Leatt Drops the Hammer on the 2017 Lineup:
In the early days, Leatt began with a focused mission to fully understand and prevent neck injuries from the source of impact out. They brought an unprecedented level of testing and innovation to MX-specific safety equipment at a time when amateur and pro programs were hitting critical mass, upping the stakes and creating a new breed of athletes willing to push their bodies, and injuries, farther than the sport had ever seen. Now over a decade in the protection business, they’ve been steadily expanding their methodology to include head-to-toe protection for moto, off-road, adventure riders and cyclists.
The 2017 Introduction came down with a bit of thinly-veiled mystery: Meet at Glen Helen for pickup, but the actual intro location was undisclosed. Since this was focused on European media, Andrea, Steph and the rest of the team at Leatt had planned a full day of Americana at the Mike Raahauge's Shooting Enterprises in Corona, CA; can-coozied Budwisers and catered BBQ lunch included.
12 gauge shotguns weren’t the only thing going off with a bang, though. Armed with a mallet and a weird goo called Armourgel, they demoed the stuff by laying a half inch thick layer of it over the back of the product managers' hand and smashed it with a blow from the mallet. As you might guess, the trick is that he escaped unscathed and in no pain at all, which lead me to my first question…
A: [steph slattery / leatt] We use a material in some of our products called Armourgel. In short, Armourgel breaks newtons law. It’s a dilatant (dy-la-tant). A dilatant is a fluid where the shear viscosity increases with applied shear stress. Put simply, it doesn’t transfer the energy and the harder you hit it, the more energy it absorbs. Upon force, armourgel locks up the molecules and becomes hard upon impact, absorbing the energy. However in its normal state it remains soft at the push of a finger. This material works in both cold or hot conditions.
A: [steph slattery / leatt] We use Armourgel in many of our products but today, we’re most excited to debut them in our 360 Turbines. Placed inside the Leatt Helmet you will find the 360 turbines (blue discs) strategically placed on the outside of the eps liner. With the use of 360 turbines you will receive up to a 30% reduction of head impact at concussion level and up to a 40% reduction of rotational acceleration to the head and brain with the use of 360 turbines.
Wetook a break from the tech intensive for a more hands-on kind of instructional: Shooting guns after a quick demo by the range trainer who bore a striking resemblance to Gary Busey or an Olympic-era Bruce Jenner. Most impressive was his two-finger firing demonstration to show Livia Lancelot that she didn’t have to hold the shotgun like she was 25 minutes deep in the second main at Lommel.
After flexing our 2nd Amendment rights, we ate BBQ and checked out Leatt’s techie new gear, the GPX 5.5. Naturally, I asked some questions and got a full briefing on the tech behind the GPX gear.
Q: [aran / vurbmoto] Looks like the new gear is pretty techy...that's not old school material. What's the details on the line?
A: [steph slattery / leatt] The GPX 5.5 Ultraweld Jersey is made of moisture-wicking four way stretch mesh fabric. It is fully welded and laser cut as it includes tape-bonded seams. It’s a tailored stretch fit, so expect a more slim fit compared to classic cut gear. There is also laser cut ventilation in the forearms and armpits. The neck collar is designed for use with or without a neck brace. It is common in Europe to wear a neck brace under the jersey, so we have made our collar to comfortably stretch over the front of the neck brace and the rear thoracic. The tail of the jersey has a silicone print to connect with the silicone printed on the interior of the pants preventing the jersey from coming untucked. Brush guard fabric has been placed over the elbows for scratch and abrasion resistance.
The GPX 5.5 I.K.S Pants have 33 panels of 4 way diamond stretch material. Over 75% of the pants are made with the 4 way stretch material. Made with YKK zippers and heavy duty 1000D nylon material used for the seat area. Silicone grip is lined along the entire waist to help grip the jersey and keep it in place. I.K.S stand for Internal Knee Brace System. It works in the manner of how MIPS works in a helmet. The I.K.S allows the pant to move with the knee brace preventing wear and cutting when sharp brace edges rub against the bike. There are 4 layers of reinforcement in critical high wear inner knee area. The outer layer is made of Nano Grip material. This is also found on the palms of our gloves. It is known for its durability and breathability. One fiber of Nano grip is 7500 times thinner than a piece of hair. It is very stretchy and flexible working well when it is slightly wet making the material tacky.
We offer a deep line of gloves which vary on the amount of protection and materials desired. From the 5.5 glove with full armougel protection (the same armourgel used in the 360 turbines) across all five fingers available in Windblock or Lite materials to the 4.5 Lite gloves with armougel covering the knuckles and outer fingers to the 3.5 Lite gloves with armourgel covering the knuckles only to the 2.5 Xflow mesh glove with just a simple brush guard (no armourgel). All gloves are super lightweight and made with Nano Grip material on the palms. The most common reaction we have received to the all new GPX 2.5 XFlow glove is that it literally “fits like a glove”.
Leatt's head-to-toe protection mantra has lead to some of the lightest weight, highest protective value gear in the industry. To learn more, vette their science and shop online, visit Leatt at www.leatt.com