This article was originally published in the July 2017 issue of Dirt Rider.
I am always looking for maximum flexibility when I ride. I am also very picky about what goes over or underneath my jersey before I get out onto the track. Alpinestars introduced its A-1 Roost Guard, so I decided to try it for a while to see if I can live with having some protection under my jersey since I usually don’t wear any upper body protection. Don’t get confused, as this is not your full-on, maximum protection chest protector. The A-1 Roost Guard is constructed of a poly material blend, and the front guard is CE certified against impacts and roost (the back shell is not). However, the back shell is removable, and the whole shell is completely perforated to allow airflow through to your body. The shoulder pads are removable, and the A-1 comes in combined sizes M/L and XL/2XL.
I wore the A-1 Roost Guard with the complete shell intact for a while and found it to be very comfortable under my jersey. Although it is not the lightest under protector I have tried, its mobility won me over as it allowed me to move freely on the bike without feeling like my upper torso was welded together. Once I got used to the complete shell, I removed the shoulder pads and back shell and rode with it like that for several weeks. This quickly became my favorite setup, as it almost felt like I didn’t have anything on. Adjusting from full shell to front shell only is super easy with the integrated Y-strap system.
I was skeptical on the sizing I received (M/L), but the A-1 guard is extremely adjustable and fit snugly around my torso. I also appreciated that the soft Biofoam shoulder pads do not stick out or make your jersey protrude outward when riding. I did get a little warmer when wearing the A-1, but it wasn’t so bad that I needed to cut holes in my jersey or needed to rip my jersey off immediately after a long moto. Even though I am not the best example of, “Dress for the crash, not the ride,” I appreciate a good roost guard that offers flexibility and enough protection/roost deflection for my taste. At $119.95, the Alpinestars A-1 is a great buy with its multiple configurations and is comfortable enough for me to wear year-round.