Interview: Dr. Chris Leatt on the Neck Brace, Collarbone Breaks, Safety Over Fashion & More

Oct 10, 2019
by Sarah Moore  


What is your role at Leatt?


Initially, I wore many hats, now I am the chairman of the board and head up R&D efforts.


What is your background? How did you come to invent the neck brace?


I trained as a medical doctor, worked in various disciplines and ultimately decided on a surgical specialty. During my specialization, I invented the neck brace. This came about after I attended an enduro motorcycle event near Cape Town, South Africa – where a rider I knew fell and broke his neck. I was post-call and with my young son Matthew who was 4 years old at the time, so I wasn’t riding that day, when a paramedic asked me to help him with the fallen rider. Alan Selby had fallen over the handlebars at relatively low speed. I proceeded to attempt to resuscitation him, which despite having all the correct equipment at hand was not successful. Matthew had just ridden his first little motorcycle and with this in mind, I began to work on the neck brace to satisfy myself I was doing all in my power to keep Matthew safe during his future riding. 





How does the Leatt neck brace work? How did you test it?


It works as an alternative load path technology (ALPT) injury. In other words, some of the force transmitted to the neck in a fall onto your head is redirected safely to other body structures. By reducing the magnitude of the neck force, the likelihood of an injury is reduced. Consider a high jumper, at a certain point when the bar is continuously raised, the athlete will not be able to clear the bar. Say you fall over the handlebars and land on your head. The force would usually be transmitted from the ground, to the helmet, then to the neck – all caused by the weight of your body compressing and moving your neck and head. With a neck brace on, the force is transmitted from the ground to your helmet in the same way, however the helmet at a point now touches the braces and unloads (ALPT) some of the force onto the brace. The amount of force transmitted down the neck is thereby reduced as is the risk of injury. The bar is just too high for our high jumper to clear. Testing is done in a number of ways, including physical testing on dummies in various scenarios, lab testing of components of the brace, complex computer modelling and now with the release of the EMS action sport study – 10 years of real life crash data is available. This study and much more on testing can be found on our web site.




Many riders claim that you are more likely to break your collarbone or get a head injury in a crash with a neck brace on. Is there any truth to that? 


This is probably the biggest misconception with respect to the brace. You are LESS likely to break your collarbone wearing a LEATT brace than without one. Let me explain; you break your collarbone in one of three ways, namely 1) a fall on an outstretched arm, where the force is transmitted up your arm to your shoulder, where your collarbone being the “weak link” fractures to prevent a more serious injury. Collarbone fractures generally heal without complication. 2) A fall directly onto your shoulder. 3) Your helmet rim strikes your collarbone.

As we know, collarbones are one of the most common fractures in riders with or without a neck brace. If one considers causes 2) and 3) above, if you fell on your left shoulder you would expect a left sided collarbone fracture. If the brace was the cause of collarbone fractures, you would expect to see this occur on the opposite side as the head and neck  would be moving to the right, however, the brace is designed to protect this helmet rim strike with a collarbone relief area whereby the helmet rim strikes the brace upper surface and not the collarbone, the force is dissipated and does not cause an indriven right-sided collarbone fracture.

This is demonstrated by dummy testing with an instrumented collarbone incorporated into our test dummy that measures peak clavicle (collarbone) forces in all the impact scenarios we test. Additionally, there was a reduction in collarbone injuries cited in the EMS study alluded to above, as a result of cause 3) also discussed above.


Have you done any mountain bike-specific studies to prove that neck braces don't cause an increase in collarbone breaks? The speeds and impact forces are different on a bike vs moto, would that affect the statistics?


No, but then this is not speed-related, but rather a mechanism of injury. A collarbone will still be broken with a fall directly onto the shoulder or an outstretched hand, but the brace’s ability to shield the collarbone from a helmet rim strike will remain, independent of fall speed, type of helmet or other accident dynamics.


Do you sell as many mountain bike neck braces today as you did eight years ago?


Yes. We continue to see growth in the volume of MTB neck braces sold globally as we introduce innovative products that appeal to a wider group of riders.


At Whistler, neck braces used to be everywhere, and now barely anyone wears them. Is that growth of neck braces coming from the mountain bike segment? If yes, is it moving from the North American market?


We are seeing growth in the volume of neck braces sold to mountain bike riders in the US and abroad and across different MTB segments. Whistler is of course a certain segment of the market.


Enduro has exploded in popularity and the tracks are essentially mini DH tracks. EWS racers don’t wear neck braces. How do you plan on addressing this market? Can you? 


I believe we have already addressed this.  For the Enduro market, we have put focus into helmets.  In 2017, we released the DBX 3.0 Enduro Helmet.  A convertible helmet with a removable chin bar consisting of Leatt’s signature 360 turbine technology.  The first company to offer a convertible helmet to reduce both rotation and impact energy to your head and brain.  Expanding our helmet line, the DBX 4.0 Helmet came to market in December 2018.  A full ASTM DH certified helmet with maximized ventilation, 360 turbine technology and very lightweight, weighing from 850g.  Strong enough for DH, yet light and ventilated for Enduro.        




Modern riders are reluctant to wear a hydration pack, much less a Leatt brace. Has fashion taken its toll on protection devices?


We always aim to promote safety over fashion but at the same time, we design our safety products and apparel so that riders don’t need to compromise on either. It is our strong belief that the neck brace should be an integral part of every rider's equipment when riding in a full-face helmet. Leatt neck braces are very slim, lightweight and aesthetically very well designed, so they look good and radically reduce the risk of serious injury. With top models weighing in at under 700grams, we would also like to see more enduro riders wearing them. The sport is progressing and we are convinced that the neck brace does not hinder performance on climbs as well as descents.

It is our company mission to educate consumers on the benefits of neck braces and abolish some the myths surrounding them. We collaborate with professional athletes and ambassadors to primarily raise confidence in the product and in turn, as it becomes more popular, this promotes the neck brace as something cool and trendy. AS the sport continues to get faster and bigger, we are confident that neck braces will grow in their popularity because riders will look for that extra protection. It will give them the confidence to progress.



Strider racing, mini motocross events… There is lots happening in the children's end of power and bicycle competition. What can be done to better protect children?


The most important concern of a parent is to keep their child safe.  Therefore protection is an obvious solution to do so.  In a time where information is at our fingertips, parents should educate themselves on what proper protection is. We take protection for junior riders very seriously and continue to invest in developing products for children, this is a challenge as when impact protection is added to a product the weight and breathability is effected significantly, with a child in such a small and fragile frame this can then lead to exhaustion, which should be avoided being one of the biggest causes of accidents.

In 2014 we introduced the Fusion 2.0 neck vest, a product that combines neck, chest, back and shoulder protection for children that is an acceptable weight. These are very popular with parents and can be used for junior riders from as small as 100cm tall. We also offer many other products such as elbow and knee protection for children of this size.


Do you anticipate consensus in helmet and safety testing standards? What is missing from the equation?


I believe there is more conversation today in the industry than there was a decade ago about various safety standards for our sport. The improvement of helmet standards (there is a new proposed FIM standard in development), the development of more EU apparel safety standards and discussion around a neck brace test standard are all positive signs for us. The adoption of standards and an outcomes based approach to safety equipment would presumably make adoption of new standards easier for homologation and sporting bodies.


