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Downhill Protective Equipment

Armour Regulations

MTBNZ (Cycling New Zealand Mountain Bike) have introduced a rule for competitors riding in all MTBNZ and Cycling New Zealand endorsed, national and championship events which sets the minimum level of protective equipment including body armour and clothing to compete in this discipline in events run under the auspicious of MTBNZ.  This document is to explain to riders what minimum level of protection is expected. It should be noted that this is not a finite or definitive list of what is acceptable as protective equipment for downhill racing is evolving all the time. It is, however, a minimum level of protective equipment prescribed by MTBNZ in an attempt to reduce the frequency and severity of injuries resulting from riders crashing while competing in this discipline. MTBNZ recommends affiliated MTB Clubs also adopt these Guidelines for their own activities.
 
When UCI calendar Downhill events take place in New Zealand these guidelines supersede those guidelines contained in the UCI regulations and therefore must be complied with by all riders.
 

Junior - U15/17 (Includes U13, U14, U15, U17 School Grades)

Guiding Principle: Knee and elbow protection required with short and long sleeve jerseys and pants.  All equipment used should have been designed and sold with the express purpose of being used as protective sports clothing.
 

Compulsory

  1. Full Face Helmet
Requirements:
  • Any 1 or 2-Piece helmet with approved Safety Certification (see below) is permitted
  • 'Enduro Style' 2 Piece helmets with removable Chin-bar are permitted if they meet the approved Safety Certification below. Examples of current helmets that meet this certification are the Giro Switchblade, Lazer Revolution FF and the newly released Bell Super DH. Note the Chin-bar must be attached any time the rider is on course
  • Approved Safety Certification standards are:  ASTM-F1952 (ASTM for DH), UN/ECE Reg No. 22, AS 1698, NZ5430, British standard BS 6658 or Japanese standard T8133
  • Other 2 piece helmets such as the Bell Super 2r and 3r are not permitted in Downhill events as they do not meet these Safety certifications and the chin bar has not been designed to replicate the level of protection offered by a traditional full-face helmet. 
  • If you are unsure whether your particular helmet meets the required standard, please consult your helmet manufacturer’s information. 
 
  1. Neck Brace – Leatt (leatt.com) or similar to work in conjunction with the Full Face Helmet.
 
  1. Elbows/Forearms
Requirements:
  • Elbow protectors with the following properties:
    • Self-fastening – does not require auxiliary fastening devices to secure to the body
    • Can be standalone elbow protectors or as part of a protective suit e.g. full body, half body or vest.
    • Can be elbow only or combined elbow/forearm protection.

 

  1. Knee/Shin
Requirements:
  • Knee protectors with the following properties:
    • Self-fastening – does not require auxiliary fastening devices to secure to the body.
    • Can be standalone leg protectors or part of a protective suit e.g. full body, half body or vest.
    • Can be one piece knee/shin protectors or separate knee and shin padding.

 

Highly Recommended

  1. Spinal
Requirements
  • Self-fastening – does not require auxiliary fastening devices to secure to the body
  • Cover full length of back (spine) from between shoulder blades to tail bone
  • Can be fully, partially or non-articulated in design
  • Can be standalone back protectors or part of a protective suit e.g. full body, half body or vest.
Not Recommended
  • Motocross style “roost guards” unless with a specific back protector, not just a rear roost deflector.
 
  1. Shoulder
Requirements
  • Self-fastening – does not require auxiliary fastening devices to secure to the body
  • Outer shell should be constructed of a solid material e.g. Hard Shell Plastic
  • Can be standalone shoulder protectors or part of a protective suit e.g. full body, half body or vest.

 

  1. Full Finger Gloves

 

Seniors - U19, Elite, Masters (includes U20 School Grades)

Guiding Principle: Flexibility to mix and match:
  • Knee and elbow protection not required with long sleeve jerseys and/or pants
  • Knee and elbow protection required with short sleeve jerseys and/or pants
All equipment used should have been designed and sold with the express purpose of being used as protective sports clothing.
 

Compulsory

  1. Full Face Helmet
Requirements
  • Any 1 or 2-Piece helmet with approved Safety Certification (see below) is permitted
  • 'Enduro Style' 2 Piece helmets with removable Chin-bar are permitted if they meet the approved Safety Certification below. Examples of current helmets that meet this certification are the Giro Switchblade, Lazer Revolution FF and the newly released Bell Super DH. Note the Chin-bar must be attached any time the rider is on course
  • Approved Safety Certification standards are:  ASTM-F1952 (ASTM for DH), UN/ECE Reg No. 22, AS 1698, NZ5430, British standard BS 6658 or Japanese standard T8133
  • Other 2 piece helmets such as the Bell Super 2r and 3r are not permitted in Downhill events as they do not meet these Safety certifications and the chin bar has not been designed to replicate the level of protection offered by a traditional full-face helmet. 
  • If you are unsure whether your particular helmet meets the required standard, please consult your helmet manufacturer’s information. 
 
  1. Elbows/Forearms
Requirements
  • Long sleeve jersey giving at least ¾ arm cover, preferably to the wrist, OR:
  • Short sleeve jerseys worn with elbow protectors with the following properties
    • Self-fastening – does not require auxiliary fastening devices to secure to the body
    • Can be standalone elbow protectors or as part of a protective suit e.g. full body, half body or vest
    • Can be elbow only or combined elbow/forearm protection
Not permitted
  • Short sleeved jerseys (elbow and above), when worn without elbow protection
 
  1. Knee/Shin
Requirements
  • Long leg pants giving full cover to the ankle, OR:
  • Short leg pants worn with knee protectors with the following properties:
    • Self-fastening – does not require auxiliary fastening devices to secure to the body
    • Can be standalone leg protectors or part of a protective suit e.g. full body, half body or vest
    • Can be one piece knee/shin protectors or separate knee and shin padding
Not permitted
  • Short leg pants (above ankle), when worn without knee protectors
 

Highly Recommended

  1. Spinal
Requirements:
  • Self-fastening – does not require auxiliary fastening devices to secure to the body
  • Cover full length of back (spine) from between shoulder blades to tail bone
  • Can be fully, partially or non-articulated in design
  • Can be standalone back protectors or part of a protective suit e.g. full body, half body or vest
Not permitted:
  • Motocross style “roost guards” unless with a specific back protectors, not just a rear roost deflector

 

  1. Shoulder
Requirements:
  • Self-fastening – does not require auxiliary fastening devices to secure to the body
  • Outer shell should be constructed of a solid material e.g. Hard Shell Plastic
  • Can be standalone shoulder protectors or part of a protective suit e.g. full body, half body or vest
 
  1. Neck Brace
Requirements:
  • Self-fastening – does not require auxiliary fastening devices to secure to the body
  • Leatt (leatt.com) Brace style construction or similar
 
  1. Full Finger Gloves