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

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

  1. Smoke Eater 3

    Smoke Eater 3 Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2012
    Oddometer:
    2,169
    Location:
    Lincolnville, Maine
    So...the Leatt STX is the top choice for ADV riders?

    Are there others to consider?
    Uke likes this.
  2. TomServo

    TomServo Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    Oddometer:
    339
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    I think it's more of that there's not a lot of options that are designed to go over regular riding gear. Atlas doesn't recommend their's to be used over a jacket.
  3. Blakduk

    Blakduk Don’t be too practical.

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,416
    Location:
    Cooroy
    Rehashing the original 'expert' as opposed to "I think" reason for this thread:

    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?
  4. shadowchrome

    shadowchrome Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2015
    Oddometer:
    125
    Location:
    Laurinburg, NC

    I think they were common place at the Dakar rally.
  5. dragos

    dragos Master of disaster.

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2004
    Oddometer:
    2,769
    Location:
    Romania
    The one from Ortema is supposed to be used over your gear, but I think it's only available in Europe.
  6. aldend123

    aldend123 Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2011
    Oddometer:
    5,082
    Location:
    Bristol County MA
    I believe the ones with the single rear strut over the spine like the older Leatts are designed to break away after some amount of pressure is applied. If you dig around you can probably find quality verification of this. An armchair-science consideration is that your spine may be considered by the developers as stronger at that point, so it's better to defer the neck's force there. If you encounter that much more force to break at that point, maybe it's a threshold of 'we can't save you from it all'.

    Think about the mindset it takes to be a pro, and ride at the limit every time faster than any of us. I value watching what they do, but don't forget to measure that against the amount of risk many of them are willing to accept. If it hinders 5% of their movement, or is a minor annoyance that might just be enough for them to toss it aside until mandated.
    chasejj and Steamer like this.
  7. aldend123

    aldend123 Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2011
    Oddometer:
    5,082
    Location:
    Bristol County MA
    I've got my eye on an Atlas, but I'm hoping to play around with a family member's first-gen Leatt before buying. I wear a Fox Titan vest, and I've read sparse and mixed options on fit. Seems like some either the front or rear pads under the vest to hold it in place but I'm concerned that's going to feel clunky and restricting. I saw one person who cut the tops of the plastic on the vest down to fit it, which I might consider. Anyone happen to have first hand experience with the Titan and a brace?
  8. markk53

    markk53 jack of all trades... Super Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    20,071
    Location:
    Delaware Ohio
    I would venture to say that Leatt has done the research on braces and that is why they make them. Research showed that, much like the HANS devices used by virtually every pro driver in automobile racing, the neck brace can and will limit injury and death. In some auto racing the HANS device is required, but neck braces in motorcycle and bicycle racing, is optional.

    Here are Leatt's Straight Straight Talk About Neck Braces and Straight Talk About Neck Braces part 2

    I would also say there are no experts out there who can give you the definitive answer you seek, mostly because of their limited experience and they are venturing opinions basing the on a few events, like that doctor in South America. Or, worse yet, guessing with no valid basis or research what so ever.

    Remember, KTM is big into their team riders using neck braces and I'm doubting that is based on anecdotal experience. I'm betting they know Leatt has good science behind their work and possibly have participated in some of the research and work due to that science.

    The honest riders not wearing neck braces, both on motorcycle and down hill bicycle, will tell you they don't wear a brace because they don't want to or seem to feel the brace limits them, not because of any actual science proving they should not do so. I've never seen any source with legitimate proof that braces cause injury that would be greater than that from not wearing the brace. Kind of like helmet use research.

    There are riders who do consistently wear braces. One is recent AMA Supercross winner Marvin Musquin and another is Justin Barcia.
    Paragon68, Uke, chasejj and 3 others like this.
  9. TomServo

    TomServo Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    Oddometer:
    339
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    Got the STX today. Well.... doesn't work for me. Spent the past couple of hours trying all the sizing options and such. I can get it to "fit" just fine and it works well to stop me from hyper flexing (is that the term?) forward and to the sides, but the rearward flex just doesn't work, at all. maybe it's my helmet (Caberg drift) but I can't really set it up to where it is close enough to the rear of the helmet and the scapula wings aren't digging into my back and according to Leatt's fitting guide, it shouldn't be that tight.

    I must need the larger XXL but it seems odd to me. I have a 42" chest, I'm 5'10" and 190lb. The EVS 4k I got before works better for me.

    The STX will be on the for sale threads in a few minutes (bought it closeout.. no returns.. grrrr)
  10. Ozmac

    Ozmac Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2012
    Oddometer:
    99
    Location:
    Alice Springs Oztraylia
    "but the rearward flex just doesn't work, at all."

