Perhaps the most thought provoking product ever?
Whatever your circumstances nobody wants to break their neck do they? Our Moto-X friends have shown us the way, should you follow? You decide
...Firstly, please can I ask you to read this from Tara Llanes as I sent her an e-mail asking for her opinion a while ago on neck braces and this is exactly what she said after she fractured her C7 vertabrae
No, of course I don't mind you asking!! This brace NEEDS to be shoved into the face of every pro mountain biker on the circuit. Even I should have been wearing one. I mean so what that I wasn't racing DH, I was still doing about 15-20 mph hitting a super tricky rhythm section and any lapse of judgement could have been bad. Obviously I proved that theory correct!
I know Sam and a lot of those younger kids aren't even wearing f@#king knee and shin guards! I mean I know they all think they are invincible but at the speeds they are going these days and with the technology of the bikes plus the courses that are being built and always being raced in the pouring rain. You add all those together and serious injury can happen in a heartbeat. I am going to push that brace to every rider I see. I don't want to be a pain or will I be. I just want to make that point because I don't want to see anyone of my friends or even riders that I don't know go through what I am going through right now.
If only it had been out a little longer and I knew more about it. If you look at the Super Cross races this year I believe the majority of riders are wearing them and good for them. I don't want to sound like a hypocrite...I just didn't know enough about them and also didn't think I would need one while racing 4x. It's clear I was wrong because anything can happen to anyone.
Okay okay...enough ranting and raving.
Take care and talk soon!
Never Give Up!Tara Llanes Road to Recovery
Fully decked out..
So how do they work? Well I'm no spinal surgeon so I can't and won't go into the finer details of breaking your neck and damaging your spinal cord..
•Hyper flexion- Extreme bending of the neck forward displaces vertebrae and can pinch the cord.
•Hyper flexion with rotation- can twist the cord.
•Hyperextension- extreme bending of the neck backwards.
•Axial loading- compression of the spine- often found in diving injuries.
In simple mans terms it restricts any extreme range of movement of your neck to which your head is attached. The platform collar that completely encompasses your head for the full 360 degrees is the key part. It stops your head tilting too far forward, back or to the side which can damage your spinal cord. Then it also stops the classic head first, power driving into a tree or upslope of a take off (Tara) and compression of the spine. Often a common injury for Brits abroad in Ibiza diving into a shallow swimming pool at 03:00 rather drunk.
The spines main two jobs are to carry and protect the spinal cord and the main structural part of the skeleton. The spinal cord transports all the control messages from your brain (not much for you lot then) down and through to several key areas of your body such as your bladder, arms and legs etc.
The spinal cord is super fragile and any damage to it will cause you massive issues. The higher the damage to the spinal cord the more vital parts of your body are goosed, proper.
Damage high up is nasty, think Christoper Reeve who broke his C3. If your phrenic nerve is affected there goes your diagragm which is a muscle that lets you breath. That could mean you are on a ventilator for the rest of your life.
I personally have been running a Leatt Sport neck brace since December 2007 and don't leave home without it.
I suppose after spending the best part of your weeks wages on one of these you must wear it, the only dilemma is when? We all know that accidents always seem to happen when we least expect them. Solution? Wear it all the time, that is your decision.
Then there is the pressure from parents if you're a kid. I have been at every race every weekend for the past few years and I've never met a parent yet that won't scrimp on safety gear for their kids. Fact
: We introduced an 18 or under full armour rule at the NPS and not one parent complained.
What if you're newly married and have kids or one on the way? Well you can still live your life if a little restricted with a broken collar bone or two. A broken neck or damaged spine is not even worth thinking about is it. Talking of collar bones, plenty of rumours about these Leatts displacing the force onto your shoulders and word is that they can break your collar bone. O.K you have a big slam and you've broken your collar bone, just think what you could have done. My glass is always half full, what about yours?
Lots of gossip about using these Leatts with MTB lids. To help you out I measured a medium TLD Moto-X Lid against a D2. No surprise that the Moto-X lid was wider and therefore touched down at the sides sooner than the D2. Now for the surprise, the D2s mouth piece stuck out further than the Moto-X lid!WARNING: PLEASE NEVER WEAR YOUR NECK BRACE WITHOUT YOUR HELMET.
Now I know that may sound really obvious, what I am talking about is wearing it before or after the race. The medics have warned me that if you ever fell or tripped over (especially backwards) whilst wearing the brace you could be really f*&ked (medical term). As the brace would almost act as a pivot point on your neck and the added leverage and weight of your head and the force of the fall could damage your spinal cord and kill you or put you in a wheel chair. Now imagine of your lid was undone or not correctly attached during a crash? Helmet flies off and you gambole down the hill with your neck brace contacting the floor and your head slapping around in several directions, great!
Now according to Dr.Leatt these neck braces are supposed to sit as close to the body as possible, especially the rear spine. We've done a lot of research into adjusting your race kit to ensure optimum fitting, this is what we found works.
