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

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

  1. henrymartin

    henrymartin Mr. Tourguide no more.

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    I spoke with Alpinestars last night about the fit, and was told that it was okay to have it ride over a jacket. There is no way to zip up the coat with the brace under it, so that is really the only option.

    Their brace was designed to work with their other bionic gear, as the rigid part of the brace (in the back) is the same size as the area on the back of their bionic pressure suit, and it sits there, on top of the spine protector.

    It also has removable padding front and back to lower or raise the position, leaving an optimal gap between the helmet and the brace.

    I would like to hear from actual users of this product. I won't do any testing until later in the month, when I plan to take a street ride to Nova Scotia, and plan to wear the brace for the entire 3000+ miles.
    #21
  2. cliffy109

    cliffy109 Long timer

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    Hmmm... I own the Atlas brace and have been happy with it, but after viewing the Leatt videos, I thought I should look into it a bit more. Atlas claims similar yet different testing scenarios. http://www.atlasbrace.com/testing/
    #22
  3. larryboy

    larryboy Stable genius.

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    and that's what has put me off since the beginning.

    Maybe we need another thread..."What neck brace were you wearing when you broke your collar bone?"


    It's the minor off with a broken collar bone that I worry about. I've had a 100 minor offs and never broken anything.
    #23
  4. markk53

    markk53 jack of all trades...

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    How about what gloves and what boots...

    Until one can verify that the brace caused the injury, at which point I'd again ask what would happen without it since the force would be from the helmet, there is nothing to relate it to the injury any more than blaming the boots, knee brace, or helmet. Especially when someone cannot figure out how the brace would have done it.

    Broken collar bones are not all that unusual among bone breakage in motorcycling. That sort of injury was around long before neck braces .

    Again, think about it. How can the brace alone cause the injury? The forces have to come from somewhere. If it was the brace, it is highly likely the forces were transmitted from having the helmet hitting something. I've done the neck thing, I'll take a collar bone any time over that.

    As for Leatt over AlpineStar over Atlas, I'd do any of them. I have to believe, much like MX boots, any would be better than none and all can do the job when needed. I just got a good buy on a virtually new Leatt brace complete - $150. It was listed in Pinkbike a site more oriented to bicycles, but lists a variety of braces since, per Leatt when I contacted them, the only differences were soft padding from GPX to DBX. I actually had bought another more used Leatt for $70, but then sold it for the same on ebay.
    #24
  5. larryboy

    larryboy Stable genius.

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    You're just being difficult, mark.

    It's a fact that a neck brace transfers energy to other body parts that don't put you in a wheel chair...that's the forking point, man.

    We have a person in this thread with a neck brace and two for two on broken collar bones. Then there is me, no broken collar bone ever and decades of crashing.

    We're trying to have a discussion on the latest and greatest, what works best and doesn't break my collar bone in a minor tumble.
    #25
  6. henrymartin

    henrymartin Mr. Tourguide no more.

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    I've had countless dirt minor getoffs without a neck brace, and without any injuries. A buddy of mine who rides with me most of the time had fallen countless times, at 15-20mph, flew over the handlebars and landed on his back without any injuries, et cetera. Then, recently, he fell at something like 5mph and tore his shoulder, busted his ankle, and was really hurt.

    My point is, there are no two crashes that are the same. Too many variables into each one. Something as simple as muscle tension can make a huge difference in injury or non injury.

    That being said, I wear armored pants, jacket, helmet, armored gloves, boots, spine protector, and now, neck brace. Back when I started riding, bikes topped at considerably lower speeds, cars did not have texting drivers, and roads had way less road hazards. I'll take any piece of equipment that will help me improve the odds.

    Just because when I was sixteen I used to ride down steep hills on a 50cc two stroke way above its designed speeds wearing only sneakers and T-shirt and did not crash, does not mean that I will not crash on my 1200cc bike wearing full armor. Given the changes in society, the chances of crashing now are way higher than back then.

    Over the past two years I probably had more close calls than in the previous twenty years combined. And all were caused by external influences. Just the other day a chisel flew out of a car I was following and missed me by less than a foot. How do you prepare for that? I was good distance behind him, too, getting ready to pass him.
    #26
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  7. Mr. Canoehead

    Mr. Canoehead Taste Gunnels!

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    I have had a Leatt GPX for years but only use it when riding dual sport because it only works with one jacket that I have. I have crashed minorly offroad a few times with the GPX and have not broken my collarbone yet but I haven't put it through a major test. Frankly, the crashes I have had probably wouldn't have resulted in injury regardless of the brace.

    I understood the Leatt ADV to be a de-contented version of the GPX as opposed to a distinct product line.

