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Body Armor vs. Chest Guard and Elbow Pads

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So I've been looking around at some of this body armor junk and got to thinking.

Is there an advantage to doing that over wearing a good chest protector and elbow pads? i can see the ease of putting everything on, and that everything stays nicely in place, but are there any real protection benifits. Seems like they'd be hotter too.

I found many on ebay for under $100. What's with that? Is it cheap China junk or what? Most B.A. suits are $140+ new.

If there are real advantages to the suits, and the higher end ebay ones are decent, i might consider them. But it sounds wierd to me.

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i have one feels like night and day for safety just my two cents after a guy for paralzed from a foot peg in the spine at the local track had to have one

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I just went through the same debate as I just started riding on the dirt 3 weeks ago (I'm 42). Ended up getting a great deal on an EVS G5 and it works great. I put it on, zip it up, and pull my jersey over it. Done! Been riding trails and the mx track and it doesn't hinder me at all. Rocky Mountain had it on sale for $89 and that was hard to beat. Chest, back, shoulders, elbows/forearms, and kidney belt. All there and works great!

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Are they vented very well? Don't get hot and sweaty? I'm not a track rider, but I go down alot even after my almost decade of riding.

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Definately want to hear about the heat factor. Like the idea but it's 90+ and 639% humidity all three seasons. Heard something about some cooling vest this year that might can work with it. Curious of the possibilities. I'm mostly track and with our slippery concrete clay spills are a given.

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I used one for a couple races but went back to a chest protector. The heat wasn't a major issue, was comparable to a leather jacket on a street bike. You sweat a lot sitten still but once you get movin the air flow is good and it kept me cool. I was using the evs G5 and found that the straps for elbow pads were to tight and I was getting arm pump a lot sooner than normal. Went without strapping it down and had the same problem so switched back. But protection wise it was great

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I wear a Tekvest with the shoulder pads and paintball elbow pads. The combination works well for me and the riding I do. Gear up in the morning and ride all day... doesn't take a lot to get the upper body armor on/off.

I'm not a big fan of the all-in-one, can't mix/match depending on what/how i'm riding.

Some dualsport (and rainy) rides, I'll pull the shoulder pads off my tekvest and remove the back pad from my jacket, then wear my jacket over the vest. Chest protection of the tekvest with shoulders/elbows of the jacket.

Some days I don't want elbows for whatever reason (mostly before I found the comfortable paintball pads... the moto elbow pads are so uncomfortable I can't wear them more than an hour).

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Rockgarden jacket lets you include or remove elbow/forarm pads. Best i've had so far.

Many suits are stupidly priced. The Italian model is insane!

Dowsides for me are heat, price and durability. If you ride in trees, ok through trees, the mesh will not hold up. It will tear up quickly on the forearms and shoulders.

I've been told the cheap Fox unit on Ebay is a good jacket. Direct from China but i wonder if it's actually the real thing being sold outside of their manufacturing contract. Wouldn't be the first time.

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Rockgarden jacket lets you include or remove elbow/forarm pads. Best i've had so far.

Many suits are stupidly priced. The Italian model is insane!

Dowsides for me are heat, price and durability. If you ride in trees, ok through trees, the mesh will not hold up. It will tear up quickly on the forearms and shoulders.

I've been told the cheap Fox unit on Ebay is a good jacket. Direct from China but i wonder if it's actually the real thing being sold outside of their manufacturing contract. Wouldn't be the first time.

I got the cheap fox unit from ebay and I think it's worth it as it's very cheap and the quality is good enough . $40-60 or maybe a little more . The bummer is it only fits smaller guys. I am 6'1" 225 and I first ordered the 2xl and it was very small for me. I bought the 3xl and it felt like the same size as the 2xl. Keep that in mind. I still used it once and I had to adjust ...or not adjust it so a bunch of adjusting straps weren't even able to be fastened to even start to tighten. Still it worked good enough. It is still too small for me but barely useable....and with decent protection. It is hotter for sure but it feels well enough. i like the built in kidney belt and spine protection also in place. the front of your body is not as protected as a chest protector to me. I like that your jersey is shown with one of these on. I will probably pass it on to one of my buddies that may want to try it or craigslist it... I am losing weight too so who knows maybe it will fit me in a few more months after all.

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I just went through the same debate as I just started riding on the dirt 3 weeks ago (I'm 42). Ended up getting a great deal on an EVS G5 and it works great. I put it on, zip it up, and pull my jersey over it. Done! Been riding trails and the mx track and it doesn't hinder me at all. Rocky Mountain had it on sale for $89 and that was hard to beat. Chest, back, shoulders, elbows/forearms, and kidney belt. All there and works great!

