RXR Bullet Core Protector - Review

Oct 26, 2018 at 3:57
by Paul Aston  
Aston August tests


RXR Protect is a French marque who hail from the MX world, but you may have spotted their Bullet protector being used at World Cup downhill races, and even making it to the podium upon French rider, Marine Cabirou. The Bullet protector is based on the classic 'roost guard' used in motocross racing, but it's designed to do more than just provide protection from flying rocks and debris.

Classic roost guards can deflect objects, but they don't really offer much in the way of impact absorption, an issue RXR have addressed by adding air cushioning into the mix. Combining plastic, foam, and air, the Bullet is designed to protect, absorb, and dissipate energy, hopefully saving your muscles, bones, and organs from doing that job in the event of a crash.
RXR Bullet Details
• Intended use: downhill / freeride
• EC 1621-2 Level 2 / EC 14021 / FFM Label
• Customizable colors and graphics
• Patented air cushion technology
• Size: M, L, XL (children's products are also available)
• Weight: 1420g, size L (actual)
• MSRP: €219
rxrprotect.com

The Bullet comes in three sizes to fit based on your height and weight (the website calculates the size you need), multiple colors, customized graphics, and add-on shoulder and arm protectors. I opted for the standard Bullet with no extras and for some reason thought the wood-effect was a great colorway. My Bullet was priced at €219 without any extras, and is available only through their online store.


Aston August tests
I was like "sweet bro, I'll get the wood effect graphics." A few weeks later I was like "Nah, stupid idea, this doesn't match anything."

Aston August tests
The spine protector has four main chambers in the center, and two to protect the shoulder blades.

Aston August tests
The chest protector has five main chambers placed in an X-shape. the main one being on the sternum.[
Aston August tests
The Bullet is CE Level 2 certified for spine protection.


Details

Imagine placing a steel plate on your chest and then hitting it with a hammer - it's still going to hurt even though it deflected the hammer blow from puncturing your skin. This is how classic plastic roost guards work to protect from debris. The chances of getting 'roosted' on a mountain bike are low, and taking this idea to a mountain bike to protect you from crashing doesn't offer great absorption from impacts, which is where the Bullet aims to help.

The Bullet has plastic and foam to help deal with impacts, but the air chambers are what really set it apart. There are five chambers placed in an X-shape on the chest, and four chambers complete the spine protector. During low-speed movements, the air can pass between all chambers for flexibility and comfort, but under heavy impacts and rising pressure, valves between the chambers will close to increase protection with increasing pressure in the zone that is taking the brunt of the impact.

RXR have some have some impressive stats and patents to talk about which suggest that in terms of pure core protection, including bones and vital organs, this is the safest option on the market. In terms of certified safety standards, the Bullet passes EC 1621-2 Level 2, and FFM Label tests which relate to spine protection, and EC 14021 which covers the chest and spine. Simply holding this product against some others that have passed the same tests it is clear to see that the Bullet is on another level. Why? it simply has more coverage, thickness, and mass than most other products. The safety tests mentioned only drop a weight on to a specific area, so for example, you could have a 5cm wide spine protector that exceeds all tests, then you land on your kidney on a stump... I think that makes the point.

Aston August tests


In Action

You probably don't want any more things to faff with before you go on a ride, after cleaning your bike, oiling your chain, moaning at me in the PB comments, checking air pressures in tires, cleaning your goggle lenses, then checking the air pressure in your body armor... Wait, I need to check the air pressure in my body armor? Yes, but it is a simple job and can be done with the included pump (or any Schraeder pump); simply inflate to 10psi and the blow off valve with let you know when it is up to pressure. This only needs to be done every few weeks as a checkup.


Aston August tests
It's simple to don, just put the Bullet over your head and clip on the side strap.
Aston August tests
"Hold on guys, I just need to check my tire and body armor pressure before we leave."


