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

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

  1. markk53

    markk53 jack of all trades...

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    16,327
    Location:
    Delaware Ohio
    I have a C5-C6-T1 fusion with a pin. Crashed pre-neck brace era. 2nd gear missed double, but could have been running into a log or ditch and done the same thing - impact handlebar cross bar dead stop head snaps forward too far since helmet can travel too far. A brace would have stopped the travel. If one tucks and rolls, but is far enough off the ground the impact on the helmet could cause damage too. Seems like few have the time to tuck and roll since your legs have to clear the bike first.

    I've ridden with the Leatt and have encountered no problems. Marvin Musquin and Justin Barcia seem to do well with them. Just saying you become comfortable with gear by wearing it. Properly adjusted the collar causes me no issues and my neck is now about 1 inch shorter than pre-crash.

    As for your flat track instructor, I'd ask why virtually EVERY flat tracker these days wears MX boots, not Redwings like the old days. They seem to do pretty good with the brake too. If it was just about feel, I'd wear Converse All-Stars Chuck Taylors and no helmet. You can feel a pea if you step on it and going without the weight of the helmet and air movement make it nice... Just a little food for thought regarding what feels good versus what makes sense.
    Brtp4 likes this.
  2. WERA456

    WERA456 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 23, 2008
    Oddometer:
    225
    Location:
    North Ga. (The site of the first major gold rush)
    Mark,
    Thanks Like I said I did read about your crash in the previous posts. Casing a double is definitely an example where the brace would help. I have had a couple of sudden stops that caused me to go over the handle bars and was able to tuck, virtually not even touching my helmet on the ground. Only real injury was some bruised quads where they hit the handle bars as I went over. I won't need to worry about doubles don't really jump anything like that.

    As for the MX boots, please reread my original comments. The instructor did not say not to wear protective boots, but to ensure that the gear you choose does not impair your ability to control your motorcycle. The instructor himself wore an MX boot, bot wore some that had a little less protection and a little more movement at the ankle. I think they were the Astar tech 3 not the tech10 (or whatever the top of the line Astar the is like a cast on your foot). Similarly look at the choice of boot for trials riders (more my style of riding). I took another riding course geared toward ADV riders. He said to choose a boot that if you broke down out in some remote area of Moab and had to hike 30 miles to the nearest civilization you needed to make sure your boots could accommodate such an adventure.

    Now back to Neck Braces, anyone who is a tuck and roll crasher: Anyone able to tuck and roll with a neck brace on or does it turn you into a human dart that will for sure hit your head on the ground.
    My hope is to hear a couple people tell me that yes you can wear a neck brace and still "tuck and roll"
    Blakduk likes this.
  3. 400psi

    400psi Cropdusting

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2009
    Oddometer:
    793
    Location:
    Weaverville NC
    Unless you have a very short neck you should be able to. The trick to good fitment is to have the neck brace "table" adjusted to be able to allow comfortable movement (within spec range)to a point where the brace "engages" with your helmet to do its job. You wont be able to pull you chin bar down as far to your chest as without one. if you could that would negate the brace
    Brtp4 likes this.
  4. kainam00

    kainam00 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 17, 2012
    Oddometer:
    172
    Location:
    All over the USA
    @WERA456 , just curious - have you tried a neck brace on? A properly fitting neck brace will not limit *proper* range of motion for your neck, so you should be able to tuck and roll just fine. If you get to the point where it's limiting the "tuck", that "tuck" would have been causing neck damage. To answer your specific question, I've tuck and rolled and done friggin' somersaults off of my bike with the brace on, never felt like it got in the way - all of this was technical trail riding/enduro, similar stuff to what you sound into. But you should absolutely get it adjusted for your neck, body, and helmet.

    I have a Leatt 5.5 and I see very little difference in 6.5 aside from a tiny bit of weight. The 5.5 is already very light though, most of the time I can't even tell whether I have it on or not. Which also goes back to your flat track instructor comment - the neck brace is the least obtrusive piece of gear I own. Personally, even if I'm out dicking around in my grassy yard on the trials bike - it usually boots, knee brace/pads, helmet, and neck brace.

