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  1. #1
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    Do you use a neck brace?

    I am currently living in an area that has a lot of bike parks, Switzerland. Pretty much everyone here rides with neck braces. Do you ride with a neck brace, and is there a neck brace that offers high quality with out the beau coup bucks of Leatt?

    thanks
    "I think it's rad, when Balls beats Natural talent" - Shaun Palmer

  2. #2
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    yes - I've ridden with a leatt for awhile, since the early moto versions - Nowadays you have quite a few options but i would check out the new atlas brace, i think it comes in at a pretty competitive price point and the few people i know who have them like them just as much as any other high quality neck brace. You'll notice it for the first few rides and then your brain will move on to more important things, like that rock you're about to hit... Its all a preference thing, play around with all the settings to make sure it fits best and you feel comfortable, i like mine without the straps but some people like the brace to feel a little more locked in so they use the straps - In no time wearing a full face without your neck brace will feel pretty weird.

  3. #3
    Uphill? What's that
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    My wife and I have been using the alpinestars bionic neck brace for the last couple of years and really like it.. I have personally scene it save my wife's neck twice in the last 3 years.. I won't ride D.H. without it and neither will she.. Like chup29 said once you get used to it you don't feel right without it.

  4. #4
    Slap happy crappiness
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    If neck braces have saved as many peoples necks or lives as users say they have, then 4 or 5 years ago, when most people were not using them, you'd think that there'd have been a hell of a lot more broken necks in downhill; and I don't think that's the case. I'm not saying neck braces do or don't do what they advertise, but I think people overestimate the severity of whatever crash they were in when they claim the brace "saved their life."
    I personally know one person who died wearing a very popular neck brace and know countless people who claim their brace saved them in x-amount of crashes. I think it's a very special crash that will snap your neck, as well as a very special crash where the brace will actually be the determining factor that actually saved your neck.
    Blame it on dumb luck, or that I don't think there has been a decrease in neck injuries since the introduction of neck braces to our sport, but I choose not to wear one anymore; and I don't think I'm an idiot, by any means, for making that choice (knock on wood).
    That being said, I've personally used both the old Leatt MotoGPX and the previous generation Atlas. The Atlas had a better range of motion and overall felt less restrictive compared to the GPX, fit was better too (for my body). I can't comment on the current DBX though, but I'd still pick the Atlas if I decided to go back to a neck brace.
    (Hopefully I don't kill myself now after publicly ranting about neck braces)
    I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.

  5. #5
    Uphill? What's that
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    DHgnar..it is a personal choice and I truly hope that you never end up in a crash that puts you in a position that would jeopardize your neck..Now if you start riding without a helmet I might call you an idiot.

  6. #6
    Slap happy crappiness
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob-Bob View Post
    DHgnar..it is a personal choice and I truly hope that you never end up in a crash that puts you in a position that would jeopardize your neck..Now if you start riding without a helmet I might call you an idiot.
    Thanks, I hope not either. Also, I wasn't singling you out, FWIW, I was just putting out a different perspective. I don't think anyone's a fool for wearing one, nor do I think people who chose not to are asking for an injury.
    I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.

  7. #7
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    I do. But just as DHgnaR has said, it's really more of a personal preference. I've researched a ton and was strongly considering buying one until my wife got me one as a Father's Day gift. My research never showed any strong statistic showing how a neck brace saved a life or prevented an injury. See this video from Leatt touting its benefits:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FD6-NDswsdk

  8. #8
    NWS
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    Neck injuries have always been my biggest fear. When the Leatt brace hit the market, I ran out and bought one. I don't wear it for wheels-on-the-ground stuff, but if I'm riding jumps, I'm wearing a neck brace.

    I've never had a crash where I even came close to breaking my neck, and hopefully I never will. But I'm so used to riding in a brace now that I hardly notice it, so it makes no sense to ride the fun stuff without it.

    I wonder what the neck-injury statistics are like... I mean, are there a statistically significant number of neck injuries every year, or is it more like 2 this year, three that year, etc? Lots of top-tier riders still aren't wearing them, so I'm not sure I'd expect to see much of a difference in the statistics anyway.

    The Leatt brace, and its competition (at least, the ones that I've looked at closely), just seem to me like a really good idea. So unless I see stats that show they do more harm than good, I'm going to be wearing one.

  9. #9
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    yes i wear one, and I don't notice it at all

    This past weekend I had a pretty bad fall where I landed square on my head from about a 3-4 feet drop (too much brake, OTB, into a ditch), and while I can't say for sure what the brace did, I have zero neck pain or soreness from that fall, even though the rest of my body was sore.

    Oh, and this is what I got, pretty good deal I'd say: Leatt DBX Comp 3 Neck Brace > Apparel > Protective Gear > Neck Braces | Jenson USA

  10. #10
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    for me, I held out until around a year ago, all my friends were wearing them, and I thought i'm going to feel like a dick if I crash and injure my neck. I got the atlas, it was far more comfortable than the others for me and cheaper so win win!
    I made an App, It's called Bike Setup - A new iOS App to help riders setup their suspension http://www.bike-setup.com

  11. #11
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    anyone can comment how the different braces fit with armor? By armor i mean generic pressure suits, not roost guards or armors specifically manufactured to be compatible? I see alot of people wearing braces but no pressure suit, personally pressure suit with backplates is more priority than a brace

  12. #12
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    I wear the atlas crank. Got it this year. Seemed clunky while fitting but as soon as I hit the trail I forgot it was there. I wear it in conjunction with the 661 core saver. That protector has removable spine plates and I removed 2 to make the neck brace fit. The combo works pretty well together. I had done some research and came across this article a few months ago : Downhill/BMX Neck Brace / Armor Compatibility When I saw the atlas pop-up for $130 I made my move.