I have been thinking about getting the EVS G5 or G6, but not sure on what size to get. Looks like I'm right between a size lg and xlg. I diffinitely don't want one too tight, but I have never worn a xlg of anything. What size did you get and how true are their sizes? Thanks,

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I think you're gonna find out it's just personal preference. I rode track (street bikes) for about the last 7 years and found that the compression armor suit (with back protector) was great and it was what i preferred. When I got back into dirt I assumed that would be what i wanted as well. I rode a few times with it and decided it just didn't feel right. So I went to the standard chest protector/roost guard and prefer that set-up on the dirt. You just have to see what feels the best for your application. Just my $.02.

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I really like the thor impact rig SE. Great protection, a bit warm sitting around but not noticiable when you get moving, kinda like a swamp cooler, get a little wet sitting around, start moving and the breeze feels real good. Has good ventilation, great crash protection, IMO a chest protector cannot match the spine protection/shoulder protection, the armor doesnt move around in a crash, I would think the chest protector would. The thor has saved me in 3 GOOD crashes in the last year (over the handlebars once, into a split rail fence another thime and low sided 4th gear pinned (250 2t) on a TT track) and my dad a couple times. I walked away and kept riding after all 3, my dad (63 years old) looped out on a small jump, landed on his back, laid there for a few min, then got up and kept riding. I don't know how much a chest protector would have helped in any of these situations. In anywhere from 40-100+ degrees, The armor is worth it

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Definately want to hear about the heat factor. Like the idea but it's 90+ and 639% humidity all three seasons. Heard something about some cooling vest this year that might can work with it. Curious of the possibilities. I'm mostly track and with our slippery concrete clay spills are a given.

I was at TNT (Chester, SC) Sat & Sun. It was friggin' hot out when not riding. Honestly, I was hot when I put all my gear on before riding. Once I started riding I wasn't hot from the gear. I'm trying to recall but really don't think I was ever overheated from wearing the gear. It's a lightweight mesh-ish fabric. I'll have to make a note next time I go out.

I have been thinking about getting the EVS G5 or G6, but not sure on what size to get. Looks like I'm right between a size lg and xlg. I diffinitely don't want one too tight, but I have never worn a xlg of anything. What size did you get and how true are their sizes? Thanks,

Ah, the sizing issue. I'm 5'9" and 175#. I originally ordered an XL and I was swimming in that thing. The Large fits me well. It's not a tight fit at all but thought a Medium would be too tight. Plus, I didn't want any kind of restriction. But, for example, I think the Large goes to a 39" chest. I'm around a 42" chest and it's not tight on my chest.

As for protection, I'm still learning. Sunday was my fourth ride on a dirt bike (coming from roadracing background). I washed out once on Saturday and once Sunday and never felt a thing. I've even cut a couple turns on the trail close and clipped a small tree or two with the forearm/elbow pad and shoulder and nothing. So I'm pleased. And work is happy that I show up on Monday. :thumbsup:

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Thanks, WRXcowboy for your reply on size. I'm 5' 8" and a little lighter than you with a 41" chest so I think I will go with the large.

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WRXcowboy, I just noticed you are from North Carolina. Where do you live in NC? I live in the Morganton area.

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I have used chest/back protector with elbow pads. Nice combo when its hot. I crashed with them and still broke my collerbone and ribs. I also have jackets with armor. I don't think they would have given me much more protection if any in that situation. If you hit the deck hard enough it doesn't matter what you are wearing you can get hurt. Buy quality stuff, its usually worth the money.

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I use both. If you ride true tight single track or MX it will be way too hot in all but the coldest weather. 90% of the year I wear the chest/ elbow combo and only use the body armor (Thor Impact Rig) when temps are hovering just above freezing or dualsporting. They are great for DS as you can wear a pack properly.

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wear an Under Armour heat compression shirt, long sleeve. you sweat through them allowing your body to stay cool and dry, I wear one but they do feel hot when you are standing around. As soon as you start riding they keep you cool.

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WRXcowboy, I just noticed you are from North Carolina. Where do you live in NC? I live in the Morganton area.

I'm in Huntersville, SouthEast of you. I actually want to check out Brushy soon.

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wear an Under Armour heat compression shirt, long sleeve. you sweat through them allowing your body to stay cool and dry, I wear one but they do feel hot when you are standing around. As soon as you start riding they keep you cool.

Exactly! I wear my Under Armour shirt under my body armor. For that reason as wells you will want something between it and your skin.

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