    I have the same issue with my STX and my Bell MX9 Helmet. The STX and my Shoei Road Helmet are compatible. The rear gap is the issue with the Bell MX9. Recently also I've found the STX is not compatible with any backpacks either, shoulder straps foul the two fold out supports on the rear of the brace. Works fine with narrow Camelback's though. I'm looking at GPX models to see if the rearward gap issue is any better. A GPX will also sort out my backpack issue having a centre support at the rear.
  11. TomServo

    TomServo Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    Oddometer:
    339
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    I think I'm going to stick with the EVS R4K for now. I think (my opinion to be clear) that like most riding gear, the one that fits you the best will likely be most effective. The R4K does a great job of stopping my helmet from going too far but still allows enough movement. It is a combo of flexible plastic and foam so it is more rigid than just a collar/donut. It is super quick to put on and take off and has some adjustment (two settings). Works for my girlfriend too on the smaller setting so we're each going to use one.

    It is cheaper than the Leatt, no question, and may not be as high tech but it does prevent MY neck with MY helmet from moving into dangerous positions. This is just me though and I'm not putting a negative strike out there against the STX. I wish the STX would work for me and my helmet. Anyway, I'm going to put up a complete review and details on the R4K in the next few days on my site and here.

    r4K-300x251.jpg
  12. Mr. Canoehead

    Mr. Canoehead Taste Gunnels!

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,601
    Location:
    Calgary, dreaming of riding the Alps, again

    No need to justify going with the R4K. Arguing over what is the best brace is like arguing over what is the best helmet. The best helmet is the one that fits you best and any helmet is better than no helmet.

    Looking forward to the review, and any details of how it works with your jacket and backpad.
    PYG RYDR likes this.
  13. docjekyll2002

    docjekyll2002 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2015
    Oddometer:
    231
    Location:
    San jose
    Tried the Leatt STX many times. Size small in that was way too big fore and aft for me so i switched to Atlas. It fits more snug over my jacket and it actually saved my neck and spine in an offroad accident a few months ago.
  14. Jproaster

    Jproaster I work too much

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2013
    Oddometer:
    742
    Location:
    Dayton, Tennessee
    This thread has convinced me to seek a neck brace- especially since I'm a soon to be 55 yo who's just getting into single track.
    I just ordered a Tekvest Crossover and the correct shoulder pads
    I plan to wear my kriega r20 backpack...since I already own it.
    I just ordered an inexpensive Afx fx 39 helmet.

    Needing to order the compatible neck brace.

    Thanks to you contributors of knowledge and experiences. I'm sure you've helped many folk without knowing it.

    John
    Spektrum84 likes this.
  15. Ozmac

    Ozmac Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2012
    Oddometer:
    99
    Location:
    Alice Springs Oztraylia
    Can you report back with what brace you found that works with the Kreiga R20? I love my R20, but it's incompatible with the Leatt STX which I also like a lot. They don't work together and I'm trying to find out which one is best to replace.
  16. markk53

    markk53 jack of all trades... Super Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    20,071
    Location:
    Delaware Ohio
    I wouldn't fault any of the fixed braces and only the compressing on the soft collars. Either is better than none. So worth it either way.
    PYG RYDR likes this.
  17. Y E T I

    Y E T I Unpossible

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2007
    Oddometer:
    8,521
    Location:
    San Diego
    I wear a Leatt GPX 5.5 under my Kreiga 20 with zero problems. In fact, I think the pack helps hold the brace in place better. :thumb

    [​IMG]
    Uke and Jproaster like this.
  18. Ozmac

    Ozmac Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2012
    Oddometer:
    99
    Location:
    Alice Springs Oztraylia
    Great to hear that! After looking at the GPX 5.5 design I was thinking thats how it might work. Do you think it is possible to wear the GPX 5.5 over a jacket like a KLIM Altitude or Badlands style?
    Y E T I likes this.
  19. Y E T I

    Y E T I Unpossible

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2007
    Oddometer:
    8,521
    Location:
    San Diego
    Absolutely. I don't have any pictures, but I have worn mine over my Badlands a few times with no issues.
    Jproaster and Ozmac like this.
  20. ErikMotoMan

    ErikMotoMan Airbag crash survivor!

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2014
    Oddometer:
    4,486
    Location:
    In Motorcycle Heaven since 1990 - So Cal!

    I was recently rear ended on the freeway and was thrown backwards off my bike and landed on my back. Broken femur but did not have a scratch above the waist. Whereas I have worn HANS devices while racing cars, I chose a different type of protection for motorcycle use. Not in any way meaning to derail this thread so here's a link to my thread:

    http://advrider.com/index.php?threads/rear-ended-broken-femur-totaled-gsw.1214740/
    Uke likes this.