a time

    drew – Member
    To comply with the mountain of hell regs I had to wear some form of spine protector and was lucky enough to pick up an Evoc Freeride Lite at half price. Initially I was sceptical about the suitcase type access to the pack contents but by the end of the holiday was well impressed at being able to get to objects stuffed into the deeper recesses without disgorging the entire contents over the hillside first. No idea how effective it is as a spine protector as I managed to land mostly on my shoulder, face, and outstretched arms but as a backpack i can recommend it.

    Same here – they’re a really well designed and comfortable backpack. Even if they didn’t have the protector, I’d recommend them. The fact that they do give that bit of protection makes them a no brainer.

    Premier Icon Steelsreal
    Subscriber

    I’ve often wondered if there has been any research or just knowing if a Camalbak will provide any protection ?

    I know it won’t cover the lower back but unfortunately nothing will protect 100 %

    In a word no, not on the bike, but on a snowboard and wearing a camelbak (just a little snobowl one), landed on the filler lid.(going fairly quickly but no different to many a fall whilst boarding)..result was 5 broken vertebrae, which required two rods, ten screws and a spinal cage, plus three weeks in grenoble hospital.

    Interested in a protector now as really don’t relish the thought of falling on my meccano..

    Are there an D3O ones maybe…

    Like the idea of an Evoc but can’t wear a pack directly on my back though as the weight makes it feel all funny

    Premier Icon rockhopperbike
    Subscriber

    I’ve often wondered if there has been any research or just knowing if a Camalbak will provide any protection ?
    I know it won’t cover the lower back but unfortunately nothing will protect 100 %

    In a word no, not on the bike, but on a snowboard and wearing a camelbak (just a little snobowl one), landed on the filler lid.(going fairly quickly but no different to many a fall whilst boarding)..result was 5 broken vertebrae, which required two rods, ten screws and a spinal cage, plus three weeks in grenoble hospital.

    Interested in a protector now as really don’t relish the thought of falling on my meccano..

    Are there an D3O ones maybe…

    Like the idea of an Evoc but can’t wear a pack directly on my back though as the weight makes it feel all funny

    similar to you, I had an off which has resulted in much meccano in my back, I used to do a lot of off road trail riding, and the guys I know use the forecfield kit- I bought a sport lite level2 protector from them- very good, goes under a shirt if needed, dont even notice after a few mins

    back protector

    Premier Icon rockhopperbike
    Subscriber

    FWIW, a lot of the protectors I looked at before buying the forcefield one, seemed to be a little short in length – one size does not fit all!- mine goes right to the base of the spine- where it would match up nicely with a pair of coccyx shorts if needed.

    Premier Icon Steelsreal
    Subscriber

    the short one should be okay for me as my meccano is t8-t12, exactly where the camlbak lid sits funnily enough 😯

    organic355
    Member

    Ive been considering the POC Spinepack for a while now, bloody expensive though.

    But so does a camelbak with a padded back, a waterproof and a spare layer. There are a lot of more likely injuries. Ultimately it’s a risky sport – I’m just about up with some leg and elbow armour for riding really big rocky descents when on holiday in Europe but really don’t get where the trend for kitting up like a stormtrooper to ride in the UK has come from.

    What is it about these magical mountains abroad that makes them worse than the ones in the UK? Is it that you ride out of your normal comfort zone whilst abroad paded upto the nines? In which case I’d suggest the problem is in your head not in the armour or other people, maybe they just have a more consistent attitude to risk than you.

    I broke my arm (badly enough to be in hospital for 3 days and get it plated) at Swinely on a fire road 3 weeks ago, then spent this weekend riding Brechfa and Cwm Rhyader with no armour, it’s not that I couldn’t crash and really **** it up as it’s not healed yet, I just made a judgement that I was riding within my comfort zone (which still put me in the top 30% on Strava riding the trails on sight, so not slowly!) and another crash would be just as unlucky but no less likley.

    By all means pad up especialy for ‘Abroad’, but you can do something outside of your comfort zone/skills to increace the likelyhood of a crash. You don’t suddenly become a riding god becasue your wearing armour and needed a passport to access the trail.

    Obviously that’s all sligtly contradictory as I broke my arm on a fire road less than 5 miles from my flat!

    fudge9202
    Member

    rockhopperbike like the look and spec of the forcefield, one to seriously consider have you used it on 2-3hr rides

    Premier Icon rockhopperbike
    Subscriber

    I can wear it all day with no problems, it is covered with a wicking material, so it dosent get too sweaty- and dries quick if you take it off for lunch

    mojo5pro
    Member

    I once got bucked off my bike over a wall and dropped 4 feet or so and landed flat on my back. Had my camel back on and was fine. I now always wear it even when not needed.

    Are there an D3O ones maybe…

    That’s the same as the VPD that POC use isn’t it?

    What is it about these magical mountains abroad that makes them worse than the ones in the UK?

    Riding with AQR in the Pyrenees they prefer it. Makes some sense – it’s a long way to the hospital and if you hurt yourself it’s ride over for the other guests.

    For me I think the riding tends to be a bit steeper, more exposed (further to fall off the trail), but mostly much longer descents – ie I can justify padding up for a half hour downhill but not for 10 minutes. Still not sure it’s really worth it and if I lived out here and was riding these trails all the time I’m pretty sure I’d not bother.

    Interestingly the worst offs that both AQR and Basque MTB have had this year were not when people were on the bike – just related to being up on the hills – and you don’t see walkers in body armour.

    fuzzhead
    Member

    I used a Nukeproof Critical back protector (Sas-tec jobby) in the Alps. Had a lot of major offs and walked away unscathed, used it for an all-day epic and didn’t notice it was there.

    Recommended

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    The big difference is, if you hurt yourself on any sunday in the UK, you limp around all week and moan but it’s not normally that big a deal. If you fall off in the middle of your riding holiday, even if you’re just walking wounded you can easily wreck your holiday (and probably spoil it for others too, some of whom are random strangers, all of whom are paying to ride)

    Also, uplifts open up the options a lot… If I’m pushing or riding up at innerleithen I wear light pads and maybe an xc helmet, if I’m uplifting I’ll wear my jousting armour, not because it’s more neccesary but because it’s less hassle to wear it than usual.

    fudge9202
    Member

    fuzzhead the Nukeproof one is certainly good value but looks very wide across the shoulders, may just visit the crc shop in Belfast and have a closer look and a try on, cheers.

    fuzzhead
    Member

    i think they run pretty small, deffo worth a try on – i think the recommendation is to size up as they’re “racer fit”. I normally wear a large and have xl for the nukeproof

    fudge9202
    Member

    how’s the ventilation on those one’s fuzzhead, looking for something that I wont cook in!

    Loving my new Evoc Freeride Lite pack – extremely comfortable, good organisation and very stable. Wish I’d been wearing it for July’s epic fail because my back (well technically the back half of my ribcage) is still far from happy…

    fuzzhead
    Member

    ventilation’s pretty good – i wore mine in 30ish degrees heat underneath another jersey and it was OK

    trekstar
    Member

    Interesting topic, was reading a similar thread here – http://www.trailscotland.co.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=6720

    Seems like the Evoc backpack is the way to go.

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