There's not much to say about the Bullet protector in real-world action, as I don't really like smashing my chest or spine into the ground on a daily basis. Taking the protector on and off takes seconds and is easier than body armor worn under clothing, which is especially useful on hot days when you're riding and taking short breaks in between downhill runs. This also keeps the Bullet clean from perspiration and means that it only needs a wipe or hose-down after riding. The third advantage of wearing the Bullet over clothing is that thanks to all the channels in the foam it is also much cooler than many other body armor options.

At nearly a kilo and a half in weight, the Bullet is a big piece of kit, but being placed so close to the core the mass is not really noticeable and doesn't restrict core or shoulder movement. The overall comfort is great, with no seams or itchy fabrics against your skin, but there were two discomforts that stood out to me straight away – the first was that when I was leaning back on drops of going over rises the guard would push into my arms at the top of my biceps for a split second. That's not a major issue on its own, but it gets frustrating when it happens 3-4 times per run, although it could be down to having narrow shoulders for my height. Slightly more annoying was the fact that the lower part of the guard pressed gently into the curve of my lower back, which happened for the majority of downhill runs. This did ease after a few days riding and the guard started to bed-in, but it did not go away completely. It seems as if I'm in between sizes - if I had a shorter or longer torso this likely wouldn't be an issue.



Aston August tests



Pinkbike's Take
bigquotes The Bullet is a chunky piece of kit - it's definitely not a lightweight protector for longer rides. However, it does provide a huge level of core protection for riders who value safety, and is very well suited to downhill and bike park riding.Paul Aston



83 Comments

  • + 98
 I woodn't get that color way....
  • - 7
flag fuwafuwa (Nov 1, 2018 at 0:34) (Below Threshold)
 hidden in the woods
  • + 34
 It's knot the kind of look I'd go for either.
  • + 38
 It does seem to go against the grain.
  • + 22
 You'd have to be Barking mad to choose that colour
  • + 18
 Some of these jokes are lumbering, that's for sure.
  • - 16
flag chyu (Nov 1, 2018 at 2:29) (Below Threshold)
 Makes you looks like a deer haha
  • + 6
 it will last well if you treet it right
  • + 15
 Really? I've been pining for just this sort of thing
  • - 4
flag gotohe11carolina (Nov 1, 2018 at 4:08) (Below Threshold)
 Not something I wood go for
  • - 9
flag w0dge (Nov 1, 2018 at 4:18) (Below Threshold)
 Is it 'Artisan' and from a sustainable source that doesn't harm orangutans? If so, then i shall buy one, it'll look just lovely in the orangery. Did i mention I was vegan?
  • + 2
 I will not be getting a woody over this.
  • + 5
 LEAF RXR BULLET CORE ALONE!!!
  • + 7
 Yeah @Boardlife69, go get them. I'm rooting for ya.
  • + 2
 Let’s get to the root of the matter, I wood wear this.
  • + 6
 Branching out and taking trunk protection to the next level!
  • + 3
 @VtVolk: you can't knot try it
  • - 1
 Instead of riding the bench, the bench rides with you.
  • + 3
 maybe a little color, perhaps some green, would spruce it up
  • + 3
 I've just watched the promo vid, the narrator's voice had a lovely timber.
  • + 1
 You've got be joaking mate...
  • + 1
 Forget the color, at least the product gets to the roots of the problem.
  • + 31
 After the shooting in Morzine last month, it blending in such a good idea?

That said, I still want one!
  • + 18
 that was dark....
  • + 7
 Only if its bullet proof.
  • + 2
 @Boardlife69: Kevlar version is next
  • + 23
 combine that with some hardshell arm and leg pads and youre ready to fight aliens
  • + 4
 clawless aliens, then :p
  • - 4
flag robdpzero (Nov 1, 2018 at 3:32) (Below Threshold)
 need a morita mk3 assault rifle and you’re ready for war.
  • + 4
 @evildos: Aliens that only punch you kind of hard. Anything more and you're still boned.
  • + 14
 Can you patch it if it punctures on a rock or thorn? Or would it take tubeless sealant? Or is there a way to replace the entire air chamber? I know just like a helmet sometimes after a hard crash the thing is just done and you have to replace it. But for instance when the padding of my protector (EVOC) breaks, they'll send a replacement.