Do you anticipate a breakthrough in materials that might revolutionize the protection industry? If you could invent one, what would its properties be like?


As the field of biomechanics is so vast and complex, numerous iterative changes to material and designs will probably be the way the industry improves its offering. At LEATT we are constantly striving to find and develop the best materials possible for our various applications. We are also constantly innovating and testing new ideas – from small iterative improvements to radical new ideas. My new material would therefore ideally have properties to allow for radical innovation to offer a better protective product for our sporting applications, were usability and ultimate protection are enhanced. Materials like shear thickening (getting stiffer the harder you hit them) are an example of this sort of material innovation.


194 Comments

  • 164 2
 If you want some cold hard facts on neck brace effectiveness read this: www.actionsportsems.com/case-study-neck-brace
Nearly 10 years of accident data from American motocross racing. 8529 recorded patients, 4726 without neck brace and 3803 with neck brace. The data is pretty convincing in favor of neck brace use
  • 5 0
 Thanks for sharing.
  • 8 0
 This should really be at the top.
  • 38 6
 THIS IS AWESOME DATA! I'm copying/pasting for those that won't click the link.
Neck Brace Effectiveness Statistics by Great Lakes EMS Inc (Action Sports EMS).

Introduction/Background
Action Sports EMS is an ambulance service catering to the amateur motocross industry in five states.
Founded in 2008 in Northern Wisconsin we have managed to procure some of the largest motocross venues
in the Midwest. Our annual coverage includes multiple area and regional Loretta Lynn qualifiers, Flat track
grand nationals, ISOC, sno-cross events, and more. We work directly for the AMA providing care and
transport at various events, often managing over 1000 riders in a single weekend.

Over the years we have overheard and had conversations about the positives and perceived negatives of
wearing various kinds of safety gear, in particular neck braces. Regardless of make or manufacturer people
seem to think they are “bad”. This perception may be based on old designs, personal experiences, social
media commentary, and/or a total lack of knowledge when it comes to body mechanics.

Riders from age 6 to age 50+ have shared some horrific fallacies about neck braces, much of this
information is coming from other riders during what we call “campfire talk”. More frustrating are trainers with
junior riders feeding this information to parents and young riders. Some examples:
• A neck brace will break your collarbone.
• You cannot look up a hill or jump so don’t wear one.
• You cannot compete wearing one of these and not many Pro’s wear them.
• They will break your upper back and cause nerve damage or paralysis.
• They are uncomfortable.
• They restrict movement.
• They are stupid looking.
• None of them fit right.

We as a team feel our riders need to be educated on the mechanics of a neck brace, what it can and cannot
do. Furthermore, we must dispel these myths about a product designed to help protect the cervical spine
and potentially save a life. The same can be said for seatbelts and air bags many decades ago.
We feel the results of this actual patient data is proof that neck braces are providing the results intended
since their creation. This is something the manufacturers of these devices have known for several years, and
we hope the extensiveness of this report (and other reports like it) will finally show people real world data. We
feel the manufacturers are on the right path and the data from the study will back up their claims.

Data Collected
*Data is collected for all patient contacts per DHS rule in any state a provider is licensed.
Data in this study has been collected from January 2009 to October 2018, (nearly 10 years) and includes
9430 total patients, 8529 of which fall into the criteria pertaining to wearing (or not wearing) a neck brace,
along with Cervical Spine and/or Clavicle injuries, and/or deaths recorded during this time. The other 901
pre-date the “Yes brace or No brace” question, so data from these instances was excluded. This case study
strictly isolates data pertaining to these injuries, as well as accompanying factors like hospital admit, ALS
transport (Advanced life support ambulance or flight service), spinal immobilization, fatal injury, and more.
Of the 8529 recorded patients, 4726 of them were toggled as “NO” which indicates neck protection was not
in place at the time of injury and when the record was created. 3803 were toggled “YES” which indicates
neck protection was in place at the time of injury and when the record was created.

Statistics

1. A Critical Cervical Spine injury is 89% more likely without a
neck brace.
Over the course of the 10 year study, there were 239 recorded cases of Critical Cervical Spine injuries
without a neck brace, and 26 with a neck brace.

2. Death is 69%+* more likely (due to Cervical Spine Injury)
without a neck brace.

Over the course of the 10 year study, there were 4 recorded cases of death caused by Critical Cervical Spine
injuries without a neck brace, and just 1 with a neck brace.
*It should be noted that the patient who experienced death with the neck brace had a full Cervical Spine
Fusion from a previous injury, and received a blunt force (part of the motorcycle) directly to the back of the
neck. Since the injury falls into our report criteria the accident is included in this report, but the circumstances
are worth mentioning.


Deaths due to Critical Cervical Injury
3. A Non-Critical Cervical Spine injury is 75% more likely without
a neck brace.
Over the course of the 10 year study, there were 702 recorded cases of Non-Critical Cervical Spine injuries
without a neck brace, and just 109 with a neck brace.

4. A Clavicle (collarbone) fracture is 45% more likely without a
neck brace.
Over the course of the 10 year study, there were 443 recorded Clavicle fractures without a neck brace, and
291 with a neck brace.

5. Cervical Spine injuries sustained without a neck brace are
more severe, require greater care.
As shown in the left above, of the 239 Critical Cervical Spine injuries without a neck brace (Shown in black),
100% (239) of them required a hospital admit (Yellow) and ALS transport (Orange), compared to just 73%,
and 42% for neck brace wearers respectively (Right chart, same colors).
Of the 239 Critical Cervical Spine injuries without a neck brace, 87% (207) received Spinal Immobilization
(Red), where as of the 26 Critical Cervical Spine injuries with a neck brace, 76% (22) were immobilized.
0
50
100
150
200
250
Without Neck Brace
Critcal Cervical Injury Hospital Admit
ALS Transport Spinal Immobalization


With Neck brace
Critcal Cervical Injury Hospital Admit
ALS Transport Spinal Immobalization
6. A Cervical Spine injury of any kind is 82% more likely without a
neck brace.
Over the course of the 10 year study, combining all critical and non critical Cervical Spine injuries, 945 injuries
were recorded without a neck brace (20% of 4726 people), and 136 with a neck brace (3.5% of 3803
people).

Conclusion
9430 recorded accidents over nearly 10 years is a substantial sampling of real world data pertaining to neck
braces, and in every instance above neck braces are an exponential improvement in rider safety. We will
continue to record this data for many years to come, and we feel with time these statistics will only continue,
if not improve if more people continue to adopt this technology. While we cannot definitively rule out that the
device (or any device) could potentially play a negative role during an accident, we feel it is important to
mention that no device known to man is 100% effective, and that same rule applies to neck braces.
Our hope is that people see this, educate themselves on the benefits of wearing a neck brace, and make an
informed decision regarding their safety when riding their motorcycle. The numbers don’t lie, and we highly
recommend everyone consider wearing any protection item that can help contribute to their safety.
It should be noted that just like your bike, helmet, boots, etc, any equipment worn must be properly fitted
according to manufacturers instructions in order to provide maximum benefit and wearability. Improperly
fitted equipment can cause unexpected results, and may hinder your ability on the motorcycle, and may even
lead to injury and/or death.

