Riding for a number of years I got through a lot of different body protectors. Short knees, long knees, full jackets, back protectors. But as for elbow protectors I did ride in only one pair for a decade. Why? Because they were the only ones that did not slip from my elbows as often as everything else and still did not cause my arms to pump. I have sewn them more times that I can remember. But the time finally came for a new pair. And I had a problem, I do not like the ‘sock-like’ elbow protectors. I prefer the standard ones with a belt that you can setup to your arms thickness. After going through what the market had to offer I have chosen the Fox Launch Pro D30 model.
Out of the box:
How much? … Those babies cost just a little bit less than a basic Titan full jacket from Fox. Are they worth it? Let’s check… The elbow guards have a removable D3O panel, the external plastic hardshell is removable as well. What is D3O? According to Fox: “The D3O® CE certified build allows the elbow guard to stay flexible for ease of movement and comfort, but upon impact, they instantly harden to provide a hard shell like protection”. And that’s the thing you pay the most in these guards. One adjustable strap located on the bicep and silicone strips inside the guards should provide the necessary friction that will hold the guards in place. So, are they worth the price? If you have some spare cash the answer is positive.
They are pretty big and bulky as you slide them onto your arms for the first time. At the same time the bulkier the protector the more protection you have. They feel pretty stiff too. But after the warming of the D30 shell the stiffness decreases. The bulkiness is felt only when you think that you are wearing the protectors. Once you start riding they become a part of you. Partly due to very good fit, mostly cause the D3O warms up and molds into your elbows. The ventilation is better than I anticipated. They heat up and they get wet from sweat, that’s obvious, but while riding I could actually feel wind gusts going through the protector right onto my skin. They did not slip while even on 10 minute rock / root descends. As far as the arm pump goes, they probably add a little but the amount is minimal. All in all the impressions are very good.
– good protection
– removable inner and outer protectors
– bulky if you’re a smaller person
Fox Launch Pro D30 elbow protectors are a top of the line product. They aren’t cheap but you get your money’s worth. They are comfortable, breathable and do not cause lots of arm pump even after long and gnarly descents.