Other than that, I was also interested in neck brace compatibility.
  • + 9
 I wouldn't buy an armoured that top had no shoulder pads, I seem to land on my shoulder about once a year
  • + 2
 You put it under your wife beater. It doesn’t cover your Maori tattoos or bicep. Everyone can see how hard you curl.
  • + 11
 @WAKIdesigns:
Not sure why he would have Maori tats if he's from oz.
  • + 3
 @WAKIdesigns: wrong country Waki. Andrew9 is an Aussie, not a kiwi!
  • + 1
 @Kiwiplague: There's a difference?
  • + 7
 Maybe if I had some New Zealand ancestors I wouldn't have to wear pads so I don't look like a reject for the role of Gollum
  • + 4
 @Trailsoup: ooohh, them's fighting words!
  • + 11
 @Trailsoup: Yes - Kiwi bowlers don't carry sandpaper.
  • - 5
flag WAKIdesigns (Nov 1, 2018 at 2:32) (Below Threshold)
 @Kiwiplague: Funny how you react this way since I didn't have nationality in mind at all. Didn't even think about the reviewer. Rather a typical park rat in T-shirt with cut out arms showing crappy tats. Only to scratch the shit out of them. That often means "pseudo-Maori", "Maori like" crap with name of his mother or other thing that means so much to him, he needs it tattooed to not forget. I may as well have mentioned some Chinese letters and a dragon. You Aussies and Kiwis should really sort it out between yourselves once and for good. I say Kiwis win because of Queenstown and no deadly animals. They are betters.
  • + 5
 @WAKIdesigns: can you stop sitting on the fence
  • - 6
flag WAKIdesigns (Nov 1, 2018 at 3:34) (Below Threshold)
 @sewer-rat: No! They are all descendants of criminals! After all I like sitting up here... Crikey! I looked down and they're all ANGRYY! ooooh they're angry! I'll play Kylie Minage from Spotify, it should calm them down... I should be so lucky lucky lucky lucky
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: that film once were warriors
  • - 12
flag harrybrottman (Nov 1, 2018 at 5:15) (Below Threshold)
 @WAKIdesigns: You need to get yourself a time out ban from PB - the things you are saying are super offensive and not funny.
  • - 1
 @harrybrottman: super offensive. For a troll that’s like getting a Christmas present. Listen, I mean no malice. I piss on borders and cultural differences. It was your countrymen who brought it up. Whole thing is a one big coincidence. One of the keys to happiness: Treat yourself lightly and the world deeply. I live by it, it really makes your life easier. Everyone should be able to get some rough.

Super offensive, Jesus... I wish to apologize. Like a Canadian. For being such a delirious Polish SOB. Again, no hard feelings.
  • + 5
 @WAKIdesigns: Is there literally anything you can say that wont be 'super offensive' to somebody now - seemingly anything can be twisted to 'trigger' somebody in some manner.

@harrybrottman: give it a rest, Im with Waki on this one, when he referenced tattos I didnt even think of the nationality either, here in the UK we call them 'tribals' - it was fashionable to have them for a while and they look super crap on the average Brit, when he mentioned them I had an image of the kind of guy he was referencing, a 'park bro' with tribals, a vest, beat up old Kona etc.

