Neck Braces - Should You Be Wearing One?

Feb 23, 2017 at 14:51
by Pinkbike Staff  
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This was one of the gnarliest crashes I have witnessed in recent memory.

When neck braces first began to be a more common sight on the World Cup circuit around 2008, they were usually wrapped around the necks of riders like Sam Blenkinsop, Andrew Neethling, and Aaron Gwin. Over the years some of these riders stopped wearing them, while others, like Sam Hill, adopted their use later on. However, there are riders that have run the length of time with neck braces and continue to do so – Danny Hart is one rider that comes to mind, and he also dispels the rumors that have been flung about of racers foregoing their use because they felt the brace slowed them down. Despite riders like Danny continuing to use a brace, it would be short-sighted to say they're still as popular as they were a few years ago.

It's not just on the World Cup circuit that we're seeing a decline in their use, though, with the drop in their use being pretty evident on the local trails too. For example, at their height – let's say around 2010–2012 – probably somewhere between 30–50% of riders in the Whistler Bike Park were wearing a neck brace – they were a really common sight. Today that's definitely not the case, with neck braces in the bike park being far closer to sightings of a Tasmanian Tiger – rare.

Without a doubt, there are more than a few of you reading this that have a neck brace on a shelf somewhere in your home, collecting dust. So why are people not wearing neck braces anymore? Is it lack of proof around their success with preventing injury? Comfort? Price? Maybe you're still wearing one and want to let us know why you do? We're keen to know, so hit the link below and fill out the online survey.

Click here to fill out the Neck Brace Survey


310 Comments

  • + 258
 Hindsight is 20/20. After suffering two cervical breaks (C2/C4), a severe concussion, and soft tissue damage this past August; I can say I'd wished I had worn a neck brace. I've been Road & MTB racing/riding (all disciplines) for 35 years, and answering "The Question" from your neurosurgeon "Did you have a neck brace on?" was not a proud moment in my life. I've heard the multitude of excuses from my friends, as to why "I don't need to wear one of those dude!" And I can say that I'd wished I was dealing with a broken collarbone, and not a brain injury and cervical issues. The bottom line folks, is succumbing to "marketing" is always a tough pill to swallow, but you can't argue with science... A wiseman once told "we all make choices" the unfortunate part of our poor choices, is we have to live with them. I'm beyond lucky to have my life back, considering...Take care MTB friends, see you on the trails in 2017, hopefully...
  • + 18
 I'm with racers. Murphy's Law.
  • - 47
flag LaXcarp (Feb 25, 2017 at 5:30) (Below Threshold)
 I don't know the specifics of your incident but I don't believe a neck brace would have helped with the brain/concussion element of your crash.
  • + 10
 Hope you recover fully. I had a crash beginning of the year, where the front wheel slid away under me and I slammed sideways on a rock, breaking my C4 and my helmet. The question I have, would a neck brace prevented that, or is the next brace more for over turning the head, as the guy in the picture might endure? I'm not even sure a rotational force will be caught by the brace.
  • + 10
 At least your issue happened while you were doing something you enjoy. I was simply driving my van through a green light intersection and have almost the same circumstances. Maybe I should wear a neck brace while I drive my shuttle rig around.
  • - 40
flag codypup (Feb 25, 2017 at 7:52) (Below Threshold)
 @LaXcarp: What a pointless and idiotic response, even for Pinkbike
  • + 5
 @codypup: pointless in the sense that people reading this article should have an accurate expectation in the level of protection and type of injury a neck brace will benefit?
  • - 1
 @LaXcarp: not at all. pointless to say you "don't know the specifics" and then pontificate.
  • + 12
 @codypup:it is not pontification if it's fact: neck braces do not help in the potential or severity of brain injuries
  • + 13
 I had a bad crash last year at AF, otb to my head in upper supreme. I was wearing my beckbrace and I'm very glad I was. Pretty sure I compressed some discs in my neck and upper back, but I do believe it would have been much worse without the neck brace. Any time I have a full face on, the neck brace is with it.
  • + 23
 The overall problem is that the cycle industry as a whole shoves so much nonsense marketing out there that consumers end up being sceptical of everything, which sadly means when someone really does make a product that riders should be using, no one believes them.
It's just indistinguishable from the other 4000 utterly useless shite products that came out that week, that also promise to be "genuinely essential to your safety"
  • + 18
 I always wear a neck brake riding DH or moto. My story isn't to do with myself but a extremely close family member. I've ridden moto since I was 5 years old and started because of a uncle. 10 years ago now my uncle had a crash dirt biking which caused his helmet to extend his neck so far back that the helmet actually dug into the back of his skull, causing him to have multiple strokes. As you can guess my uncle now is living with a extreme brain disability, he can never work again, he can't speak properly or do many other things. The worst of all he will never be able to ride again and participate in his passion that was such a huge part of his life. To me the neckbrace could have completely prevented this injury and my uncle could vary well still be riding. I wear a neckbrace every single time I get on my moto or DH bike because anything can happen anywhere and I would rather be protected as best as possible.
  • - 2
 @IllestT: It helps to be able to apply enough critical thinking to tell the difference between an anodized geegaw and something that might save your ability to walk.
  • + 7
 @codypup: I'm sorry to sound harsh, but if you think that you or anyone else can, 100% of the time, tell the difference between marketing bull**it and genuine safety innovation, then I think you're deluded.

That's like saying "subliminal marketing has no effect on me".

Just like all US presidents, of all history, won their campaign by who spent the most on marketing. That isn't me being political, just an analogy of the power of marketing
  • + 3
 @IllestT: fair enough
  • + 1
 Hope your ok man.
  • + 3
 @LaXcarp: brain injuries and not the same as neck injuries, such as fracture, or even whiplash.
  • + 4
 Its takes one time to make this piece of equipment Priceless!
  • + 197
 I'll say it: straight up leatt saved my life. I lawndarted at speed and the amount of energy that I felt go into my shoulders dispersed by my neck brace was beyond explanation. Check my profile to see the result. Sure I broke my shoulder but if that went into my cervical spine I honestly would not be typing this now. People can and will say, "the leatt broke the shoulder" and I say it did exactly what it was supposed to do....disperse energy into a way larger part of my body and preserved the integrity of my spine. The doctor asked me"how are you alive and talking to me now?" And I told him I was wearing my brace. And he said that explains why we are talking together now and not me having a horrible conversation with your family and that every new bike should have one of those things strapped to the handlebars when sold. This is not in a bush league hospital, it was in Vancouver General. This is the head surgeon that cares for the people coming from the whistler bike park if they are injured. I don't know anything other than how much energy I felt go through my helmet and into the brace and ultimately my torso. My helmet split into 4 pieces and the leatt took that load off my spine. I won't even ride Xc without a full face and that thing on now. It is part of my bike as far as I am concerned. Crazy thing is I had just bought it. Had started up the trail without it, and turned around when that voice in my head said why did you buy it if you are not going to wear it. My friends waited on the trail while I went back to get it. That choice and wearing my protective gear saved me. So worth it, can't put a price on that.
  • + 31
 I'm glad you went back for it!!

I do have to ask though... Were you going... mach chicken? Yes, I'll see myself out. Smile
  • + 7
 the post hes referring to:

www.pinkbike.com/photo/9555855
  • + 4
 christ
  • + 4
 glad you ended up alright! I agree that the sole purpose of the neck brace is to disperse energy mainly preventing the most damaging injuries (compression injuries) of the cervical vertebrae. I went head first into a tree going 25 mph. Luckily I was wearing my leatt brace otherwise i wouldnt be typing this either. cheers man! happy trails
  • + 5
 I'm right there with you mine has saved my life so there's no way I won't use it. I feel naked without it.
  • + 2
 Agree with you 110%. If my full face is on, so is my neck brace. When I was younger I had a bad otb from nose casing a landing. Got sent to the bottom on full lawn dart, crushed in the side of the helmet. The amount of energy that went into the race, A-Stars at the time, was wild feeling. I clearly remember sliding upside down on my head before flipping onto my back. I thoroughly believe that a properly set up brace can reduce concussions as well. I've had my share, to have hit my head that hard and not feel even the slightest concussive side effects sold me on wearing them for the rest of my life. Currently in an Atlas Carbon Crank. Little more of a pita to put on, but flows with your body better and doesn't put any pressure through the backplate to your spine.
  • + 4
 Glad your ok...
  • + 6
 Thanks to everyone for well wishes. What an amazing forum to be a part of. I am good now. Body has healed. On a side note, when this happened I contacted Leatt. I wrote to thank them for their product. The level of caring and appreciation clearly expressed in the return emails was so far above and beyond what I would have expected from a major company. They want to protect people. Be it with a brace or padding, they want to ensure people keep doing what they love. Truly a company that has the best intentions at heart. I applaud their efforts and the empathy expressed in the many correspondences we have exchanged. 10/10!
  • + 4
 @dutchct: Is that his shoulder or a newly discovered species of dinosaur?
  • + 1
 @Schmittr86: Its his skapula mate, gets used at 60% arm levitation Wink , its your wing sort to say ;p
  • + 1
 Thank you for sharing, really means a lot to me as some one who prefers flexebility than blockage, I recently got a tld D3 wich has the back a bit more up meaning more flex with braces, I will for sure get a neck brace at my next trip to a bike park, but... I am not so sure about the xc full face thing, its not like you ride down dh tracks at 30kph or more
  • + 129
 Working as a neurosurgeon in Europe we treat C spine injuries kinda often, but it's actually not that common, but we take care about a huge area of the state. Fractures, luxations, traumatic disc herniations. These occur (in young adults!) rarely during winter months, more often Jun-Sep. This year we have treated just one skier so far - attempting backflip, went home ok after like 5 days. Summer - roughly 50/50 traffic accidents vs sports (in young people!), most of the definitely water jumps. Almost exclusively males. As far as I can remember we had only one downhill biker. It was in the summer two years ago from a big bikepark, overshot a jump, went over bars. no neck brace, 17 y.o., central cord syndrome, not nice.

On more positive side most of these people are completely without or only with mild neurological deficit. We don't advise going back to riding but you know how it is. They usually ride xc or trails after the surgery. All that said I wear neck brace only to a bikepark, but I think it's worth it. Back protector - not 100% sure considering most of major spine traumas we see are usually hyperflexion/extension, but I wear a backpack with the protector anyway.

Axial load injury of the C spine - have seen only two so far, first one young supertall guy on a backseat, car literally jumped off the road and he hit the roof with his head. Went home OK. The second one jumped head first into a pool 80cm deep, was OK. BUT I am not saying that breaking your C spine isn't dangerous for f*cks sake! These dudes were super lucky! Even the surgery itself will limit or end your biking career

We feel very lucky not seeing many severe spinal cord traumas in young people during the year. Let's protect ourselves and keep our emergency shifts calm, that coffee doesn't drink itself Big Grin
Yes, the neck protector can break your collar bone and it can potentially damage your brachial plexus or arm vessels, but I have never seen that.