Disclaimer: We are an EMS service that is simply looking out for rider safety. This is real world data
collected over many years, and has in no way been manipulated to show a benefit or detriment either for, or
against neck braces. Keeping you safe is our passion and it is our duty to share what we have learned while
catering to the motorsports industry and to our moto-family for the good part of a decade.
  • 12 90
flag lognar (Oct 10, 2019 at 13:15) (Below Threshold)
 @Geochemistry: so now we have to scroll past that. Thanks.
  • 44 1
 @Geochemistry: Thanks, I wouldn’t have read it otherwise.
  • 9 2
 While this draws on an good sized dataset the analysis isnt very good and they come to conclusions that the data can't support. They only consider the number of injured riders and not the total number of riders wearing neck braces. Without knowing the total number of riders wearing neck braces then you don't know if the reduction in apparent injury rate is down to the neck brace or because only a given % of riders use them.
  • 1 0
 @kingtut87: it’s assumed that both groups had the average amount brave users for each group.
  • 3 0
 @kingtut87: Yes, they should have divided the number of injuries by the number of riders in each group before comparing them (i.e., normalized the data), but the conclusions remain the same. For example, the increase in critical C-spine injuries is over 86% after normalization and was 89% without. This is fairly obvious since the number of riders in each group are not very different, while the number of injuries between the two are very different.
  • 5 2
 @kingtut87: You're 100% right, not to mention the study could face some other serious biases due to self-selection, adverse selection or moral hazard.

#1 There is no reason to assume that riders who choose to use a neck brace have the same characteristics as the control group of non-neck brace wearers. It seems reasonable people who buy neck braces are possibly more risk-averse individuals.

#2 Alternatively there could be adverse selection, where people who are more likely to need neck braces are the ones that go out and buy them.

#3 Peoples' behavior with regard to risk-taking might change because they are wearing a neck brace and feel safer.

Some of these biases work against each so it is very hard to say which would dominate.

Studies like the one above are great but it is a real shame when they utilise exceedingly poor methodologies (like a simple comparison of raw numbers) and draw conclusions that are thoroughly unrobust and cannot be substantiated. It's not to say their conclusion is wrong, it's just this study simply cannot prove what it is saying.
  • 9 0
 @enduro86: I'm glad you are thinking critically about this data, particularly about study design biases, which are obviously important in any area of research. Yes, this is a retrospective observational study, not a prospective double-blinded randomized controlled trial. And I think we can all acknowledge that the latter would be impossible to achieve with neck braces. This problem is common in medical/surgical fields of research. When you've spent 20+ years in academic medical research and 15+ years as a practicing physician like me, you realize that much of what we generally agree is best practice is not based on the standards you are calling for here. For example, there are very few major studies in intensive care and surgery that hold up to your ideal standards, yet lives are saved every day in the ICU and OR based on practices supported by observational data and even just "expert opinion". You say that they "draw conclusions that are thoroughly unrobust". I would say that the observed differences in critical injuries between the two groups in this study is striking, more so than many studies in medicine whose conclusions have changed practice and thereby saved countless lives. I would hate the readers of your comment to dismiss this study because of the objections you raise, especially when serious injury and death are concerned.
  • 2 0
 @kingtut87: @kingtut87:
"Of the 8529 recorded patients, 4726 of them were toggled as “NO” which indicates neck protection was not
in place at the time of injury and when the record was created. 3803 were toggled “YES” which indicates
neck protection was in place at the time of injury and when the record was created. "
That's 55% / 45%. Given the effect sizes and sample size, pretty sure the results are significant.
  • 3 0
 @fpmd: That's fair, my point wasn't to throw out the conclusion entirely so that was worded a little harshly. More directed at the fact that the conclusion cannot be validated. That's a sick line of work btw. Yes, it's not randomised control trial but there are econometric techniques that can improve results when there is a likelihood of selection bias. Some kind of matching method creating treated and control groups artificially by matching across a group of basic characteristics would be ideal for this situation.

@powpowpow Inclined to agree with you seems plausible that it would be significant. Unfortunately, just because there is a large sample size and when comparing averages the gap looks big doesn't make a result significant. An even with a significant result inferring causality that the Neck Brace is what drove the results is exceedingly difficult in the presence of those biases mentioned.

Not trying to roast neck braces here. It's directed at this study cited, it's just not a great study from the perspective of the methodology used.
  • 1 0
 @enduro86: I agree with your points, in theory there might be a selection bias here. But the number of accidents in each group is of the same order of magnitude, so the "risk taking" bias seems rather not plausible. And there is no way to run a prospective study in this case, so that is as good data as you will ever get.
  • 66 1
 I’ll always wear a brace when the full face is out. I don’t see why you wouldn’t. Once used to it you barely notice it’s there. It’s done it’s job many times in the 12years I’ve used one.
  • 24 1
 This right here ^^^ Could not agree more. I never feel mine when its on me and I can honestly say ive put mine to good use. Cracked two carbon helmets right at the goggle line because of the force between the brace and my helmet hitting the ground. All that force pinching and cracking my helmet could have been directed towards my neck but instead the helmet and brace took it all.
  • 6 0
 It's such an obvious piece of safety gear!!! I don't get why anyone wouldn't wear one. It's comfortable, does not get in the way of riding at all, and can prevent you from being paralyzed - with zero penalty (sorry if you're too poor to afford a $150 piece of equipment - get a new sport).
  • 1 1
 I would definitely buy one if the price was under £100
  • 49 0
 Back in 2009 I asked Tara Llanes her opinion on neck braces and this is exactly what she said after she fractured her C7 vertebrae and ended up in a wheel chair:

Si,

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!

Cheers,
Tx

Never Give Up!

======

Personally i've had two big crashes wearing a neck brace and walked away, the biggest one was at Whistler in 2014 at Crankworx as i hit a spectator crossing the track. I cracked the Leatt Pro Carbon neck brace, thats how hard I hit the guy, biggest crash in 30 years and I walked away fom it. I don't leave home without it!
  • 15 68
flag nikifor88 (Oct 10, 2019 at 4:37) (Below Threshold)
 i wore leatt neck brace and still ended up with c6/c7 spinal cord injury so, whateverr
  • 52 2
 @nikifor88: ah yes, the same logic as wearing seatbelts eliminated all car deaths.
  • 28 1
 @nikifor88: What do you think would have happened without it?
  • 4 40
flag monkeybizz (Oct 10, 2019 at 7:39) (Below Threshold)
 @schofell84: I don't know, why don't you go fall like he did and see what happens
  • 2 1
 @nikifor88: That's anecdotal, but it's great to see you're still out there getting it with the handbike.
  • 3 0
 @spankthewan: @schofell84: i know but tara's opinion of what COULD happen is even less scientifical

dont know what would happen, feelks like exactly the same

still would wear leatt though

but i feel like this article and tara's quote are giving false sense of security
  • 4 2
 @nikifor88: Agreed. " Do you wear this minor inconvenience in order to possibly maintain the ability to walk?" This is similar to Pascal's wager, except the benefits of a neck brace may eventually be proven by science, though they have not yet.
  • 6 4
 @spankthewan: you simply cant prove that, thera are no 2 identical bodies, crashes nor spinal cord injuries to compare

