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.
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 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 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.
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 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.