    My need for a brace is greater on the street so I picked up one of the Leatt STX's on clearance (I'm thinking that the Jason Britten signature edition is not selling since stunters are rarely ATGATT).

    So far, I really like the STX - it has more freedom of movement than the GPX and fits nicely with all my jackets, since it sits on top. I am completely unaware of it while riding, which is the hallmark of good gear, IMO.
    #27
  8. norcalwrx

    norcalwrx Been here awhile

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    The motive that "pros dont wear them" is moot. Plenty of snowboarders/wakeboarders/skateboarders that are pro dont wear a helmet, but can definitely benefit from one ;)

    Bones can repair themselves, your spinal cord cannot. Which would you rather damage?
    #28
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  9. Y E T I

    Y E T I Unpossible

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    I have one of the original Leatt braces. I always wear it on the little bikes because it works great with the enduro gear I have. Both pressure suits I use were designed specifically to work with a neck brace so they're very comfort and the brace tends to be invisible.

    I have not worn one on my big bikes, mostly because the old Leatt I have could not be adjusted to fit over a jacket.

    After just having surgery (3 level cervical laminectomy with fusion), I figured it was time to re-think wearing a neck brace on the big bikes. Coincidentally, the accident referred to above happen while I was in the hospital recovering from my surgery and Brian called (or emailed, I can't remember due to the drugs :lol3) and told me about his friend who had crashed and was almost paralyzed.

    Yesterday, my new Leatt GPX 5.5 showed up at my office. It's a neat piece of kit and I look forward to wearing it when I'm riding on the big bikes, especially now that I have the 950 which I am sure will encourage me to do shit that is even more stupid than the stuff I already do!!
    #29
  10. dragos

    dragos Master of disaster.

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    Reading this thread with interest, as getting a neck brace is getting higher and higher on my list.

    What I want is something that can be worn over the jacket, with a back and chest protector under it.

    I just visited Ortema in Germany few days ago, to get a custom made chest protector.
    I also tried their neck brace and found it very comfortable and extremely light. It has adjustable height and despite the pictures, is also very protective in front.
    http://www.ortema.de/protection/ind...3-03-14-05-57-14/nacken/onb-neck-brace-detail
    [​IMG]

    Another one that I tried at a fair and found to be comfortable and seemed protective despite the funky looks is the Italian UFO Plast one:
    http://www.ufoplast.com/en/product-details/mx-enduro/protectors/PC02287
    [​IMG]
    I liked this one quite a bit, and the price was also good.

    I don't have field experience with those however.

    The nice thing at the Ortema facility was that they put some kind of handlebars in front of me and a specialist stayed with me and checked the size and fit in the driving position.
    They can also customize it (for example they told me they can make one with the back supports bent a bit so it stays better on my back protector which has quite a big curvature).
    #30
  11. markk53

    markk53 jack of all trades...

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    No, not difficult, just pointing ouit the facts - the guy even said he can't figure out how the brace caused the break. What does that tell you? There is no direct tie to the brace. Yet he's considering not using it. What the...!? I broke an ankle with MX boots on, but I'm not gonna quit wearing them. All the doctor said was without them we'd be doing surgery, with them I had a hairline fracture. He couldn't tie any of the injury to the boot design.

    Don't try to make an injury that entirely likely was due to shoulder contact with the ground a rationalization to not wear a piece of gear. If an injury cannot be accurately attributed to a piece of equipment it should not be considered in the injury.

    Making some list of who was wearing what brace when breaking a collar bone without knowing for certain that the brace was the cause would make the list invalid. Does anyone actually KNOW what kind of break would occur if caused by the brace? What direction would it break and how, should be able to be described by a doctor. They could tell you what might happen if the brace wasn't there and the neck had to take the full force.

    I acknowledge the transfer of energy then simply say where would that energy come from? Clearly it is from helmet contact with the ground forcing the helmet to hit the brace, which then transmits it over the torso. What will happen if that brace is not there? THAT is my main point. I KNOW what happens, it happened to me.

    When my head was thrown forward it caused hyperflexion, causing the large part of the C6 to quite literally shatter, nothing was there to stop my head movement snapping forward - like a chin bar on my full face hitting a brace could have. As I said, I'd gladly have traded that injury for a paltry broken collar bone if that would have happened. Considering the broad area of the chest over which a brace would spread the load it seems that injury wouldn't have been too likely.

