Falling off hurts just a little bit less when you’re kitted up with pads and helmets – unless of course you gouge your leg in the inevitable gap between two bits of protection. We didn’t find any gap eliminating onesie padded suits – in fact there was a disappointing lack of onesies outside of the DirtSuit stand – but we did find some new options for protecting tender body parts.
Alpinestars has entered the enduro helmet market with two new Vector helmets – one with MIPS, and one without. It won’t be available until spring next year, but we’re told the MIPS version (390g) will cost €179 and the non-MIPS will be €149.95. Each will come in two colours, and has many ventilation holes, including quite an unusually shaped one at the front that is mostly tucked behind the moveable visor.
Nice neat profile.
This Scrub Amp protection vest from Ion features a lightweight removable back protector. It’s a unisex fit, but female team testers found that thanks to the side zip, most were able to wear it.
There are two rear pockets, and there is a memory foam strip between the pockets and your back – so you won’t bash your back with your keys if you crash. Pricing is to be confirmed.
POC has introduced a new helmet, based on the Octo, which they hope will appeal to customers on a lower budget. It has an EPS liner, is called the Omne Air Resistance SPIN, and we’re told it’s a shape that fits a lot of heads. It will be on sale at €160 – so still hardly the budget end of the market.
POC is also introducing a new VPD System Torso, a chest and back protection vest which comes in separate parts but can be joined together to provide complete protection, or just back/chest protection. The back section alone will cost €180, the chest will be €100, and the complete kit will be €250. In theory, it should be really comfortable – there are moveable straps to get the fit just right, and VPD moulds to shape as it warms, so as you ride it should fit your body just right.
There are also new VPD System elbow and knee pads. They’re designed for enduro riding, and to give greater protection than the VPD Air lightweight pads. They’re also made to have as much ventilation as possible. The knee pads have some additional side protection for those annoying sideways knocks that the main knee protection can miss.
Scottish apparel brand Endura had some new body armour on display at Eurobike, including these new MT500 Light knee pads. Instead of the Koroyd Flex inserts used in the current MTR Knee Guard, Endura has worked with D3O on a brand new ventilated insert. This is the first knee pad that you’ll see this orange pad in, and according to D3O, the swiss cheese style actually improves their ability to absorb impacts due to the larger surface area. Plus they’re more flexible, and they provide more ventilation too.
The Bell Spark is a brand new trail lid that sits underneath the 4Forty. Despite being an ‘entry level’ helmet, the flowy integrated visor looks pretty neat. The overall shape shows a similar amount of coverage to the 4Forty and Sixer lids, and it also gets a goggle gripper on the backside. The Spark will be available in a standard version for £49.99, and a MIPS-version for £69.99.
Plenty of new choices, for a range of different wallets and needs. Plus if body armour is overkill, there were a few new packs with back protectors built in. So, 2019…the year of no bruises? Yeah, right. See that little gap there, just above the ankle…OOF!