661 EST. 1999
SixSixOne has been one of the leading mountain bike protection companies since 1999, yet it still manages to be innovative, incorporating new materials into its products in order to adapt to a changing market.
The way people ride mountain bikes has changed greatly in the two decades SixSixOne has been involved in the sport. Improvements in bike technology have seen the sport evolve and expand during that time.
A huge number of people now ride bikes off-road, but the way they ride has also changed.
Highly capable modern bikes with bigger wheels, lighter frames and improved geometry make it easier to head out on long rides into the hills and to tackle more challenging terrain.
This broadening of possibilities brings challenges that SixSixOne has addressed with its new Recon Advance Upper Body protection.
WHAT IS THE RECON ADVANCE?
Developments in mountain biking demand a contemporary take on protection, as Gareth explains:
“Modern riders are now riding faster and on more technical trails, but they’re also doing this in a more cross-country (XC) context, i.e. what we know as mountain biking in general has changed — in ’99 it was a small niche of riders using uplift or push-ups to plummet back down again who needed body protection. Everyone else rode XC — pretty tame trails with a low degree of technicality.
But now, the general activity of mountain biking has a much more technical skill element and just going for a modern XC ride is a riskier affair!
We introduced our Recon Advance Upper Body to act as more than just a protective base layer. With a rider shift for more on-bike and ‘on-body’ storage, we designed the Recon Advance to hold a full two-litre water bladder with the Koroyd Propack back protector in place, added pocket storage options and constructed the whole chassis from breathable moisture-wicking fabrics for maximum comfort from trail to park rides.”
MODERN RIDING, MODERN MATERIALS
Mountain biking has come on leaps and bounds. So too have the materials available to SixSixOne, which helped the company in developing this ground-breaking upper body protection.
“The Recon Advance was built around Koroyd technology. It was a primary feature in the development of the Recon Advance Upper Body Protection, knowing we could utilise the features of Koroyd to create a flexible lightweight back plate with a dual layer feature was a key integration.”
choosing THE koroyd propack
Direct and angled impact protection, low weight and consistent air flow were major draws for SixSixOne selecting the Koroyd Propack.
This, and the use of other modern materials, has enabled SixSixOne to make its lightest ever full upper body protection in the Recon Advance.
“We saw the prototypes of what ended up being the Koroyd Propack back protector at the ISPO winter show several years ago, and that got us to thinking what we could utilise it in.
The Propack back protector offered favourable characteristics in structure, weight, and impact absorption. [Its inclusion] allowed us to achieve a full upper body protection weighing in at 0.89kg/1.96lbs in size medium.
The other major benefit of the Koroyd material is its breathability and airflow characteristics — obviously beneficial for high intensity activities like mountain biking.”
test, test, then test again
Building on SixSixOne’s best-selling Evo protection jackets, it was able to create the next generation of upper armour.
“Initial prototyping considered overall design elements, material testing, fit and impact component position and body movements.
With minor adjustments and improvements made to overall fit the SixSixOne product manager worked with Koroyd in finalisation of the twin layer laminate, padded sleeve and component sizing.
The first few prototypes took to the trails for some real-life test rides and evaluation. [The] final designed jacket having been carefully (crash) tested by 661 riders and staff.”
FOR RIDERS OF ALL ABILITIES
Whether you ride every now and then around a blue-graded trail or you are racing at the highest level, ensuring you are fully protected has never been easier.
“[The Recon Advance Upper Body is for] any mountain bike rider, leaning towards the gravity side of trails, enduro or downhill. Any rider looking to ‘level up’ their personal safety equipment to allow them to push their limits in relative confidence. The Recon Advance Upper Body also features the 661 Padlock system. A unique system interconnects protection pieces to keep a locked chassis and reduce pad migration in the event of a crash.”
PROTECTION NEVER FELT SO LIGHT