10/12/2013 | 8 comments
The first selection from Leatt’s 2013 range has to be their new DBX Pro Lite neck brace which replaces last years DBX Pro. It is still made from carbon and weighs in at just 617g (that’s over 200g lighter than the new DBX Comp 4), yet it has had a massive £200 knocked off the price tag!
You might no longer get fancy aluminium release catches on the sides, or a flash storage bag, but considering the savings we’re not really complaining, especially when the crucial performance has actually been improved. The old DBX Pro already offered a wider range of movement than any other Leatt brace, but thanks to an even lower rear padded section this version offers even more.
As you can see in this picture the thoracic strut at the rear now features a split up the middle to improve comfort, and to us it looks as though it will help disperse any loads to either side of your spine. The plastic wedges which allow you to adjust the angle of this strut are now colour coded too in order to help with adjustment.
This brace is available in two sizes (S/M or L/XL) and then fit can be fine tuned using the different length hinge sections, and of course the angle of that strut.
The next addition to the Leatt lineup is the new DBX Comp 4 which features a new split front design which allows the two ‘wings’ to flex a little independently of each other, which in turn improves comfort.
This idea has been taken through to the rear where like the DBX Pro Lite you’ll find a thoracic strut that now has a split up the middle. In this shot you can also see a key difference between the two neck braces as this Comp 4 gives you the ability to alter the height of the rear table by 28mm. Most riders will probably just choose to run it in the lowest setting though in order to get the greatest range of movement. Talking of range of movement, the front and side sections have been lowered slightly compared to previous versions so you will be able to move your head more with this brace.
Sizing is the same as the Pro Lite and once again you can tailor the fit with the different length hinge sections and the new colour coded wedges for the strut. Weight wise this one comes in at 828g, and if you worry about colour then you’ll be pleased to hear that there’s a choice of black or white. Oh, and if the price of this one is still a little steep for you then Leatt have also released a DBX Ride 4 which is a little heavier and has a few less features, but you’ll be left with £50 more in your pocket.
It still amazes me how many riders wouldn’t even consider riding without a neck brace, and yet they don’t wear any form of back protector. Maybe it’s cos they’re not cool enough? Anyway, the fact is that your back is just as important as you neck, and Leatt are now offering this superb 3DF Body Protector which unsurprisingly is designed to work perfectly with their neck braces.
The key thing that makes this body armour so good is the combination of a compression style jacket (with not a single strap in sight) and soft, flexible padding. Don’t let the lack of hard shell padding make you think that this doesn’t offer a high level of protection though as both the back and chest protectors pass the much higher ‘level 2′ CE test, and not many of its competitors can say that.
As you can see a section of the back protector can be removed for use with a neck brace, plus all of the other main pads can also be removed for easy washing. The ‘MoistureCool’ fabric should help stop it getting too stinky too quickly though.
If you fancy a back protector but would rather not wear a full suit then Leatt are also offering a vest version which just has back and chest protectors, and then for full minimalism there’s a back protector only model. Oh, and for the kids there’s also a junior version of the full suit which is available in two sizes whilst all the adult kit comes in three sizes. All of it seems to be very competitively priced, especially considering the high quality and great design.
3DF Body Protector: £159.99
3DF Junior Body Protector: £144.99
3DF Body Protector: £119.99
3DF Back Protector: £79.99
Finally we have the new 3DF Elbow and Knee pads, which as the name suggests use the same kind of energy absorbing soft and flexible foam as the body armour we’ve just seen. Despite weighing just 294g for the elbow and 408g for the knee, and being so comfy, these pads offer a great deal of protection. The thin and breathable MoistureCool back means that they won’t get too hot either, and the cut-away section improves both cooling and comfort even further.
A single velcro strap at the top helps to keep the knee pads in place whilst the elbow ones rely on a silicone gripper inside the ‘cup’ as well as on the upper elasticated section. As long as you make sure you pick the right size (three are on offer for both the knee and elbow pads) they stay firmly locked in place despite the lack of any straps. These pads are definitely worth considering if you’re in the market for some new ones as they’re amongst the best we’ve seen and they’re sensibly priced.