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Do back protectors work?

Discussion in 'Riding Gear and Bike Accessories/Parts' started by livingstonest, Dec 31, 2005.

  1. with all this talk on squids, i wanna say that i take protection pretty seriously so i wear the full gear, that is helmet, gloves, jacket, back protector, textile pants, boots.

    i've ridden around a few times with sport shoes and no back protector and i found it much more comfortable. i was getting more feel through the feet since the boots i wear are quite chunky and i felt more free with nothing strapped to my back.

    i understand that boots are very important so even though i have less feel through these i'll continue to use them but i'm curious about the back protector. i just go cruising around no valentino stuff.

    so what i wanna know is who here has felt that the back protector has minimised their injuries? or who here wears one? is it overkill in protection if your not flying around like rossi?
  2. Rossi doesn't contend with gutters, signs etc. etc. etc.
  3. Is that a yes or a no, johnny??
  4. I was rear-ended at 70kph (my speed; the LandCruiser which hit me would've been going faster). The whiplash sheared the left-hand transverse processes (the little fins that stick out in between the columns of the spinae erector muscles) on my L1 and L2 vertebrae, and the impact sent me flying 12m through the air to the base of a roadside tree.

    Had I not been wearing a back protector, the situation would've probably been grimmer.

    A good back protector is one with a big, wide, elasticated girdle belt (the good ones have a double one) done up tight and shoulder straps.

    The purpose of it isn't so much to absorb direct hits to the back as to dampen spinal movement and compress the abdominal cavity. To put it another way, a back protector's main purpose isn't to keep you from geting bruises on your back, but to keep you from rupturing discs and pinching nerves due to excessive spine flexion and to keep you from pissing blood due to bruised kidneys.

    I wore one when I was couriering. Next to a helmet, it's probably the single most vital piece of safety equipment to have.
  5. So the question is, IK, should we be frightened enough by what you have said, given that this could happen to anyone, to go out and buy one?

    You've almost convinced me, and I only do around 20,000 kays a year and most of it highway riding....
  6. Well, by compressing the midsection, the girdle belt also serves to relieve the abs and lower back from some of the load of carrying the upper body, leading to less fatigue on a longer ride.

    There's no downside to them, apart from the 20 extra seconds spent kitting up at the start of the ride.
  7. OK IK, as soon as the shops open after the hols. Thanks.
    (recommended brand, type?)
  8. Hmm, interesting... Next on the shopping list?
  9. he knows how to tell a frightening bed-time story, eh demuire??
  10. They're all much of a muchness; so long as they have a big, wide girdle (should pretty much cover you from the base of the ribcage down to the waist) and shoulder straps, and run from just below the C7 vertebra down to the sacrum.

    This is what I've got; the classic,


    It's got all the ingredients.

    More expensive ones than that use aluminium-honeycomb-sandwich construction. That's overkill.
  11. And you wear this over clothes, under your jacket, I assume? Having something fairly unbreathable strapped to your back, does it get hot?
  12. over clothes, under clothes, whereever it is comfortable. As long as it is correctly fitted and you're comfortable it should perform the task of not allowing your back to bend in certain bad directions.

    As far as getting hot.. on a hot day it will restrict the amount of freeflowing air around your skin, so you will feel a bit hotter but I don't notice that when I'm on the bike, mainly when i'm off it.

    as far as the earlier question on whether anyone thought they'd minimised their injuries with one... well I don't know about whether it has made any difference to me, but last time I did a summersault over a car bonnet, landed on my back, I remember hearing the plastic making plastic noises and thinking it must've done something, even if it was just minimising bruising.
  13. I've got a KNOX ricochet 8 plate protector which covers my whole back right down to the tailbone. It's got a huge waist strap, shoulder straps that you can cross over for a tighter fit, and it's no less comfortable than the foam protector built into my leathers.

    It's also designed to withstand many repeated impacts, whereas some other procetors are junked after they take a hit
  14. for short trips i find it more comfortable without

    for longer trips i love the back protector cause the velcro straps around the belly helps with posture and stops the insides from jiggling

    i got the exact same one as you IK, i like it its comfortable.

    as to answering my question, thanks for your help guys. the above quote from nev is good enough for me........i'll definitely be wearing it!! cheers!
  15. chuck wouldn't need one, of course :LOL:
  16. How much extra protection does it offer with the foam back of the jacket?
    I tend to wear the back protector under my jackets and they have the foam back as well.
    Every little bit of padding would help imho.
  17. Sounds like one of my questions?! Doh!!
    Yep I better get one too!
  18. I got mine for $50 (though through Ebay, but I went to his house) from this guy
    A very friendly and helpful fellow. Had a look at his stock, and will definitely be buying more gear (leathers) from him in future - and some experienced mates bought gear from him and are very happy with it. The protector was clearly a cheaper make, but it seems sound enough, and suited to anybody buying gear on a budget.
  19. Back protectors and padding have completely different aims. Padding won't stop your back from bending in shapes it was not intended to.