Back protection…. Do you, should I?

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  • Back protection…. Do you, should I?
  • alpin
    Member

    Recently bought myself a bumbag for riding.

    Loving the not-too-sweaty back that I suffer with regardless of temperature or which back pack I use. Even with the bumbag I still have a hot back.

    Some of the lads have berated me for not riding with any back protection (off the back of (excuse the pun) one of their number having recently suffering a broken back). I have an Evoc pack with a removable back protector, but it’s bulky (and warm) and wouldn’t work with the bumbag any how. Have used the back protector on its own when snowboarding/snow kiting.

    Anything out there that isn’t bulky, offers some protection but most importantly isn’t too hot. Cheers!

    I sweat a lot, I’ve tried 3 different types of back protectors (with shoulder cups, so perhaps not as relevant), and they’re all hot and sweaty.

    That’s not what bothers me though, it’s the top fouling on the helmet that annoys me.

    Still looking for the perfect one, but until then, the best one so far for me is the 7idp control suit, with a tight top over it to keep it in place.

    Premier Icon benp1
    Subscriber

    I don’t know if one exists. I use back protectors for motorcycling, unfortunately good ones are warm…

    I also used an Evoc pack for MTB, if I need to wear a pack. It’s warm but I wouldn’t say that it was significantly warmer than any other pack, I find it more comfortable than many though

    5thElefant
    Member

    I’ve got an alpinestars vest that has a back protector and takes a bladder. It has pockets for kit. I figured it would be a good alternative to a backpack but offer more back protection. It does the trick, but it’s just as unpleasant as wearing a camelbak.

    Premier Icon jameswilliams54
    Subscriber

    This looks pretty good and ventilated

    https://blisscamp.com/bike/vests/263/arg-minimalist-vest

    Assume wearing a vest may keep the protector in place better than one built into a bag also

    jamesfts
    Member

    Each to their own but sod getting dress up like a storm trooper to ride your bike, when I used to race dh I tried a few but always found them restrictive and uncomfortable so never bothered.

    alpin
    Member

    I agree… Don’t want to look like I’m going to war.

    I thought some of the lads last weekend were proper buff until I realised they were dressed up like Knights of Armour under their hoodies…

    I don’t need a vest that incorporates a bladder. If on a long ride I’ll take the Evoc backpack. For shorter rides the bumbag and a water bottle on the frame.

    Something like that Bliss vest might do the job.

    But have just found these at Decathlon which probably do the job just as well and are a little friendlier on the wallet…. 😉

    https://www.decathlon.co.uk/flexible-back-protector-black-id_8305451.html

    https://www.decathlon.co.uk/dbck-100-black-id_8400577.html

    Have just ridden up 600m, snow on the ground and about 2°C. Am now chilling behind a building out of the wind trying to dry my top….

    Rockhopper
    Member

    You need to be realistic about the level of protection such kit offers. Admittedly I’m coming at this from a motorbiking background though..
    Hard shell armour just transfers the injury to somewhere else. Soft armour absorbs the impact so lessens the injury. Back protectors won’t stop injury caused by hyper-extension but they will help reduce impact injury, for example landing on a rock or a kerb.

    fossy
    Member

    Other than the camelbac with padding I don’t wear back protection/armour but I’m not a downhill speed demon.

    I do like it covered by something though as I broke my spine on my road bike (Stupid car driver) but in that incident a back protector wouldn’ have helped as the instant deceleration and twisting snapped two vertebrae in half – my back broke before I hit the ground.

    Maybe not the answer you are after but my evoc has a back protector and ventilation to stop a sweaty back, works well. Maybe consider a new backpack?

    Surely depends on the sort of riding you’re doing.  I don’t wear any armour for anthing in the UK.  Tend to wear knee and elbow pads for big mountain stuff on holiday just because I don’t want a small off meaning I cant ride days i’ve paid for.

    there’s always a danger of risk compensation – armour can make people feel invincible.  Someone i know who wears a full vest rig on the same riding I do (with more airtime) spends a lot of time injured.

    alpin
    Member

    Agree with the risk compensation comment….

    Darren, I have a similar Evoc. I’ve tried bags in the past with a mesh where the bag is raised away from your back, but to no avail. I’m just a sweaty bastard.

    @ Simon… Currently in Finale and rinsing some of the locals down the trails. 💪 #haulingass

    Knox kevel ii microlock back protector is by far the comfiest on the maret, its softer and stays softer in the cold than D3O.

    oh and thetrick isito use highly breathable armour, I riskrcompensate the most with aawindproof on. Theres nothing like the gust of air through a perforated dh Jersey in terms of reminding thatta crash hurts.

    Premier Icon howsyourdad1
    Subscriber

    I uses a six six one vest thing. I really rate it even though it was pisstakingly expensive.

