bmxultra.com team rider Paul Knox was in the market for new body armour. It’s extremely rare to see Paul riding without quite a bit of protection on and with his current body armour being on it’s last legs it was time for something new. We arranged the new S1 Race Safety Jacket and sent Paul on a mission to report back and let us know what he thought. This is what he had to say.
BMX is a Radical sport, and when you’re going Buns Out & Bookin’ getting Critical, sooner or later you’re going to Biff and get Trash Canned*.
When the inevitable happens, protective wear can mean the difference between dusting yourself off and lining up for the next gate, or limping home. Now I’m not a good crasher; I’d love to be one of those guys who tucks and rolls out a crash but I‘m not. I go down with the ship. Consequently this means I’ve tried a lot of protective gear over the years, and one of the best investments I’ve made is an upper body suit with built in elbow protection. A good suit that has pads built in means that there’s no risk of pads sliding off on impact. For quite some time that has meant running MX armour. The issues that I’ve found with this has been that although they’re rugged, they’re usually heavy, and often restrict the different motions that we perform on a BMX.
MTB’ers discovered this as well, and companies developed suits that were specifically designed for cycling. I have tried a couples of different brands, and the difference between these and MX armour is like night & day.
I’ve been wearing the TLD 7855, which is arguably the most popular upper body suit for BMX, for about 5-6 years, and it’s been great but now worn out.
While the TLD has been king, it was primarily designed for the MTB crew. S1 Protection (distributed by Meybo) have recognised this, and we’ve finally got a suit that’s been designed for BMX. With this in mind, I decided to switch to a S1 Race Safety Jacket. Here’s what I’ve found so far….
- The padding construction of the S1 is very similar to the TLD biofoam, but has a few less pads (primarily around the sides – unlike MTBers, we don’t have to worry about tree branches whacking our sides). This makes it a lot less bulky under my jersey
- The forearm pads on the S1 don’t extend as far down your forearm as the TLD, but the S1’s sleeves are longer and cover my wrists (which is where the TLD comes up short on me)
- The body length of the S1 is longer (and better fitting) that stops it from riding up
- The side zipper on the S1 makes it way easier to get off than the TLD when I’m sweaty
- The S1 & the TLD are very similar when you’re actually riding: that is you don’t even notice you’ve got it on
- I’ve haven’t had a hot day to run the S1 yet, but I wore the 7855 all day at a race earlier this year where it was 118°F (47.5°C) track side without feeling like I needed to rip it off between each moto. The S1 feels, so far, to be just as free breathing.
The S1 meets and exceeds all my expectations. Once you’ve got it on you forget it’s even there, but gives me the confidence that if it all goes wrong that it’ll do it’s job. And that’s cheap insurance to keep on riding.
The S1 Safety Jacket is set apart from other protective jackets on the market by the zip positioned on one side of the jacket, making removal of the jacket between races much easier than similar products that pull over the head.
New version with revised colour and new elbow pads for better fit.
- Youth X Small: Age 3 – Age 5 Rider Height 100 – 120cm
- Youth Small: Age 5 – Age 7 Rider Height 115 – 135cm
- Youth Medium: Age 7 – Age 9 Rider Height 130 – 150cm
- Youth Large: Age 9 – Age 11 Rider Height 142 – 160cm
- Youth X Large: Age 11 – Age 13 Rider Height 152 – 168cm
- Adult Small: Rider Height 160 – 170
- Adult Medium: Rider Height 165 – 178
- Adult Large: Rider Height 170 – 185
- Adult X Large: Rider Height 180 – 192
|Value for money:||5/5|
- At around $50-125 cheaper than the TLD equivalent the S1 is a performer which provides great value for money
- Paul’s previous TLD body armour weighed 730g while the S1 only weighs 540g
- The S1 offers protection in all the right places without limiting movement
- The S1 isn’t about to win any beauty pageants, but it’s made to sit under your jersey, so that shouldn’t be a problem. It is however well made and is built to last.
Well it looks like Paul’s given the S1 his stamp of approval, check it out for yourself.
S1 Safety Jackets are distributed across Australia by Kickassbmx (kickassbmx.com) and are available at all good bike shops.
review by Paul Knox/Shane Jenkins 13 July 2020
*Refer “BMX The Aussie way – Chapter 9. The Lingo “. Non-Australian’s please refer to photo below