Aug 6, 2007

More OCD: Armour float

Sometimes I don't sit down at the dining table for dinner. Sometimes food tastes better when had in front of the telly while slouching in the lounger. Given my rather diminished (and rapidly diminishing further) hand-mouth coordination, The Wife prefers to spread out a couple of sheets of newspaper on the lounger before allowing me to put down a plate of food on it. Sensible, right? Consider this. How would it be if I went and placed the newspaper on one corner of the lounger and the food at the other, exposed end? Stupid, right? Welcome to the deeply obsessive world of armour float.

At least two of you have recently purchased armoured riding kit. Congratulations. Now to the nitty-gritties. The armour in the shoulder and forearm is supposed to protect you from impact energy and after that help you keep your skin on if the abrasion resistant material of the jacket wears through. But here's the thing. If your jacket is a bit loose, the armour can float. And don't be smug if you jacket is snug (er... sorry). If the tension straps on your forearm are in elastic material, eventually they will grow slack as well.

The problem is that when you do hit the ground, armour float removes the guarantee that the armour will be in its place (that's why the newspaper on the lounger analogy). Also, floating armour, if it moves while being pressed between your weight and the road, will also burn your skin (yes, it happens. You get up, have no external damage to report, and then when you take the jacket off, you have burns on the forearm).

What I do, is preempt this by having my own nylon tension straps made. Essentially simple lengths of nylon that you can hook and loop with velcro on your knee armour and forearm armour. If the shoulder armour doesn't fit, you're in trouble, for it's hard to secure. Remember not to use a metal ring on the nylon straps (metal can distort, bend and puncture skin, while plastic will either grind or shatter away). I've had two crashes with the straps on and the armour hasn't moved one little bit. So I think it works. It's fiddly to put on and take off, I admit, but it works.


The BATFAN said...

Now that you are being such a geek, let's have a snap of the straps (err, if it's nothing personal that is I hope ;)

Do you get these ready made or you have to do some tweaking like machine stitching the velcro.

Hrishi said...

Deja vu! :)

One concern is that the knee cap, does not bend with the knee. I hope that this does not cause the guard to shift when taking a fall, otherwise the entire purpose is defeated.
I am considering adding one more strap to the top part of the knee guard, which will anchor it to the knee.

umm... (shamelessly promoting my site) read the entire review here:

theslayer said...

When do you think up all these ideas rearset? While riding? Under the shower? On the couch? Or when you felt the armour float? Anyway, 'when' doesn't matter as much as 'what' you thought up of! Awesome post again! Thanks for the read :D

JulianPaul said...

Dammit !

you had to mention the shoulder armour. just bought a cramster breezer mesh and the shoulders are a tad drooopy. love the jacket though.

Anonymous said...

you definitely need to get a life.

The BATFAN said...


He has a great life, Thank You. Its the people who look at the details who have a life because the simple fact is :

Quality lies in detail.

So if you want a quality life better pay attention to the detail. That's why to some being a perfectionist is such a bore. Those people don't know the kind of effort and planning it needs. And when something beats a perfectionist he comes out facing it next time more prepared having analysed all possible trivial details of it.
What else do you call Quality? Takes time but its worth it and the time is well spent considering that you are learning a lot with it.

JulianPaul said...

well said batfan.



The BATFAN said...

hey rearset,

I am still waiting for the snaps of the straps (not to be confused please ;)

Oh and just so that you can patent them you have your watermarking right so no worries.

JulianPaul said...

I don't think anyone is reading such an old post but here goes anyway. I meantioned earlier that i bought a cramster breezer and that it was a bit loose, especially at the shoulders. i solved this by sticking some 'female' velcro just under the collar and pulled the shoulder armour pocket velcro up there. didn't understand? doesnt matter, now the shoulders and even the forearms fit perfectly! yay !

JulianPaul said...

yeah, lets see those strap snaps(!) rearset. maybe in a new post, this one's pretty old.

thats the only other thing missing from the breezer, the arm tighteners (is there such a word?)