Video: The Origins & Evolution of the Leatt Neck Brace

Feb 26, 2021 at 4:19
by Leatt .com  

This episode of the Heritage Video Series illustrates the challenges of introducing a product into the market with no international safety standards and no prior testing or design data. Starting from scratch, Dr Chris Leatt and the biomedical engineers at Leatt managed to create a piece of personal safety equipment which has now been proven to reduce the risk of the severe neck injuries by up to 89%* (*EMS Action sports Study). Furthermore, this episode once and for all busts the reoccurring myth that neck braces are responsible for collarbone fractures. Find out why, straight from Dr Chris Leatt.

Leatt has launched a new Heritage Video Series, to tell the story behind how Leatt started and how they got to be where they are today, as a head-to-toe brand.

Episode 1 told how and why the neck brace originated. Now, we explore its development and evolution over the years.

“So, I’ve got no qualms with taking a product off the market or just terminating its design and iterative process – if we believe that, that product is not safe and you wouldn’t put it on your child.” – Dr Chris Leatt

Coming March 15th 2021, Episode 3 will focus on Leatt’s Body Protection Range. The four episodes in this series will be available on Leatt's YouTube channel.


  • 46 3
 Honestly, the lack of neck braces I see confuses me. If I'm wearing a full face helmet, I'm wearing a neck brace. Even if you think it causes collarbone breaks, I'd rather break my collarbone than my neck.
  • 8 0
 I often forget to wear it, but when I do, I forget I'm wearing it. I'm cool with Leatt neck braces and scored a carbon model for 35% off a couple Sea Otters ago. Will be wearing it on the big mountains from now on.
  • 7 13
flag chriskneeland (Mar 14, 2021 at 3:52) (Below Threshold)
 @suspended-flesh: MX racer Brandon Mays talks about his broken neck caused by his neck brace
  • 2 0
 Ive tried several neck braces, including the latest leatt, crank bros, and an evs. While comfortable the problem they had was my full face helmets could slip over the side rim of the neck brace, meaning my neck would directly touch the side of the brace. This means an increased risk of breakage to my neck because my head / neck are leveraging over that edge of the brace as if I landed with a rock on the side of my neck. I don’t hear a lot of people talk about this but I had the issue with all the helmets/ braces I tried and I think it has to do with Mtb braces having a narrower side rim than the moto braces. The back rim was fine though. Has anyone else experienced this? Is there a solution?
  • 4 0
 Love my neck brace. Barely notice you're wearing it but could make all the difference in a crash. Sure it's £200 you've got to spend (maybe you can find one for less in a sale), but you pretty much spend it once and forget about it. All the thousands we spend on bikes and kit it's a no brainer to get one.
  • 1 1
 @chriskneeland: tons of mx refuse to wear them. Musquin is the only one who does i can recall
  • 3 1
 i just wanted to say i broke my neck very badly despite always wearing leatt neck brace
  • 6 0
 @chriskneeland : There's potential that it's like seat belts - some people have a car crash and are injured by the seat belt. For a long time people resisted seat belts because of it. Overall though we consider them to be a net good. Anecdotal evidence from an MX rider isn't enough to suggest they aren't effective, just like single incidences of seatbelts injuring people isn't a good reason not to wear one.
  • 2 0
 @ejopdahl: yes I’ve owned just one brace and it ran the risk of doing what you describe. Was hoping my brace was the problem now I’m It not sure. I stopped wearing my brace outta concern it might give me whiplash
  • 2 0
 @ratm54: That's good data. Odd that so many in the MX world swear them off.
  • 2 0
 @ejopdahl: I notice the same thing with my Leatt brace and it makes me nervous.. I tend not to wear it anymore
  • 1 0
 @ejopdahl: Sounds like bad fitting or compatibility to me. I've never experienced or heard of this with Leatt and honestly no where close to what you describe.
  • 1 0
