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Why do jackets not include back protectors?
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Why do jackets not include back protectors? - March 18, 2016, 02:19 PM

Almost every jacket I see comes with armor in the elbows and shoulders, but almost none of them come with a back protector. I can see the case for this in a track specific jacket where you might wear a chest/back protector that straps to your body instead of the jacket, but a standalone jacket? Why is this? You could easily say cost, but why not toss out the elbow and shoulder armor as well along with this cost cutting measure?
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March 18, 2016, 02:40 PM

For a spine protector to really work it needs to be strapped to your body. Doesn't matter if its on the track or street, hitting a solid object with your spine is never good.


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March 18, 2016, 02:41 PM

So the inserts are a waste?
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March 18, 2016, 02:47 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by beatle View Post
So the inserts are a waste?
I've always thought so.
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March 18, 2016, 03:19 PM

Instead of selling a $475 jacket with back protector included, they'd rather sell you a $400 jacket and a $200 back protector.

And this:

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Originally Posted by Chris View Post
For a spine protector to really work it needs to be strapped to your body. Doesn't matter if its on the track or street, hitting a solid object with your spine is never good.
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March 18, 2016, 03:22 PM

The inserts are pretty much all under $100. You can get decent ones for $50. Ironically the $600+ RSD jacket I have came with no armor, yet the back protector is only $35.

Any links to studies about the effectiveness of inserts? I can see the obvious benefit of having the protector strapped to your body, but I also thought there would be more benefit to the insert.
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March 18, 2016, 04:06 PM

Its like helmets. You can get by with a skull cap if you tip over in a parking lot, but at 60+ mph you might grind your face off. With a pad, it might prevent you from some bruises with low impacts, but its not distributing the load through your back, its just a pad. A full back protector will allow you to bend forward but becomes solid when you bend backwards. If you impact something with your back, that protector should lock up and spread the load out instead of everything going into a single vertebrae. The reason why a jacket comes with elbow and shoulders is that you can still live with a broken elbow or shoulder. Snap your spine and you gonna have a bad day. If you live.


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March 18, 2016, 04:14 PM

Sounds like an insert would do that job to an extent if you impact something with your back. I see the additional benefit of a back protector strapped to your person being beneficial in that it should limit twisting to an extent, and no "double impact" where the object hits your protector, then the protector hits you if the jacket is not tight.

This is all in my head, however. There seem to be explanations of how armor in general works, but nothing specific to back protectors.

Not sure I follow your reasoning as to why jackets include elbow and shoulder armor, but not back protection. If your elbows and shoulders are sacraficial and your back is not, why not have those be optional and make the back protector the standard?
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March 18, 2016, 04:15 PM

What brand are you using? All the nicer A*'s I've gotten throughout the years have one
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March 18, 2016, 04:30 PM

Here's a rundown of the jackets I've had or currently own:

- A* leather jacket (Stage? Stunt?) - foam pad
- A* Verona mesh jacket - no pad
- Joe Rocket mesh - foam pad
- Joe Rocket Phoenix - foam pad
- Vanson Velociraptor - nothing
- Vanson Comet - nothing
- RSD Ronin - nothing

The Vanson and RSD jackets are pretty nice, but they want to nickel and dime you.

The older A* jacket has really held up well over the years, but wasn't one of their higher end jackets. I'm guessing the Verona is because it's more of a "city" jacket. Joe Rocket is entry/mid level summer gear, probably removed for cost and comfort.

I'm now planning on a suit for this season's track days, but I was originally thinking of upgrading my trusty A* leather to a GP Pro or similar. No protector. Granted in that case I probably wouldn't care as much since I would be using a dedicated strap-on protector for the track, but it's still an oddity, especially when you consider it's just special foam.
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March 18, 2016, 06:21 PM

Consider this.

Jackets come in about twenty five different sizes. 30 thru 55.

Back protectors maybe six, XS thru XL, and both these articles in an ideal treatment are supposed to fit as closely to the body as possible in the most anatomically correct position to provide maximum protection at critical regions and flex points.

Trying to mate them together and achieve the most comfortable and correct fitment, given the lack of adjustment a stitched on back protector would have once "locked in", would lead to problems for the rider.

Yes, it would be possible to make entire back panel the jacket one big rigid absorption structure like a sapi plate I guess.

It's far better to allow the rider to select a back protector independently and make the fine adjustments for fitment before they put on the jacket.



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March 19, 2016, 11:18 AM

The location of a jacket insert is mostly dictated by the way the jacket itself fits on the person, not the way the insert fits in the jacket. There are fewer sizes needed as it doesn't seem as critical if a pad is half an inch too narrow or too short. I'm sure they don't tailor the shoulder or elbow pads to the numeric jacket sizes. Heck, I bet they're all the same size regardless of the jacket!

Note: I'm not trying to compare the difference between whether a properly fitted, strapped back protector is superior to one that just sits in the jacket. I'm just questioning why nobody seems to include the insert. Bonus points if you can cite something that says the inserts are worthless, CE certified or not.
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March 19, 2016, 03:17 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by beatle View Post
The location of a jacket insert is mostly dictated by the way the jacket itself fits on the person, not the way the insert fits in the jacket.
Which is why jackets with stitched in back protectors aren't exactly ideal. It's one thing if you're buying a bespoke jacket or have it tailored to fit - everything should fit your anatomy and hit the right points perfectly. But if you're not fortunate enough to afford such luxury, if I'm interested in the best fit and protection, I would prefer to have the systems separate so I can make fitment adjustments individually.

Quote:
There are fewer sizes needed as it doesn't seem as critical if a pad is half an inch too narrow or too short.
If you think a bit too short or too narrow is not much a concern, tell that to your L1-L5 vertebrae or coccyx, or your scapulas which may be exposed.
As Chris mentions, back protectors are about taking a concentrated impact force, absorbing some of it, disturbing the load for what it cannot absorb. Parts that aren't properly protected receive an unprotected load or too much of it.

Quote:
I'm sure they don't tailor the shoulder or elbow pads to the numeric jacket sizes. Heck, I bet they're all the same size regardless of the jacket!
Again, to refer back to Chris, you can survive a little lack of or or ill-fitting protection in the shoulders and elbows. You don't want to roll the dice on your back per se.



Quote:
Note: I'm not trying to compare the difference between whether a properly fitted, strapped back protector is superior to one that just sits in the jacket. I'm just questioning why nobody seems to include the insert. Bonus points if you can cite something that says the inserts are worthless, CE certified or not.
Motorcycles don't come with helmets. No one finds fault in that?
No one would ever say inserts are worthless. Some protection is better than no protection. They give you the option to decide how you want to run - use your own strapped on back, use their insert, or go without.



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March 19, 2016, 03:26 PM

Just get a good set of training wheels and you'll be fine
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March 19, 2016, 06:09 PM

This is what I wear under my leathers and leather jacket when I have that feeling. Front and back protection.
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