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Old 10-04-2012, 09:10 AM   #1
daveinva OP
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Best way to protect your collarbone?

Reading all the Face Plant threads, I'm struck by just how common it is for get-offs in either dirt or on the street to result in a snapped collarbone. It's enough to make a man paranoid.

What's contributing to my paranoia is a successful turn in losing weight (a LOT of weight) that has exposed my upper body to a degree previously unseen. What used to be a nice padding of fat and fat-bearing muscle has given way to exposed collarbones, shoulders and ribs. Forget falling off a bike-- I'm wary now of just *slipping on ice* this winter and cracking something.

Lately, I'm nearly exclusively riding street-- while I'm ATGATT, when it comes to street riding, that's generally just a jacket with elbow, shoulder and back armor, i.e. I don't want to ride street wearing full-on dirt armor.

I intend to start doing more weightlifting to pad and strengthen my upper body, but in the meantime, any gear recommendations? Would a neck brace help? Chest armor inserts? Airbag vest?

Or should I just not worry about it?

Man, paranoia and OCD are *not* a fun combination...
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Old 10-04-2012, 09:34 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daveinva View Post
Reading all the Face Plant threads, I'm struck by just how common it is for get-offs in either dirt or on the street to result in a snapped collarbone. It's enough to make a man paranoid.

What's contributing to my paranoia is a successful turn in losing weight (a LOT of weight) that has exposed my upper body to a degree previously unseen. What used to be a nice padding of fat and fat-bearing muscle has given way to exposed collarbones, shoulders and ribs. Forget falling off a bike-- I'm wary now of just *slipping on ice* this winter and cracking something.

Lately, I'm nearly exclusively riding street-- while I'm ATGATT, when it comes to street riding, that's generally just a jacket with elbow, shoulder and back armor, i.e. I don't want to ride street wearing full-on dirt armor.

I intend to start doing more weightlifting to pad and strengthen my upper body, but in the meantime, any gear recommendations? Would a neck brace help? Chest armor inserts? Airbag vest?

Or should I just not worry about it?

Man, paranoia and OCD are *not* a fun combination...
No crashy=no breaky!

I am surprised that the new BMW accessory line does not include one of these:



It is only slightly more expensive than a new 1600?

But if you can afford the bike you can afford the gear!
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Old 10-04-2012, 09:46 AM   #3
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I've had good luck with Turtle Wax Carnuba Collarbone Polish. That, and I try not to leave the couch unless absolutely necessary.
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Old 10-04-2012, 09:52 AM   #4
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This resulted in this.....



So don't do that and you should be good.
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Old 10-04-2012, 12:50 PM   #5
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I was told once by a physician who was, at the time, looking at my broken collarbone, that the collarbone is in fact designed to break when a certain amount of force is exerted upon it. This "break" sort of short-circuits the force of an impact on the shoulder or arm and keeps the impact from reaching your neck and/or head, causing spinal injuries or head trauma. So the fragile collarbone is actually a design feature of the human body.

Maybe the doc was dumbing it down for me, but it made sense at the time.
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Old 10-04-2012, 01:28 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KEELAYMONSTER
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Old 10-04-2012, 02:21 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr_Gone View Post
I was told once by a physician who was, at the time, looking at my broken collarbone, that the collarbone is in fact designed to break when a certain amount of force is exerted upon it. This "break" sort of short-circuits the force of an impact on the shoulder or arm and keeps the impact from reaching your neck and/or head, causing spinal injuries or head trauma. So the fragile collarbone is actually a design feature of the human body.

Maybe the doc was dumbing it down for me, but it made sense at the time.

No, that's exactly right. It's like a "crumple zone" for your spine, neck and head.

