While neck braces have quickly gained traction within the downhill community, other gear that should be made to be compatible the neck protection has been slow to come around. With their MTB Bionic Jacket, Alpinestars is one of the first companies to produce an upper body suit made to mesh with a neck brace, specifically their own series of Bionic Neck Support
The MTB Bionic Jacket not only incorporates chest, elbow and shoulder pads, but also a hinged back protector with a removable upper section to allow the rear support of their BNS brace to fit comfortably. The hinged back protector will only flex rearwards so far, with the sections bottoming out to prevent hyper extending of your back, and the whole unit can be removed by undoing a zipper that runs around its circumference. While you're bound to be hotter in it than if you weren't wearing it, the jacket is built from a lightweight mesh material that should go a long way to keeping your temperature at a reasonably level on those hot days.MTB Bionic Jacket details:
• Upper body armour constructed from mesh and breathable padding
• Chest, shoulder, elbow and back protection
• Hinged five plate back protector restricts excessive reverse flexing to prevent hyper extension
• Neck brace compatible by removing upper section of the back plate
• Shoulder pads shaped to work with neck brace
• Removable zippered backplate
• Removable zippered arm protection
• Integrated kidney belt
• Sizes: S-2XL
Want to wear your Bionic Neck Support brace with upper body protection? Alpinestars has a clever solution: simply remove the upper section of the back panel - it's held in place with Velcro - for the the lower strut of the BNS (or other another type of brace as well
) to fit directly up against your back. The entire backplate can be removed with a zipper when you are looking for a bit less protection.
New for 2012, the Moab glove features a mesh and spandex construction with minimal padding for an airy fit, but includes some nearly hidden gel protection for the outer two knuckles - perfect for when you make the switch to a wide bar and clip a few trees on your first ride. The palm is put together with two layers for robustness, but both are thin enough that those who like to really feel their bars will still be happy, and silicone grippers have been put on the ends of the two braking fingers for more purchase in nasty weather. The Moab glove is available in sizes 2XS through to 3XL, as well as black/white, blue/black/white, violet/blue marine, yellow/electric blue and the white/red/black colors shown above.
The Gravity glove may be named as if it is intended for downhill use, but it looks like a solid choice for any type of riding when the weather gets hot. The single layer synthetic leather palm is accented with silicone finger tips on the middle and pointer fingers, and thin raised sections of rubber run the length of the fingers for a bit of protection. The Gravity glove can be had in sizes S2X through to 3XL, and you can choose from electric blue/yellow, cool grey/white, blue/white, white/red and the violet/blue marine shown above.
Visit the Alpinestars website
to see their entire lineup. Stay tuned for more from Eurobike 2011