This is a nice summary.
www.dirtrider.com/features/the-neck-brace-should-you-wear-one
  • + 88
 We'll have none of this sensible science here please, or real world knowledge. This is a place for armchair experts, not actual clever people like you! Smile
  • + 12
 Thank you so much for the information on this topic. Things like this researched by professionals should be the type of reasoning you consider when you decide to wear one or not. Not what Leatt tells you or your buddy who swears his neck would have been broken if he didn't have one.
  • + 23
 Hahaha guys! it's not an evidence based medicine! it's just my memories. (My) Common logic says: helmet makes your head way bigger -> if you fall on your head, it will move more -> we are not built for this -> wear that shit, it might save your life.
  • + 2
 @pimpin-gimp: hahaha, this comment is great!
  • + 1
 From a physiotherapy student (having only theory experience) this is amazing. Wowed at all the good work from your place
  • + 66
 Why would you not use one for downhill, the price? Who cares about $100 or whatever anymore? There could be mountains of evidence for their benefits but there will always be the rednecks thinking there is a conspiracy or some other sh!t behind it. Same with seatbelts, helmets, condoms, vaccines, etc.
  • + 28
 Brilliant things. Had a head first crash a few years back wearing my Leatt one, it directed the force into my chest and broke a collarbone. A small price to pay as I'm pretty sure it saved my neck snapping in two!
  • - 24
flag FindDigRideRepeat (Feb 24, 2017 at 21:45) (Below Threshold)
 @JakeNeaves: Pinkbike doctors Smile There's no real evidence. Talk to a chiro or another doctor you trust if you want to start forming your opinion. Speaking generally, your neck is much more susceptible to serious injury from left/right than front/back.
  • + 14
 Plus I feel much more confident with one on. I've heard people say it can cause a broken collar bone but I'd rather have that than be paralyzed. Only time I don't wear one is when I have an open face
  • + 25
 Speaking of condoms.
  • + 4
 Because there isn't mountains of evidence and what evidence does exist seems to indicate that lower spinal injuries are much more prevalent in MTB than neck injuries?
  • + 35
 I'm sure parks like Whistler keep extensive injury records, it would be great if they made them public so we could know more.
  • + 18
 Its the same thing that happened with chest protectors. Why wasn't there a story about that? Oh right, Leatt was a bit more of a fad. With the known dangers of sudden impacts to the chest/heart, I found it absolutely stunning to find people out there spending 200 on a Leatt brace because they want to be safe but only wear a t-shirt or flannel while riding.

This is not a big deal. There are obvious safety benefits and popular negatives about any sort of protective gear. They get popular and then not as popular because people are sheep. A lot of bikers out there do it to look cool, that's the answer to your question. Mystery solved.
  • + 1
 thank you
  • + 7
 @scott-townes: are you talking about the moto roost chest protectors that lacondeguy (sp?) And ratboy wore for awhile? i guess they realised that the rider in front of them wasn't spitting up fist sized rocks exiting every corner.

Also, your second last sentance sums up 99% of decisions made in the WBP.
  • + 12
 @JakeNeaves: Same here destroyed my collar my collar bone after landing directly on my head. And as an 15 year EMT , my Ortho and I firmly believe the Leatt is most likely responsible for me still being able to walk still @FindDigRideRepeat
  • + 34
 @FindDigRideRepeat: Please don't try to back-sass me with a pretentious comment about Pinkbike doctors then use 'chiro' in the same paragraph. Referencing that pseudoscience kind of defeats the purpose.
  • - 5
flag mikelee (Feb 25, 2017 at 2:01) (Below Threshold)
 @FindDigRideRepeat: have to agree. I did loads of research and it's really inconclusive tbh. The only people saying to wear them are the people selling them. The neck is a lot more versatile than people think and from what I've read,the real damage is done from a blow from the top causing the spine to compact. Neck braces don't stop this from happening. They do protect side to side and back and forth movements but I think the neck is more than capable of flexing is those directions. They do cause collar bones to break though! It's up to the individual. If they make you feel safe then wear one. Me personally,I found it really intrusive and I struggled looking far done the track without it knocking the back of the helmet. I could adjust it to stop this but then I'd technically be wearing it incorrectly! It's up to the individual. Not for me though.
  • + 27
 i cant get it over my halo
  • + 12
 A lot of people in the 20-25 year old range care about $100
because they aren't covered by their parents anymore
any they don't make real people job money yet
$100, thats like 100 post-ride beers
  • + 3
 @dthomp325: So because a lower spinal injury is 'more prevalent' that means people should ignore other types of injury protection?
  • + 7
 @FindDigRideRepeat: On a mountain bike, you're much more likely to experience a neck breaking front/back impact. Helmet, neck brace, chest and spine protection are critical gear for any amateur rider who likes to hit big jumps and drops, or bomb through rock gardens at >25mph. IMO.

To my mind, price is the biggest barrier. Deals may be available, but a top quality neck brace typically runs the average consumer $250-300, or more.
  • + 3
 @NiloB: they cost $600usd in Chile, My bike (old used hardtail) is cheaper than that
  • + 1
 @JakeNeaves: didn't mean to hurt your feelings. Chiropractors are simply doctors that study the spine and human body in general for 10 years in school, not qualified enough for you? Then listen to PB users lol
  • - 1
 @dthomp325: I too shy away from neck braces because of a lack of evidence/research. My concern has always been the limitation of flexibility and the added energy transfer to the head because of it.
  • + 7
 @FindDigRideRepeat: and @mikelee take your WebMD degrees somewhere else. The protective industry isn't trying to coerce you into spending your hard earned money on a neck brace. If that's truly your belief then you better be wearing a Walmart helmet or no helmet at all. The shits designed to protect you. I've been told by 2 different doctors that'd I'd be paralyzed if I hadn't had mine on, because the tisses around my spine were so agitated because it had shifted but only slightly and not enough to do any damage. I was 16 at that time. Why not take the precaution? I'm not saying everyone has to buy a leatt. They can get pricy. There are so many other neck braces out there for way less money that can help just as much.
  • + 2
 @JakeNeaves: I won't speak to how pseudo chiropractic is, but I am stealing "back-sass". That doesn't sound pseudo to me...
  • + 0
 The telling thing for me is that bike parks don't typically have neck braces available for rent. Bike parks have injury stats. If neck braces helped, they'd at least offer them as rentals, if not out-right require them. Spinal injury law suites are a big deal for parks.
  • - 1
 @JP199: how can they possibly know you would have been paralysed! Unless you go back in time,don't wear the brace and crash then end up paralysed then you'll never know. Besides I never said not to wear one. I quite clearly say it's up to the individual . If it makes you feel safe then crack on and wear it. I actually researched loads on this and there's no solid evidence they'll do anything other than transfer any crash energies into the shoulders. Hence lots of people snapping collar bones on crashes that would normally do nothing at all. There's also loads of cases of broken necks in people even though they were wearing a brace! So like I said,it's up to you. You like them,I don't. But that's ok.
  • + 2
 @mikelee: Worst argument ever. Because some people still damage their necks while wearing braces you conclude that they are apparently of no use.

Yes, that's exactly how it works. Utter idiocy. I mean, nobody wearing a helmet has ever still hurt their head have they? It's about reducing the risk of injury, nobody has ever said they wipe all injury out. But you conveniently ignore that.

You also ignore the actual medical professional in the comments. You ignore the tons of research and evidence another person posted.... Because you apparently did research yourself.
  • + 2
 @mgolder: is that the guy who would have died without it lol! I never said they don't work! Read my post. I just said for ME the evidence is not conclusive and they hinder ME more than benefit. So I don't use one. But if they make YOU feel safe then go ahead and wear it!!! The reason nearly all the pros don't wear then is due to experts in their teams (doctors,physios etc) telling them they're not nessesary. Even dan atherton who actually broke his neck doesn't use one! He was sponsored by them but no longer uses it! Surely he wouldn't risk it again if all the specialists at trek were telling him to.
  • - 1
 @JP199: I take it you wear one lol
  • + 0
 @JoseBravo: Not anymore pos weon!. They have somes arround 80.000 clp ( 180 USD)
  • + 2
 @mikelee: "transfer any crash energies into the shoulders." Where do you think those crash energies would go if you don't have a neck brace?
  • + 6
 I heard a rugby player say the best way to end NFL concussions/brain injuries is to take the helmets away. Sounded counterintuitive until he explained a guy without a helmet isn't going to smash his head, therefore they don't have head impacts nor the head/brain injuries that the NFL does.
So, does better equipment make us more brave and more willing to try gnarlier stuff (e.g. "I feel much more confident with one on"). Please don't think I'm knocking your comment, rather you made me contemplate myself... better gear makes me push it, and likely does most of us.
The stuff I rode in 1989 on a fully rigid Univega Alpina Pro is lame by today's standards. I ride WAY worse stuff today, and I've gotten a bit older since then.
  • - 4
flag scott-townes (Feb 25, 2017 at 16:05) (Below Threshold)
 @CyclingThe425: Its already illegal to tackle head-first or to tackle someone to the head. That won't solve anything. There are plenty of concussions in sports with and without helmets. Helmets do not prevent concussions or make them any more or less likely to happen. The only way to prevent concussions is to not have a sudden deceleration and if you do, to completely stop all activity for an extended period of time.
  • + 3
 @scott-townes: Right. I was addressing gear that makes us feel invincible and maybe get in over our heads. One of the stats mentioned here showed amateur male riders in their mid 30's as the majority of c-spine injury victims from the bike. I can't comment on the efficacy of the equipment (not my field of expertise) but wonder if the gear gives a sense of security that lures us to go beyond our abilities.
  • + 1
 @CyclingThe425: the easiest way to get rid of brain injuries in American Football is to change the game to a rugby.
  • + 1
 @CyclingThe425: >>>a guy without a helmet isn't going to smash his head, therefore they don't have head impacts

