OVER THE YEARS I’ve run so many different types of body armour I’ve lost count. When I was a punter I ran the chainmail-style suits but quickly learned they were too hot and uncomfortable.
So I started wearing chest protectors and they’ve been my go-to for the last six or seven years. Lately I’ve been wearing the Axo Pentagon Bio Frame which is structured like most chest protectors with a hard outer shell, soft lining and waist straps to hold it all together.
FITTING The shell is made from hard plastic but it’s not rigid because it’s made of numerous small sections. It allows the body armour to shape to your torso and makes for a comfortable fit.
ADJUSTING The waist straps are adjustable and elastic, making it easy to adjust them to a comfortable size. Even for someone who’s built like a broom handle I could get the armour tight enough so it wasn’t moving about and rubbing.
BREATHABILITY A big turn-off for a lot of riders when it comes to body armour is the lack of airflow. The Axo Pentagon Bio Frame addresses this, as the plastic shell is covered in vents and the lining has divots so only a small part of the armour touches your skin. It allows air to flow in the front and exhaust out the back.
WE DON’T RATE
GRABBO PINCHING IT When Ben Grabham asks to borrow your body armour you don’t say no. I happily handed it over and now I’m hoping to one day get it back so I can sell it on eBay. He did ask me to sign the body armour but I had to decline, don’t want to hurt that resale value of course.
Digital Editor Olly Malone
Ben Grabham wanted to try our Axo armour, most likely because he saw how well I rode while wearing it and was looking for any advantage over the other Veterans at the A4DE. He didn’t even want me to wash it and we’d been riding all day in 35-degree heat! So here is Grabbo’s take on the Axo body armour:
Ninety per cent of my career I’ve worn body armour and I’ve tried all sorts of brands. It’s funny to see most of the young guys these days don’t wear anything, I think Chucky is one of the few wearing body armour, but I like to have some sort of protection.
At the end of the day nothing is going to save you in a big crash but body armour like this AXO stuff stops branches and sticks from whipping you or sticking you in the rubs or guts. At Finke for example, if you’re running down the edge of the tree line looking for the smooth track and get whipped by a stick it’ll make you cry.
It’s not too bulky, pretty cumfy and easy to take on and off. At the A4DE I wore it under my jersey so it didn’t block the sponsors’ logos on my jersey and it’s slim enough to be cumfy.
The Four-Day was as humid and shitty as it gets and it didn’t bother me. I didn’t cook. I just wore it straight on my skin with no undershirt or anything.
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