For the Safety Conscious

For the Safety Conscious

Post by John Chil » Wed, 22 Sep 1999 04:00:00


>Date: Wed, 8 Sep 1999 14:16:39 -0700

>I would just like to add a question about backpads. What do folk use for
>protection (like for going down stairs)?

I visited a local bike shop in Seattle that specializes in downhill gear
(The Downhill Zone).  They carry AXO and I wanted some new shoes (Thanks
Kris for mentioning AXO).  While I was there I got to see the type of body
armor that the downhillers use that makes it possible for them to walk away
from crashes.

The body armor includes a back pad that will protect the spine.  The back
protection is a hard plastic articulated shell and looks a little like a
turtle shell on your back.  It will definitely do the trick if you happen to
crash going down stairs and land on your back.  It is similar to the type of
back pad that the motorcycle racers (both moto, and really fast street
bikes) wear.

I don't know how comfortable the back protection would be while unicycling,
and I don't know how much it would restrict normal movement.  It looked good
though and looked like it might be usable for a unicyclist.

The two manufactures that they carry are Dainese and Azonic.  The body armor
combo that included the back protection was not cheap.  It's about $190 to
$250 but includes chest, arm, elbow, hip, and thigh protection.  I think
Dainese also has some different styles of back protection that includes only
the back pad without the additional arm, shoulder, and chest pads.

You can see the Dainese and Azonic stuff at

Football and hockey (both ice hockey and roller hockey) shorts also include
tailbone pads that would also be handy if you happen to land on your ***
while zipping down a flight of stairs.

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