If that's true, then if I take away your bicycle helmet you won't have any impacts while riding your bike.
  • - 3
 @CyclingThe425: Oh yes, when I wear protective gear I just think, well f*ck it, I'm going to go massive because I can't help it and feel invincible! That's not how it works.
  • + 1
 @WaterBear: into the more than capable neck which then disperse's it to the muscles in the the shoulders and so forth! The body is more that capable of dealing with impact!! Now I'm not saying it can deal with ALL impacts. What I am saying is it takes a specific type of impact to break your neck,but the brace will even take a moderate impact that the neck and surrounding muscles could more than deal with and take all that force and dump it straight on the collar bone. This is why braces are breaking collar bones and shoulders in moderate crashes that the body would have shrugged off normally. So for ME it ain't worth the intrusion in my riding. I'm the guy who wears knee pads gloves and a helmet. Not because I'm cool or hard but because that's what I'm comfortable wearing. I ride better with no restrictions and in reality the Uk dh tracks are very steep,tight and generally wet. So you're barely hitting 20mph at best. Sooo for the last time it's up to the individual to research and make their own mind up!
  • + 2
 @mikelee: I find it hard to believe that your neck would distribute bone breaking levels of energy to your upper body instead of just breaking, but hey. You do you.
  • + 38
 The survey is flawed. I don't ride with a neck brace because all of my riding is done with a half shell, not a fulll face. Is the survey only for DH/full face wearing riders?
  • + 16
 same for me. I owned a Leatt and wore it all the time in the bike park. i dont own a DH bike anymore and do 90% of my riding with a half lid. if i were still riding the bike park daily i would still own and wear a neck brace.
  • + 4
 Survey is also flawed in the "what if I only go downhill specifically once or twice a summer, but want to buy a neck brace sometime in the near future, just haven't gotten around to it yet" department.
  • + 2
 Yeah same here. I own a full face but haven't used it in two years because I hardly do dh tiding anymore (partly because it's so damn dangerous).
  • + 6
 How is it flawed? Your answer would be is 'it does not work with my body protection' .
  • + 11
 Survey is flawed cause I don't have one and it insisted on my answering the why aren't you wearing yours question.
  • + 4
 It's not a flawed survey. Neck braces only work with full faces helmets so of course it's only for DH/full face riders. That goes without saying.
  • + 5
 Survey is flawed because it isn't specifically directed at you? Bizarre. The entire point of a survey is to narrow a field down to see what people do in specific situations or their opinion on a specific topic. Would you go to the Washington Post and comment on their presidential election poll "survey is flawed because I can't vote in the election"?
  • + 6
 Also, in enduro races nobody seems to be wearing one (when wearing fullface on downhill sections), while they also reach warp speeds....weird right?
  • + 3
 @MTB-Colada: pretty daft indeed, just like wearing hip packs and putting mx style hand guards on your bars..
  • + 1
 @Rubberelli: It is kinda directed at me, isn't it? I do in fact have a full face helmet, but I only go downhill a couple times a year. I WANT to get a neckbrace, but haven't yet for no real particular reason, however there is no way to state that because there is no option available. The survey only allows for "I have one already because XXX" or "I don't have one because XXX". No option for, "I am going to get one because of XXX"
  • + 27
 the real story here is how much better sam hill looks wearing a tld lid rather than that horrible p.o.s. he is wearing now.
  • + 2
 That's a Leatt he's wearing now.
  • + 20
 I see a lot of people are commenting that they don't want to risk a broken collarbone from using a neck brace. Clearly you have no idea of its purpose. They are to prevent compressive fractures/breaks to your upper spine and neck. A broken collarbone means it did its job and you're not spending the rest of your life in a wheelchair. Something has to take the force. Neck braces are solid objects and will take a large percentage of the compressive forces, unfortunately it fortunately they are stronger that your collarbone, therefore it will break. - it's physics, a science that allows all of us on here to enjoy this wonderful sport

I had a near miss before I bought my neck brace, $700 leatt carbon, and was luckily and to land on the back of my head and upper back, tuck and roll out of it, doc said had I landed 2 mm higher I would be in a wheelchair, hence buying a neck brace.

These racers get paid, have insurance should something happen, the average dude does not, buy one save your life, and ride on. We have jobs to do Monday morning. In retrospect they are a fraction of the cost of our bikes. These neck braces are the haans device of Motorsports - how many lives do you think they've saved.

Cheers
  • - 14
flag sicmoto (Feb 25, 2017 at 1:36) (Below Threshold)
 I crashed innocuously in mine, it broke my collarbone. They're a crock of shite in my humble opinion. There is no chance that I'd have been hurt at all had I not had it on.
  • + 15
 @sicmoto: Tara Llanes' crash was innocuous as hell.. And now she's paralyzed. Just because you assume you wouldn't have been hurt doesn't make it true.
  • + 4
 @sicmoto: the neck brace didn't just break your collar bone. there had to be a lot of force involved in your crash wether you realized it or not.
  • + 8
 @sicmoto: Utterly clown-like comment. As if the brace was waiting for you to fall and then decided to break your collarbone. If you landed with enough force onto it for it to have broken the bone, then you landed more than hard enough to do some damage to yourself.
  • + 3
 @sicmoto: you clown, you
  • + 1
 @mgolder: no. My helmet struck the side of the brace, the brace broke my collarbone at the hinge. I'm sorry that you're expensive piece of protection does little but make you look cool.
  • - 2
 @pbuser197944: alas Murt, it is the neck brace owner's drinking the clown juice.
  • + 4
 @sicmoto: majority of riders who want to "look cool" aren't wearing a neck brace... plus if your helmet hit the brace and broke your collar bone from an impact, then wouldn't it have been doing it's job? Seems like an invalid argument as you cancel it yourself
  • + 1
 I had one crash going off a small gap blind. First point of impact was my helmet, about 2" above the visor, rotating my head forward hard enough to bloody my face extensively and cause a concussion.Everyone is entitled to their own beliefs,but my belief is that I am walking and riding today because of my Leatt. I wear it 10%5 of the time to moto and whenever I wear a full face biking, even if that isn't often.
  • + 4
 @nathanh: everyone who wears a neck brace says it has saved them from a serious neck injury, while most who aren't wearing one will never suffer such an injury. I think that their usefulness is grossly exaggerated, and that although my injury may have been a freak event, I can tell you with a great deal of confidence that if I had not had my Leatt brace on, I wouldn't have broken my collarbone, and wouldn't have injured my neck. Everything you land on your head/shoulder area you arent gonna seriously hurt yourself, but if you have a brace on, youre more likely to suffer a "minor" injury.
  • + 1
 @nathanh: *everytime
  • + 2
 @sicmoto: I'm not saying it may not have flaws in such a way though. That very well could be the case I'm not doubting it. I ride with one, I don't swear by it and it hasn't ever saved me but it's just nice to ride with that peice of mind
  • + 3
 @sicmoto: The older leatt neck brace design with the clasp located on the side was known to cause shoulder injuries. They have since modified the design of their brace by eliminating the clasp and also cutting out the portion of the brace that could break your collar bone. I am sure if you hit hard enough you could still Injure your shoulder but not as easily as the older design.
  • + 4
 @mgolder: the collar bone is designed to break. It's evolved to take the stress of an impact and break. See the trouble is that when you have a normal impact that the body can more than deal with,but wearing a brace. The body can no longer use the neck,shoulder,chest muscles etc to disperse the forces and instead the moderate force is now put straight on the collar bone. Which has evolved to break so it does. However only due to the fact that the force from the crash could not be dispersed by the body. This is the biggest problem with braces. No question they will help in large impacts however they do and will break collar bones and even shoulders on crashes the you'd normally just dust yourself down from. @sicmoto has exsperienced this very know and published fact and you all jump on him lol. Serious neck injuries are unbelievalby rare in mtb but a product has appeared through fear. There's tons of research done and not much to convince me it's necessary to wear one. The guys who paid £300+ are gonna back it a wear it. That's cool and their decision but don't hate the guys with first hand exsperience who've now decided to not use them.
  • + 2
 @mikelee: thanks for offering a more articulate version of my point. If people want to wear them and it makes them feel safer them that can only be a good thing, my experience has lead me to no longer wear one (despite the design admittedly improving) and I have since had my share of big crashes with thankfully no neck damage.
  • + 18
 Hey Pinkbike: What is pretty clear from these comments is that, even if there is a scientific consensus on these things, it hasn't been communicated properly to the average user. The information we get tends to be from the manufacturers, or in some form of 'sponsored content' such as this article. As well, we are relying far too much on feedback from the comment section. A quick perusal of any comment section anywhere demonstrates that we don't know shit. Maybe it's time to use all of this MTB clout PB has to do some proper journalism. How about an investigation of the efficacy of these and other protective equipment? The biggest problem in our sport is not 'how to progress' or 'how to standardize' or 'how to shape proper jumps', or even 'how to manage land-use issues' - The biggest problem is how to continue to shred and stay safe in spite of all this progression. Backcountry skiing faced the same problem in the 90s - and now look at the standard of Avalanche Forecasting in BC...... Science, baby.
  • + 6
 This 100%. Let's have more fact-based reporting and less op-ed click bait and sponsored content please Pinkbike.
  • + 2
 This is a good point. If I'm going to buy a vehicle, I don't just go to the dealership and buy it because the manufacturer tells me how great it is. I would own more things than I should and be in a lot of debt. I go out and look for real life reviews, average people who have put it to the test. Although unfortunately, this is one of those products that is hard to do that. No one signs up to be a "tester" of a neck brace...
  • + 16
 I love how the people making "funny" comments about how they don't wear one because they're too cool , or not enough science behind them are getting upvoted.

I had a bad crash at whistler in August 2015. I went over the bars on dirt merchant and landed head first. Knocked out cold , dislocated shoulder , dislocated hip , fractured tibb and fibb , torn calf muscle (which hurts ALOT) , concussion (I was out cold for a couple mins) and a back that looked like someone went to town with a meat tenderizer for a few mins. My neck was fine , no pain or discomfort at all. Why ? I was wearing a neck brace , that's why. They don't prevent %100 chance of ending up in a wheel chair but they sure do reduce it. I'm convinced that I'm walking today because of my neck brace. I don't even notice I'm wearing it anymore because I've been using one for so long. I swear by them. Remember , all it takes is one wrong fall and that's it. I would rather spend the $$ to reduce the chance of something bad happening.
  • + 18
 Do you own a neckbrace? No
Why are you not using it? Not using what?
  • + 12
 It's all about fashion! A few years ago people were riding DH-Bikes wearing fullface helmets, goggles, tanktops, shorts, kneepads and neck braces. Today people are riding Enduro bikes wearing halfshell helmetsand hitting the same gnarly stuff as a few years ago. Fashion changes, some changes are rationalized others not.
  • + 8
 Yeah- I never thought FannyPacks could possibly be fashionable again.
  • + 4
 There are some riding rampage without gloves...
  • + 12
 I have one and got one for my oldest son as well. I have another son who's old enough now and needs one too. The problem is price. There is no reason they need to be as expensive as they are. You can't put a price on safety but if you can't afford it you can't afford it, period.
  • + 1
 I have seen new ones on Chain Reaction Cycles for under $100 from Atlas. The youth models are even cheaper.
  • + 2
 @Hetman64: sweet, thanks for the info.
  • + 12
 Hit a someone at Whistler a few years back as he ran across a track. Snapped the rear part of my Carbon Leatt. I was messed up for a few days. I 100% think if I'd not worn that brace I'd have been in a wheel chair now. I never leave home without it. Yes it's a hassle, but so's spending your life in a wheel chair. You decide..
  • + 1
 Hi Si hope your well, but you have changed I remember seeing you in huge bowl with out a lid for get knee pads, or anything else hahaha????
  • + 10
 I'm really surprised about the amount of people taking off their neck braces for dh riding, the new Leatt ones (4.5,5.5 and the 6.5) are so much more comfortable than the old ones and allow much more head movement. Really weird how with neck braces getting better, lighter and comfier, the amount of people wearing them should be increasing not decreasing.
To the people who have stopped wearing an older style leatt, I would very highly recommend trying one of the new ones, worth it for sure
  • + 2
 The old ones weren't bad but you could feel them at times when riding. The new ones are a great, you don't notice it's there.
  • + 1
 @bainbridge: Definitely agree with the case in not noticing it is there.
Had a nasty stack in one of the 1st gen Leatts last year which because of the design near the collarbone did nerve damage and resulted in no shoulder movement for about a month (was asked if I shouldered a tree as that's how the injury generally occurs). Since then ended up with a newer 5.5 and the design is just overall more friendly.
Hopefully will not need to know if it works or not. But since having one it just feels weird not having it there.
  • + 12
 I have one and use one. It's better to sacrifice some comfort rather than $$$ bill later on and be paralyzed for life.

