The Evolution of Protection with Dr Chris Leatt

Protective equipment is a vital part of bike riding and in many cases we couldn’t do without it. Company’s like Leatt have spent decades fine-tuning the art of protective equipment to give us confidence when something goes wrong.

We spoke to Dr Chris Leatt, founder of Leatt, on how the company began and the evolution of protective equipment for MTB.

The Origin of Protective Equipment

The Leatt story starts in 2001 when Dr Leatt witnessed a death of a fellow motocross rider. This gave him the determination to help improve the protective equipment for motocross riders eventually leading him into MTB equipment. Their first product launch was the neck brace, designed to limit the damage caused to the neck and spinal cord during a high impact crash. As the years have moved on so has Leatt, creating more and more protective equipment for MTB including helmets, knee and elbow guards to chest protection and shoes.

The neck brace was the primary product before moving into body protection since evolving now into a head-to-toe brand for cycling…..we’ve really used the same approach as we did for (developing) the neck brace which is questioning the basis of protection and what it should achieve

Dr Chris Leatt

What Protective Equipment Do I Need?

Depending on the type of riding you’re doing, the protection you’ll require will vary. For road cyclists, a helmet is usually standard practice; for mountain biking however the risk is greatly heightened and so must your protection too. We’ve selected a few items to ensure you are protected:


One of the most important pieces of protection you can purchase, a helmet does more than stop you from getting a knock to the head. Brands like Leatt have spent years developing MTB helmets to become more comfortable and provide a higher level of protection.

Leatt have developed a 360 Turbine Technology that works by reducing rotational acceleration and concussion level impact on your head and brain. Meaning even in the hardest of falls the helmet will work to ensure the injury to yourself is as minimal as possible.

Elbow/Knee Guards

One of the most common injuries in cycling has to be cuts and bruises but when coming off at high speed you normally land either knee or elbow first. By simply using elbow and knee pads you can preserve your joints from scarring for a while longer.


With bikes, equipment and trails getting faster as technology develops it’s important that eye protection increases too. Goggles are vital to ensure no unwanted bugs or dirt get into your eyes and cause an even bigger crash.

Tom Adams

Tom is a bike enthusiast! Originally a mountain biker, Tom enjoys going fast on two wheels, whether it's on the road or on the gravel, mountain bike or commuting! Tom has been riding bikes for almost 18 years and loves nothing more than getting out on the roads or trails and testing out the newest and most innovative things on the Chain Reaction website!

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