but we may believe in neck brace, influencing our life or not, opposite to god they actually do exist XD
  • 28 0
 Some interesting words, yet I see the same thing as Pinkbike mentioned; the amount of people I see riding with a neck brace today compared to some years ago is a staggering difference. Just can’t seem to believe they’ve actually increased sales of braces for the bicycle market.
  • 17 17
 Maybe he just lies. It would be embarrassing to say people don't want their products anymore and the sales goes down.
  • 19 1
 @HenkkaK: mtb market is growing for years and it's not a secret. Maybe 5 or 10 years ago the bikeparks were reserved for park rats, but today I see much more completely clueless people on rentals with full gear (braces included) than good riders that will ride black or freeride trails with gaps and huge drops.
  • 16 0
 @HenkkaK: i think the neckbraces are a bit less frequent, but the sport has grown so much, that the sales numbers are growing but not as fast as new Bike riders appear…
  • 4 4
 I also belive he just lies. Does anyone see more neckbraces somewhere ? (numbers, not percentage). I personnaly don't. I see more and more people riding in my area, and not a single brace. Maybe that only swiss guy at the bikepark who's fully protected.
  • 3 0
 I think the number of riders is increasing faster than the number of people adding safety gear with their new sport entry. See it a lot in bike shops. "I want the bike, but don't need a helmet."
  • 9 0
 Whether talking about rates of use or absolute numbers, bear in mind that buying one doesn't have anything to do with wearing it. The first world's closets are full of sports and safety gear that were purchased but not used.

It'd be useful to hear from shop owners and salesfolk about this (shops that actually sell neck braces) rather than anecdotal perceptions.
  • 15 0
 I got a deal on a Leatt carbon 6.5 last year and started wearing it to DH race, Park, and jump days. IDGAF if people think it looks some kind of way. I think appearance and peer-pressure is the number one factor that causes people not to wear them. That, and all the weed being smoked is making people extra self-conscious these days.
  • 1 1
 @endlessblockades: I have an EVS Koroyd that I were when it's not my typical around the hills loops. I should wear it there too, but I just want to hop on the bike and ride.
  • 2 1
 @endlessblockades: Amen. And I'll continue to wear my convertible full face helmet on any trail on a mountain ... even if it's just flow. Who cares what you look like. It's about NOT ENDING UP IN THE HOSPITAL OR WORSE!!!
  • 1 0
 The good thing about helmets is that you can buy one that does the job for very little money. For people like me who bring out the full face under ten times a year, a £100 helmet is all I would consider buying.
I don't know the price of neck braces right now, but I seem to remember them being three or four times that. At that price, there is not a chance I would ever buy one. Aren't they made in China like 95% of other consumer goods in the world? Bring the pricing down to something reasonable and I bet there would be a lot more take-up.
  • 2 0
 I bet its all parents buying them for their kids. I rarely see younger kids on moto or at the bike park without them. DH bikes are now available for kids and i guarantee the average age at which kids are getting into the sport is getting younger and younger. Im going to make my nieces/nephews and future kids wear them if they want to ride a DH bike or moto, but then again im reluctant from letting them ever touch a moto or DH bike in the first place for as long as i can...
  • 2 0
 @Rstetina: I guess it's a double edged sword. There is marketing saying "if they can afford a £3000 bike they can afford a £300 neck brace."
It's true. They can. We need more competition. The prices will eventually come down.
When I was 14 or 15 my dad bought me a Specialized Sub-6 helmet for £60 and it was literally a single piece of expanded polystyrene with straps that threaded through the structure. Now the helmets available for that price is incredible. Even moreso when you factor in inflation.
  • 16 0
 We heard the loudest tree crack last weekend from the lift when a rider hit a tree at the bike park knocking him out. Later, we learned that he had lost all feeling from his head down and was suspected to have broken his neck. I have been thinking about him often this week, his life may have forever changed in an instant.

I always wear a neck brace but I’ve had several friends purchase one this week after learning about the accident.

The sound of him hitting the tree is something I’ll never be able to forget.
  • 8 0
 Chilling thought. Wish that guy all the best
  • 1 1
 Was this at Trestle a few weeks ago?
  • 1 0
 @skycripp: No @ Snowshoe, WV on 10/5
  • 4 0
 Wow. Hope he recovers but doesn't sound like it. Bought a neck brace a month ago, best purchase of my life - I know it without having to test it in a wreck. Even better than my first bicycle.
  • 3 0
 @Jaguar83: I can't even imagine what shape i'd be without mine. It's helped me more times than I think i've even realized.
  • 3 5
 @Ampdup11: If you're crashing that much, maybe you need to take a step back and work on some core skills, mate.
  • 2 1
 @skycripp: guarantee she shreds harder than you.
  • 2 1
 @geeKayy: highly probable!
  • 18 5
 Over time with the growth in bigger wheels, slacker head angles and bike park “flow”, I’ve ditched both my neck brace and elbow guards - maybe one day I’ll regret this decision...
  • 22 34
flag WAKIdesigns (Oct 10, 2019 at 2:14) (Below Threshold)
 We are eagerly waiting the arrival of father figures to talk down to us about safety.
  • 3 2
 Less Friday Fails, shame.
  • 5 0
 @WAKIdesigns: Repentant WAKI's arrival to Pinkbike in 2039?????
  • 4 3
 ii wish i had a neck brace, but 90% of the riding i do really makes it over kill...the same is true about a full face. the difference is, the ... breaking point for the full face makes the money worth it especially with Enduro races becoming more and more single track downhill races.

like you point out, the opposite might be true when it comes to neck braces...i can't get myself to fork up 350 for a brace and i wonder, just like 170 travel bikes, how many riders really need one. Now, if the brace was 150...

am i wrong?
  • 9 0
 I have gone the opposite, never owned one till last year. Hated thinking about the subject because it felt like like I would jinx myself. It may or may not make a difference but the overall view is that you are better protected with one than without.
  • 2 0
 @stunnanumma1: I picked up an Atlas neck brace on chain reaction cycles for $160 earlier this year, cheaper options are around
  • 11 0
 @stunnanumma1: I think it is personal to every rider where the comfort safety like lies. I also wonder if we really understand when the bad wrecks happen. Mine haven't been doing big jumps out drops out even necessarily chunky trails. They've often been on sections I've ridden hundreds of times that are relatively easy (or perceived to be because I've hot them so often) and something just goes a bit wrong. I hit a baby head, I'm inattentive and lose the front wheel in a berm, I get sloppy and hit my butt on the rear tire going down a step roller.

I was on the lift at Angel Fire this year, and this guy came off an intermediate trail and was on access road when he suddenly went OTB and spiked into the ground. I think he was just not paying attention and lost his bars for some reason and that was that. He didn't get up in the few minutes I was watching (I notified bike patrol).

Would be interesting to hang out all day at the medical center at the bike park and try and get a sense of where and how people get hurt.

Anyway, I advocate wearing as much armor as you can stand. Riding in the park I wear a full face, neck brace, body armor, elbow pads, hip pads, knee and shin pads. Because once I'm on the bike I just don't notice it. I've called away from 6 or 7 big crashes unscathed largely because of the armor (it's taken damage but I haven't). Riding trail I wear a light weight full face and one pads. Anything more bugs me and I get distracted by it.

It would be cool if the bike park collected data and shared it about injuries so we could get a better sense of how and where people get hurt.
  • 4 0
 @pcmxa: I agree with this. We need more insight around the type of crash this could help with and make an educated decision based on risk tolerance. Obviously shit can happen.