Same idea goes for wearing a helmet Smile
  • + 11
 Saved my life in July this year (@BlueMountainBikePark) landed up with a severe brain bleed and battered face but neck was fine even though the head took the entire impact
  • + 12
 It's marketed wrong Call it a neck brace-let and turn it into a new swag thing. Iced out playa
  • + 2
 Sponsor the entire A$AP mob. Kids these days love that skittidee-da-boop-e-boo.
  • + 8
 I would really like to hear the Atherton's take on this matter. Both Gee and Rachel sported them after Dan broke his neck but now have moved away from using them. Wish there was an explanation somewhere from them on their decision.
  • + 1
 Maybe they've both (Rach and Gee) had so many shoulder injuries now that the brace annoys them and they're making more mistakes? Just guessing, indeed really interested in their view. Hopefully it is not because their current protection sponsor (IXS) doesn't have a neck brace in its line up? That said, a neck brace wouldn't have helped Dan much at that point because (if I recall correctly) he wasn't wearing a helmet when dirtjumping. And if he would have worn a helmet, it would most likely have been a pisspot style helmet. I do think Dan does wear a neck brace when riding with a full face helmet.
  • + 7
 Weird, all the whingers saying 'show me proof from medical proffesionals . . . ' yet when riders here have told them exactly what their doctors/surgeons have told them, they all dismiss it as not really real at all.

And those people are what is wrong with mountain biking. You are all too cool for it. It won't ever happen to you. All the evidence that is out there isn't up to your own non-professional standards. Waaaah they cost too much money, yet here you are on bikes costing £1000s.

Grow the f*ck up.
  • + 6
 Had one bad crash that left me with bad whiplash and a dislocated shoulder. This was before I purchased a neck brace. After that day it made me realize how lucky I was to not break my neck. Been wearing a neck brace for 5+ years now and I swear my life on it. You won't catch me riding DH without it!
  • + 8
 I'm interested to try riding park with one, but I have not seen an independent study showing how much they reduce the chance if neck injuries, if at all.
  • + 1
 ta da...................... show me the science. otherwise........................
  • + 10
 @stacykohut: www.dirtrider.com/features/the-neck-brace-should-you-wear-one

Read the "Special thanks to" list for sources. Note they are mostly medical professionals from hospitals and research institutes. There is plenty of "science" on this topic if you choose to find and read it, including Alpinestars detailed R&D documentation describing testing of the braces with cadavers, which I found particularly informative.
  • - 13
flag stacykohut (Feb 24, 2017 at 22:34) (Below Threshold)
 @uuuu: meh.

doesn't do it for me.
there is no real proof they work.

best thing about neck braces?

more surface area to put your sponsors decals!!!!!

seems like it was a fad to me.
  • + 4
 @uuuu: Not trying to pile on, but also interesting to see a "show me the science" comment from a guy in a wheelchair where a neck brace wouldn't have affected the outcome of his fall. But he does appear to wear a shoulder/roost protector.

Also conspiracy-laden is today's PB banner image showing Cam McCaul with a neck brace.
  • - 1
 @iammarkstewart: i come from a generation of men, who had fathers, and we not raised by their mothers.

fathers teach sons how to fall properly from bikes, horses,skateboards, and motorcycles.
if i had a neck brace on there is noooo way i could do a proper stuntman head tuck and roll.

my father never did give me the 'how to eat shit off a swing set lesson' though.....
  • + 1
 Consumer Reports needs to do a study like they did with MIPS.
  • + 7
 @stacykohut: First, you do several people a disservice by excluding moms from being able to raise great sons. Not even sure where that sentiment comes from. Anyway...

If your solution is for universal upbringing to include gymnastics then great, no one needs a neck brace. For those of us who are less skilled than you and your father (like me), then having some options to bolster our confidence and/or reduce risk shouldn't be looked down on. Disagreeing with using a neck brace is one thing, but it's another to call people fatherless pansies for doing so.

I only rode dh in parks but I looked pretty hard at a neck brace. As it was, I rode with a TLD padded chest/back/shoulder protector. If I still had a dh rig I'd likely be acquiring a brace.

Someone mentioned an insurance viewpoint...and I'm onside with that. In terms of my helmet, I'll take the compromise of wearing one because I don't like the prospect of the possible consequence of not wearing it. Same view on a neck brace, at least for me.
  • + 6
 Yep have to say flawed science and as usual high on opinion, low on experience!

Pro riders using or not using is also flawed, like so many of today's sports it's about looks and a false sense of security!

A neck brace is designed to work with full face helmets only, Enduro is heading into if not already into trails that quite frankly leave most DH tracks behind more so at EWS level, a certain rider just retired due to the risk in his words beyond what he is prepared to take to be competitive!

Trails are way longer than DH, multiple stages, fatigue where most injuries occur are much higher level of risk!

Skill has nothing to do with it, everyone who pushes the limits will find those limits, its not a matter of if but when!

That all said I have broken my neck, I've raced DH many times since and I have crashed where he impact with a neck brace has had me feeling very secure, eg similar crashes pre broken neck without a neck brace I had mild concussion or full concussion suffered dizziness and head pain for days often, I have not had that since wearing a neck brace and I am on my 3rd gen Leatt.. alike Helmets I regularly update them!

The reduction in people wearing them imo, is more ignorance than anything else, while I don't want to see anyone injured or go through what I have and still do from a broken neck and head injury, I still suffer PTSD symptoms and everyday is a struggle, easier 8 years on, but I still suffer sleeping issues pain etc etc, but Im still riding, riding helps with all this believe it or not, if u want that and use a Full Face helmet then I struggle to have sympathy or empathy for those who do suffer an injury from not using the technology available to you.

Cost excuse is total BS yr bike probably costs 2000 times that! (usually kids say that)

The other weak argument is is data or its unproven data again it's selective ignorance, also people who maybe medical yet have no background in racing riding, opinionated and subjective, you need to cover all bases of research not just because you have some doctorate!

Data is out theyre and very much like helmet data a mine field of bad data, some practical data, if anyone is bothered to look into Leatts history read they're website you can see they are the only certified independent neck brace, that also said that can mean little as in helmet testing eg Dot vs Snell and u can pay snell for a cert not that I would when again u research what damage that test will do to your brain!

Unfortunately nothing is a silver bullet, but then why wear a helmet at all! Or any protection and yet this is the last peace of the puzzle for the extreme side where a FF is used, it is obvious to all but the stupid, it's a no brainer but take what you will again wear my shoes and tell me that, I will slap you! But I also don't preach to people to wear the, if they choose to go without thats they're risk regardless of what I think of it!

And I will struggle to have empathy or sympathy for you and other joy of a long term head injury!

People will remain ignorant good luck to you on that side of the fence!
  • - 7
flag jaycubzz (Feb 24, 2017 at 23:52) (Below Threshold)
 tl;dr
  • + 5
 I would wear one if I could afford to buy one.

I haven't heard of a single case where someone was paralyzed because they had one on.

Collar bones are less important than your spine. If you think the brace broke your collar bone then you have an error in your logic. You exposed yourself to a situation where enough force was present to break a bone.

Remember that motorcycle rider that did a back flip and cased it and died on impact? Jeremy Lusk. All it takes is once.
  • + 8
 Have to Admit, its pricing that keeping me away,yea ,i know," how much do you think your neck is worth".
  • + 5
 The better question is how much did your bike cost?
  • + 2
 Whats retail on the damn things? $400? Thats more than a badass helmet. If I could pick one up for about $100 I'd own one. I have zero problems with wearing safety equipment, but when I have to scrimp up pieces of used bikes to go ride ... you get the point.
  • + 1
 @schofell84: err, second hand? Bought my carbon one for 90 euros from a friend (who stopped using them, idiot).
  • + 1
 @bonkywonky: I look on occasion ... Still hard to justify when I ride the DH bike less than 20 times a year
  • + 1
 @schofell84: terrible cliche but your neck is worth it I'd say.
  • + 1
 @bonkywonky: Buy a neck brace or buy 10 lift passes.

Kind of defeats the purpose.
  • + 1
 www.amazon.com/EVS-Sports-112040-0209-Race-Collar/dp/B00CR7ZR84
It's not the best looking neckbrace but it works just the same.
  • + 5
 A lot of moral apostles around here. I am on the other side of the fence, bring on valid science and statistics.
The way I see ite I really want to know how many spinal cord injuries or broken vertabrates are due to side to side or front to back deflection of the head. In my opinion most severe back/head injuries come from axial impact, resulting in compression fractures. And a neck brace will do absolutely nothing to prevent this. Plus I wonder in how many cases without a neck brace the head would just deflect on an angular impact to prevent injuries (without overstretching).
And I see no scenario where a brace could help with concussions or brain injury.
But of course I have to agree that there is a certain or better uncertain chance of more damage without a brace.
But to mee it looks as if the discomfort or whatever seems to outweigh the potentially small decrease in risk. I can't think of another reason why pro athletes in mtb and sx would put their carriers and lifes on the line without even having to pay for a brace.
And if John Smith from the east cost tells me how many times a brace saved his life or no brace ruined his life, I still struggle to believe him, because no one knows the alternative outcome with or without brace in that specific situation. And then were are back at the beginning looking for in depth statics and crash analysises.
But maybe I am mistaking and the risk decrease is substantial, also a possibility but atm I am not a believer, no offense to believers, though. Ride safe and all the best to all riders out there...
  • + 8
 hyperflexion/extension injury might cause compressive fracture, which might get easily dislocated depending on the direction. It might also get combined with luxation, which usually results in severe spinal cord trauma. Axial load trauma is not a common thing - think about it. How many times you fall on your head directly? Hitting it from the above? From what I hear helmets actually increase C spine injury probability, but maybe, after wearing helmets became standard, we just see more of these patients alive and get a chance to treat the other injuries? Wouldn't believe how many people in Europe are still riding MTBs without head protection.
  • + 2
 @ohboyjd: Your second-last sentence reminds me of a story my ninety year old father told me. He said that he never saw people in wheelchairs until he was well into his adult life. The reason was that there were no seatbelts in cars. He was a photographer for a small country newspaper and also the photographer for the coroner/police. He would see non-collapsible steering columns and hard steering wheels crumpled up with the force of the body/head and bodies being flung out of the windows. It wasn't until seat belts became compulsory that people started surviving car accidents. And hence people in wheelchairs became more common. Seat belts saved lives, but they didn't prevent all injuries.
  • + 5
 I have one but don’t ride parks much anymore since moving back to the states from Germany and so yah, it’s collecting dust.

