Neck Braces. Good or Bad. Latest Facts & info.

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by Blakduk, Jul 2, 2015.

  1. Blakduk

    Blakduk Don’t be too practical.

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    I'm starting up a new modern thread to see if any advriders have any expert opinions on the neck braces issue.

    There's got to be some smart cookies out there in the West that have looked right into this recently.

    I read quite a lot of random discussion including on the Oz forum and others about whether they are all they are cracked up to be, whether they are in fact saving lives, or more of a 50/50 thing and blokes arguing. "The neck brace saved me." "why wear them you can break your neck falling off a ladder" "they just transfer the force elsewhere"
    This is all interesting, but not backed by more than words on the web.

    Some issues mentioned:


    • Newer model ones have two pieces down the back rather than the one that goes down the middle, as there has been talk of the pressure being transferred from the neck to the place on the spine where the neck brace stops. Is that good or bad? Bad if you get a broken back if this is in fact what is occurring, but maybe good if the other option is a broken neck.


    • There is a lot of discussion that neck braces are not being seen on professional riders as much anymore. Is this true. The big USA races, the DAKAR, Europe??? Does anyone know? Why would professional racers not use them? Do they know something we don't? Is it to do with sponsership, why not wear one anyway?

    What is the latest medical data on this, is there any??

    C'mon AdvRiders, there's usually some pretty smart cookies on here and also some that do a lot of research. What is the go?

    And some images of the top three(?) makers current models: Omega, Atlas and the first; Leatt: (plus an old Leatt)

    [​IMG]




    [​IMG]


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    #1
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  2. Blakduk

    Blakduk Don’t be too practical.

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    Here are some of the quotes you might consider:

    #2
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  3. Mossy_Crk

    Mossy_Crk Fallen over

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    #3
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  4. cliffy109

    cliffy109 Long timer

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    I'm not an expert and perhaps just an optimist grasping at straws, but I feel naked when I don't have my Atlas on. I'll be curious to see how this topic goes.

    [​IMG]
    #4
  5. larryboy

    larryboy Stable genius.

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    Good idea, let's get a fresh take on this issue.

    I've been researching a bit myself since a recent email from Atomic-Moto.

    Link to the story:


    http://www.atomic-moto.com/hand-of-..._28_2015)&mc_cid=e3f40fdb4e&mc_eid=8bb63c2e8d


    I haven't had a crash of biblical proportions in nearly 30 years now, but as I'm getting older and my reactions slower I've been thinking about taking every precaution available short of an airbag jacket.


    Of interest:

    <iframe width="420" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/fJ5NvChWbpo" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/FD6-NDswsdk" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>


    I think this is the latest Leatt?

    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/RL353fhMSak" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>


    Early on I poo poo'd neck braces because it seemed that every post I read said, "I broke my collarbone, but my neck brace really saved me." forcing me to think...did it or did it end your ride?
    #5
  6. stujamur

    stujamur keep rollin rollin rollin

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    I think there are too many stories of people who wished they had one or where glad they wore one .

    I think it is key to pick the right brace to suit your gear or upgrade your gear too . You need it to fit well and it should not be restrictive.

    My initial combo of leatt adv 1 and acerbis koerta was always a bit "clunky" .
    I swapped to a leatt gpx race which fitted better and gave me better movement. I then bought i a leatt 3df airfit which integrated really well .

    If i was shopping today i would buy the atlas or newer leatts and compatible armour - or jacket . The newer braces seen more flexible in regards to matching them with armour/jacket .

    I cant see much evidence against wearing one and see lots for wearing one .
    #6
  7. Blakduk

    Blakduk Don’t be too practical.

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    Why aren't as many professional riders wearing them anymore?
    #7
  8. mcrider18

    mcrider18 Been here awhile

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    Thanks for posting the video attachments. I hadn't see them before and they help reinforce my decision to wear a Leatt STX Jason Britton Road Neck Brace as ATGATT for road, ADV, dual-sport, and entry/low-level enduro riding. I believe it'll help mitigate the risk and severity of potential injuries, and there's a good chance it'll prevent a dangerous injury.

    I'm considering upgrading my Icon Stryker pressure jacket to the Leatt 5.5 Body Protector for the added side rib protection and add the Leatt GPX 5.5 Neck Brace to ensure I have a fully compatible neck brace. My Leatt STX Jason Britton Road one will then likely only see street usage (when not wearing the Leatt 5.5 Body Protector) which it is marketed as for use.

    I did recently read the Atomic-Moto article and thought how realistic that situation was for the type of riding that I enjoy. I could easily see me or other fellow riding buddies experience that same accident. It doesn't require a 10, 20, 30, or 40 foot high X-Games style or motocross jump to break a person's body.

    As far as cost goes, a couple of the Leatt products are available for a pretty good discount right now.