 I wear a bell full 9 most times, very average helmet. Sounds like other people had the same issue as I. Wish there was a solution. Oh well @Freakyjon:
  • 1 0
 @ejopdahl: I had a same kind of problem when I tried to find a neck brace to fit with my Troy Lee helmet. Back of the helmet was able to slip over the back of the neck brace lip and the edge of the lip touched my neck. Didn’t buy! Maybe I should try again now when I have a new helmet (Bell fusion 9 mips).
  • 1 0
 Yeah it’s a dangerous situation, I hope everyone is making sure their braces don’t do this before using them. FYI My helmet is bell Full 9 and my brace is a leatt dbx 5.5 (I think?). Fit is bad, slips over side edge. Maybe your results will differ but idk. @kauris:
  • 29 4
 I recently got sponsored by Leatt and have tried wearing a neckbrace for the first time riding my big bike and my sled. My first impression is that I don’t even notice that is on luckily.
  • 10 41
flag benisgod (Mar 13, 2021 at 16:31) (Below Threshold)
 Sounds like a sponsored ad! Sorry Mr Tippie
  • 17 1
 @benisgod: lol seriously? He mentioned the sponsorship for transparency and then gave a first impression of fit, that’s it.
  • 6 1
 @benisgod: Well, Mr Sour Pants, I ain’t sponsored. I ride with one, even XC now. Don’t notice it at all. And the specter of a life altering injury has now been greatly reduced.
  • 7 1
 @Chuckolicious: you wear a full face xc'ing?
  • 7 2
 @tobiberlin: Yup. Saved me from a catastrophic jaw injury last season when a rock caught my pedal. Chin bar cracked, few stitches in lip and chin. Otherwise would literally have caved in my jaw and could have died before rescue. TLD Stage.
  • 1 10
flag pargolf8 (Mar 14, 2021 at 6:34) (Below Threshold)
 @SquamishSucks: lol right dude like hes gonna come on here saying im sponsored and dont like it. A leatt article and sponsored rider...the world is full of marketing kool aid drinkers!
  • 4 0
 @Chuckolicious: I love my stage helmet. Wear that for any type of mtb riding. Coupled with my Leatt brace, I've walked away from some hard bike park crashes. Before riding with a neck brace I broke my T12 vertebra at Summit on a bad OTB. Now I can't think of riding without a neck brace.
  • 3 0
 @pargolf8: Or he could have chosen to not say anything at all. He's up front about it, tells his take, and all you can think is he's full of shit. That's more of a reflection on what's going on in your head than anything to do with him. Maybe take some time off and think about that.
  • 1 11
flag pargolf8 (Mar 14, 2021 at 15:04) (Below Threshold)
 @Chuckolicious: shut up a*shole, all im saying is a sponsored athlete isnt ever gonna throw shade at a company thats paying their bills. Why do you think so many people first give disclosures that they aren’t affiliated at all with the product they are discussing. Doesnt really work in this situation huh? Maybe put a finger in your butt and think about that, chucky
  • 3 0
 @pargolf8: Aww, somebody got teh butt hurtz. Apologies, 'lil dude, didn't mean to trigger you into an apoplectic fit. Still, though, just a reflection on what's going on inside your head, nowhere else.
  • 1 8
flag pargolf8 (Mar 14, 2021 at 16:35) (Below Threshold)
 @Chuckolicious: who got teh butt hurtz? You’re right not being a clown ass sucker is definitely going on inside my head. Cute pick chuck. Goon much?
  • 3 0
 @pargolf8: ouch. 38 years old. A grown ass man. And the intellect of a tween. My sympathies. Good luck bud.
  • 3 0
 @pargolf8: he didn’t say the product worked well, just that he didn’t notice he was wearing it. I wouldn’t even call that marketing ????????????
  • 1 0
 what was your second impression? @bretttippie
  • 27 0
 Leatt neckbrace saved my life back in 2010.
  • 10 32
flag Matt115lamb (Mar 13, 2021 at 15:49) (Below Threshold)
 How do you know that ?
  • 38 1
 @Matt115lamb: he was probably there
  • 4 13
flag Matt115lamb (Mar 14, 2021 at 13:00) (Below Threshold)
 @nhp890: how do you know if something saved your life ? He might’ve been fine without it !
  • 3 2
 @Matt115lamb: You can same the same about seat belts, any helmet, etc. So let me ask you this: you have to experience a bad crash. You get the choice of doing it with or without a neck brace. Which do you choose?
  • 4 0