If you have’t tried one, you really do forget about it after a couple laps. There are too many riders that are paralyzed from accidents gone wrong. Could they have been saved by a neck brace? We’ll never know of course but there are scores of riders that can testify to nasty crashes where they believe they’d have broken their necks otherwise.

I’ll ride a bike park without pads of any kind before I’ll ride without a neck brace. Why risk it? Broken legs and arms heal but a neck...? It’s your dice; roll ‘em if you so choose!
  • + 5
 I wear my Leatt 5.5 whenever I go to Whistler bike park. Haven't had a nasty crash to know if it really works but it's my insurance that I'll go home with my neck intact.

Some people here have jobs to keep and a family to support. What's another $250 to keep us doing what we love?
  • + 6
 Anecdotal evidence is always welcome. However, is there any peer-reviewed scientific analysis which supports either for or against neck braces?
  • + 4
 While there are hundreds of emotive testimonials and a lot of clever marketing to suggest that neck braces save spines. There doesn't seem to be any actual medical research that suggests they are effective once all other variables are removed. After a recent online discussion with some people in the field of trauma research I did some searching and reading. But I was unable to find any evidence that they had even been properly scientifically tested, let alone proven effective once isolated from all the other forces present in a mountain bike crash. I've only ever read anecdotal evidence of people claiming they can still walk as a result of their brace. If someone does have knowledge of any such study. I'd be really interested to take a look at it.
  • + 3
 I wore a neck brace for a while and found it a complete distraction while riding. This made me get rid of it as I actually found it more dangerous getting distracted by my brace than concentrating on where i was going. I've seen a few comments comparing it to a Hans device. Hans devices work in a completely different way and are in no way a distraction and are compulsory in the vast majority of FIA motorsports events. These are proven to actually work. Least neck braces aren't, we are only told that the work from the people who make them and the people in the comments.

What a lot of people haven't thought of in terms of braces is what I call "jumping on the bandwagon". For example when dropper posts first came out every bike component manufacturer worth their salt made their own. This never happened with neck braces... Why is that? I have been told from a very good source that a major company who makes protective gear did their own research into neck braces and found that could cause more severe injury than they could prevent so they didn't want to put their name to their own product if that was the case. This lack of other manufacturers making them has always worried me.
  • + 2
 I recall POC said that indeed. In my book they're a respectable manufacturer of protective gear. But so are Leatt. So yeah as someone not schooled in the subject, how do you decide who's correct there?
  • + 1
 @vinay: Yeah I agree it's a confusing one.
  • + 4
 according to many posts here. if you injured your neck whilst not wearing one, then wearing a neck brace automatically would have spared you from the injury. it does not work like that.
  • + 3
 EVERYONE wanted to be Sam Hill (pre-neck brace years)
NO ONE wants to be Danny Hart (EVAR)
It really is that simple.

DH is a #FashionSport where "looking" cool/fast/stylish are the number 1 priorities for the average amateur participant. Danny is the fastest most stylish rider on the WC circuit but there's absolutely nothing cool about the guy.
Sorry Danny.
  • + 9
 I want to be Danny Hart
  • + 3
 @jimmythehat: I'd like to be Danny Hart too! Sound guy, no nonsense, nothing not to like. And while the chance of a spinal cord injury whilst biking is low, the impact of having one is massive. I always wear my brace with my full face lid - don't find it restrictive at all.
  • - 3
 @jimmythehat: you want to be a crude cocky unlikeable irishman?
  • + 3
 Pink bike article: www.pinkbike.com/news/neck-injury-stats-2010.html

"Results: A total of 102 men and 5 women were identified for inclusion. The mean age at injury was 32.7 years (95% confidence interval 30.6, 35.0). Seventy-nine patients (73.8%) sustained cervical injuries, while the remainder sustained thoracic or lumbar injuries. Forty-three patients (40.2%) sustained a spinal cord injury. Of those with cord injuries, 18 (41.9%) were American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) A, 5 (11.6%) were ASIA B, 10 (23.3%) ASIA C, and 10 (23.3%) ASIA D. Sixty-seven patients (62.6%) required surgical treatment. The mean length of stay in an acute hospital bed was 16.9 days (95% confidence interval 13.1, 30.0). Thirty-three patients (30.8%) required intensive care unit attention, and 31 patients (29.0%) required inpatient rehabilitation. Of the 43 patients (40.2%) seen with spinal cord injuries, 14 (32.5%) improved by 1 ASIA category, and 1 (2.3%) improved by 2 ASIA categories. Two patients remained ventilator-dependent at discharge.

Conclusion: Spine fractures and spinal cord injuries caused by mountain biking accidents typically affect young, male, recreational riders. The medical, personal, and societal costs of these injuries are high. Injury prevention should remain a primary goal, and further research is necessary to explore the utility of educational programs, and the effect of helmets and other protective gear on spine injuries sustained while mountain biking."

Smile
  • + 3
 Ever since taking a 12 foot dead sailor on A-line in whistler which resulted in a snapped carbon bar, exploded derailleur, 4 bent bolts holding my stem to my fork, separated shoulder and a concussion... I was pretty sold on my neck brace. I remember feeling my helmet slap against the back of the brace when I impacted the ground and I'll never forget thinking how much worse that could have been if I hadn't had it on and my head and neck and just kept travelling backwards. I don't think the neck brace can prevent a concussion or any of that but it did prevent a severe hyperextension to my spinal cord and thats enough for me to be a supporter of them. I think its like any other kind of extra protection. Helmets are a must but everything else is up to the rider.
  • + 3
 It was my understanding that while there wasn't much(any?) 3rd party supporting evidence of neck braces preventing neck injuries, there were growing concerns in the medical field of possibly causing more head injuries due to their restriction in allowing riders to tuck their head out of harms way as easily.
  • + 0
 Lol, what? So we're not going to take multiple doctor's opinions seriously that neck braces have saved people from spinal cord injuries (from this thread alone), but we ARE going to take seriously opinions of other doctors (which doctors are these?) who think braces may make it harder for people to tuck out of the way, which isn't something a doctor would have much knowledge of unless they're a mountain biker.

This is called confirmation bias.
  • + 2
 The neck brace saved my life!
Had a few "over the bars" crashes and a big overshoot in 2016, landed on my head, smashing my D3, and i've broken 4 fingers and my right wrist in 2 places and some ligaments.Soon i will go to surgery.Even though my wrist was in the wrong position, the doctors first got me a CT scan on my neck due to the looks of my helmet and my neck was perfect.The doctors told me that if i didn't had the brace...oh God...So yes, i will continue to use the neck brace for ever. Thnx, Leatt!
  • + 2
 As someone who is sitting in the Prince of Wales hospital aftwr coming off at BPW id say yes. I have a broken c2 amongst other brakes and it was a sobering experience being told so. BPW have been great and have kept in touch and the local hospital is incredible. I crashed on a blue run with the intention of gearing upfor the red and blacks. Hindsight is a wonderful thing.
  • + 3
 Healing vibes dude
  • + 1
 @shakeyakey: Thanks mate. Long road to go
  • + 1
 @thebaron38: I broke my spine at T12/L1 couple of years ago so if you ever want a talk just drop me a message dude.
  • + 1
 @shakeyakey: Cheers dude, may just do that
  • + 4
 i don't even notice its there when im riding. so why woudnt i wear it. survival of the smartest. golden rule of life shit happens. pack a bog roll
  • + 2
 Well here's my situation...
I started with DH only and I was wearing neck brace almost every time, one day I had a really bad crashed broke my helmet had small concision... I was wearing my neck brace I'm not sure what would've happened if I wasn't!
But now I'm doing more like aggressive all mtb or Enduro, recently got me one those switchable helmet could make half shelf or full face for more protection, yestarday we did 22miles how the heck I'm gonna carrie a neck brace? By the other hand, it's scary to read all of this, knowing that sometimes I'm going as fast as I was on DH bike only difference before we were shuttling now we climbed to top! I guess at some point I will have to start wearing it again! God help us all!!
And also I want to say thanks to PB for bring this up!
  • + 2
 should i wear one? type of riding i do yes.
would i wear one? yes definatly.
only thing stopping me from buying one is the price. I dont understand why safety stuff has to cost so much for a molded bit of plastic and foam. last time i was looking they were 150-200 upwards.
and before people bitch cant put a price on safety, well you can and they have.
spent my money on a carbon troy lee.
  • + 2
 The biggest problem i had with mine was fitment, i have a deep rib cage which means that no matter how many adjustments i tried on leatt braces and alpinestars ones, the back was always too low and the front always too high. in my alpine stars one i could easily get to a point of my neck stretching before my helmet hit the brace whilst standing still. never mind if the brace moved in the impact too! if a brace fit properly i'd wear it!
  • + 2
 In a crash like Sam's in the photo, it seems to me that you'd benefit most from proper upper-body protection - you see many folk including pro racers without it, and the likelihood of crashing on your arms/shoulders must be pretty high. Sure the consequences are nothing like breaking your neck, but for those of us with jobs etc, it makes sense to be protected against the everyday crash that can limit our day-to-day life in the short term.

If I'm shuttling/racing (which is rare cos I can't afford it!) I always wear an upper body jacket - the shoulder and elbow pads have saved both me and a mate on several occasions. Can't justify the cost of a neck brace - before you say about the cost of bikes etc, I haven't bought a new bike since 1999 - always 2nd-hand... Razz Maybe if they were like £50 more people would try them.
  • + 2
 No impartial research, just heavy marketing by Leatt and others. There was always some doubt if they actually worked, or even if they made things worse. I race Enduro now, so its not really an option. Used to wear one religiously for downhill, had many crashes, never severely hurt my neck- but then again may not have hurt it without one. On several occasions it bruised my shoulders and chest when I am fairly sure I would have had no issues at all without it on. On top of that it was heavy and impossible to keep clean, newer designs seem better in that respect.
  • + 2
 What I don't understand is that why they aren't mandated by the UCI for DH? Full face helmets with rated chin bar protection are but neck braces aren't.

Also how do parks in the US and Canada manage it where injuries are so litigious, are waivers that watertight that insurance companies don't make them enforce neck brace rules? In NZ we have a government body that insures all of us for no fault accidental injuries so it's not so much of a concern. We get full costs and 80% of wages after 2 weeks off work!

Those reasons kind of suggest to me that the science behind the merits isn't yet proven to a good level. Kind of like MIPS, still a good idea but I'm not throwing out my non-MIPS season old helmet for a new one....
  • + 1
 Wish I lived in NZ. In the US unless your rich you're basically just left to rot or go bankrupt.
  • + 3
 I still use one primarily because while I may be older than when it saved my life 5 years ago, I'm certainly not any more talented. I may move to an Atlas brace in the future though.
  • + 2
 @pinkbikeaudience - the survey is flawed. It asked if I own a neck brace and I said 'no'. Then it asked why so I put 'too expensive'. Then it asked why I'm not wearing it. I just said I don't own one, the reason for it, and now it's asking why I don't wear a neck brace I don't own...
  • + 2
 If i were to buy one, it would be an atlas because they flex and seem to be lighter. And really, 95% of my riding (that 5% I'm riding lifts) is done with a half lid.

