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Old 03-10-2009, 06:13 PM   #1
DirtyBiker OP
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HELP - sewn in armor vs strap on armor?

I personally participate on multi-day and some multi week rides with at least 50% dirt \ 50% paved and I always wear gear with sewn in armor. My jacket has shoulder and elbow armor and the pants have knee and side hip armor. Comfortable and safe but some of you are stating these are not as safe as strap on armor?

However, IMO strap on armor can irritate the skin due to consistent friction between the straps and the skin (ouch) and especially during long hot days eventually causing pain - right?

Then I hear riders state that strap on armor is better because the armor itself is a higher quality armor then what is provided in sewn in gear? REALLY?

What do you use – for what kind of rides – and what do you think is better?
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DirtyBiker screwed with this post 03-10-2009 at 06:55 PM
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Old 03-10-2009, 08:34 PM   #2
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inquiring minds wanna know.

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Old 03-11-2009, 08:40 AM   #3
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hehe you said strap on
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Old 03-11-2009, 09:29 AM   #4
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Due to the absence of armor in my Dakar Pant, I picked up some Bionic Knee Protection by Alpinstar which uses velcro straps to wear them. You are absolutely correct that occasionally they chaf and become uncomfortable. I usually wear them over some silk long johns. In summer it can really be a bit warm but it is great armor and provides excellent protection when I want to push the limit off road.

On road trips I usually wear a sewn in pair of riding pants.

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Old 03-11-2009, 01:37 PM   #5
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My Stich has built in armor top and bottom, the downside is it can pretty easily rotate out of position in a crash. But it is comfortable and easy to use.

My roadrace leathers fit skin tight and have built in protection. They do not move out of position, but they are also not comfortable and would be rediculously restrictive (in terms of moving around) on a dirt bike.

With my offroad gear, the leg protection is under the gear. I have strap on knee braces, and hip pads built into my lycra shorts under baggy over the boot pants. To have a pair of pants that offer the freedom of movement required when offroading, you really need to have the leg protection strapped on to keep it in place.

For the top half, I am sure a strap on pressure suit is the most secure, but I use a jacket with built in armor cause it's more comfortable. It is easy to see how easily the elbow/shoulder pads can be rotated out of place in a crash. Strapped on under the gear would definately be safer.
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Old 03-11-2009, 04:11 PM   #6
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If you go strap on,look at the T Pro/Forcefield stuff from www.johnsonleather.com
It's as comfy as you are going to find and very higly rated.
They also have coolmax shirts/pants with built in/removable full armor

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Old 03-11-2009, 05:02 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JR356
If you go strap on,look at the T Pro/Forcefield stuff from www.johnsonleather.com
It's as comfy as you are going to find and very higly rated.
They also have coolmax shirts/pants with built in/removable full armor

JR356
Hehe, I get to repeat my post from another thread:

I bought these Forcefield protectors at the IMS in Greenville a few weeks ago. While I like them, they are already falling apart because the straps are too short for a normal person (6'4"/35"), meaning I had to really stretch them and the stitching is already coming apart :-(



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Old 03-11-2009, 06:18 PM   #8
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Those forcefield protectors look well built from the pictures. However, they don't look very flexible and the straps on that bare skin simply looks uncomfortable especially on long trips.

Also many riders ride with sewn in armor on jackets but don't report that their armor didn't protect them. Fortunately I have not crashed yet but now I am wondering.
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Old 03-11-2009, 06:43 PM   #9
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I bought the limb tube style,should have clarified that.They seem to be holding up well.

They are very flexible,much more than the hard shell armor out there,but not at all flimsy like a lot of factory armor already in jackets/pants.

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Old 03-12-2009, 05:24 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JR356
I bought the limb tube style,should have clarified that.They seem to be holding up well.

They are very flexible,much more than the hard shell armor out there,but not at all flimsy like a lot of factory armor already in jackets/pants.

JR356
I looked at those as well, I would have preferred those. Unfortunately, a lifetime of cycling has left me with calves incompatible with most riding gear, including the Forcefield tubes, and also their full pants with armor (tried those on at the IMS). Bummer...

Most of the armor I have looked at is 'one size fits all', which really means they fit the average rider. If you're outside the bell curve's center, you're screwed.

BTW; about built-in armor: in most of my gear (Olympia, Fieldsheer, Tourmaster, HG) the knee armor has the tendency to rotate to the inner side of the leg. It's for this reason that I prefer strapped-on armor. Now I just need to find some that fits me...
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Old 03-12-2009, 08:50 PM   #11
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Reverse - do you mean that the sewn armor rotates when you fall, during when you ride, or anytime? did you feel they were reliatively loos fitting pants?
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Old 03-13-2009, 07:37 AM   #12
The Yeti
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Thor Force Knee Guards

I use these



Great protection, not too expensive, and come in different sizes.
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Old 03-13-2009, 08:52 AM   #13
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I took the knee armor out of my Darien pants and Roadcrafter and use MX style knee/shin guards. It just feels better and safer.
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Old 03-13-2009, 08:59 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DirtyBiker
Reverse - do you mean that the sewn armor rotates when you fall, during when you ride, or anytime? did you feel they were reliatively loos fitting pants?
It rotates while riding. Some more than others, but they all do it. Makes me wonder what they'll protect should I go down.
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Old 03-13-2009, 04:23 PM   #15
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reverse: definetely, if they rotate while riding I can't imagine they are safe during a fall. But that may be a problem with the fit of your pants.

I have never had my sewn in rotate like that. I guess being a slightly bigger guy (36 waist) the pants have a tighter fit and thus don't rotate.
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