Velocity Gear Juggernaut Upper Body Armour Review

Dec 8, 2010 at 21:22
by Gord L  

The Juggernaut upper body suit looks a lot like some other protective jackets on the market. It differs in a few ways, cost, protection, quality and a lifetime half price replacement guarantee.

This is actually my second Juggernault suit as after 5 seasons of riding my first Juggernaut suit required replacement due to crash damages and wear. I put a lot of hours on my first jacket as I race DH and freeride on the shore and Whistler so after five years of riding I consider the quality and life of the first jacket exceptional. I contacted Velocity Gear and asked them about there replacement policy. The process was painless after emailing some photos and details of the condition of my jacket they approved the lifetime half price replacement, upon payment and return of my old jacket. Three weeks later my suit arrived in the mail.


The Juggernaut suit arrived in its own mesh carrying bag. First impressions are that the Juggernault suit has undergone a refinement not a complete overhaul from the first generation suit. Overall quality is still excellent with a Aramid Kevlar heavy duty stitching on the plastic armour and chest straps. The main fabric is a perforated lycra weave for comfort and ventilation. One place I notice most upper body suits are lacking coverage is in the kidney and side area. The Juggernaut suit has ample padding on the side, lower back and kidneys but provides perforations around the kidney pads for better temperature ventilation. The kidney belt itself is a large 15 cm Velcro belt with 2 further velcro adjustments on the sides and 2 velcro fasteners to hold the lower chest piece to the kidney belt. There are double 3.8 cm adjustable x type forearm straps to hold the injection moulded elbow and forearm pads in place as well as a thumb lock on the sleeve. The shoulders pads are made of high density foam with more injection moulded plastic sewn overtop. The standard model has a spine plate comprised of 5 plates for heights of 152 cm to 168 cm the medium 6 plate fits 171 cm to 186 cm but as I am 189 cm tall I am reviewing the 7 plate model. All models come with an articulating lower spine plate for manoeuvrability and comfort. The spine plate is zipper removable to use as a stand alone back guard.


Motorcyclists have had the benefits of safety standards for years and standards are slowly creeping into the mountain bike world with helmet and armour ratings. Very few mountain bike products carry the CE standard. Velocity Gear is one the few manufacturers that state the CE rating of there protection. Dainese is another but the price of their products is considerably more. The CE rating is much like the helmet test where the product undergoes an analysis to determine the ability to absorb or displace an impact. The EN 1621-1 assesses products designed to protect the shoulder, elbow, forearm, knee and lower leg. EN 1621-2 assesses back protection. For a 1621-1 rating approval the average of 9 tests is less than 35 kN (kilo newtons) and not exceeding 50 kN. The back tests are similar but there are 2 levels of back protection based on the force absorbed. Level one back has an average force recorded below 18kN not exceeding 24kN. Level 2 back has an average force recorded below 9kN and no single test exceeding 12kN. The shoulder and elbow pads carry the CE 1621-1 label and the spine protector carries the CE 1621-2 label.


When you first put on the jacket the shoulder and arm pads feel a bit bulky but after a few hours of use and a few washes the jacket begins to conform to your body. After a few hours the jacket moulds to your body and gets more comfortable as time goes on. This type of protection comes with a bit of a weight penalty, at 2.3 KG the Juggernault is not the lightest jacket out there, but not the heaviest. I am uncertain of the thumb lock system. I understand it is there to prevent the arm-pad from twisting or riding up during a crash, the problem is it can bunch up in the thumb joint area after a few hours. The good news is this Jacket is only $179 USD direct from Velocity Gear and come in a range of sizes to fit every rider. There is also a sleeveless model if you do not want to run elbow coverage.

Being an older guy I have gone through several generations of protective clothing over the years. This also means I have to go to work in the morning so I buy the best protection I can get. I can attest to the Juggernault suit keeping my body intact after a few over the bar excursions. If you were looking for a full coverage upper body jacket I would recommend checking out the Velocity Gear Juggernault jacket.

The good
• Price
• Excellent quality
• Excellent customer service
• Height specific sizing
• CE EN1621-2 Level 2 compliant back protection
• CE EN1621-1 compliant shoulder and elbow protection
• LIFETIME Half Price Replacement Guarantee
The Cons
• Protection comes with some weight
• Warmer than no gear, but what is your back worth?

www.highvelocitygear.com

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Words by Gord, photos by David Harrison
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