The best new mountain bike protective gear

The latest helmets, pads and body armour

There’s always room for improvements to protective gear in the rough-and-tumble world of mountain biking. More riders than ever are strapping on lightweight pads for those 'just in case' sections of trail.

Here’s a look at some of the best new gear we saw at the Eurobike and Interbike tradeshows.

Dainese Pro pack

It looks rather like a turtle shell (and it’s intended to serve much the same purpose) but unlike a turtle, you can jettison the extra baggage when you’re in a rush.

The us$199 dianese propack features a two-peice design that allows the wearer to decide how much storage they need. : the us$199 dianese propack features a two-peice design that allows the wearer to decide how much storage they need.
The us$199 dianese propack features a two-peice design that allows the wearer to decide how much storage they need. : the us$199 dianese propack features a two-peice design that allows the wearer to decide how much storage they need.

The Pro Pack nearly covers the wearer's entire back

As you might expect from a company with its roots in protective gear, protection comes first – and this pack has a CE2-certifed spine protector.

The dianese propack can store a ce2-certified spine protector, a water bladder along with the bare necessities in its slimmest configuration. the zip-off portion contains an additional 12 liters of storage capacity for longer rides: the dianese propack can store a ce2-certified spine protector, a water bladder along with the bare necessities in its slimmest configuration. the zip-off portion contains an additional 12 liters of storage capacity for longer rides
The dianese propack can store a ce2-certified spine protector, a water bladder along with the bare necessities in its slimmest configuration. the zip-off portion contains an additional 12 liters of storage capacity for longer rides: the dianese propack can store a ce2-certified spine protector, a water bladder along with the bare necessities in its slimmest configuration. the zip-off portion contains an additional 12 liters of storage capacity for longer rides

The Pro Pack in 'race' mode (left) and 'touring mode' (right)

The Pro Pack can be used in two modes: ‘race’ and ‘touring’. In race mode, the back can be streamlined by zipping off the exterior of the pack, which provides an addional 12 litres of storage capacity suitable for all-day rides. Even in this minimalist configuration, the pack offers a hydration bladder, helmet carrier and enough cargo capacity for a spare tube, pump and multi-tool.

The Pro Pack will retail for US$199. (UK and Australian pricing TBA.) Expect to see it in production in early 2015.

Leatt expands into helmets, body armour and packs

Neckbrace specialist Leatt has had a line of protective gear and packs for several seasons, though never as wide-ranging and polished as what the company is debuting for 2015.

Neck protection specialist leatt is branching out into helmets, packs and pads. shown here is the us$499 dbx carbon. there will also be a us$399 version without the carbon shell: neck protection specialist leatt is branching out into helmets, packs and pads. shown here is the us$499 dbx carbon. there will also be a us$399 version without the carbon shell
Neck protection specialist leatt is branching out into helmets, packs and pads. shown here is the us$499 dbx carbon. there will also be a us$399 version without the carbon shell: neck protection specialist leatt is branching out into helmets, packs and pads. shown here is the us$499 dbx carbon. there will also be a us$399 version without the carbon shell

The DBX Carbon is Leatt's flagship full face

Leatt’s new DBX helmet line features impact-dissipating cone technology borrowed from Kali Protectives, along with what, at first glance, appear to be tiny wind turbines positioned inside the helmet.

These turbines are postioned underneath the pads in leatt's helmets: these turbines are postioned underneath the pads in leatt's helmets
These turbines are postioned underneath the pads in leatt's helmets: these turbines are postioned underneath the pads in leatt's helmets

These tiny turbines rest under the pads and rotate under impact

These ‘turbines’ are not intended to keep the wearer cool, but rather, to twist in a crash, thereby reducing friction between the skull and the interior of the helmet in a manner that is functionally similar to the MIPS system.

There’s even more new gear in the gallery above.

Josh Patterson

Tech Editor, US
Josh has been riding and racing mountain bikes since 1998. Being stubborn, endurance racing was a natural fit. Josh bankrolled his two-wheeled addiction by wrenching at various bike shops across the US for 10 years and even tried his hand at frame building. These days Josh spends most of his time riding the trails around his home in Fort Collins, Colorado.
  • Discipline: Mountain, cyclocross, road
  • Preferred Terrain: Anywhere with rock- and root-infested technical singletrack. He also enjoys unnecessarily long gravel races.
  • Current Bikes: Trek Remedy 29 9.9, Yeti ASRc, Specialized CruX, Spot singlespeed, Trek District 9
  • Dream Bike: Evil The Following, a custom Moots 27.5+ for bikepacking adventures
  • Beer of Choice: PBR
  • Location: Fort Collins, CO, USA

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