Have this attitude and censorship and trigger warnings are just around the corner - stop pretenting to be offended and stop taking offence on behalf of others unless you know for sure the comment was intended to cause upset.
  • + 3
 @harrybrottman: lmaooooo WATCH OUT GUYS WE GOT A FAIRY
  • + 1
 He is right... I should get a ban. I need mandatory time off. I must say though... if he said it in my high school class, he'd get his butt kicked. He'd be physically and mentally crushed. That's why East Europeans are often hard to get offended... after they grabbed you by the balls flipped you upside down and put your head into unflushed toilet, you would be able to take some sht. Trust me... I love how I got from chest protector to being dipped in the poop. I should get banned. I need holidays!
  • + 5
 @harrybrottman: snowflake.
  • + 5
 @harrybrottman:


Don't listen to these homophobes. You be you, girl.
  • + 0
 @Kiwiplague: Wrong land. Aotearoans salute you
  • + 6
 I have been using it for 2 years now for DH and park riding and I must say it's the best upper body protection I've ever used. Easy to put on, easy to remove on the gondola during hot days, easy to clean, not smelly, comfy and offers really good protection, way better than any other "roost guard". I've had some big slams in rocks/trees and it saved my ribs/back/organs many times. On the heavy side for sure but still going strong after 2 years. Would recommend.
  • + 9
 Sweet! Now the trees won't see me coming!
  • + 9
 But they will still be there
  • + 4
 I'd totally wear this. I use my motocross chest protector when I'm at ski resorts and it has saved me more than once. Instead of rolling across the ground after a crash you just slide like a turtle on its back!
  • + 4
 I ruptured my spleen and was off the bike for three months. One week after getting back in the saddle, I crashed and broke two ribs on Monday. I'm very much into this.
  • + 2
 As someone who has broken his lower back on an otb crash a month ago, this looks like the armor I want. Anyone know any other solid body protectors that are comparable? Trying to protect my neck and spine mainly.
  • - 10
flag LOLWTF (Nov 1, 2018 at 9:23) (Below Threshold)
 This the kind of shit that happens once in a lifetime, you're good now that you've paid your dues. No need for this snake oil
  • + 5
 What's the recommended psi for the optional codpiece?
  • + 2
 Depends, it should be 1 psi per inch of utilized protector. Most people will need about 6 psi. For very low values please consider the insert instead.
  • + 1
 @Konyp: Needs pink and blue packing lest the wrong gender purchases the insert
  • + 4
 After looking at the title, I honestly thought this was going to be another tire insert review.
  • + 1
 Just got my Bullet today with the Shoulder Bumper. The Bullet is really nice, the shoulder bumper (fingers crossed) seems like it will keep me from ever breaking or separating my shoulder again. As for the neck brace it does work but also feels like it might be really bulky. I will get some rides in as soon as I can and post up. The Bullet is easy as can be, the Shoulder Bumper needs to come with a better user manual and fit instructions. I spent 3 hours just trying to figure our how to get a decent fit to it. The manual SUCKS and the online vid's are no help. Maybe Ill call them....
  • + 3
 It would be cool if they made a really light duty one for trail trail riding. Maybe someone does? Share a link if they do.
  • + 2
 After major surgery and 7 days in ICU at Vancouver General something like this would have saved my bacon.
  • + 2
 Make it in hi viz orange and you've got a deal! This wood pattern is cool, but is dangerous during hunting season!
  • + 3
 Doubles as paneling for that 70's look
  • + 3
 Can Easy-E's nephew pop a cap in me and I will survive wearing it?
  • + 2
 Boy should have known by now Ez duz it
  • + 3
 Does it protect against hunter's bullets?
  • + 3
 I hope they don't inflate the price.
  • + 2
 I like it, but it needs an integrateable neckbrace.
  • + 1
 That will be great for my XC rides. I have known to get pretty Rampagy on flat trails.
  • + 2
 do they make it in american highschool colors?
  • + 2
 How about a built in neck brace?
  • + 3
 This has got me pumped
  • + 1
 Will this work with my Leatt Neck Brace? I need all the protection I can get.
  • + 1
 That thing will match the walls in my pop's bonus room
  • + 2
 double arigato mr roboto
  • + 1
 Anyone know a body armor with d30 around arm/bicep I need that.
  • + 1
 Murphy, it's you?
  • + 1
 Loving the dove tails
  • - 2
 Fall protection for dentists? Or orthodontists? Or the mortals we don't want to be?

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