    Sum it up. Some injury/equipment worn comparison cannot be only based on having a piece of equipment on. The injury has to tie directly to knowledge of what forces focused where to cause the injury, then was that tied to the piece of equipment. Impacting the ground with one's shoulder or arms in any way that might break the clavicle is not caused by wearing a brace. Numerous people I know have suffered clavicle injury without anything more than falling over on motorcycles and bicycles, none were wearing neck braces. So the wearing of one would be totally irrelevant in any sort of comparison unless there was a direct tie to the injury from the brace, not just guilt by presence. Just saying, "I broke mine while wearing XYZ brace." isn't proof of the brace being the root cause.

    Aren't those comments some logical rational contribution to a rational discussion?

    By the way, the braces all work pretty much the same. They can't look the same due to patents on designs as we all realize. I kind of doubt any one is significantly better than another. I explained why I ended up with the Leatt, I guess I should also say I liked the design from the engineering standpoint too. But I only saw a few of them. I only knew I didn't want a soft neck roll, insufficient in a maxed out situation.

    I'm not telling anyone to wear anything they don't want to wear, I just don't like baseless information used as rationalization. I have heard and read enough of that from the anti-helmet groups. If you don't want to wear something, just don't. I don't wear ATGATT when street riding. Past history tells me I'm less likely to fall on the street than off road. So I don't. But I'm not going to fault the equpment to rationalize it. I just don't wear it then.
    #31
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  12. Rikki Rockett

    Rikki Rockett MOTORCYCLE EVANGELIST

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    Thanks for this topic. Very good information!
    #32
  13. BMW-K

    BMW-K F800GS FTW!

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    It's a funny thing, those collar bones.

    Breaking them sucks. It hurts. It's inconvenient. It's, uncomfortable! For4-8 weeks (pending age and severity of break) life kinda blows.

    But breaking a collar bone isn't the same at all as breaking one's neck and causing some form of spinal injury.

    I can't really speak to the effectiveness of the Leatt but the logic behind it is sound. Transfer the energy of the crash into expendable bones...or transfer it across a greater area - it makes sense.

    The first couple times I wore my Leatt offroad - well, I was a new dirt rider. 200k of street riding and dozens of track days are not the same as riding a single day in the dirt. I was somewhat appalled by the Leatt. The lack of motion was very apparent. I could barely look down and see my speedo...

    Thing is, I found that the Leatt prevented me from looking at stuff I shouldn't care about. I found that I HAD to look ahead, look through corners and stop looking down. The Leatt, in effect, encouraged good form.

    that was three years ago. I've dumped my WR many times and haven't sustained any injury. I suppose I could conclude the Leatt wasn't worth the dollars.

    On Other hand, maybe it DID do something and I just plain don't know it. Maybe the Leatt just sucked it up, did it's job and I never knew the difference.

    In the end all I know is that at 46 I value myself too much to not spend money on protecting me.

    As to the "Pro's" who aren't wearing full gear: Well, just because someone has talent doesn't mean they are smart. Or maybe they value personal branding more than potential safety. All of which is irrelevant.

    All that really matters is what is important to me.

    I am more than willing to wear my Leatt. In my perfect world I never crash and never have to actually use it...
    #33
  14. dragos

    dragos Master of disaster.

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    Well, at the Dakar they are mandatory so everybody is wearing them. And Dakar is probably closest to the type of riding that "adventure" riders would do.
    #34
  15. Tallbastid

    Tallbastid Stay Grateful Supporter

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    I agree. My cousin is married to a professional snowboarder who refuses to wear a helmet. According to him, many of his friends are the same. I don't get it, but it's his choice, not mine.

    I got a Leatt recently, and I'm a big proponent. I'll wear mine and risk the collarbones.
    #35
  16. markk53

    markk53 jack of all trades...

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    Oh to be young and invincible again! :cry

    By the way, I wonder if it was a snowboarder who tried to light a mortar shell firework on his head and instantly was killed?

    Does your cousin's wife actually think it's safer too? :huh
    #36
  17. Y E T I

    Y E T I Unpossible

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    Not correct. They are not mandatory in the Dakar.

    Here's Neduro in the Dakar from a couple of years ago:

    [​IMG]

    He was asked, many times, if a neck brace was mandatory and he said no. He had a reason for not wearing one, something along the lines of, "I never have and I don't want to start now," or something like that.
    #37
  18. Rikki Rockett

    Rikki Rockett MOTORCYCLE EVANGELIST

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    Uh Oh! Wha'd I do???


    #38
  19. Y E T I

    Y E T I Unpossible

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    :lol3 Knowing BP, I suspect he's just stoked to see you in this thread and learning about neck braces? :dunno


    He's easily distracted by shiny things. :augie
    #39
  20. Rikki Rockett

    Rikki Rockett MOTORCYCLE EVANGELIST

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    Ahhh... I've been known to be distracted by shiny things too. And... things with boobs.


    #40