I wore the hip protectors in two riding conditions Dirt Flat Track and Road Racing;
Dirt Attire: I tested the hip protectors while riding my dirt bikes (CR150F and YZ250F) in a flat track environment under motocross gear (Thor pants/jersey) - I typically wear tight athletic leggings under my moto gear (I wear custom knee braces and the leggings act as skin sleeves for those as well as a comfortable base layer). When flat tracking I wear an armor jacket under my jersey which has a built in back protector, roost guard, shoulder and elbow pads. The back protector stops coverage just below waist level. I wore the hip protectors velcro’d into my riding pants (where the hip protectors that come with the pants would normally go) and over my leggings so they were not in contact with my skin.
Road Racing Attire: I tested the hip protectors while riding my R6 at Sonoma Raceway. – I typically wear a compression athletic shirt and athletic leggings under my leathers so that the leathers do not stick to my skin. The leathers I had on during testing (Women’s Spidi Pro Lizard) had a very thin, sewn in layer of padding over the hip bone. My normal racing leathers (Custom Pilot) do not have that. I wore the hip protectors inside my leggings against my skin. (I did not try them velcro’d into the leathers as this set did not have good secure manner for attaching them.)
Dirt: The hip pads stayed in place very well in normal conditions. Standing/walking around it was no different than wearing the low profile hip pads that come with the riding pants. While riding on the taller bike (250) my leg normally has minimal bend at the hip, except when laid over in the corners. When I lifted my leg forward and up the front lower tab on the hip protector would interfere with my leg movement and push the hip protector back and out of place or it would pinch my leg at the hip fold. On the shorter bike (150) the hip protector is generally interfering with my movement in the same area, however it is constant interference as my hip has more bend at all times.
Road: The hip protectors again stayed in place very well, once I set them in place inside my leggings they did not move when walking around or riding. However, the same point of interference that occurred on the dirt bike was a factor on the road bike as well, primarily when tucked behind the wind screen or on the interior leg that was out for cornering.
Dirt: Aside from the pinching at the interference point I found them quite comfortable (not noticeable). I was able to wear them all day while walking around and doing my thing. (I am accustomed to wearing the hip pads that come with dirt pants and found these to be similar in feel.)
Road: The same comments apply for road testing as I have noted above. In addition though, since I wore them inside my leggings against my skin, I found that they started to feel abrasive (scratchy) when I was walking around with them inside my leathers (especially when my leathers were pulled down around my waist and moved around a bit more freely). I would prefer a softer fabric on the interior surface of the pads. I did not feel the abrasiveness was an issue while riding, probably because I was focused on other things.
In regards to coverage, I am obviously excited about the extended coverage over the pelvic area as this is where my injury occurred.
Dirt: With the shorter back protector on the dirt gear there was no interference with the hip protectors and the back protector. If I was only getting these protectors for dirt I might want the pelvic protection to come up a little higher and cover more of the back of the pelvis since there is no tail bone protection on the back protector that would cause interfere. The hip protection for falls is significantly better quality and area of coverage than you get with the standard hip pads that come with riding pants and it is much lower profile than you get in aftermarket padded riding shorts.
Road: My hip protectors were designed to sit tight against the tailbone extension of my Impact back protector, so that I have full coverage across my entire lower back and around the hips. I prefer the hip protectors inside my leggings as it held them in place even when I was walking around in my back protector. I ended up situating the hip protectors a little closer together with the back protector extending over the top of the hip protectors. I did this to minimize the interference with my leg on the front lower corner (I basically just pushed them back and rotated out of the way of my leg.) I found that even though we designed them to not overlap with the tailbone tab on the back protector, the overlap I added was really a non-issue because the hip protectors were held tight by my leggings and the back protector easily and comfortably slid over the top.
Overall I recommend removing the lower front “wing” of the hip protector to allow leg movement (see attached photo with taped out area I would remove). The down side of this, is it leaves a small area of the front of the hip unprotected, however the overall greater good of protecting the major surface area of the pelvis is still achieved. Also, as I mentioned above I would prefer a smoother, softer fabric, similar to compression clothing fabric for the interior surface of the protection so that it is more comfortable if you elect to wear it against the skin. If I decide to wear the hip proctors in my leathers, but outside of my leggings, I would likely want to add a Velcro tab that hold the hip protector’s edge tight with the tailbone tab of the back protector so they would move as one unit and not clip one another. (Although I am not certain this would really even be a problem.) I can attempt this scenario with a different set of leathers in a few weeks.
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Women race with the men?
Yes, races are structured by bike size. Women race in the same classes as men that have the same sized bike. However, there is a growing interest among women in racing , so many racing clubs have added a women’s class to encourage the ladies to give it a try.
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