By David Alden
I’m always a bit apprehensive when it comes to testing safety gear. I mean, to test shoes you ride and walk around a lot, to test shifters and derailleurs you ride and shift a lot and so on. So am I supposed to crash to write a full and complete review on this stuff? When the box full of 661 safety gear arrived, that’s all I could ponder. But, when I laid all of the gear out, I figured that if I did go down, I was going to be pretty well covered. From the top, the gear includes the Full Bravo full-face helmet, the Straight Jacket chest protector, MTB knee&shin pads and DJ elbow pads. Pretty good coverage indeed. Over the course of testing this gear, I did three styles of riding. The first was downhill oriented freeride mountain bike rides, the second was a couple of days on my BMX bike at the local dirt jumps and the third was a few sessions at the new skate park that just opened in my hometown, also on my BMX bike.
Before I break it all down for you, I want to let you know that I’ve been riding BMX bikes for over 20 years, some of that professional freestyle. Add to that my time riding slalom and a little bit of DH, and that’s a lot of time spent encased in safety gear. With that in mind, here are my impressions on the 661 gear.
What can I say about elbow pads? ABS Plastic cups, Velcro straps, Cordura outer material, double layer foam padding and available in small, medium and large. They are stylish, comfortable, durable and they get the job done, whether that job is to protect you while mountain biking, dirt jumping, downhill racing, skating or whatever. If you’ve got elbows, and you want to protect them, get these. MSRP $29.95.
Contact: 661 (a division of the Valencia Sports Group—the same folks that bring you AXO gear), 28307 Industry Drive, Valencia, California, 91355; 661.257.2756; www.vsportgroup.com