    Regarding slow speed crashes - I think those are actually harder to do properly, as you need some "air time" to tuck and roll :D
  5. markk53

    markk53 jack of all trades...

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    16,327
    Location:
    Delaware Ohio
    I rode 15 years crashing while playing, racing short track, and hare scrambles for around 18 years then broke my first bone, my C6. Since then I fractured an ankle with a pair of older leather HiPoint MX boots a couple years back. Try walking out of the Moab desert with a fractured ankle. I was in Michigan and rode out - in serious pain. I walked around a vintage trials with my Tech6 boots unbuckled, worked fairly well. Besides if you're riding the Moab alone you should at least throw a pair of canvas tennis shoes in your bag, but more likely you should have your head examined for riding any off road alone, even casually.

    I guess your teacher does what makes safety sense in spite of his opinion, doesn't he. He could have been wearing some Redwing work boots if he wanted.

    The big question - how many riders have you actually ever seen do a tuck and roll when they crash? I mean literally tuck their head and roll like a somersault? Personally I've not seen any hold a tuck. More often than not they pretty much bail rather awkwardly. I think off road the tuck and roll is kind of over rated due to speed and awkward nature of at least off road if not both. Really, how often will one come off the bike in such a direction with enough space (aka no trees, rocks or brush) and the clarity of mind to do a tuck and roll?

    Wrecks don't gradually happen, they're often so quickly there isn't much chance to prepare to tuck and roll unless one practices tumbling to the point where it is near instant reaction

    See someone face plant and it bends their head back. Land sideways and it deflects sideways, bending the neck sideways. See how far you can roll your head back, then try bending your head to touch your shoulder...

    You will find most MX riders feel a neck brace makes total sense. Some use them. Many don't, not because it won't help, but because it might cost them a half second a lap and since racing is their living, they won't use them until the race sanctioning bodies require them for everyone, because it can be the difference between winning and coming in fourth. Possibly the difference between getting a ride or not. It isn't because they think the braces are unsafe.

    I guess if what has been pointed out in this thread to this point, doesn't ring a bell that this might just be a good thing and realizing the rotation limits of your neck, there isn't much that will change whatever your thoughts are on using a neck brace.
    Rebel10, Brtp4 and Mr. Canoehead like this.
  6. WERA456

    WERA456 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 23, 2008
    Oddometer:
    225
    Location:
    North Ga. (The site of the first major gold rush)
    This is the kind of feedback I was looking for. Thank You!
    Yes I did try one on, even tried to ride in it. But, it was a cheap hand me down that was probably not adjusted properly.
    Looks like I might be making the investment to at least try for a few months.

  7. markk53

    markk53 jack of all trades...

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    16,327
    Location:
    Delaware Ohio
    If you are interested there is a site that has a lot of used and near new neck braces for reasonable money. Go to pinkbike and look. Mainly bicycle oriented, but the neck braces are same in some cases, called and talked to Leatt on the GPX vs the DBX, only soft padding was a bit different. I bought a virtually new DBX for $150, having all the bits in the package.
  8. WERA456

    WERA456 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 23, 2008
    Oddometer:
    225
    Location:
    North Ga. (The site of the first major gold rush)
    Thanks Mark I will take a look.
  9. Blakduk

    Blakduk Don’t be too practical.

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,559
    Location:
    Cooroy
    @WERA456 I used a Leatt neck brace for about 6 years, but don't anymore as it was just another annoyance, particularly on off-road rides. e.g. looking up a hill. I am definitely a 'commando roll' crasher (tuck and roll). While I would have always said that I would not have been able to tuck and roll properly with all the shit I wore, including the neckbrace - in that time I did have a few bigger stacks and was surprised that I actually did the roll over on to my shoulder without any problems. It did not impede the crash at all.
    Having said that, I'm just sick of trying to fit it with armour, tie it down with a backpack etc. ADV rides, I don't bother anymore as I'm trying to enjoy the ride without too much fuss.
    Maybe on some big rides I'll wear it again... probably not.