Originally Posted by AirSwim
Well, the evidence is there in plain sight, in automotive, motorcycling and race trackside applications.
If I understood his post correctly, Licensetoill was talking about and had pictures of a narrow off-road chest/back protector which he thought had a dubious Standard 1 (whatever that is) certification and concluded by, among other things, expressing doubts about a horse-riding chest protector. These items are not for street applications and, no offense to him, the relevance of his posting escaped me a bit.
Air-cushioning and styrofoam are the best impact protection that the industry has come up with so far. The evidence in numerous applications is indisputable.
Umm...you might want to read my post again. The horse rider's torso vest/body protector is the best piece available here in the US. As far as I know, we can't get any air bag vests, and they are limited to specific accident scenarios at the moment, price is also quite a bit more, and you are limited to a specific outer garment. But, yeah, from the numbers I saw for one aribag that was a back-protector only, the force transmission numbers were much lower than anything else out there, passed the motoryclist back protector stnadard with a 0.9kN reading. ANyhitng under 4kN is considered apporpriate for rib fractrures by the medical community, and is the bar for a few body protector standards, including horse rider's protectors, but unfortuantely not including any specific motorcyclist protectors.
The horse rider's body protector standard BETA 2000 LEVEL 3 allows 4kN of force to reach the chest/ribs/back/clavicle @45Joules, which is considered the appropriate level at which ribs will fracture above. It covers a much greater area than any other piece, around the entire torso. Not a single motoryclist-specific piece gets close in both coverage or force transmission numbers. There is no motorcyclist standard for chest protection, though T-Pro has recently come out with a chest/rib protector that they say meets the level 1 of the motorcylist back protector standard as far as impact management(not coverage). The motorcyclist CE back protector standard(EN1621-2) does not call for coverage outside the basic back area, and the force transmission levels are a hugely inappropriate compromise, with level 1 being at 18kN of force @50Joules, 4.5 times the level of force it takes to break ribs, and level 2, the high-performance level at 9kN. There are only 3 or 4 motorcyclist back protectors that can acheive level 2 status within that standard, possibly a couple that can pass down to 4kN @45J. The horse rider standard uses two diffferent anvils, a flat and a kerbstone, the motoryclist back protector standard uses a kerbstone only. The anvils are basically a 10lb mass dropped from 1 meter to get the resulting impact energy.
Not a single piece of hard plastic, biofoam, or any "roost" protector or hard plastic back protector is apporved to any standard. The only plastic-covered back protectors that are apporved typicalyl don't do as well in the CE tests, but some have passed with a foam or crushable honeycomb core, like the Dainese Wave, the Astars Tech, or the level 2 passing Velocity Gear, which is a thi plastic with a core of the same material that T-Pro uses, Astorsorb rubber gel-foam. The Astars Bionic undergarment mentioned above has an uncertified chest piece(again no standard for motorcyclist chest pieces anyway), but it's a "hard" plastic, so take your guess on it being comletely ineffective as a real impact managing piece, the back protector is the Tech Race, which is a scaled-down for racing version of the Tech that is not approved to the motoryclist back prortector stnadard becuase they have taken-out the energy absorbing EPS core and used dual-density foam with less coverage area to make it more comfortable for racing use. The only proper pieces on either of those jerseys are the shoulder and elbow pieces. The last test of Astars leathers I saw, said the shoulder protectors in the leather suit were too small, and did not meet the proper sizing guidelines of the CE standard they were marked to(EN1621-1 limb protectors)
Roost protectors are good for small pebbles and durable use, small bumps and scrapes, not for falls or impacts with the handle bars or anyhting else. It is a shame, and rather silly, that horse rider's have better products available, though perhaps it's obvious they have put more time, effort, and thought into real solutions. The airbag products do appear to limit forces better than anything else, but for $150 a horse rider body protector vest is better for limiting injuries to a degree that no other available vest, chest protector, or motorycyclist back protecor is able to achieve. WHich by the way, is still minimal, it's only a matter of minimizing rib fractures and bruising. Here's what 4kN of force transmission will get you in ters of injury protection:
Level 3 Purple label
Protectors providing a level of protection that is considered appropriate for normal horse riding, competitions and for working with horses. Protectors to this level should:
* Prevent minor bruising that would have produced stiffness and pain.
* Reduce significant soft tissue injuries to the level of bruising.
* Prevent a limited number of rib fractures.