I highsided a corner on a rocky dh track in Vallorcine, falling approx. 10 meters down doing two scorpions with my head stuck between the rocks. My buddy was in the next corner and he saw me coming down like a ragdoll. I’m pretty sure it did work.
  • 1 8
flag Matt115lamb (Mar 15, 2021 at 0:23) (Below Threshold)
 @Chuckolicious: without , the same as the majority of mtbers !
The pros and cons for these are fairly equal and it’s not comparable to wearing a helmet or a seatbelt , otherwise it would be compulsory to wear one at parks and competitions !
  • 1 10
flag Matt115lamb (Mar 15, 2021 at 0:52) (Below Threshold)
 @DutchmanPhotos: I would say it was more down to luck , but if you think it was the brace then it’s ok .
Maybe it’s that I’ve broke the same collarbone 3 times and don’t fancy the odds !
  • 3 1
 @Matt115lamb: I see, so you took a poll then? And how long before seatbelts became compulsory in the auto industry? But whatever, good luck to ya, bud.
  • 6 1
 @Matt115lamb: What odds? I've seen some dumb comments on here before but you really are talking out the wrong end. Properly fitted Leatts don't risk breaking the collarbone, it's older or badly fitted ones that do. So either wear one or don't, up to you. Making narrow minded comments just make you look like a fool.
  • 2 3
 @Freakyjon: yo dudes lol I’m not dissing anybody who wants to wear one , this is an open forum for anyone to comment and what I’ve said is factually correct , like it or not !
It’s not narrow minded to disagree with the neckbrace fans and more people don’t wear one than do !
  • 3 1
 @Matt115lamb: Nothing you have said is 'factually correct', that's a fact!
  • 22 1
 My brace has saved me from serious injury at least twice. Once I overshot a 40 footer on Timeline at Crested Butte, dead sailor and landed on my front wheel almost vertical, fastest and gnarliest crash I have ever had. My helmet was the first thing to hit the ground, I remember the sound of my helmet grinding on the rocks and dirt before my body slammed. The brace I am sure saved me from having to be carted off the hill, instead I got up after a few mins and rode gingerly down. Still got concussed, and messed up in other ways, but I will never ride with out my brace again. I might look weird, but you will see me in my full face and neck brace peddling around on blue and green local trails, cause I want to be able to bike when I am 80 and the last thing I want is a life altering neck injury.
  • 7 0
 Right there with ya.
  • 12 0
 I think a lot of people who crash and do a scorpion could definitely benefit from a neck brace. I don’t understand why people don’t want to wear these. Guess it’s like how some people don’t like wearing helmets? To me if something could keep me from getting a serious spinal cord or neck injury I’ll 100% take it.
  • 11 0
 Recently PB had a review about LEATT DBX outerwear for rain riding. I purchased the shorts and commented that they were poorly made. The stitching tore loose by the third ride, the logos peeled off making them look ghetto etc etc. LEATT contacted me directly via PinkBike PM and took care of everything. They sent me a new pair of shorts (new version) and a cool hat for free - no questions asked. Great customer service and I am excited to try the new shorts soon once spring kicks in harder. Thanks LEATT.Just wanted to share my positive review about a company trying to business correctly which is hard to find these days IMO.
  • 13 0
 I always brag about my leatt brace to my mom to make her feel better.
  • 25 1
 True story
I showed my mum some rampage footage an she asks "what are those thing around thier necks?"
"They prevent broken necks" I say.
"Yeah, imma buy you one of them "
"They're nearly £300" I say
"Yeah I'm still gonna buy you one"....
I was in my late 30's
  • 9 0
 I already had a broken neck, got it fused, then broke the titanium piece that keeps it all together. Last year crashed my moto bad, the neck brace saved my life.
  • 6 0
 I went head first into a tree at speed a few years ago. The Leatt brace saved me then and I don’t ride big bikes without it
  • 2 0
 Ive got an EVS one I bought for an Alps trip. It's a bit of a toilet bowl but I'd forget I had it on. Have only worn a full face a couple of times since then mind! If is was more regularly doing that sort of riding I'd be strongly tempted by a more refined brace
  • 2 0
 Why do people care so much whether people wear these or not. Our sport is as much psychological as physical and if it makes people happier to ride let them. I ride with one on gnarly tracks, Im fairly certain that it has helped in crashes, Im 100% certain it hasn't done me any harm.