Brook for example...would this have helped him at all...?
  • 4 0
 @stunnanumma1: Dude. The DBX 3.5 is $160. Please stop spewing nonsense.
  • 2 0
 @chize: will be going there after i type this...ups!
  • 1 0
 @Jaguar83: spewing nonsense is one thing...writing a post asking a question at the end is another. I'd say, from what i've read above, especially the article with the data...and learning about the DBX and Atlas, asking the question...actually turned out to be educational for a lot of people who read this...guess what just made my christmas list.

It's hard without feedback like this to know whether there is a difference between the DBX and the 450 troylee i see at every bike park...

It's why we should ask questions...without hyperbolic spewed responses.

but thanks for the heads up on the DBX.
  • 3 0
 @stunnanumma1: Totally gotcha. Sorry for the spewing comment. Cheaper options exist as we have posted.

Stay well, be well! Enjoy the new neck brace - catch ya healthy and neck injury free out on the trails!
  • 2 0
 @Jaguar83: let's put it this way...i need one.
  • 1 0
 @stunnanumma1: exactly right! I just wrote that up there ^!
  • 1 1
 @jaame: You must not be able to read. Bummer.
  • 12 0
 I consider my neck brace and full face to be pees and carrots. If the full face is out, the neck brace comes with it. I’ve had numerous crashes that I know the neck brace provided support. Would have broken my neck? Idk maybe, maybe not. But I know for sure that I didn’t with the brace on.

Are you more likely to break your collarbone with a brace on? Maybe, mybe not. My brace has zero contact points with my collarbone. So I don’t think it’ll be an issue. It I can gauruntee that if I asked anyone on PinkBike if they would rather break their neck or their collarbone, they’ll say collarbone. Your neck / Cervical spine is a life supporting piece of anatomy.

I used to work in the medical device industry. And I primarily dealt with spinal implants and reconstructive surgery in the spine. I saw dozens of traumatic cervical spine (neck) injuries from bikers, skiers, car accidents, etc. these patients require screws and rods, which will inherently lock the spine in place for the rest of your life. Like bulldog... The rods that are in his lumbar spine (lower back) are there for good. And range of motion in that area is gone for ever. Imagine that in your neck. Never being able to turn your head in any direction as far as you could.

For these reasons, I’ll gladly wear a neck brace. I even wear a Moto brace for extra support. That’s my two cents.
  • 1 1
 Pees and carrots? You're funny.
  • 1 0
 I asked my surgeon today about neck braces and collarbones (getting elbow plate out from a wreck in a few weeks) - just one data point but she had never heard of someone breaking their collarbone with neck brace on.
  • 13 0
 I look forward for the inevitable comments from people who didn’t even graduate high school telling us why neck braces will actually kill you.
  • 40 0
 Well I am a High School Graduate, with straight B+ in recess , But yeah if you swallow the small parts kits and the bag of desiccants you will suffer the ded !
  • 3 0
 @justincs: Desiccants won't hurt you. They're labeled "not food: do not eat" because they aren't food.
  • 11 0
 I shattered my right collarbone wearing a Leatt and a D3. I came down hard on the top right side of my head, driving my helmet into the brace and breaking my right collarbone. The fall and hit didn’t seem as hard as some others I’d had before. At first I thought it was an unnecessary injury caused by the brace, but later that night, I realized how sore my whole neck was. Whatever resulted in my collarbone breaking, I believe that the brace kept me from breaking my neck. My theory is that my neck traveled as far as it could without a serious injury and the Leatt stopped further compression. My neck was pretty sore for a few weeks. Unfortunately now I have a plate on top of my collarbone, so a leatt is too uncomfortable to wear, despite really believing in them.

The story that led to me purchasing my Leatt- My friend had a serous crash on Mt Spokane that resulted in a completely broken full face helmet and Leatt. The Leatt failed at the points it was supposed to, and the helmet was more or less crushed. I can’t remember all his injuries, but he still broke a vertebra or two. His surgeons directly attributed his spinal cord staying intact to wearing the brace. All of this because he caught a pedal racing.
  • 5 1
 me and my ripper both race DH, I wouldn't let him race without one. im sure a lot of people use the misguided conception that they promote injury to just not buy and wear one. also yes they can limit movement a bit but, when your on the bike it does not matter as its where your looking is fine, just rotational,
  • 4 0
 Neck brace use hasn't gone down much where I live in northern Italy. But local perception doesn't give a good measure. I think that many people stopped using a neck brace because they tried one when they first came out. Those braces were pretty bulky and unconfortable, even more if you wanted to use a chest protector. The newer models are a lot more comfortable and a lot less restricting. More over nowdays leatt offers quite the choice of models, I bet the most expensive are pretty good. I'd love to try an Atlas brace, they seem the least restrictive. Must also kept in mind that some braces are designed for mx, not for dh. The newer Alpinestars brace is a good examples of that, it's like it's not even there while riding my mx bike, but doing dh it doesn't stay perfectly put. It's not super annoying but noticeable. What I don't understand is how people can use braces without strapping them down. That has to be quite dangerous too imo.
  • 2 0
 I have a Leatt DBX 6 brace and with getting all the adjustments dialled (front and rear position and rear angle) the brace sits absolutely firm against my chest and back and doesn't move at all. I have found that the supplied straps don't add any more stability to this setup even while riding through rock gardens or other shaky stuff. For me the upside of not having to use the straps is that on hot summer days I am always taking most of my protectors off in the gondola and reaching for that strap and undoing it in a small confined space - with other riders and bikes also crammed in - is awkward.
  • 4 0
 I bought a new Leath brace this year. The new version has some kind of rubber cushion under the rim at the collar bone area. The first one i had, was the design with a clamp in this area for the sizing spacer. With this earlier version i had two collar bone break before a figured out the screw under the clamp was DIRECTLY presuring my collar bone. I did not even wanted to sell my old version has it is not collar bone safe. I think that this is where the issue comes from. The new version is fine though but i did not crash it yet. I think this point should have been covered in the article. Just wanted to share my experience. Cheers
  • 4 0
 The added effect a chin bar or a fixed visor adds to a crash is why MIPS and other rotational management safety items exist. In a crash a chin bar or a visor are levers. Its why Fox made the magnetic visor on their moto helmets. If you look at Roczens first broken wrist crash you see his visor flying off and he admitted he thinks if it had not detached it could have cause more injuries.

Me and my little rider(9yo son) wear FF every time we are at the bike park and we both wear LEATT. If a brace contributes to some other lesser injury but allows either of us to literally walk away from a crash then I will accept that trade off
  • 1 0
 Exactly and that goes across the board. Perhaps the chin bar will tweak my neck, but I'll take that over breaking my jaw, splitting my lip open and knocking out my teeth! For me safety equipment is about mitigating the major injuries. FF and neck brace thumbs up!
  • 4 0
 There's an amazing episode of the Downtime Podcast that is a great interview with Chris Leatt. Well worth the listen if you're interested.

Personally, I chose to wear a brace for Moto riding and will continue to if I get back into DH again. I know a couple riders who crashed in braces and walked away from what should have been debilitating injuries.