I think, for enduro, most of us should really be wearing full faces. So that's the better question IMO.

I think this question is better suited to moto riders where 100% of the time you're wearing a full face. And yes, there are umpteen amounts of threads and disputes in the moto world as to whether or not they actually help or cause more damage in some particular crashes. Of course, it's nearly impossible to figure out because those who get hurt badly wearing them say, "I wonder what would have happened with out it, maybe this or that." And those who get hurt badly with out it ask what would have happend if I was wearing one. The answer to this question will never be figured out because every crash and impact is entirely different, and not to mention no human body is created the same. Every crash and body is unique to it's own.

Just my .02

And P.S. ------> Who Sponsored this feature?????????
  • + 2
 The discussion in these neck braces is fascinating. I come from a Motorsport background and witnessed the introduction of the HANS device. The HANS device uniquivicably limits hyper extension of the neck and will stop the base of the neck fractures which kill drivers and also limits the common whiplash injuries. I have a bad neck from a big crash about a decade ago which still effects me and I'm sure that injury would have been lessened or avoided if I was wearing hans. Despite that there is still the argument that prevention is better than cure and a hans device does limit the movement of your head in the car. I've only recently got into MTb and these neck braces do not, to my eyes, compare to the HANS device. There is no evidence other than anicdotal that they are of benifit and when crashing a bike the consequences are far more chaotic than crashing a car where you are firmly strapped in. Logically, put a short, sharp load through the centre of a long collar bone it's going to break - does the resistance of that break really save you neck or are you putting a traffic cone in front of truck without brakes? Maybe I'm wrong, doesn't seem as black/white as a HANS device though.
  • + 2
 I guess riding in a park nowadays is a bit show and shine. You need to look cool skilled even you're not. It's the same like not closing that damn security bar on skilifts. What the heck??? In the end it's just the kids imitating their idols in the worldcup. If they don't need a neckbrace, the kids won't either. It's stupid, but that's how humans brain work.
  • + 2
 Those prices omg cheapest is 250 euros that a third of average salary we have around, I wish I had a brace chrashing like a bag when I was young, but when you gather money for a year to only buy a bike and maybe a helmet with some shin guards you look at leat brace as a thing that only really rich kids can offer. Protection should be more affordable...
  • + 2
 I broke my C4 and C5 face planting into an up ramp back in 2009. My surgeon said it is 100% clear if I was not wearing my neck brace I would be at best a PARALYSED FOR THE NECK DOWN!

From memory I paid over $800 AUS when Leatt was first released, which is insane but in hindsight thats a cheap price to be walking!
  • + 2
 I believe they are more likely to prevent a catastrophic injury. I have one but don't wear it anymore. I have not been able to set it up in a way that it doesn't bump into the back of my helmet when I turn my head. As a result I wasn't looking around corners as deeply as I normally would and found I was blowing corners way too often.
  • + 1
 I ride both MX and MTB and about 3 years ago had an accident that I still can't believe I survived. I was riding our local MX track and was one of the first to pull up in the morning. As soon as track prep was complete, I was the first out to turn some warm-up laps. On my third lap, I went through some whoops and headed up the face of one of the triples. As soon as my bike left the face my engine hit the rev limiter and my front-end started diving......I gave it more gas in the hopes of bringing the front end up but it was clear the rear wheel wasn't turning. By the time I reached the apex of the jump my bike was now pointed straight down and I was staring at the lander for the double. At this point I made the decision to eject. I remember heading toward the lander of the triple and looking back seeing my 450 now upside down with it's rear fender pointed toward me. As I lawn darted head first in to the lander I remember two things: 1 - watching my bike land just past me, completely upside down, 2 - Feeling my helmet hit my Leatt brace and stop as my head was pushed sideways and then feeling all sorts of pressure in my shoulder area from the Leatt.

When I stopped rolling around and skidding, I popped right up and just stared around wondering what the hell happened to me. I looked up to see half the parking lot coming my way on various bikes and 4 wheelers, including the track owner......several of them had already called Life Flight, certain I was toast. I still can't believe the whole thing when I think about it, but in the end I walked away with a mangled bike, some very sore knees and hands, but nothing else. I thank God I had that Leatt on because I feel certain I'd be dead or paralyzed otherwise. From that day forward, I always wear my Leatt in both MX and when riding MTB with my full-face.

Oh, and the reason for the wreck was my damn master-clip on my chain came off and the chain came off up the face
  • + 1
 Never worn one , but I did race DH during a era( mid90/early2000,s) where pretty much everyone worn body armor from head to toe so to speak . I took some time away from the sport , and was surprised when I got back into the sport the lack of body armor being used in the sport and the pushing of neck braces . After breaking some ribs in 2015 , and trashing both shoulders in 2016 I will continue to wear some type of armor while racing and on certain trails .
  • + 1
 enduro. enduro riders do not want the extra weight and still ride the downhill trails around where I live. I look like the weirdo for wearing a brace but I will never be the same after I found someone on the trail with a spinal injury in 2015. He was waiting for the firefighters to come get him but he didn't want to move because he thought he had a broken neck. The man was in full enduro gear with no full face or armor riding the same trail i was on with my dh bike and full pads
  • + 1
 There were a couple of comments about the increase in neck injuries with mountain bike riders one of the recent "Concussion" articles on PB, which was posted by a a surgeon or Doctor. Personally, when i come off a bike i try to roll out of it, if i can, and usually end up cranking my neck. So, neck braces make sense.
  • + 1
 Leatt neckbrace saved me 110%..!!!
I experienced a huge crash back in 2010, in Chamonix... Still don't know what exactly happened, but all of a sudden I was doing 2 flips and a good scorpion 30 feet down the mountainside next to the trail..... If I had not worn the brace I'm pretty sure it had been wheelchair life from then on....
  • + 1
 WOW! Longest comment page I've seen in a while! I have a conundrum. Having ridden DH for a few years I've now gotten faster on the trail bike. All my recent injuries are on the trail bike partly because I wear less/no armor (knee pads mainly look cool to me) than when riding DH. Anyways, just thinking out loud.
  • + 1
 Neck braces are a good idea but they are not the holy grail to prevent all spinal injury. In my view there are a range of additional initiatives that would help reduce serious injury which should be looked at:

1. Park parks should offer walking times (e.g. 1 hour before opening). Walking a trail before riding it is invaluable in determining line choice, evaluating obstacles and determining correct speeds for jumps etc.

2. Offer pace riders. I would see this working similar to mountain hosts for snow sports where ‘local experts’ would take new riders to the park under their wing and show them line choice and set a speed and approach for jumps.

3. Be ballsey enough to call out riders not up to the trail. Generally riders like this stand out like dogs balls – so when you see a rider like this a simple ‘hey you know there are some serious gap jumps in this trail eh!’ might help. You might get a ‘f*k off old man’ reply – but then they may also think twice when hitting something beyond them.

4. Don’t overlook physical conditioning. Being strong and fit does help prevent injuries – but for many riders all they do is ride. Just like the WC riders weekend warrior riders should be hitting the weights as well.
  • + 1
 Holy fuck the squirrel catcher for Dirt Merchant does allow for people to attempt walking their bikes down.
  • + 1
 I once had a crash in Port du sol... well long storry short. I broke my legg into a copple of peaces, my helmet was smashed but where the important part starts. my head was smashed into my neckbrace so hard, the neckbrace craked but my neck was fine and despite a destroyed leg i was ok. just a broken helmet an neckbrace. I dont know if it saved me but my take is: I want to ride as long bikes as i can so if i will ride slower because of a neckbrace. i dont care i just want to be able to go bikeing the nextday and if a neckbrace is additional protection its priceless for me. im not a racer i just wan to have fun.

since then i had some more times where i was thanks good for my neckbrace.
  • + 1
 Sometimes I want one for trail riding. I'm not aggressive, but I do have a few taller bridges to traverse and if I come of one of those by mistake I could die, no doubt. If I rode gravity oriented stuff more than once or twice a year I'd use one 100%. Even a schmuck can get up to 60k on a DH bike.
  • + 1
 I am 47, have raced dirt bikes all my life, ridden downhill for the last 10 years. Started wearing neck braces when they first showed up. My experience has been positive, I crashed off a jump in angel fire bike park, broke the brace, my helmet, broke my collarbone and four ribs. Crashed my dirtbike on a mx track off a large jump and broke the helmet and neckbrace, walked away with a hole in my hand. Was following my buddy in whistler, down dirt merchant and he endoed off a jump, landed face first, scorpion style and broke the back of the neck brace, walked away. Same guy, riding dirtbikes similiar situation, no neck brace, Broke his neck-luckily he is ok. I think the neck brace may have broke my collarbone, it does restrict movement to a small degree, but i believe it works. I own a motorcycle dealership, and I have also heard many times how helmets break your collarbone from a certain group of riders. As far as professional racers go, I think they will risk their health to get that small edge. I used to wear knee braces when I raced mx, but stopped because i couldnt feel the bike and as a result I crashed more. The lesser of two evils.
  • + 1
 I know my life doesn't have a price but neck brace and all stuff to protect myself are so much expensive ... In my local dh no ones wear neck braces because bikes are already so much expensive ... it's like abs for backcountry skiing
  • + 1
 Personal choice. Having been on bijes my whole life I won't ride without one. Crashed at whistler, broke the brace and fractured c1-c6. Doctors said im a miracle to walk away. Without the brace there is no doubt i would be paralyzed. My thoughts. Wear it
  • + 2
 and with the collar bone thing... if your gonna eat shit your gonna eat shit, and if your crashing hard enough to get hurt well your getting hurt one way or the other. id take a collar bone over my neck anyday
  • + 1
 I'll chime in, I wear one. My main reason is I have two discs in my neck that are fusing together from an injury (not biking related) I DH'ed for about 5 or 6 years before buying a neck brace. When I rode without it I had a couple crashes were I couldn't tuck and roll and had a side loaded crash where my head was the first to hit. The problem was I was able to take the force but it left my neck sore for a month and had to do physio regularly to get it back to form. So after a good few crashes I got a neck brace. The biggest crash I had with it was at highland this past summer full side load head first cracked helmet but my neck felt fine, did it prevent any serious injury I can't tell you that but it did prevent over extension and allowed my keep riding.

As for the feeling uncomfortable I felt the same the first couple runs but adjusted to it, after I talked with my sports physio (I got lucky and deal with one that was a cyclist) and gave me insight that I was originally over extending my neck in turns and by slightly changing body position I could achieve the same effect and sight line without cranking my neck.
  • + 1
 I always wear one in the bike park. But trail riding has typically involved a half lid. But that is about to change when I pick up a new Giro Switchblade. Will I start using a neck brace on rides that are straight up/down and more extreme? Possibly if I replace my Leatt with a nice light new one.