As Disraeli said 'there are lies, damn lies and statistics'. We can argue about the statistical relevance as armchair experts all day long or if you dont want to wear one, dont wear one.
  • 5 3
 I had issues with range of motion between my neck brace and fullface, especially on steep chutes when your trying to look ahead. Now I just use my open face helmet so it doesn't hit the helmet anymore
  • 5 2
 Neck braces are designed to work in conjunction with a full face helmet. Wearing it with a half shell is pointless.
  • 6 0
 @coop918: it's a joke, but did have a guy turn up to an enduro race once wearing a open face with a neck brace on just to be an idiot
  • 2 0
 To get 35% off leatt gear. Call leatt: 661-287-9258. option 1 and ask for a coupon code.
I hope i dont blow my future discounts by helping everyone get safety gear,
  • 1 0
 These braces are one of my gripes about how affluent our sport it.

$300 for a neck brace, but a good helmet is a third of that.

I want to wear one, but $300 for 4-15 uses a year is tough to swallow.
  • 1 0
 You'll keep it for longer than a year though, right?
  • 1 0
 @pmhobson: Yeah, but I'd trip over it more than use it.
  • 2 0
 We need something on Leatt 1.0 DH full face, such a great lid, but no reviews online.
  • 1 2
 When I was riding dirtbike XC and Enduro I had a leatt neck brace and chest protector. They were the biggest pieces of crap. I could not wear a camelbak because it drove the bolts of the shoulder armour into my shoulder and anything that was rubber split and fell apart. I bought a new leatt chest protector and neck brace integrated unit after my first set vaporized and it seemed a bit better. Sold the bike and all my MX stuff to buy a specialized epic
  • 3 3
 They are drawing bad conclusions from the data. Most people don't wear neck braces. Hence more people without the brace have neck injuries. The sample size is also really small.
  • 1 0
 So, how does the testing on this one work?
  • 17 3
 I think we crash human bodies into the ground at speed for ten years:

It's a tough methodology but it works.

What I want to know is when Leatt is going to work on fixing the fashion problem with neck braces. Can we get Beats by Bulldog or something? If we can convince people that massive headphones are cool we can make *anything* cool.
  • 8 1
 @Mtmw: Its an impression collection of raw data, but its not published, has no statistical analysis and has made some claims that are potentially flawed because of this. Get some sport science folk involved, science the shit out of this and maybe get a pretty decent idea of the efficacy of neck braces.
  • 3 0
 @smuggly: I agree with your appeal to authority and will accept that the study is flawed - if that claim is made by someone in Sport Science who studies this stuff. In the absence of credentialed criticism I'm happy with the data.
  • 4 2
 @Mtmw: That data is just recording whether injured riders were wearing a neck brace or not. It’s not enough to determine the effectiveness of neck braces. The results could just reflect the ratio of riders who wear a neck brace to those that don’t.
  • 6 0
 @coop918: "The results could just reflect the ratio of riders who wear a neck brace to those that don’t." I think you have misunderstood the results of the study. Out of a sample of 8,529 pilots who were injured, 4,726 did not wear the neck brace and 3803 did, which means that for that sample studied, 55.4% did not use a neck brace compared to 44.6% of pilots who did wear a neck brace. And of that 55.4% who were not wearing a collar at the time of the accident, 5.06% had a critical spinal injury compared to 44.6% who wore the collar, of which 0.68% had a serious injury column. In other words, not wearing a neck brace at the time of the accident, based on the data from this sample, is 7.44 times more likely to have a critical spine injury. That is purely numerical data. In my personal opinion, a 5% chance of having a very serious problem for life should not be underestimated.
  • 5 0
 @polaiz02: You’re right. I misunderstood how they were collecting the data.
  • 2 2
 @polaiz02: And this is the crux of the problem with the data and making claims based apon this data - those % are not statistical analysis, which determines if something has occurred by chance or not. very importantly, there is no control group (no - the no neck brace injury group is NOT a control group),. We need to know how many riders total are there, how many riding hours per injury? Knowing this means we could actually determine a % outcome of whether neck braces are or are not effective. Knowing this the difference between these two groups may be significant or may not be. Unfortunately the results from this data set does not pass even basic scientific scrutiny. Which is a real shame as a little more background data would have made this an amazing publication.
  • 1 0
 Hey does anyone have spacers for the 2012 DBX bike model
  • 2 1
  • 1 1
 Neck brace in supercross races (where all started) 0
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