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body armour?

By sunny - Posted on 23 December 2006

NB: Originally posted elsewhere on the Global Riders Network and appears via syndication.

Hi all! New to the site, kinda new to off road riding as well...

A little July I had an operation in my right shoulder for a partially torn bicep tendon and screwed up shoulder in general (bicep tenodesis and arthroscopic acromioplasty - I play a lot of volleyball). Not really expecting "full recovery" till mid January but I've been feeling good with playing sports again for couple of weeks now and went for a ride with a friend near ANSTO (Lucas Heights/Menai)

900m into the ride I flip coming off a boulder and of all places land on my right shoulder. Its grazed, sore but I can still move my arm unlike before surgery and I don't think I did any serious damage...the impact missed the incisions and where I think the work was done. But its got me thinking about getting a body armour set - some of the ones I've seen have a cap over the shoulder which I would really appreciate, though I've noticed not that many mountain bikers wear body armour...too hot? Uncomfortable? Any recommendations or things to look for?


Welcome to the site! I am new here too Smiling

Yeah, some of the most common injuries in mountain biking are in shoulder region, especially a broken collar bone. The most common injuries happen in the the wrist. When riding off road I always wear knee pads, helmet, wrist protection, and shoes with good ankle support. When I plan to do more dangerous riding like off jumps/drops etc I also wear full upper-body armour, shin/knee pads, padded pants, and full-face helmet.

I have some mountain bike specific Dainese upper body armour and some cheaper noname upper body armour. The Dainese costs around $500 new, (got mine second hand about half of that) the cheaper noname about $150 new... The difference is the Dainese is much lighter and cooler, it breathes much better. Mine look like:
this one might be one of the latest models:
Dainese do make the upper-body armour in a few different styles...

I wear mine under a long-sleeve jersey to stop it from tearing on branches etc... When I have it on, it is pretty un-noticable, I just look a bit bulkier... The Dainese is also much more comfortable, and I don't even notice it.

Yeah, it does get warmer of course, but not too bad... I sometimes do over 20km of "all-mountain" trail riding wearing the armour, no problems... I am wearing the upper-body armour in all the vids here:

Best idea would be to check out what the shops have to offer, try them on etc... Also, some great deals for 661 brand armour at

But I think Dainese is best... made in Italy. I have had some 661 gear that was not good, but for the price it is good value perhaps.

Thanks for the info!

I've been looking at the 661 pressure suit:
(slightly cheaper here and near where I live)

On easier rides I can wear it just for the shoulder caps and choose to go with or without elbow pads.

Been looking at some Fox ones too...stupidly cheap compared to some of the other stuff, but I guess you get what you pay for.

Yeah, the 661 Pressure suit would meet your needs nicely.
However, unlike other suits, I believe the back protector is not removable on that model.
A similar suit, on which you can remove the back protector is the MACE SWAT JACKET.
This is a nice feature if you are mainly interested in shoulder protection... would make it lighter and cooler to wear on easy rides,

A review of it:

FYI...I went with the 661 suit today. I tried on a Hoots one they had as well. The Hoots one was a good fit and 661 small is just a wee bit big for me but still fits, but shoulder-wise it definitely has more coverage so I went with that one.

Thanks for the help! Now I just need to stack it again some time to see how well it really works!

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