That said, if you are adding EXTRA protection to defer the impact before it reaches your collarbone, you are not removing the "function" of the collarbone. What might be dangerous for your spine is to attempt to use something like an exoskeleton to brace the collarbone.
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Old 10-04-2012, 02:36 PM   #8
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As bone breaks go, a collar bone isn't too painful and heals fairly quickly. You can be back on the bike in 4 to 6 weeks. Wrists and ankles really suck and can keep you off the bike for a long time. I've got to say broken ribs, while not too debilitating, were painful for an incredibly long time.
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Old 10-04-2012, 04:03 PM   #9
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The BMW back protector has some padding for the collarbone. Here's the webBikeWorld.com review of it. I certainly think it helps prevent a break to a certain extent.
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Old 10-04-2012, 04:18 PM   #10
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Collar bone breaks are common in motorcycle sports, but they often leave ugly lumps if not fixed properly. Some of them require a rod inserted for a few months and then removed. Heavy shoulder impacts and helmet clips seem to be the source of them. A Leatt brace may help the helmet clips, but a shoulder impact is tough to defend against I suspect. The other common injury is breaking the small bones in the wrist. Hard to come back from those darn things.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mike54 View Post
As bone breaks go, a collar bone isn't too painful and heals fairly quickly. You can be back on the bike in 4 to 6 weeks. Wrists and ankles really suck and can keep you off the bike for a long time. I've got to say broken ribs, while not too debilitating, were painful for an incredibly long time.
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Old 10-04-2012, 05:19 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by mike54 View Post
As bone breaks go, a collar bone isn't too painful and heals fairly quickly. You can be back on the bike in 4 to 6 weeks. Wrists and ankles really suck and can keep you off the bike for a long time. I've got to say broken ribs, while not too debilitating, were painful for an incredibly long time.
Heh. Not in my case. 1.5" displacement. It took 6 months to "join" and another 2 years before it was declared "healed". It hurt every day for the next 4 years and now only hurts a few times per week.

In my crash, I highsided...landed on my head which caused the bottom of my Arai to break my collarbone in two places.

7 years on, it's a huge lump and my left clavicle is nearly 2" shorter than my right. (see where the bones overlap)

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Old 10-04-2012, 05:23 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hooliken View Post

I am surprised that the new BMW accessory line does not include one of these:

That gear would just give you a false sense of security, you know how that works……
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Old 10-04-2012, 06:15 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr_Gone View Post
I was told once by a physician who was, at the time, looking at my broken collarbone, that the collarbone is in fact designed to break when a certain amount of force is exerted upon it. This "break" sort of short-circuits the force of an impact on the shoulder or arm and keeps the impact from reaching your neck and/or head, causing spinal injuries or head trauma. So the fragile collarbone is actually a design feature of the human body.

Maybe the doc was dumbing it down for me, but it made sense at the time.
that is absurd.

unless you believe in intelligent design of course.








Some interesting literature on neck braces and collar bones:

http://www.cyclenews.com/articles/in...bout-it-2/full
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VxZeroKnots screwed with this post 10-04-2012 at 06:35 PM
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Old 10-04-2012, 06:18 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by dolomoto View Post
Heh. Not in my case. 1.5" displacement. It took 6 months to "join" and another 2 years before it was declared "healed". It hurt every day for the next 4 years and now only hurts a few times per week.

In my crash, I highsided...landed on my head which caused the bottom of my Arai to break my collarbone in two places.
Thats exactly right. The bottom edge of my Shoei broke my collarbone while landing on my head after a trip over the handlebars. It took 6 months to join and then almost a year before it healed. It hurt for another year after that. I remember the doctor saying that "it's like an envelope that you seal, and if you break that seal before it fuses together it will take twice as long to heal".

I think one of those neck braces would work to protect the collarbone. I saw someone on a KTM990 wearing one on the freeway today.
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Old 10-04-2012, 06:28 PM   #15
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Thats exactly right. The bottom edge of my Shoei broke my collar bone while landing on my head on a trip over the handlebars. It took 6 months to join and then almost a year before it healed. It hurt for another year after that. I remember the doctor saying that "it's like an envelope that you seal, and if you break that seal before it fuses together it will take twice as long to heal".

I think one of those neck braces would work to protect the collar bone. I saw someone on a KTM990 wearing one on the freeway today.
If my 'stich shoulder armor extended another 2 inches or so, my injury would not have been so severe. (a 1.5" displacement means the bones were 1.5" away in the vertical plane).

Alternatively, there is no reason for modern helmets to be so hard on the bottom. A "skirt" of compressible armor may have prevented my clavicle injury.

IMO, helmet technology has hardly progressed in the last few decades. It's still a hard outer shell and and EPS inner shell. EPS, aka, "styrofoam" is mostly the same stuff in your beer cooler. See how it breaks down after a few years? That's part of the reason we're supposed to replace helmets every 5 years (that's nearly 100k for me!)

A Leatt brace is not practical for me. If Aerostich extended the shoulder armor a bit and if the bottom of the helmets were more flexible...then, there may be fewer broken collarbones. I'd rather my equipment absorb the impact rather than my bones.

YMMV.
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