Clunk, Click, Every Trip.
First off whilst wearing your body armour open the neck brace from either of the clips located on both the left or right hand side of the brace and put on, sliding the rear spine under the back plate. Note Dainese and the top of the range 661 suits allow you to do this. You do not have to remove the back plate as the Leatt Thoracic (spinal extension part) slides in there nicely!
The 661 pressure suits and Dainese that have a removeable removable spine, you know the ones with the zips either side are the best bit of kit to match with a Leatt. For those running something like a 661 Core Saver you'll need to get a sharp knife out. Unless you have the new Core Saver that will be out in Europe in a few months time. That will have removable back plates specifically for Leatt neck braces.
I'm sure you can sew better than me.
If you're wondering why we're cutting up our best race shirt, it's so the elasticated straps that come from around the back and your front can be connected. This will then stop the Leatt neck brace bouncing up and down and hitting the underside of your lid as you rally down the track.
Scissors are dangerous, get an adult to help you at this stage.
: Don't wear your goggles backwards with the strap under your peak. This will mean when the goggles sit on the back of the lid they will foul the brace and restrict head movement.
My Nan would be proud of me..
As the promoter of the U.K National DH Series there has already been speculation on the forums whether or not these will be compulsory in the near future. I can clearly state that we strongly recommend every rider wears the appropriate safety gear available. This is available now and is appropriate. Will it be compulsory, should it be? You tell me, please post below
:What size Leatt-Brace will I need
The Kids/Small size usually suits anyone between the age of 4 – 14 years of age with a thin build which includes women, Tyler, Mikey and Jordan.
The Adult/Large size is for anyone who is over 16 years of age with an average to large build. I wear a large and I'm 5ft 6ins.What if I break her
There are Worldwide distributors in place though do note Leatt aren't that forth coming on their replacement policy. What they say is that if you break it which is highly unlikely that means it's done it's job correctly. You will need to buy your replacement spares.What is the difference between the Leatt-Braces
First answer is safety wise they are all as good as each other. It all comes down to adjustability and then pose factor! Yes they all come with straps. Just note the TLD one comes with clear poser straps.
The Club, Sport and TLD models come with the collar-platform adjustment built in both front and rear.
To make sure she sits comfortably with your lid there are small adjuster bolts front and rear that tilt the neck collar platform either up or down by a small amount. My top tip here is to whack them right down for maximum head movement as we are riding downhill.
Vertical slotted back adjusters
Now look closely at the vertical thorasic and the Allen key head on the red part of the brace in the middle. This is available on all models in the Leatt range including the Adventure. Unscrew that and the Thoracic slides out and if your a skinny dude you slide the two spacers away from your back and slot that forward. From this picture you can see I'm running it on the middle setting as you can just see one spacer. If I was a fatty then I'd push the two spacers forward and run the thorasic right back. Realistically there is only several millimetres of adjustability but it all helps.
More adjustability which is available on every Leatt including the Adventure.
See the black nylon curved spacer between the Allen key head and the Troy Lee sticker? Well this is the medium spacer. If you have a giraffe neck then there is a zero spacer which means the two red parts will almost touch. Thus reducing the length of the neck brace. There is also a large spacer that will elongate the neck brace by almost 1cm. These all come free with every Leatt along with the straps for fitting. These spacers easily pop in and out in under 30 seconds.
The Leatt ADVenture is 199.99GBP. Constructed from Glass Reinforced Nylon upper and lower, non-adjustable and weighs 950grams.
No adjustment at the rear for the platform collar on the Adventure. There is minor adjustment back and forth for the Thoracic (spinal extender)
No adjustment at the front on the Adventure
The Leatt Club is 324.99GBP and is constructed from Glass Reinforced Nylon in both its upper and lower sections and weighs 850grams. Full adjustment of the collar as standard.
The Leatt Sport is 399.99GBP and is constructed from Glass Reinforced Nylon lower section and a Carbon Fiber upper and weighs 780grams and is fully adjustable.
This is mega bucks at £449.99 and is constructed from a Glass Reinforced Nylon lower section and a Carbon Fiber upper and weighs 780grams and is fully adjustable.Leatt Brace
The Leatt TLD Limited Edition
are South African based, we saw them at the World Cup round 1 handing them out to the top riders for free. I first saw Vanessa Quinn wearing one over two years ago, we know Gracia wears one as does Bryceland, so my only question, when will we see Greg Minnaar in one?
South African Karl Prestwood is the U.K disty. http://www.kpr-motocross.com/ FINAL WORDS
: Don't have nightmares. Serious neck and back injuries are very rare and I'm not writing this article to scare you. Hopefully you now have a whole bunch of facts and thoughts that will allow you to make an informed decision.
If you're ever at a race here in the U.K., I always have a spare one you can try on and take for a spin.
Si Paton.Descent-Gear.com 2010 Boxxers Landing Start of June