    $239.00
    http://www.revzilla.com/motorcycle/leatt-stx-jason-britton-road-neck-brace

    $229.00
    http://www.revzilla.com/motorcycle/leatt-gpx-trail-neck-brace

    YMMV


    #8
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  9. larryboy

    larryboy Stable genius.

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    To be honest, if I'm really going for safety and spending my own $$ I'd rather have this years model...there's a reason they moved onto the newest model in my mind.

    I probably can't afford two and wonder if the STX Leatt would cover everything that I do from street to dirt?

    www.atomic-moto.com/Leatt-STX-Road-Neck-Brace_p_277.html

    or do I need the more confining GPX 5.5?

    www.atomic-moto.com/Leatt-GPX-55-Neck-Brace_p_1494.html


    Does anybody stock these things to try them on?
    #9
  10. Brtp4

    Brtp4 Powdercoat it. Supporter

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    I would love to see a real, common sense discussion on ADVRider about neck braces and their use. Brace discussion on MX forums tends to descend straight down into bickering and wild opinions. I think it can be different here. Hope it keeps going.

    BP
    #10
  11. AceRider01

    AceRider01 Fully Loaded

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    I am not a safety expert and i have no formal qualification in that area - only a motorist with a keen interest in the area of passive safety:

    a few things i discover about neck brace ( bear in mind that i have one myself and wear it most of time in road riding):

    1) while no independent testing has confirmed or denied, i tend to agree with leatte that it is unlikely the brace would cause severe damage to vertebrae as the force of head striking the brace would push the brace almost in parallel to the vertebrae rather than cutting into it. And if there is sufficient force to break the plastics of a neck brace - it would definitely be unlikely someone would survive without one anyway; < this part is my personal opinion>


    2) Leatte's claim in the video, and in fact anyone who is claiming their brace is CE certified as protective equipment under EC 89/686/EEC. (some quotes EN 340: 2003), is very misleading in their statement.

    the EC89/686/EEC directives are known as general directive - basically it talks about how equipment marketed as Personal Protective Equipment PPE must conform and demonstrates they complies to certain standard, without specifying which standard and whether the standard is appropriate for the intended use/protection of the product. For example some MC clothing claim to be CE certified but it was certified to standard relevant as gardening equipment ( i wont name names here).

    Therefore for the phrase "CE Certified" to be useful for us as consumers, we need to know which standard or EN if conforms to and whether a certified independent lab has perform the test and issued the certificate.

    For MC clothing EN13595 is relevant, and protectors EN1621, etc... see this thread for more http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=783126

    To date, there is no specific CE standard exist to test neck brace specifically against its intended protection - so the claiming neck brace is CE certified is misleading.


    3) That is not say neck brace is useless, they are certainly useful - but unless the government mandates it or CE body comes up with official standard, and products can be compare independently, we just dont know how effective they are and how they compare with each other.
    #11
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  12. dannyleo

    dannyleo Been here awhile

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    Unfortunately, got to get ready for church, so here's the quick and dirty with a follow up later.

    I used to run a small, rural, emergency room. I was also a Nationally Registered Paramedic and a Special Forces medic, with a BS in Health Sciences, so I've got a little background in trauma injuries.

    When Leatt first came out with their neck brace, I thought, "Wow! This is a great idea!" But the cost didn't justify me buying sight unseen. Two years ago I was in Pandora Motorsports in Chattanooga, Tennessee and they had a Leatt SPX on the shelf. I tried it on and it was unreal as it had no interference with my head movement at all in normal turning. It prevents hyper-extension, hyper-compression, and hyper-rotation of the neck, which are those mechanisms of injuries most likely associated with severing or trauma to the spinal cord.

    The forces are transmitted either to the sternum (breast bone), the clavicles (collar bones), or the scapulas (shoulder blades). If your wearing the type with the single, rear extension (instead of the SPX's two carbon fiber ones), any force transmitted will be reduced because of mechanics as well as moved lower down the spine versus up high on either the Axis or Atlas (C1 and C2) in the neck. When it comes to neck/back injuries, less force and down lower is always better.

    Anecdotally, in less than 24 hours, my Leatt saved me from a potential crippling, broken neck or death. My injuries included partial separation of the costo-condral arch where the ribs join the sternum (breast bone) and bruising of that chest area. The forward force from the sudden stop in the side of the ditch/cliff face, sent my helmeted head forward so hard the helmet snapped down onto the front of the Leatt and the force was redirected 180 degrees back into my chest.

    Since then, I've met two others who attribute their lives or their kid's lives to the Leatt. All anecdotal, not experimental, blind, scientific testing, but enough for me so I ALWAYS wear my Leatt ALL the time.
    #12
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  13. mcrider18

    mcrider18 Been here awhile

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    Danny,

    Thanks for posting that technical info and your personal experiences regarding a Leatt neck brace. I'm glad you survived your crash well enough and are able to tell us about it.


    #13
  14. markk53

    markk53 jack of all trades...