The dilemma for me is Enduro... Even the convertible helmets don't seem to interface properly with a brace and I'm not planning on bringing two helmets. I have an old neck injury (cracked my C2 in half) so extra crash protection is definitely needed.
  • 4 0
 I don't know if it's an issue with a transparent background on the image or what, but that 'NECK BRACE vs NO NECK BRACE' chart with grey text on a black background is unreadable.
  • 3 0
 I just had a major OTB into the woods off of a hip jump. I landed wrong and got punted hard. The neck brace I was wearing saved my bacon. I'm extremely sore, but I didn't break my neck or collar bone. Sometimes I notice mine when I'm riding, but mostly I don't. Totally a worthwhile purchase.
  • 3 0
 To the comment about seatbelts eliminating all car deaths...seatbelts and Leatt’s (and condoms) all REDUCE risk by a large percentage the likelihood of the bad event happening. They won’t prevent 100%. Seldom in safety is anything 100% full proof except total abstinence of doing that activity. It’s risk tolerance.
  • 2 0
 I think he was being sarcastic because the ass above him said he hurt his neck even though he was wearing a brace.
  • 3 0
 At the end of the day it comes down to what price do you value your neck/walking/having a normal life. I have and will gladly pay for something that greatly reduces my chances of a c-spine injury. If you're wearing a full face you should be wearing a neck brace plain and simple. I would hope most of us would think that people that don't wear seat belts are stupid right? Well if you don't wear a neck brace sorry you're a freakin idiot plain and simple.
  • 3 0
 Personally I'm just not seeing neck braces advertised online OR displayed prominently in LBS around town. Helmets are made super "sexy and cool", but still no brace ads. When was the last time anyone did a brace "launch on pinkbike"? I think LBS and safety equipment manufacturers are doing a shitty job with trying to bring more safety to riding.
  • 4 0
 This is the best comment section ever. No bickering, and tremendous info and insight being shared.
And reminded me to update/add to ALL my safety gear.
Thanks you PB, Leatt, and commenters also. More of this, please.
  • 2 0
 I've got a bit slack the last couple of years riding without my brace and just knee pads, had a nasty OTB coming down Snowdon a few weeks ago and now the brace is back on. I don't even notice it's there so no real excuse. Personally I don't like the fit of Leatt but there products look great, I find the EVS braces far more comfortable and they are a fraction of the price
  • 2 0
 There is not a more noble reason to design a safety product, than why Dr. Leatt did. I've been a firefighter for 20yrs, and I wish he would design a practical helmet for us with anti concuss tech. The traditional helmets we wear are cumbersome and mostly useless, especially working accidents.
  • 2 0
 I’m pretty certain that my neck brace saved me from very serious injury a few years back. Got away with 6months of physio and 18months of a sore neck. I’ve gotten pretty slack wearing it recently & should start again. I think the rise of Enduro has hurt the use of braces. A few years ago you would have seen 80% DH rigs at Whistler, now it’s probably more like 30/40%.

A few side points;
- I’d like info on the efficacy of braces paired with Enduro FF helmets. Also manufacture info per helmet of whether brace use is recommended with that model.
- Personal opinion, even after years of wearing a brace strapped down, I still notice it & don’t like it.
- I’ve seen those kids fusion neck vests & id like an adult equivalent.
  • 2 0
 Im just glad to see the collarbone myth slowly being debunked as ive met many people who didnt want to wear one for this reason. I think a lot of this around the 'choice' to wear one is about whether your personality works around the precautionary principle or not in the way you approach the sport. I see it as personal choice. I wear one for DH and have done for about 7 years. Ive had two big crashes which because of the way I landed on my head and twisted and compressed it, I believe, as a non-medical professional, would have been worse if I hadnt been wearing one. Thats a personal view, not based on science. I guess the only point I would make is that people should have free choice on this, away from peer pressure and 'myths'. The number of times Ive had dicks mock me for wearing one, because they thought they were cooler without makes me laugh but it does impact on peoples enthusiasm for them.
  • 1 5
flag dfiler (Oct 10, 2019 at 8:28) (Below Threshold)
 This article doesn't seem like proper debunking. It is an interview with a guy who's trying to sell us neck braces. Of course he's going to say neck braces are great. What we need is an interview with independent researchers.
  • 2 1
 @Jaguar83: Interesting reading. Thanks!

While I think neck braces make you safer, that study is meaningless as presented. It just tells you the percentage of their cases who had a neck brace or not for each injury type. For that data to be meaningful, it must be compared to the total number of riders with or without a neck brace.

For the record, i'm advocating for science rather than against science.
  • 1 0
 @dfiler: I get what you're saying...but that will never be reported. They would have to survey every mountain biker ever to get that data. Not happening... You can make some rough estimates if you want by going your local bike park.
  • 2 1
 @Jaguar83: "Never" seems like a bit of a stretch. Without that data their "study" is completely meaningless. In fact, calling it a study is disingenuous.

They might as well make up numbers to support their cause. Which is effectively what they've done. It's sad since I actually support their cause. Neck braces could prevent many life altering injuries. Or at least they probably could. We don't actually have data indicating that they do yet.
  • 2 1
 @dfiler: You do you. I'll wear my neck brace. You only get one spine, gonna do all I can to protect mine.
  • 1 1
 @Jaguar83: dude. He's right. This "study" is worthless. It has nothing to do with properly peer reviewed study that reached any scientific consensus. It's pure marketing.
  • 2 0
 @goroncy: You're right - as I indicated in my previous message ("I get what you're saying...").

I wish I could unsend it, it doesn't provide great data. Sorry. I hope I haven't ruined your day and life.
  • 2 0
 @dfiler: I don't get that point, "to be meaningful, it must be compared to the total number of riders with or without a neck brace"

As I see it, the total of riders doesn't matter, as the brace doesn't play any role for most of them. Is only the riders
with cercical/clavicle injury the ones becoming part of the study, that's totally logical to me.
  • 1 0
 @ismasan: Number of riders does matter. To illustrate why, imagine if 10000 riders didn't wear braces and 1 rider did wear a brace. Of course there are going to be more injuries to riders not wearing braces. The question is, is the injury rate 10000 times as high?
  • 1 0
 @dfiler: No it doesn't matter, that would be a whole different study, as to know what percentage of riders wearing or not neck brace need medical assistance or not.

This study compares the injuries sustained by riders who needed medical asssistance, and both sides are almost the same size.

"Of the 8529 recorded patients, 4726 of them were toggled as “NO” which indicates neck protection was not in place at the time of injury and when the record was created. 3803 were toggled “YES” which indicates neck protection was in place at the time of injury".

