Back-A-Line & Gold Belt ‘kidney belt’ Info:
Kidney belts go back to the beginning of motorcycling. Bikes then had terrible (or no) suspensions, and roads were rough. Early models were leather and buckled. Some were home-made and others were custom-decorated with rivets and studs by their owners. The idea was simple: to hold one’s guts in place better, and supporting one’s back a little better, reducing fatigue on long rides.
Even with today’s smoother roads and modern suspension technology kidney belts still make a difference you can feel after a long day of riding. The ‘Gold Belt’ was the first modern design. It’s pioneering combination of stiff ribs, absorbent-and-breathable cotton canvas, strong stretchy Lycra and large areas of hook-and-loop make it easier to wear, more comfortable , more effective, and able to last through years of long rides.
Riders also found them easier to roll up, pack and carry than modern plastic body-armor-inspired belts favored by MX off-road riders. The original Gold Belts are nearly the same today as the belts worn by riders like Malcolm Smith, JN Roberts and many others in early Baja 1000s’ and other long-distance endurance events. Today, Gold Belts are still the most honest, modern, well made kidney belt available. They provide ideal support for all dual sport and adventure riders.
The patented Back-A-Line goes beyond kidney belt to add a unique back-support mechanism. The developer and patent-holder of the Back-A-Line wrote this story for me explaining his product’s history:
- “I’m not an orthopedist, an osteopath or a chiropractor, but when I experienced excruciating back pain 18 years ago, they couldn’t help. Some background – I was rear-ended by another car in a way that did not seem all that life-changing. In fact, I felt so effects for three days. And then I felt the full force of an invading army on my spine, radiating down my left leg, rendering me in mind-numbing pain and nearly unable to walk.
- I tried all the standard interventions – 1) the orthopedist who started to talk about surgery immediately, 2) the osteopath who tried to work his magic and, finally, 3) the chiropractor, who gave me a few adjustments and sent me home with, what was then, the state of the art in back supports – a white, elastic “girdle”. Nothing helped and nothing changed, at least not the level of pain.
- So I tried a few of the “folk remedies”. I tried the rolled-up towel – too soft. I tried a board – too flat. So I took a piece of Styrofoam and shaved it to make it curved and also fit into my lower spine. I secured it with a typical pants belt and wore it – and a later molded prototype – for two years until scheduled surgery. (Remember, it was caused by an automobile accident and the insurance company wanted to close the file.) Because I was not only walking, but was also skiing and playing golf, the surgeon ordered an MRI on the morning of surgery. Three hours later, I was on the operating table with the anesthesiologist one inch from my arm and the doctor came in and said, “I’ve never seen this in all my years of medicine, but you’re going home!
- I got off the table, thanked him, and went back to my old life – pain-free. It turned out that the “curved, firm” piece of Styrofoam corrected my old spinal mechanics (postural habits), and stopped me from further damaging my spine while, at the same time, creating new muscle memory to maintain good posture even when I wasn’t wearing it. Bottom line, I have been pain-free for the full 18years, and, at 68 years old, that would be surprising if no car accident had ever occurred.”
Regardless of if you experience chronic back problems or not, either one of these back pads will make your next long ride easier and more comfortable. Give one a try.