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    Yeah, reminds me of helmets. If they're so damn good why are so many riders not wearing them? :evil

    The invincibility of youth is about half of it. Another part is not wanting to compensate. Kind of like why some riders don't want full face helmets, they feel the eye port is too small and they'll sacrifice the safety added by the chin bar for that few degrees that may or may not be there, but which could be compensated for by better use of mirrors and visually checking behind. They think it is safer.

    Now for my two cents - I shattered my C5 vertebrae when I stuck a double jump and hit the bars - instant stop - instead of going over them. The front part of the vertebrae shattered when my head snapped forward on impact. A brace might have stopped the travel before shattering the bone. Neck braces didn't exist. I now have one because if my neck should be damaged again it would have to be higher and that could affect arms on down. I'll take the chance with the brace when off road.

    By the way one mountain biker was selling his brace. His reason was he just didn't feel like wearing it, acknowledging the risk, but hey, he's young and invincible!
    #14
  15. larryboy

    larryboy Stable genius.

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    As a vendor would you mind telling us what the latest models are? You know, without picking a favorite or anything. Just tell us brand and latest model. It's very confusing to me as it's a product I'm just starting to look at. Imagine a Harley guy in Florida deciding to buy a full face helmet at Cycle Gear...deer in the headlights. :eek1
    #15
  16. SR1

    SR1 Going to America!!!!

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    DannyLEO's comments are valuable. On the other end of the spectrum, I've had one crash and one little off both wearing a brace and broke my collarbone both times. I can't for the life of me see how it comes in contact, but I may not wear the thing anymore.
    #16
  17. henrymartin

    henrymartin Mr. Tourguide no more.

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    well, I'm not an expert of any kind, but today I got my Alpinestars SB neck brace I ordered last week.

    why the A* ?

    I wanted one brace that could serve me for both trails on the wr and street on the Bandit. The A* seem to fit the bill well. No braces, except the new Leatt is recommended for street, so take it for what its worth.

    The A* works well with my DS helmet for the woods Afx helmet, and the 661 pressure suit when tucked in, and with my A* track protection vest and street jacket when the back of the brace is between the back protector and jacket, while leaving the front of the brace on top of the jacket, and wearing my Scorpion exo 1100. The spacing seems just right.

    Now, I have only tried this on in the garage, but will test it later this week. The motion range seems good with the upright sport touring position on the Bandit.

    I did not want the carbon version, and the design seems simple and right. Dirt boot style buckle up front makes it secure and easy on and off.
    #17
  18. markk53

    markk53 jack of all trades...

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    So, now think about it...

    First question, was the brace actually a player in the broken collar bone or did you hit a shoulder hard enough to do so.

    A friend high sided a street bike and broke his. No helmet involvement. I've known of others doing similar things. In other words, the forces that broke your collar bone were from hitting a shoulder or arm on the ground. Lots of road racers and road riders injure collar bones without ever hitting the helmet on the ground. If you can't figure out how the brace caused it, maybe - just maybe - it didn't cause the injury.

    Now, if it was the brace that was the cause of the injury, what created the force on the brace to break your collar bone? It would be the force of your helmet hitting the brace which then pushes forces into the upper body, as demonstrated in the video. Helmet hits the brace, the brace distributes the forces. Collar bone breaks.

    Now eliminate the brace, what's going to take up the forces of your helmet movement that is hard enough to break a collar bone, especially now that there is nothing to stop the movement? I know in my case it was my neck. More specifically the big part of my C6, it shattered under the force.

    Just how little was that get off and that crash if it generated enough force through the brace to push hard enough to break your collar bone? I wish I'd had the option back in 90, but didn't. Two months in hospital (half what they projected because I worked hard in rehab) and another year or more to get back to what is now normal with some muscle loss and constant burn feeling in my arms from nerve damage... I'd trade for the broken collar bone gladly.


    "May not wear the thing anymore." Do you feel lucky today? :huh
    #18
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  19. markk53

    markk53 jack of all trades...

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    The reason for the Leatt recommending their new STX for street is because it was designed to work with and over riding gear according to their site. Where the GPX and DBX (bicycle, which is same except padding) are made to fit against the body. Thus the street recommendation. Not made to sit against the body, rather a coat and around a back brace, etc.

    Leatt and others make their braces for pretty much any riding use and the Leatt Adventure brace was designed for the adventure rider who also rides roads. The implication is they work on or off road.

    I know there will need to be some difference for sport and sport touring bikes due to rider positioning. I know my Leatt has adjustment in the collar height in both the front and rear, can't say if it is sufficient for a sport bike though, since I only am riding a dual sport with it. Your research shows the AlpineStar will do both within your parameters.

    That strikes me as what it's worth. All is good.
    #19
  20. Mr. Canoehead

    Mr. Canoehead Taste Gunnels!

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    +1 that's exactly what I was thinking.
    #20