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

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

  1. Jproaster

    Jproaster I work too much

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    Scott,
    Do you where a chest protector under the jersey?
    I'm waiting for a tekvest Crossover CP to arrive.
    So I'm hoping to combine the Crossover, gpx 5.5 neck brace and my kriega 20 for hot, humid single track.
    John
  2. Y E T I

    Y E T I Unpossible

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    I do. I wear the Leatt 3DF Airfit Body Protector. LINK
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  3. markk53

    markk53 jack of all trades... Super Supporter

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    How many times will that work when riding off road where falling may happen several times?... a day. That is a consideration here too.
  4. TomServo

    TomServo Been here awhile

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    Got some riding in this week with the EVS 4K brace. I ended up trimming down the top 1" or so of the back armor in two of my jackets and now it fits perfectly for me. More info to come on it. In the meantime I saw this video on Facebook this morning from BBC (North Ireland) and the guy at the beginning of the video is wearing a Leatt STX. Someone out there is using them besides us :)

  5. Mr. Canoehead

    Mr. Canoehead Taste Gunnels!

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    I had to trim the backpad in my Klim Badlands to fit the STX. I trimmed about 1" on either side at the top where it flares. Luckily, D3O is easy to trim with scissors. I didn't need to trim the SAS-Tech protector in my 'Stich - that would have been much harder to trim.
  6. burmbuster

    burmbuster Long timer

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    Great thread with great posts. The Leatt really came to light after Ernesto Fonseco was paralized simply rolling through some practice whoops, wheel lodged between them, and he simply fell awkwardly to the ground at about zero speed. From a motocross family I will say this: My oldest son was 8 yrs old and was a smoking fast 65cc rider. Fastest 65cc rider of all age groups in my state at the time. His mother and I wanted to provide the absolute best protection for him and at that time knees where the biggest concern. The best braces at that time were Donjoy's and only available with a prescription from an orthopedic doctor. No worries, we got it. I believe we paid like $1200 for the braces. 6 months later on a muddy track my son hit a huge double in a race and because of lack of traction going up the face, he came up short. He cased the jump and was bounced off the bike. The bike chased him and hit him. Pretty violent to say the least. Well the result of the crash was a broken femur DUE TO THE KNEE BRACES. It was a clean break right at the top of the brace. He is 21 today and still racing. He still wears knee braces but he wears ones that will actually break if given enough force without causing too much pressure on his femurs. He also wears a Leatt. Point of the story is, as others have stated, sometimes its damned if you do and damned if you don't. I actually would benefit from a neck brace if I could find one that would (a) work with my gear and (b) would not limit my head movement too much. Ride Safe
  7. markk53

    markk53 jack of all trades... Super Supporter

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    You don't with a Leatt and probably with others unless you're a trials rider. I have ridden trails and didn't notice the brace other than when I intentionally tapped it with my chin bar - no idea why I do that, but I do.
  8. DSquared

    DSquared Dilly Dilly! Supporter

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    I had an unplanned dismount from my KLR at about 45. I tumbled through the ditch for about 30 feet. My Fly Trekker, Atlas Air, and Klim Blade played nice and I did not have any head/neck injuries. I'll continue to wear the neck brace when I am liable to do something stupid.
  9. rboett

    rboett posser noob 205

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    for me,, that translates that I should always wear it...
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  10. PWillie

    PWillie n00b

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    56 years old, lifetime rider and off road racer. Bought Leatt brace thinking it would possibly be beneficial. Had low speed lowside fall and pressure from the ground forced my upper arm and shoulder into the brace dislocating my shoulder. Resulted in shoulder surgery. Sold brace for $50 and wont be using anything of that nature again.
    Probably freak circumstance but had I not been wearing the brace there would have been ample room for movement and the injury would not have occurred.
    I'm sure there are instances where the brace would be beneficial but I dont want to use one again.
  11. markk53

    markk53 jack of all trades... Super Supporter

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    Well, considering the $103,000 bill from my broken neck back before braces existed, I'd gladly have traded with you the shoulder injury for the neck injury. By the way, my C6 shattered due to whiplash, not ground contact. I also have a screwed up shoulder from a fall like you describe, seems even with movement the shoulder takes a shot and still get damaged. Fact is both my shoulders are from simple falls and one wasn't motorcycle related.

    Suffice it to say "been there, done that" I'll take the risk for shoulder or shoulder blade injury over neck - far less likely to be fatal or cause paralysis. And yes, again been there done that. My left leg was paralyzed for 20 days while a ruptured lung healed, until they could operate and remove the bone fragments, one of which was pressed into my spinal cord. I was fortunate, I got to learn to walk again. The damage to the nerves was minimal and could be compensated for...

    Yep, I'd trade neck for shoulder, maybe even a couple shoulders, any time.
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  12. aldend123

    aldend123 Long timer

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    I hear that and think the Donjoy was still successful, if not ideal. I assume the femur healed without much consequence? Sounds like a fair trade compared to the lasting damage that could have occurred in the knee.

