You Deserve One of These...

We have always made body armour.

It’s a long time ago now and he doesn’t always like to be reminded but our founder and Managing Director Geoff Travell started this in 1981.

Geoff was a young determined motorcycle racer who had some serious crashes which put him out of races and into the hospital.

Geoff, driven by his passion for racing, wanted to get back riding as soon as possible and at that time he worked in furniture design. He designed the first back protector so he could protect himself and this lead to making protection for other racers.

We still have this important first piece in our archive collection.  The rest, as they say, is history. We still make protection systems today and it remains a large part of a changing and growing collection. What doesn’t change is the same determination. We keep looking forward and designing even better products that work.

How armour works

There are many ideas and concepts of “armour” but at Knox we refer to armour exclusively as Impact Protection. By this, we mean the type of impacts that typically occur when falling over or off of a Motorcycle, Bicycle, Snowboard, or Horse. These are just examples.

When you fall the mass of your body creates a certain amount of impact energy. The amount of impact energy created is dependent on your weight, speed and the height from which you fall.  These 3 variables have a dramatic effect on the total amount of energy that the body receives from an impact.

It may seem obvious that the point of wearing armour is to reduce the amount of impact force your body has to cope with and reducing the likelihood of injury; not all armour is the same.

It is highly unlikely that any armour will completely eliminate the impact force with exception to very low impact. However, good quality armour can significantly reduce the force the body feels.

Under controlled laboratory conditions, it is easy to measure the impact force. A protector is placed between 2 blocks of metal; an anvil and an impactor. As an example, the anvil is 10kg and the impactor 5kg. Both have specifically shaped faces. When the impactor is dropped from 1 meter onto the anvil it creates a known amount of energy, in this case, 50J (Joules).

By knowing the amount of energy going into the impact, with no object between the faces you will receive a reading showing a 100% energy transfer.

For armour to work effectively it needs to limit or reduce the amount of energy transferred, to the user’s body. In techy speak, we call this transmitted force. We use this term because it is very difficult to prove how much energy a given product absorbs. With good protectors, there should be a difference between what goes into the protector and what comes out. We can accurately measure what comes out and this transmitted force is measured in kN (kilo Newtons).

This system forms the basis of the European CE impact tests where specific requirements are given to prove levels of transmitted force. For example EN1621-1:2012 requires an impact energy of 50J, which is effectively 5kg in free fall from 1m. To pass Level 1 of this test the transmitted force must be below 35kN which means the product must absorb or dissipate 30% of the impact energy.

To pass Level 2 of this test the transmitted force must be below 20kN which means the product must absorb or dissipate 60% of the impact energy.

Generally, Knox limb armour reduces the impact energy by between 50 – 80%.
Knox back protectors can reduce the impact energy by as much as 94%

Back protectors have come a long way since they first appeared in the race paddocks during the early 1980s and the latest Micro-Lock Back protector from Knox shows just how far they have come.

The challenge for manufacturers is to design a product that’s stronger without becoming heavy or bulky and the new Micro-Lock back protector shows what can be achieved with the application of modern technology and materials.

We have a back protector for every kind of rider and all budgets. See below.

Knox Back Protectors

Micro-Lock Air Back Protector
Level: 2
Impact Score: 6kN

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Meta-Sys Back Protector
Level: 2
Impact Score: 3kN

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Track Vest
Level: 2
Impact Score: 5kN

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Aegis Back Protector
Level: 2
Impact Score: 5kN

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Kompakt Micro-Lock Back Protector
Level: 1
Impact Score: 16kN

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