Held’s waistcoat, with a back protector panel made from SAS-TEC soft protection material, makes sure the fit is suitably close. The waistcoat is made from breathable lycra that also wicks away sweat. There’s a Velcro waist belt to ensure the right fit around the base of the spine.
The 3.7 number in this back protector’s title comes from its impressive performance in CE impact tests (it lets through 3.7 kilonewtons of a 50-joule impact). It combines a hard outer shell with impact-absorbent material on the inside that acts like the liner of a crash helmet.
It’s less than 30mm thick, weighs just 520 grams, folds up for easy storage and still meets the higher Level 2 of the CE impact testing regime. And it costs less than £100, which is all to Spidi’s credit. It’s also height-adjustable to help ensure the right fit for maximum protection.
Forcefield have made the Blade to offer a balance between protection and comfort, with three layers of their NitrexEvo protection material sandwiched together to give more movement than their other back protectors, and also with a lighter weight and a lower price – while still meeting the higher CE Level 2 standard.
The dual-density protection material in the Bionic Air is designed to deliver impact protection as well as breathability and rider comfort. The plates allow the protector to follow the curves of the spine and there are ‘wings’ on the plates to extend protection to cover shoulder blades and kidneys.