That's 45% with a neck brace and 55% without, almost equal size. Then you see the results and they're not that balanced.
  • 6 0
 Bought a neck brace, wore it once, crashed, tore my ACL and MCL....
  • 1 0
 Wore mine twice, landed on head, grade 3 sep.
  • 1 0
 Your still walking though right? I'm sure it's the neck braces fault you injured your knee.
  • 2 0
 @coyotecycleworks: never said it was....
  • 2 0
 Wore a neck collar in football and so I don’t even feel my neck brace when I wear my full face. After using a few times you don’t even notice its there anymore. Have taken some big crashes and mine have all kept me up straight and walking.
  • 3 0
 Too all the people who think these are overkill, massive facepalm yourselves. I had a buddy break his neck playing in the parking lot on a rock pile, otb onto his face and then 6 months in a brace.
  • 1 0
 was he wearing a helmet though?
  • 2 0
 Is Leatt making a dual density foam helmet now? I got to mess with TLD Enduro FF helmet in the stage and I can see how the slightly softer foam layer would help a lot with some more minor crashes that still give you a concussion. It's like suspension for your brain.
  • 2 0
 You don't know till you know: I had a hellacious wreck at speed into a rock garden due to a pedal strike and it destroyed my right flank (only area with no armor).. looking at my gear afterward I found big gouges in my helmet and knuckle armor. Good chance of a fracture and/or concussion without, so I will never go with less. In fact, I upped my game with flank armor and a neck brace is next. I want to ride without fear, not have the potential aftermath change what I love
  • 2 0
 That's the attitude. All these jackwagons out there hating on safety gear...
  • 3 0
 @Jaguar83: It's because they see these top WC guys and think well he or she doesn't use it why should I. It's in the same boat as components, kits etc. Just a monkey see monkey do kind of mentality. Sad thing is people are getting worse injuries that could have been prevented just to look like their favourite rider/racer.
  • 2 0
 @coyotecycleworks: For sure. There are certainly components that I've clicked the purchase button because I know that some top biker uses them (saw Rude with Giro's - picked them up from Steep and Cheap, have Semenuk's Chromag pedals, etc.) - but safety equipment? Ain't no one gonna tell me or influence me there...
  • 2 0
 This is really interesting. I’ve never thought about wearing a neck brace before because I’ve never ‘needed’ one. I could probably go on riding for the next 20 years and not ‘need’ one, but that one time I do need it, I’d sure as hell like to be wearing one.
  • 1 0
 A motorcyclist had a crash in traffic with an open face helmet and suffered several fractures in his face but recovered well. He told me if he'd have worn a full face road helmet in that same crash, his face might have been fine but he'd likely have broken his neck. Now of course all crashes are different and don't know how much a neck brace would have helped, but it got me thinking back then. Even back in the day you had loads of helmets that came in both open face as well as closed face variation:
MET Anaxagore vs Parachute
Specialized Instinct vs Dissent
Now obviously you had no real identical open face alternative to hard shell full face helmets like a TLD D2 but nowadays you have them too. And a pisspot helmet was hard shell too.

So with experts on board, I'd like to ask: does the chin bar of a full face helmet any more good than protect the lower part of your face (between jaw and nose, I always prefer goggles for the upper part) and is it true that it does so at the expense of increased loads on the neck? Especially as for ventilation mountainbike helmets come with a longer chin bar (to have it more out of the way) compared to an MX helmet, it also gives the forces more leverage when rolling over in a crash.

Now of course I understand that these neck braces are supposed to take some of that increased stress of the neck and transfer it straight to the lower body. But I see this as a solution for a challenge introduced by these full face helmets. So yeah I'm curious which type of protection leads to the least severe injuries in those common crashes onto the sides and back of the head. Full face with neck brace or a comparable but open face helmet without neck brace.

Then of course back in the days BMX racers used to ride with these separate mouth guards, like what Olly Wilkins is wearing here: cdn.coresites.factorymedia.com/dirt_new/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/001-DT101-UK.jpg. Obviously most of us will need something more fashionable to look half as good but outside of fashion, it does protect your teeth but doesn't introduce any additional loads on the neck.
  • 2 0
 I'm no expert but I have to imagine it would be entirely dependant on how you crash and at what angle your helmet strikes the ground. There will definitely be cases where the chin bar on a full face will catch the ground and cause a different type of injury. But I'd imagine there are many more cases where a chin bar will do its purpose of protecting your face without causing any other injuries. No two crashes are the same, no two riders are the same.
  • 4 0
 I crashed with open face helmet. lf I only had FF helmet, I could smile again. :/
  • 2 0
 @Brzzi: yeah ugh. My kids after some mini crashes and a dead tooth got us on FF permanently. Light ones that arent DH. They are totally great for trail use and saved the left side of my face in my second ride this season. Was spitting out dirt etc but face was fine. Get well.
  • 2 0
 All I know is, I would much rather take a gamble on any neck injury, and be very confident about protecting my face, with a FF. Breaking face bones, splitting your lip open, and or having major dental work is brutal. I want my teeth! A couple years ago, my front wheel went over the back of a big berm. I face planted so fast, I barely had time to see the ground coming. I was okay, but bought a FF the next day!
  • 2 0
 @Svinyard: 12 lost. Complite left side.
  • 1 0
 @Brzzi: Brutal. Still on the bike?
  • 5 0
 @Jaguar83: even more after that crash, you cant take bike from biker.
But story is that i lost all confindace after that crash. Than build it up slowly first on pumptrack, than HT trail raiding and now again after a yer or so again on FS ripping trails. But still didnt find my speed which i had before crash.

Point is get all protection you need. deppend what you riding. And f.uck it if it looks funny cos crash can happen any time anywhere, when it happens you will see it better ro look funny than to see, in my case, your teeth all over the ground.
And when you go in proces of healing when you are unable to funcion normal, again im case even to eat, than you see that its easier to fix a bike and broken parts than your body.

Ride safe, use protection.
  • 1 0
 @Brzzi: Agree with everything you wrote x1000. I'm not the same biker as I was pre-bad-elbow-break, like you. But it's all good, we still shredding. Catch ya out on the trails!
  • 1 0
 Im a big fan of your companies products, and appreciate the protection provided over the years. My most recent purchase of a dbx3.5, highlighted a sizing issue with this model. As i had to return my original order, an then buy the extra large model. An run it in its widest setting, to get it to fit. When strangely, ive been a small size in everything my whole life. Other then that, product rides well. And is top notch quality!
  • 4 0
 I stopped noticing my neck brace by the second ride or so. It has definitely saved me from a couple of very sore necks.
  • 6 1
 Nice photoshop work on first picture.
  • 3 0
 Maybe less neck braces is only matter of fashion? Because everybody wants to look like "PRO" these days and barely any DH PRO rider wears a neck brace in World Cups?
  • 3 0
 For sure that's why. The real question is, why aren't the pro's wearing them while surely being aware of these facts? They push the limits more than any of us.
  • 1 0
 I am sure they still sell. How many of us have bought one?... its the wearing thats the problem. I have worn mine about 5-6 times mostly for races and not in the biek park. oddly most of my big offs are in the bike park.. shoudl we ware them probably but i am not even wearing full armour these days. but that said i am still recovering from a dislocated shoulder so maybe i do need to ware more protection. its just gotta be more comfortable and cheaper.
  • 4 2
 I'm pretty confident the cost is the only reason more people aren't wearing them. To be clear: I'm a big proponent of safety gear, but $350 for a good quality neck brace is a hard pill to swallow when you have bills to pay.
  • 2 0
 I'm with you on that, if someone comes out with a sub $150 MSRP adult model I think they could make a chunk of change. I also wish insurance companies/ healthcare providers would provide financial incentives. Or at least help with financing on them since it's ultimately in their best $ interest to keep you safe.

It's definitely worth looking at used ones though. I got my OG GPX for $20 from a used gear store and another $20 for the right sized spacer.
  • 2 0
 If only you could go to Leatt's website right now and get one for $160.
  • 2 0
 @NorCalNomad: Adult models are $160.
  • 1 0
 @skycripp: Safer and you ride your bike more so you're healthier. Its almost like there's something in the way of making this happen ....

Money?

Nah.
  • 6 0
 I’m not sure I agree. I MTB, but I used to be a track rat with my race car. There could not be two different cultures when it came to safety. The race car crew embraced it and laid the money out. We knew crashing could happen to anyone, no matter how much talent you had and it might kill you. And we paid huge sums of money to get the right helmet, the right harness, the right fireproof suit, the right seat etc. The think is we are all protecting the same body, the same head, the same life.