There's something really liberating about being out on trails with relatively minimal stuff. But I struggle to balance that against by need to be reasonably protected and equipped for contingencies.
  • + 1
 I'm planning on getting a neck brace and some back chest protection for when I go to the bike park. That being said, a lot of this needs to be contextualized. I hit 25 to 30 mph on almost every trail ride. I hit smaller jumps (12 foot table tops, six foot doubles (length wise, I'm probably only getting a few feet up)). Drops of around 4 feet, rock gardens at speed with exposure. I wear a Met Parachute and knee pads. Why is it OK to ride trail, even black line all mountainy trail, with a half lid and nothing else? That's what I see most people wearing.

What is the line where we should up our protection? How many SCIs occur on trails where literally no one where a neck brace and almost no one wears a full face. The SCIs around here I have heard of have all been on trails where people typically don't wear braces.

The other issue is that brain injuries have increased with increased adoption of helmets in snow sports. This is apparently because, while they limit death, they don't prevent concussions very well and people ride harder because the think they are protected. So injury is behaviorally driven

Any way, I'm for protection. I wear more than most people I see. But so with the moralizing
  • + 1
 I have once gone down head first from a 2m drop. I hit the ground so hard that my vision was distorted for a little bit. I had my neck brace on. I have no idea what would happen if I didn't have one. I have also broken my collar bone in a car accident. It does not hurt that much so if I had to choose between this and a broken neck, the answer is pretty clear.
  • + 1
 I have always worn a neck brace when I ride any type of downhill riding. I'm also a racer so I feel it more necessary. It makes me feel that much more safe and honestly I usually forget it's there. I have had a few crashes where I was really glad I had mine on. I've also gone shoulder first into a rock before and thought for sure mid crash I was about to brake my collarbone. I still think that the neck brace took a lot of the rocks impact and all I had was a minor separated shoulder and was riding again a week later. That's just me though I know other people hate the feeling of them. Although I must say I recently got the new Leatt bike specific brace and it is incredibly light and stays in place very well.
  • + 1
 So I'm curious who this is 'sponsored' by. It is obviously information that will be used to help companies promote their neck braces more. I'm not opposed to that, if it helps rider protection. It would be nice if it was a little bit more clear though.

Here's my two cents though. The reason I don't wear one is that when I asked some riders who were sponsored by Alpinestars a few years ago about their factory tour, they told me the most interesting this was concerning how to wear their neck braces. They were told that the neck braces were designed to function with no more than 10mm of clearance between the helmet and the brace on the sides. That small amount of clearance limits how much the spine can be compressed, because then the helmet will in essence bottom out before severe damage happens. I don't doubt that.

However, I can't ride right given that 10mm or less of clearance between the helmet and brace. It seems like that fits for moto a lot better with an upright riding position, but less for DH. So, I'd ask those manufacturers, what is the clearance, or lack thereof that is required to make the braces work best? At some point, the brace can act as a lever, at other points, it can be beneficial.

I've broken my back years ago, I've endured rehab, and I've had great success riding and hardship. I think I'm a pretty careful rider now, but I still love pushing myself. I think we all have that paradox to some degree. I'd love better protection, but I'd also like more information out there on how to use that protection in a setup sense. Until then, I'll wait, as I feel like going to the gym and having the best flexibility I can have is the best protection I've got going for me.
  • + 2
 I've got a Leatt 5.5 that I wear on park days but it's just too big and bulky for trail/enduro. And the dumbest reason ever--nobody else wears them at an enduro with some rare exceptions.
  • + 1
 I have seen a good friend almost die in a accident and it scared me almost off riding.
I use a leatt with full face and it has saved me at least once.
Also use a Poc Mips open face which has also saved me with its ability to limit rotation on my melon. Unfortunately you need to stack them to see them in action.
I work in construction where my workers argue the toss on whether the need to wear a hard hat. Which will save there life if things go sideways.
My wife works on rehabbing people with serious head and spinal injuries and I hear how poor their lives become post injury. Truly sad stuff for person and family.
I will say this.
"There is no point in protecting a head or body that is not smart enough to wear what is available"
It is a bit like natural selection....
  • + 2
 I got one and used it a couple of times on non-lift-assisted rides. Now it's collecting dust like all the rest of my riding gear since there just is no time to spend 6 hours going to the woods anymore. Middle age sucks.
  • + 1
 I wear an Atlas brace when jumping etc The main benifit for me is not having a stiff neck after a half decent crash. I'm sure it's saved me from major injury once or twice as well but a sore neck is expensive if you can't work.
  • + 1
 Yeah but if works your concern think of everyone else who comes from countries who don't have schemes like ACC. At least in NZ all costs are covered and wages at 80% for the rest of your working life no questions asked......
  • + 1
 I've read lots of your comments with pro and contra arguments. We've heard a surgeon and so and I know myself some. operating in hospital in a hospital between two bikeparks. You're right, they don't have severe spinal damages a lot luckily, but they exist. and for me as a husband and father i do everything to ride reasonable and protect my health as good as i can. not only for me, but also for my family. and even if you're not a husband or father you do have family. think about that. i don't know if my neck brace saved my life but i do know for sure that before i had one i had luck and a sore neck now i may have luck but i never had a sore neck again. wear it and don't need it and ride with fun
  • + 1
 It's saved my neck a couple times for sure, but I no longer wear it due to a broken collarbone. (Injury is unrelated to the brace) It now feels weird and uncomfortable when I put it on and I'm kind of scared of crashing with it. Might try again this summer.
  • + 1
 I had a crash in my neck brace about two years ago, i'm happy to say that it did its work. I hit this flat corner and I flipped the bars and landed straight on my face/chest. I was knocked out for about 20 seconds, when I woke up I felt fine. A couple hours go by and i'm starting to feel a little sore which was kind of expected in this type of crash. the injuries could have been a lot worse if it wasn't for the neck brace. I recommend getting one.
  • + 3
 I wear one for same reason i buy insurance-you may never use it, you're not even sure it will pay up...but do you really want to be without one when it matters?
  • + 1
 I have one for moto but it depends on the mtb ride. I'd feel a bit like the queen of England riding in an enduro lid with my white neck brace, although I now just wear full face for everything my kneck brace is too bulky and only comes with me to bike parks ....sadly ....I ....don't...only ride park Frown
  • + 5
 You should NEVER wear a neck brace with a half shell, if that's what you mean by "enduro lid."
  • + 1
 @DrPete: yea I never have worn one with an enduro open face lid, I'm pretty sure I'd break my jaw/nose/teeth well actually pretty much just all of my face with an open face lid and a neck brace....at the same time that's also the reason why I don't wear an open face lid anymore, my jaw was pretty upset when it made out with the concrete lip at the skatepark
  • + 1
 I have seen a good friend almost die in a accident and it scared me almost off riding.
I use a leatt with full face and it has saved me at least once.
Also use a Poc Mips open face which has also saved me with its ability to limit rotation on my melon. Unfortunately you need to stack them to see them in action.
I work in construction where my workers argue the toss on whether the need to wear a hard hat. Which will save there life if things go sideways.
My wife works on rehabbing people with serious head and spinal injuries and I hear how poor their lives become post injury. Truly sad stuff for person and family.
I will say this.
"There is no point in protecting a head or body that is not smart enough to wear what is available"
It is a bit like natural selection....
  • + 3
 rightly or wrongly i stopped using mine because it constantly tapped the back of my helmet and it drove me crazy. couldnt quite lift my head up enough on really steep stuff.
  • + 1
 My neck brace saved my life...probably. I was about to send this massive drop that no one had cleaned yet but my very observant riding buddy noticed that my Leatt didn't match my kit......so, of course, I stopped riding immediately...I mean, there were photogs hanging around and I didn't want that fashion faux paux immortalized in digital form. So yeah, I probably would have crashed really bad but my Leatt kept me from hitting the drop.
  • + 1
 How many riders have suffered severe spinal injury with a neck brace on? How many have suffered severe spinal injury without one?
When your doctor tears up over how close you were to being disabled the gravity of the matter hits hard. Trust me and my doctors when I say a neck brace saved ME.
I encourage everyone to form their own opinion but please do so with education and caution rather than a narrow minded, know it all attitude. I'd hate to have wound up in a chair due to arrogance and a she'll be right attitude.
  • + 1
 the more riders using it the price will drop, it seems like there is not clear idea of the purpose and functionality of neck bryce for mtb riders, i currently use it only in bike parks or blind riding on gnarly trails.
  • + 0
 The ones who should be wearing them are the same ones getting into the sport, the weekend warriors just beginning to attempt big jumps and taking new risks. These are the ones buying the cheap used DH bikes on craigslist and who aren't going to pony up of a neck brace. The riders at the top are making informed decisions, they're trusting their own skills.
  • + 4
 Like Dan Atherton? Yet Gee doesn't wear one
  • + 1
 So i own a neck brace from a few years ago in which i like it, BUT, the newer ones are much more comfortable and mobile. if only the price was better i would consider buyng a new one, or even trading in my old one.
  • + 1
 Too bad we can't see the survey results like some of the other Pinkbike polls. I hope they will be shared because the transparency in Pinkbike polls is the only reason I participate.
  • + 0
 I don’t use mine mainly because it is an older one and a pain in a neck to transport. I keep meaning to get one of the new folding Leatte ones. Personally. I had a rough crash with one and had a sore neck for a week. I also had a worse crash where I bashed into a rock with the face shield of my helmet. Much worse, my head was thrown back and like the lesser crash with it I had a stiff neck for a week.
I do have a question for all the people that claim one saved their lives. How do you know?
I do not follow motocross but I was told the only guys using them are guys getting paid to use them. I have also heard it is the only piece of protective gear that will cause an injury (broke clavicle). I also heard a wild story of a woman rider that crashed with one and the handle bar made way up between the brace and her neck/head and nearly choked her to death. Still, I will probably get another.
  • + 2
 Not sure about the clavicle bit. My brace sits nowhere near my collarbone and any impact on it would not affect my clavicle. According to my Orthopaedic surgeon collarbone breaks are caused mostly by an impact to the side of the shoulder such as landing on the shoulder...
  • + 1
 A neck brace will not save you from axial loading,but could help with other spinal injuries...or could cause an injury if it gets caught on something..I don't own one,never have.if I was gifted one I'd use it I'm guessing
  • + 2
 better get rid of those handlebars then - they could easily get caught on something! ;-)
  • + 0
 Break your neck one time.... Ask me how it will affect you for the next 20 years and beyond (and I'm a lucky one). Think paralysis is a joke? Think it can't happen to you? Don't take ANYTHING for granted in life folks. If I have a full-face on, you better bet I am sporting a neck brace.
  • + 1
 Had one for a while...didn't fit great with my helmet and didnt work with my chest protector at all. Doing the math feels like im more likely to impale myself or fall on my shoulders than have one of these function
  • + 1
 hey leatt fixed the problem of the collar bone breaking by allowing more space on the new designs , yes the rumors of it breaking your collar bone is true, but get a new one they don't do that anymore
  • + 1
 Iv had some big crashes where I was glad I had my neck brace on. God knows what would have happened if I didn't have it on. People might say they restrict movement but I'd rather have that than a broken neck.
  • + 1
 We take risk every waking day. The brace is there and is optional, like condoms. Bike industry again are pushing their slumping sales. How bout making them affordable to the masses?
  • + 1
 Most of mtb riders wear an open face helmet 99% of the time if not 100% (maybe not on this forum but DH riders or bike park riders are a minority) wich leaves them with no possible neck protection.
  • + 1
 Their pros and cons about neckbraces, but if you wear one, make sure you also wear a back protection compatible with neckbrace ! wearing one with no back protection can cause really bad spine injuries !
  • + 0
 Village idiots, internet orthopedist and sport physiologists converge. I love the innate postulants that mtn protection generates. After over 480 jumps from airplanes and helos over land and water during my time serving, I never saw evidence that a helmet would save my life. Be it a protec. A mitch or a opscore, but guess what? I wore em, because of common sense. Now into my 50s I still free ride and DH, pI wear a Atlas crank after retiring a Leatt. The fraternity of fashion and stupidity keeps justifying "not proven" .
  • + 1
 Am I the only one who likes to intimidate my neighbours in the village by dressing up as RoboCop every now and then? I didn't realise it was for safety. I've sprayed mine chrome for that cyborg warrior look.
  • + 4
 No one uses shoulder pads - way more common injury . Fashion Fools .
  • + 9
 fake news.
  • + 0
 Some think they were cool now ther not cool you see them less and less, I had one hell of a crash, the look on peopels faces told me all Ineeded to know, thankfully my imagenry neck brace saved my life for sure xxxx
  • + 1
 "it would be short-sighted to say they're still as popular as they were a few years ago." What? How can comparing data from two epochs be short sighted?
  • + 1
 I noticed that Danny Hart and Andrew Neethling, sometimes do not wear neck braces on their race runs, but wear them in training. Someone know why it's kinda weird?
  • - 1
 @LaXcarp: helmets do that job, neck braces protect your neck, its all relevant. any whining about neck braces not helping is whats pointless. They work to keep your neck from over extending! Thats there job, its not a back brace not a head brace, its a neck brace, but it will save your head or body or life maybe.
  • + 1
 I wear one and use a full face every time I ride no matter where I ride. I know I have used it a few times and I`m glad I had it on.
  • - 1
 A lot of people talking about lack of data. It's rare to see anybody NOT wearing kneepads on the trails these days but I've never heard of anybody busting a kneecap from crashing. Full disclosure, I go rawdog neck and knees. Feels so good, plus I don't race dh.
  • + 6
 I'd bet if you asked everybody who wears knees while riding why they do so, 90% would at least mention "so i dont scratch/cut/rip up/shred/skin my knee when i inevitably take a bit of a digger", probably not "so i dont break my kneecap".
  • + 1
 @jaycubzz: and I would ask "why don't you wear elbow and/or wrist guards too?" It's hard to admit when you're a slave to a trend. I trash my elbows just add much as my knees when I crash. Skin grows back quickly, it's not that big a deal.
  • + 5
 @Olimac: I split my kneecap in two, and there are now 3 screws holding it together, thanks to taking a tumble knee first into a rock garden without pads. There you go, now you've heard of somebody busting a kneecap from crashing. Wear your pads, man..
  • + 3
 @Olimac: Personally I fall on my elbows way less often than on my knees, and I find elbow pads more cumbersome to wear than knee pads.
  • + 1
 uuum... I havent noticed any "dying" of neck braces. I still wear one, and every 30 seconds I see someone with one at the bike park.
  • + 1
 3. Do you own a neck brace? A: NO
5. Why are you not using it? A: ???