    My arm-chair uneducated impression is that the future is more flex and break-away built in to designs as testing allows. You can apply pretty strong loads to many parts of our body. Just figure out a way to stop the sharpness of the impact. You can see that in some of the brace designs, and in the direction helmets are going too. I think at points we all may take for granted how cutting edge some of this technology is.
  13. rock_bottom

    rock_bottom Been here awhile

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    I want to add my 2 cents worth. I have seen what paralysis does, not only to the individual but to the whole family. My secretary's son is a paraplegic from a 'practice day' bike accident. I was there when they admitted him to hospital, and have seen how the last 7 years (and counting) have panned out. It has been hugely disruptive to everyone, and I wouldn't wish it on any family. It changed every aspect of their lives. He wasn't wearing any neck brace.
    I have worn my Leatt (the original) since they came on the market. Having ridden off road for 30 years before they were around I found it quite cumbersome and restrictive at first, but I got used to it. The biggest problem I find is 'looking back' to see if riding buddies are still there, but you soon learn to park the bike at a bit of an angle to the trail to make it easier. Both my sons have worn them since their earliest days of riding on small PW's.
    Would a neck brace have saved the spinal injury? Who knows. Would've it improved his chances? I have to believe it would have. I think they are essential kit, probably only second to helmets in terms of safety gear. You can fix any bones in any body with time and good medical care, but we cannot (as yet) repair spinal injuries, and they are life changing.
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  14. Granitic

    Granitic Backcountry rider

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    I connect my Leatt front and back with some custom straps described here

    http://advrider.com/index.php?threa...ace-and-the-leatt-body-protector-5-5.1190491/

    I really like the convenience factor of having the neck brace attached to the armor. It makes gearing up much easier.

    Not recommending this, just noting it in case others have considered attachment and are looking for ideas.
  15. aldend123

    aldend123 Long timer

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    So I tried an Atlas Air brace with a Fox Titan vest and I haven't been able to figure out a way that it could work without modification. Gonna take another look at it later but no obvious path yet. Even if I plan to modify it, I'm struggling to see how.

    Due to the spacing of the front two pads, you can't put them under the chest protector. Can't zip it up. They're too wide. In the back, you can kinda have both pads under the entire vest, but the vest's collar is kinda stretched around the strut posts. And it's holding the rear collar a little lower than it naturally would sit. This also requires enough finesse to suit-up properly that I'd get pissed off before every ride. There may be a way to put it outside the vest's netting, but behind the back protector. I think that will require disabling the velcro piece that holds the top of the netting to the back protector.

    A large one can fit me over the vest, with front and back pads sitting on the outside. But none of the pads really sit flush, so the whole assembly feels like it'd want to move front-to-back as you rode. Not terribly, but it seems like it could be enough that it would affect it's ability to function right.

    Another take-away is that if you want to use it over a vest/padding, it'll be too large to use without. No double-duty. This device seems like it needs to stay centered around your neck, and it uses the angles of the pads to achieve this. Any extra room under them means they don't sit flush, allowing it to slide down either your front or back.

    A medium Atlas Air seems a little too big for me without a vest. I'm a hair under 6 feet, 190lb, not a narrow build. If I hold the front pads to my chest lightly, the rear pads are about an 0.5-1inch from my back. Seems like I might need a small, and flip the adjustable posts on the rear pads to the larger position.

    After thinking about how this device works, looking in the mirror etc, I wondered if those who put braces under or over vests are losing some functionality. Most positions/configs, you still had side-to-side protection, but either the chin or back shelves could be moved out of useful range. An ideal set up for comfort and protection seems like it would be a vest that has a total cut-out for it to sit flush on your tshirt, like Atlas's own chest protector. Just wish they offered a full vest model. I might still consider cutting up what I've got.
  16. TomServo

    TomServo Been here awhile

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  17. Carlisja

    Carlisja A wandering soul. Super Supporter

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    I have a Leat STX that I have worn since mid 2015. Recently I followed ErikMotoMan's lead and bought the airbag vest from Helite. I see your point about off roading and in that case the brace is probably superior. But for ADV type offroading where falling is less likely or touring, I think the vest does everything the brace does and more. Furthermore the vests now cost about the same as what I paid for the Leafy STX. I do carry an extra CO2 cartridge and the changing of the cartridge is a 5 minute or less task. I have ridden over 50,000 miles with that brace. Never an issue. Don't want to crash test either.
    Uke and Suncoaster like this.
  18. andrewgore

    andrewgore Gôremā

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    I recently decided to go back to rocking a neck brace. I opted for the Atlas Air (who can argue with an Amazon sale?). I'm having a hard time sorting out how to make it more easily usable in my off-road setup. I wear the KTM Exo Body armor, and it just feels like the brace wants to pop up and off. It seemed doable today until I tossed my camelbak on. The neck brace was tossed back in the gear bin and I went racing.

    Any thoughts on how to get it to work better? The Atlas Air works great when I'm riding street and it's siting over my jacket. Am I gonna be looking at a new body armor & hydration pack? :ear I'll keep reading back through this thread again for more tips.

    Andrew
  19. andrewgore

    andrewgore Gôremā

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    I busted out the knife. Cut out some large portions of the padding on my back protector:
    [​IMG]

    There were 5 or 6 layers. I left just the base layer near the top to help keep the whole unit located in the protector. I then zip-tied my camelbak straps so they were forced more outwards. Success. Front sits a bit tiny bit high due to the chest plate, but I think tolerable. Even with my Enduro Jacket, this thing fits nicely, and the camelbak now keeps it locked in position. Full Roosting test this weekend :thumb

    [​IMG]

    Andrew
  20. kainam00

    kainam00 Been here awhile

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    I noticed that Atomic Moto only carries AlpineStars braces now. Anyone have input as to how those compare to the Leatt? I tried the Atlas Air brace last year and was pretty unhappy with it. The fit was poor and the brace was too small and too flexible, I didn't see how it would actually provide me with any protection.

    Coming from the car racing world, I have experienced the importance of neck protection by slamming a rally car into a tree at 60+ mph. While the rest of my body was in pain for weeks, my neck wasn't even sore - much thanks to the HANS device.

    This slow speed crash last year cracked my neck pretty good and had me looking at neck braces. Goes to show that you can be riding slowly on a smooth trail and still faceplant with significant force.