I feel like theres a lot of machismo and fatalism in the MTB, BMX etc crowd. They see safety equipment as unwarranted, and possibly uncool. It’s almost like wearing safety gear suggests you lack talent and need it, but wearing no equipment means you are skilled enough that you wont crash.

People say things like a Fox Proframe is not needed. They base their opinion not on physics or worst case scenario, they base it on the fact that THEY have never had a need or a friend.

I’m just a guy, on a bike, on a trail. I wear whatever I think I need to keep me safe and riding for as long as I can,
  • 3 0
 @BlackPenquinn: You're absolutely right. I used to drag race (track only) and safety is no joke. Whether it's cage certification, passing tech, fire suit etc. it's all stuff that you need before you can race. Every once and a while I still see an idiot without a helmet at the local dirt jumps. Guess it's just culling the population of morons, but the worst thing is is the example you set for kids/newbies.
  • 2 0
 Sorry if this has already been posted (didn't have time to read all the comments). This is a really interesting podcast with Chris Leatt, worth a listen. www.downtimepodcast.com/leatt
  • 1 0
 People almost always overlook the body build aspect of neck braces. Buddy of mine has a really short neck and just can’t wear one and have the range of motion he needs on steeper trails. I’ve got a long neck, the steepest double black chutes I can ride and I don’t notice my neck brace at all. I don’t judge if you wear one or not.
  • 1 0
 Great point. There many be some thinner ones though (someone mentioned Alpinestars Moto I think?) for your anti-giraffe-neck buddy though?
  • 1 0
 @Jaguar83: unfortunately none of them fit
  • 1 0
 I work as a Mountain bike guide at my local bike park, we've had a few people paralyzed this year and a death from hitting a tree and collapsing their lung. Armor is so important, I lost count of how many cracked helmets have come back this year. I bought myself a neck brace this year after my friend almost broke his neck from going otb on a jump. He was unable to bike for quite a few weeks after and he is now also wearing a neck brace. I'm super happy with my purchase I actually had a bad fall and tested it myself by falling hard on my left shoulder and head on a steep rooty section, luckily my shoulder pads and helmet took most of the impact and I was back on my bike a few days later. I don't do any rides without it anymore, I don't even notice when I wear it.
  • 2 0
 Collarbone argument is weird, straight up I would rather break my collar bone than my neck! Turns out that isn't the choice we face anyway, with both being less likely wearing a brace
  • 1 0
 Neck braces are there to keep you from braking your spine but... they have a carbon strut on the rear which directly pushes and transfers all the energy from your crash directly through the carbon strut pushing directly into your spine!
Hard to use stat for proper testing as not all crashes are the same. And you cannot re create a single crash to see a different outcome would be different weather wearing or not wearin would have made a different.
How many crashes have happened that people have not been wearing them and nothing's happened so it was not recorded in the stats.

I want to believe... but it's hard to believe when the guy pushing them is the guy selling them with his name on the product.

Plus for the brace to even work it must be fitted to a certain gap between the helmet and brace. Which means they all need to be custom made. Does that happen? Nope. General size for everyone.

Yes I race motorcross and offroad dirtbike. I've walked away from 15 years of crashing. Without wearing a brace. But I'm not part of these stats because I was never injured in a neck injury during my crashes.
  • 1 0
 i think im slow to evolve ..i used to refuse to wear a helmet 20 years ago.felt wild and free but pretty stupid really, but being comfortable in the moment and not overheating used to win out for me. the gears gotten a lot better and i guess i can afford to suit up now and really these posts have me excited to smarten up... as materials /design steadily improve i hope more of us embrace this gear that can only really help us continue to shred healthfully for the long ride...especially now that im introducing my little ones. lets make wearing safer gear be cool and smart and drive the industry to produce some evolutionary shit thats not too hot or heavy
  • 3 0
 People wearing neck braces has Defo gone down but how many people do you now see rocking roost guards
  • 1 0
 I see more older people using roost guards, but more kids used neck braces...
  • 4 1
 I use a roost guard and a bag full of water for my back.Cant tell you how good it works yet but I sure don't go thirsty.
  • 3 0
 This interview sucks compared to the downtime podcast one. Give that one a listen
  • 3 3
 Pretty sure these "tests" they do simulate what they want. the impacts depicted in the graph look pretty linear vs crashing your head into roots/rocks etc. Plus take this with a grain of salt, it's this guys company after all... of course he'll try to debunk "misconceptions"
  • 2 0
 I always wear a neck brace with my full face helmet on. It 100% saved me in an MX crash...I don't think I'd be walking today without it. Thank you very much Leatt!!
  • 1 0
 I used too wear mine every time I had my full-face on, but because of a broken collarbone (w/o neck brace) that healed up pretty bad and is pointing out, I unfortunately can't wear it anymore
  • 1 0
 Bummer man :\
  • 1 0
 Kinda wondered why people don’t wear neck braces in enduro. Wasn’t sure about the looking up thing but I was confident the broken collarbone thing even if true was less of a problem than a broken neck.
  • 1 0
 I got a neck brace and its adjusted fine, I have no issues looking up... only thing it does that I don't like on the climbs is add extra heat and little over half a pound.
  • 3 2
 Looks like a HANS.. Can anybody with legit credential explain whether it is the same or not.. A really interesting article btw..
  • 1 0
 Extremely different. A HANS device attaches to the helmet and is secured to the body using the 5 point harness. Also a HANS device is designed to limit head movement in a crash. The biggest concern is those crashes is the head continuing to travel when the body stopped and that is what the HANS is designed to stop.
  • 1 0
 HANS device is a totally different design. Used in auto type accidents to keep your head from separating from your neck when you stop very fast (Dale Earnhardt in NASCAR). Uses straps that hook to the helmet to restrict displacement.
  • 1 0
 Ahhh..now i know..thanks for the info guys..
  • 1 0
 @mnurhaqiem: I thought these were always called Hans Collars...

so are Hans collars no longer used in DH or was I mistakingly calling them Hans collars and they weren't?
  • 1 1
 I have been always wondering how many medical doctors ride their bikes like I ride mine: DH, Enduro, XC. I haven't met one. I am ENT MD.
  • 1 1
 Stopped wearing one when I crashed. Going over the bars with my neck sticking out scares the hell out of me. Have some friends that wont ride with out it.
  • 1 0
 Please elaborate...
  • 2 0
 The new alpineistar moto brace is wicked thin, check it out
  • 1 0
 Wear what you feel you need for your type of riding and take responsibility for your actions...done
  • 1 0
 How important is it to wear the brace with the chest/back straps? I see many people using them with and without
  • 1 0
 I googled Alan Selby to see if I could see any further details about the accident. Wikipedia had an interesting surprise.
  • 1 0
 So which one are people wearing if they are wearing one?
  • 1 0
 Leatt DBX 5.5
  • 1 0
 @Ampdup11: Have a DBX 3.5
  • 1 0
 Carbon 6.5
  • 1 0
 How is Leatt supposed to be pronounced?
  • 1 0
 Question of the year, haha.
  • 1 0
 @Startgas: apparently the market isn't as big as he thinks or we'd all know how to pronounce it lol
  • 1 0
 I believe you Dr. Leatt. And I thank you.
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