    I wear it for rocky stuff basically. so yeah I think you’ve been in finale recently? I’d wear it there. I’m not so worried about a broken back actually, more stabby pointy rocky things.  I guess my logic is being injured leaves less bike time, so why not.  I’ve got kids, I’m 36. etc etc etc

    EVO COMPRESSION JACKET SHORT SLEEVE BLACK

    But then I don’t wear gloves.   I’m so confused.

    But then I don’t wear gloves.   I’m so confused.

    I *always* wear gloves, even when riding a commute bike in normal clothes with no helmet.  I’ve never come off a bike and not put my hands out.  I’ve shredded gloves on gravel. and had hands fine underneath

    Premier Icon howsyourdad1
    Subscriber

    sorry Dad, no helmet… I suppose they could identify the body by fingerprint records, as you had gloves on 🙂

    as I said I’m confused

    Premier Icon ajantom
    Subscriber

    I *always* wear gloves, even when riding a commute bike in normal clothes with no helmet.  I’ve never come off a bike and not put my hands out.  I’ve shredded gloves on gravel. and had hands fine underneath

    This…..in nearly 30 years of MTBing I’ve never come off and hurt my back. However, I have not worn gloves a couple of times and shredded my palms ✋️

    I will occasionally wear knee and elbow protection – i.e. At BPW. But, I’ve got mates who  go full storm trooper on most rides, and they seem to get injured more often and worse than me.

    I’m always slightly confused by the DH kids who wear a full face and neck brace, but no gloves, knee/shin, or elbow protection. Seems like preparing for the worst, but ignoring the obvious!

    Hob Nob
    Member

    In the type of accident you would have to break your back or neck – the chances of whether a backpack filled with stuff an moving around, or a thin jersey with some plastic protection is going to have little to no impact on stopping it happening.

    Of the 4 friends I ride with who have broken their backs/necks when riding & racing, precisely none of them would have been saved with a backpack or armour.

    sillysilly
    Member

    Back protection is good for:

    People who carry backpacks with water bottles, tools or cameras – can cause nasty damage. Went on a ride once with someone who had broke his back in the past falling onto a lumpy backpack.

    Riding over rocks / hard terrain. I find the inbuilt shoulder protection more useful than the back protection. Can make the difference between completing a ride and needing a couple of days off on an OTB. Especially somewhere like Finale Ligure. It’s like a mini insurance policy when you have already spent big mo eye on a trip.

    I sometimes where in the U.K. to keep me warm in winter too 🙂

    TheBrick
    Member

    Pads are more for protection of the nasty but not mega crashes. The really bad crashes will still hurt and snap you

    stevextc
    Member

    sorry Dad, no helmet… I suppose they could identify the body by fingerprint records, as you had gloves on 🙂

    as I said I’m confused

    If you’re doing leisurely commuting then most accidents are likely to be either trivial mucking about or fatal or near fatal…

    There is a decent chance that whatever happens will require gloves.

    When riding seriously off road then there is a pretty good chance of an OTB and landing on your head… (as I did on Saturday as it happens) …
    If I’m riding up a push-up for DH then I don’t wear a helmet but I wear gloves as if I come off it is most lily to only damage my hands.. as I’d be carrying a FF … and I’ll likely get so much sweat inside when I do pull down goggles they will steam up..

    When riding seriously off road then there is a pretty good chance of an OTB and landing on your head… (as I did on Saturday as it happens) …

    Even off road when I”ve been OTB i’ve been lucky enough not to land on my head. I’ve put a few decent dents in helmets riding into trees or low branches though.

    fossy
    Member

    All depends on what happens, but being bent double will break your back – that’s effectively what happened to my back – over flexation – snap.

    Every rider I ride with has either been knocked out or concussed, downhillers wear neck braces and full faces because the speeds at which they come off tends to cause them to  lawn dart a rock or a tree.

    Ditching lightweight half lids for anyting but pure xc comes from experiencing big offso whilst having a chreeky dh session when wearing your trail gear.

    Premier Icon vincienup
    Subscriber

    …it’s all about ‘fighting the last war’…

    Agree on gloves wholeheartedly, such a simple thing but after shredding palms the last thing you want is to hold the bars.  Likewise helmets, for a while I was wearing a current style Parachute for everything except commuting due to a couple of silly crashes.  I’ve eased off that now, but would still happily reach for a helmet like that if I thought it was warranted.

    Back OT, back protection is a funny one. I’ve had a couple of crazy offs that have had me slam back first into a tree, so I can understand why back protection might be wanted.  Both times I reckon the water cushion on my back and lack of hard objects in the bag was a good thing.  I don’t really get the whole ‘no bag’ thing, but if you want back protection, your options do seem to be a bag with a backboard or an armoured vest.  From my own experience, the vest things are much nastier than anything people might not like about camelbaks.

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