Answer 5 is kinda strange if you dont own any but have too answer it...
  • + 1
 Still looking at a atlas tho
  • - 1
 Should be mandatory in formula 1 racing it is and there surrounded by a car nasa cock pit........I would have broke my neck if not for dbx leatt neck brace at Mountain creek bike park I preach about wearing one rather break colier bone then neck duh????please safety first life is to important.... prof job that what they preach
  • - 1
 I only ride DH a couple times a year and my head has only touched the ground during a crash once over the entire time I've been riding mountain bikes. Of course once is all it takes, but I'm not going to spend the money on something that'll be less comfortable and will probably never be needed.
  • + 1
 So if you had to pay for your seatbelts in the car, you wouldn't get one because in 10 years of driving your head hasn't hit the dashboard once?
  • + 1
 @SmashedFungi: I can't control the actions of other drivers and cars travel a fair bit quicker.
  • + 1
 also in my many years of mx, I saw tons of broken collarbones long before neck braces were invented. Most common injury by far
  • + 2
 My buddy wears one for DH to protect his neck, but instead, it's broken bis collar bone twice in 3 seasons.
  • + 1
 Your neck you brake only once. I wear an Leatt......and it saved my neck 2 times between 2009 and 2017 Thank You Leatt Brace
  • + 2
 Are there any verifiable examples of someone having a spinal injury while wearing one?
  • + 1
 I know one but i think neck brace probably saved his life... @nikifor88
  • + 1
 yeah, i'm c6 complete quad but i'd prefer to be dead, so screw neck braces, and im serious now. dead serious.
  • + 1
 ok, honestly any way to prevent sci is a good way, you dont want that shit man, i crashed so hard and unluckily i didnt have a chance
  • + 1
 @nikifor88: I'm sorry to hear about your injury. What happened?
  • + 1
 Why do so many dudes wear them without straps? Wouldnt that defeat the purpose if youre not even wearing it as designed??
  • + 1
 Wearing one has saved my neck... broken my sternum but saved my neck... I can walk and ride.
  • + 1
 The reason I no longer wear mine is that I wear a half shell instead of full face. They are not compatible.
  • + 1
 If I'm going fast in a full face I wear my brace. I have a current model atlas and it's so comfy I forget I'm wearing it.
  • + 1
 I also do not like that the part that extends down my neck covers up my name on my race jersey. Just joking...
  • + 0
 Wrong impact scenario. I don't see myself lawn darting... Side tethering would be more useful in most deflection related injuries.
  • + 2
 The brace doesn't really protect against axial loading, though it may minimize the degree of compression. It's more for the deflection-related injuried you mention, and there is a degree of lateral protection. Definitely a lot of hyperflexion/extension protection.
  • + 1
 my neck brace saved my life twice while riding downhill if it wasnt for it i would be in a wheel chair right now.
  • + 1
 Do Leatt neck braces work with any full face helmet, or only specific ones/brands?
  • + 1
 The difference between not riding for 2-3 months and never walking again is pretty big...where a neck brace!
  • + 1
 Wear*
  • + 1
 I broke my C1 vertebrae in 2013, and i have always worn a neck brace after that.
  • + 2
 monkey see monkey do
  • + 0
 I felt like it was having a negative effect on my form, and I didn't want to risk my collarbones for something unproven
  • + 1
 If my full face is on, so is my leatt.
  • + 1
 I wear mine because my makes me
  • + 1
 Can we see the results of the survey?
  • + 1
 No, and why should I be whilst taking a dump and catching up on PB?
  • + 1
 Neck, in the minimum possible impact protective helmet severing collarbone
  • + 1
 What about spine protectors?
  • + 1
 Turtle shell's are the way to go...
  • + 1
 I stopped using mine after it broke my collarboner
  • + 0
 It's like seat belts, in some cases they save you, in other cases they hurt you.
  • + 1
 you can't tuck and roll. There's an art to crashing.
  • + 1
 This is exactly why I wear two neck braces.
  • + 1
 Man after all this talk who wants to go hit some gap jumps lol.
  • + 1
 Not wearing it because I'm ignorant. Thats not smart but it is like it is.
  • + 1
 Have one, but doesn't work with a trail lid - so it sits on the shelf
  • + 1
 Yes
  • - 1
 there is no salvation against axial load. These companies made a lot of money on us ignoramus
  • + 2
 There is salvation against the more common hyperextension/hyperflexion injuries. A pure axial loading injury is extremely rare in the real world.
  • + 1
 @DrPete: Just performed a literature review on SCI(spinal cord injury) prevention devices last December, there isn't any research that shows a single hyperflexion/hyperextension event causes spinal cord injury. Pure axial loading is rare, hence why SCI events at the cervical level in extreme sports are rare(relative to other injuries). Think of it this way, your knee pads wont prevent you from an injury which leads to amputation, but can save you from a whole lot of soft tissue injury and discomfort. Neck braces are like knee pads, they wont prevent the axial events which are proven by peer-reviewed research to cause SCI, but they will prevent injuries that will hurt like a bitch for a few weeks! So though it's unlikely that a brace will prevent a SCI from occurring, I can see a place for them. But like wearing a full Dainese suit, I value the range of motion over the limited protection. Though I can see why people would use them with this argument in mind.
  • + 3
 @mdhorner: I would expand your lit search to incomplete spinal cord injuries like traumatic central cord syndrome because there absolutely are injuries associated with hyperextension, like multiple different fracture patterns of C1 and C2, central cord syndrome, and vertebral and carotid artery injuries.
  • + 3
 @mdhorner: fractures of C1 and C2 related to hyperextension can not only cause cord injury but they can be immediately lethal.
  • + 1
 Any 'pure' injury is uncommon. However, axial loading to the spine in combination with hyperextension is the exact clinical explanation of the picture used to intro this very article. Everyone and their dog has 'scorpioned' before and as literally illustrated, all it takes is a solid rock-like opposing force and you have axial loading until the cows come home.

Now, do neck brakes prevent such hyper-events, I believe they do, but they're just redirecting the force into the thorasic spine. And do those hyper-events translate into cervical spine injuries? That I'm curious to know...
  • + 1
 @mdhorner: yes, see the article here on pink bike from a few days ago:
www.pinkbike.com/news/jay-balabas-the-injury-that-inspired-the-transcr.html
(Chin bar leverages neck into hyperflexion for mechanism of injury after otb crash)
  • + 1
 @handsomedan: Excellent reference, but in this scenario the chin-bar is actually creating a compression force on the spine (much like how I described a rock might in my post above). The 'scorpion' motion of the body is creating the hyperextension factor. Nevertheless, add both a compression force and a hyperextension event together and that's a lot of force on the cervical spine in a volurnable position (little opportunity to deflect, distribute, or absorb the force).

As @mdhorner correctly addressed, 'pure' axial loading to the spine is rare and a neck brace will not prevent injury in these events. (For those who don't know, axial loading is a compression force along the axis or 'length' of the spine). I'm also not sure a hyperextension event on its own is significant enough to cause cervical spine injury and also why I think there's some uncertainty to the efficacy to neck braces. The real world though doesn't care about isolated 'clinical' motion events. I heard of a situation years ago where a swimmer in a pool was surfacing as he reached the end wall. He misjudged his distance slightly and with his neck in a hyperextension position (aka looking up) his chin brushed/bumped the wall of the pool. That compressoin force in combination with the hyperextension position of the cervical spine was significant enough to cause trauma resulting in paralysis.
  • + 0
 I have a nice Leatt for sale!
  • - 3
 Two words/ HANS device,a lot more research has been done to back up such devices. They all work a Little!
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