  13. #13
    NWS
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    Quote Originally Posted by pizon View Post
    anyone can comment how the different braces fit with armor? By armor i mean generic pressure suits, not roost guards or armors specifically manufactured to be compatible? I see alot of people wearing braces but no pressure suit, personally pressure suit with backplates is more priority than a brace
    The only combo I have tried is Leatt brace + Leatt armor. Works just fine.

    The elbow pads on the Leatt armor were apparently made for someone with Popeye arms, but I can live with that. Everything else about the armor is just fine.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by pizon View Post
    anyone can comment how the different braces fit with armor? By armor i mean generic pressure suits, not roost guards or armors specifically manufactured to be compatible? I see alot of people wearing braces but no pressure suit, personally pressure suit with backplates is more priority than a brace
    I've tried lots of Armor+Leatt combos. Standard pressure suits (not designed to work with brace) typically will not work very well without modding the suit. There are quite a few armors that are made to work with it, but it's all personal preference. I tried the Leatt armor with the Leatt brace and the combo did not work for me, the shoulders would bunch up with the brace and push up on the helmet when I would raise my elbows for attack position. Last year I was using the Kali Sarpa armor, while this year I went for a little less and I am riding with the Race Face Flank Core.

    Best idea is to try it on before buying, not always possible though..

  15. #15
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    id rather keep my neck in a straight line and myself out of a wheelchair than avoid some scratches on my arms - pressure suits are great for beginners with no balance who crash every run but I've always felt they severely get in the way of movement on the bike. Its not like you aren't going to break bones when you crash hard enough, pressure suit or not - way way way way way more important to prioritize your head and spinal column in the protection game - my .02

  16. #16
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    Pressure suit = backplate, noway I'm allowing my spine to smash off rocks in order to rock a brace. Any reports oh how the atlas brace works with pressure suits?

  17. #17
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    Been riding moto for 22 years and DH for 3 years, I do not wear a neck brace nor do I plan to. Other then that, I am decked out like a storm trooper.

    Brenda

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by DHgnaR View Post
    If neck braces have saved as many peoples necks or lives as users say they have, then 4 or 5 years ago, when most people were not using them, you'd think that there'd have been a hell of a lot more broken necks in downhill; and I don't think that's the case. I'm not saying neck braces do or don't do what they advertise, but I think people overestimate the severity of whatever crash they were in when they claim the brace "saved their life."
    I personally know one person who died wearing a very popular neck brace and know countless people who claim their brace saved them in x-amount of crashes. I think it's a very special crash that will snap your neck, as well as a very special crash where the brace will actually be the determining factor that actually saved your neck.
    Blame it on dumb luck, or that I don't think there has been a decrease in neck injuries since the introduction of neck braces to our sport, but I choose not to wear one anymore; and I don't think I'm an idiot, by any means, for making that choice (knock on wood).
    That being said, I've personally used both the old Leatt MotoGPX and the previous generation Atlas. The Atlas had a better range of motion and overall felt less restrictive compared to the GPX, fit was better too (for my body). I can't comment on the current DBX though, but I'd still pick the Atlas if I decided to go back to a neck brace.
    (Hopefully I don't kill myself now after publicly ranting about neck braces)
    I agree with this, although I'm on the flip side that I wear one. It makes my wife more comfortable with me riding. Leatt's can be found on sale. It also makes a big difference IME from helmet to helmet. I've found that the TLDs are more comfortable than a lot of other, bulkier helmets (for full face DH anyway). There are no guarantees, just like wearing armor doesn't keep you from breaking bones.

  19. #19
    NWS
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    Quote Originally Posted by kazlx View Post
    There are no guarantees, just like wearing armor doesn't keep you from breaking bones.
    Anybody who buys any form of protective gear in hopes of preventing broken bones is going to be disappointed. Helmets might be the sole exception, but even they stop your skull from cracking they won't stop you from getting a concussion.

    If you fall hard enough to break bones, bones are gonna break.

    Armor, especially, is just there to make minor falls less painful. Like wrist braces for skateboarding and snowboarding - they don't stop bones from breaking, they only make bones break in different places, but they can make non-bone-breaking falls a LOT less painful.

    In a hard fall, a neck brace should hopefully leave the rider with a shoulder injury rather than a neck injury.

    And for minor falls... I had a relatively mild over-the-bars-and-into-a-tree fall a couple years ago that probably would have left me with a sore neck, but ended up being a total non-issue because the Leatt transferred the force to my shoulders instead. That was a win, in my opinion.

    Protective gear like armor, knee and elbow pads, wrist braces, neck braces, etc all have at least as much value to me for mild to medium crashes than for the really harsh crashes that will land you in the ER with or without protective gear.

  20. #20
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    When I was first learning to DH (approx 4 yrs ago) I inquired about neck braces on this forum. I have considered wearing a neck brace because it is an important safety device. But they are expensive and fit and comfort are most important. If it is uncomfortable or too restictive, doesn't fit right then I would not wear it. I'd be so distracted I would lose my focus. I haven't dismissed a neck brace entirely however I have not found one that was right for me
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  21. #21
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    Re: Do you use a neck brace?

    FWIW I broke my collarbone Sat and definitely felt that my neck brace prevented any neck injury (my neck was only slightly stiff) as well as prevented what could have been a mild concussion (my head hit only very slightly because it was supported by my brace).

    I agree that I'd like to see statistics to support the argument but such studies are expensive and require controlling for all kinds of factors:

    - Increasing popularity of downhill / park riding and increasing number of lift served areas in the last 10y
    - Riders with more armor may push their limits more nullifying potential benefits
    - Better biking technology, longer travel bikes weighing comparatively less (from enduro to full DH bikes) facilitating more miles and harder riding and more challenging technical terrain for each mile ridden

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