It's the summer, which for many people means a trip to the French Alps. I'll be making that same trip next month when I embark on my first attempt at the Megavalanche, the maddest mountain bike event I've ever contemplated doing.
So, as I'll be pushing my limits (by a factor of LOTS) it seems that I should really make sure I'm well padded up. Hurtling down mountains on rock strewn tracks with gravity on your side means the chances of crashing are raised significantly. And as the speeds involved are higher, any likely crash is going to hurt.
Good job we've just received some 2012 Fox gravity body armour then, in the shape of the Fox a Rampage helmet, Titan Sport Jacket and Launch Shorts. Let's take a closer look.
The £99.99 Fox Rampage full face helmet has been a stalwart of the Fox range since it was introduced in 2006. In a case of ‘if it isn’t broken don’t fix it’ it’s changed very little since then. No bad thing as it's a proven design.
It features a fibreglass shell with a weight of around 1,150g and 11 ventilation ports. It’s well lined with generous padding and they can be removed when they get stinky and need washing. A simple buckle holds the lid in place. And it looks fantastic.
The £115 Titan Sport Jacket is a serious looking bit of kit, and includes a full chest and spine protector integrated into a mesh main body, with elbow and shoulder pads. It’s reassuringly solid with good coverage, and the large panels of mesh should keep you from overheating.
Finally, to protect your arse is the £44 Launch short. Not strictly a necessary addition to an alpine trip, we know from previous experience how much it hurts when landing on the hips. These shorts place thick padding in small sections all around the hips and upper leg. And combined with a padded liner, provide all-day riding comfort too.