Dainese were the undisputed kings of mountain bike protection back in the late ’90s. Their involvement is once again picking up pace and the new Rhyolite jacket looks like it could well stick them right back at the top of the pile.
It’s made from a breathable jersey fabric and features back, chest and shoulder protection as well as elbow pads that cover a reasonable amount of forearm too. The soft padding is made from the same Crash Absorb material used on Dainese’s latest knee and elbow pads. The sleeves are removable, so you can ditch the elbow pads if you want to.
The jacket seems too short when you first try it on, ending just below the rib cage. But on the bike it quickly begins to impress. The padding sits exactly where it’s needed and is thin and flexible enough that the jacket never feels bulky or restrictive.
The back and chest protectors may look a little on the short side but they cover the important bits and have so far done their jobs well.
The perforated pads and vented material mean the jacket dumps heat reasonably effectively and we found it really comfy during long uplift days in a variety of UK weather conditions, with no riding up.