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  1. #1
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    neck braces.............

    with a lot of the accidents lately...I am getting one

    what are the pros and cons of the different neck braces you guys wearing??
    the trick is ENJOYING YOUR LIFE EACH DAY, don't waste them away wishing for better days

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by SHIVER ME TIMBERS View Post
    with a lot of the accidents lately...I am getting one

    what are the pros and cons of the different neck braces you guys wearing??
    Check my thread that I posted recently.

    From what I gathered the Leatt is the most common and works well enough for plenty of people. There have been complaints about collar bones breaking, but it's unclear what would've happened to those people w/o the brace (would be nice to know more about the accidents).

    Alpinestar fits great for some, not as well for others. Also, no padding on back so helmet may make more noise if tapping it while riding.

    Omega claims to have a different system than either of the others which redistributes the force differently and decreases risk of collar bone injury. It also has a gap right in front of your face (not a complete donut around neck) which they claim is better at preventing certain injuries to jaw (or something like that). The Omega one looks pretty comfy, but I feel like there's relatively limited feedback on this one so far. At least I haven't seen a ton of them in use and feel like they're smaller than Leatt.

    Based on all of the above I picked up a Leatt DBX Comp I. Bikebling has em on sale now (or check with LBS mine had it on sale too). The only upgrade with the Comp II is slightly lower profile padding (checked this w/ Leatt), and you can upgrade padding later for $60 if the Comp I padding is too thick (I imagine difference is quite small). They have a cheaper version than the Comp, but it lacks adjustability.

    If possible maybe go to an LBS with your helmet and armor to make sure the brace isn't wildly uncomfortable with your setup for some reason.

    If anyone, has additional info I'd love to hear it. Would be nice to have a more scientific comparison breaking down the protection of each brace (kinda like the DOT standard, etc.). So far it all seems anecdotal and since more people rock Leatt you hear about them more.

    Gonna try my new brace at Whistler this weekend so can let you know how it goes. I decided to buy it after hitting the big stuff at Blackrock and hearing about recent injuries.

  3. #3
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    I bought a moto GPX a year or two ago and took the time to set it up properly. I ended up returning it because I felt it severly limited the range of motion of my head, especially looking up which is of course essential. I too was inspired recently (get better, Chris) to give it another go. The DBX 2 comp is day and night from the former. I get full lateral range of motion and it seems fine in its preliminary testing for head extension ( I just got it yesterday). Shuttle runs and DJ this weekend, so I'll post up if there are any problems, but so far I am hopeful that I will be able to protect my scrawny neck in Whistler this year .

  4. #4
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    i got one this spring, ended up with a used GPX, from a guy that wasnt happy with the fit.

    I got the DBX pad set - GPX/DBS- same thing diff padding.

    it fits great now.. the first few rides, it felt odd, and i didnt like it at all.

    Took off the armor, and with "just" the brace on, sessioned a small jump and berm, i know really well, and suddenly i didnt feel it on at all.

    One tip, if possible try before you buy, the cheaper model is the same as the more expensive ones- bar the Pro carbon one- the difference in the others is just they come with extra bits for adjusting fit. So if the basic model fits, no reason to blow 50% extra for bits you wont ever need

  5. #5
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    i have a soft style motox one from EVS that i like. i think it will do the trick unless i really crash super horribly.

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    Maybe someone will correct me but I though the alpinestars only worked with larger moto helmets?

  7. #7
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    I went to Cycle Gear and the employee there was so helpful in setting me up with the Leatt GPX. The way he explained it, Leatt is the only neck brace while all the others are neck supports. The only time I notice mine is on the real steep stuff where my helmet occasionally hits the back of it, otherwise it's pretty comfy.

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    I think I am going with the Omega.

  9. #9
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    I've had a moto GPX sport (carbon model) brace for 2 seasons now. I thought it was pretty restrictive at first, but im used to it now. I started with a DOT rated moto helmet but now have a D3 and its been working great. I think the fact that the D3 is slightly smaller and wayy lighter has helped a lot.

    Also, I replaced the original moto padding kit with the new dbx padding and to be honest i notice very little difference. I spoke with leatt and they told me the moto and dbx lines are almost identical except for the padding.

    I wear the brace with a 661 core saver beneath and it has been working out really well. You can remove the top three spinal guard plates on the core saver so theres no interference with the thoracic member of the brace.

    By the way, I will always wear a leatt now. I've had a couple bad crashes recently and I know the Leatt saved my life with one of them- I walked a way with only blood, bruises and a broken leatt brace. The part I broke was the upper member that is in contact with the rear part of your helmet. Breaking the brace prevented a broken neck I don't doubt it one bit. The original part was carbon, but I replaced it with a composite version because it was over $100 cheaper. Leatt was really awesome about helping me out.

    Hope this helps someone!
    Cheers!

  10. #10
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    Cool-blue Rhythm

    As Genemk mentioned. Here is his previous post about neck braces.http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.ph...ighlight=Leatt The Leatt and Alpinestars BNS are the 2 top notch and most used in Supercross and motocross as riders mostly use one of the 2. Leatt was the 1st of the neck braces then A-stars. Soft braces will not work as the Leatt and A-Stars BNS. Soft braces will compress much more than the Leatts and A-Stars BNS. Also be aware how these 2 braces work with your helmets and how the 2 braces will fit some better than others. All my buddies and I have been using the Leatts and A-Stars for a few years now and know how they protect when they are used in a crash on the mx track. 2 of my buddies using their Leatts GPX Club braces were saved from neck injuries but sacrificed the collar bone instead, just how the Leatts are designed on the sides that rest on your shoulders and how your arms and shoulders make contact during impact. Now the newest Leatt model seems to have made some cutout mods to them looking at the new DBX Pro model which is awesome to see. I could type multiple paragraphs about the incidents my buddies had when we were riding at the mx tracks and got to put their Leatts to the test. but it would too long. I have not had put my A-stars BNS to the test at the track and hope i never have to. Anyway, not here to get into any kind of Flamming war, but just to help give some insight on experiences my riding buddies and I have had with the 2 top companies in the neck brace industry. They are not cheap but they are worth it to keep you from a catastrophic normal way of life injury. They need to fit right with your helmet as well as your shoulders. Too much distance between the brace and the helmet is not a good fit and allows for too much compression as the brace and helmet compress on each other to help save your neck in certain situations. Both the Leatt and A-Stars are excellent braces with a lot of safety credentials to back them up. I like them both. I am considering trying the Leatt GPX Pro in the near future but for now I use the A-Stars BNS Carbon. Very light and does not move around much due to the X-strap. Leatt also makes a strap system to help keep the brace in place so its not bouncing around on your shoulders.

    Links to Leatt: http://www.leatt-brace.com/index.php...ng/dbx-comp-ii

    A-Stars BNS Carbon and SB model: http://www.alpinestars.com/cycling/n...cial_blend.htm

    Good luck with your choices and hope you don't ever have to put them to major use!

    Happy DH'ing and Happy 4th of July!!

  11. #11
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    pro's are it's made out of carbon fiber.

    con's are it cost me $450.

    pro's are it has saved my life more than once and my life has no value.

  12. #12
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    Take your helmet and go and try them on.

    I am going to put my money down for a Leatt DBX Comp II soon. I tried on the Alpinestars, and really wanted to get one because I get an amazing deal on them, but it just doesn't fit as nicely for me.

    I like the fact that the Leatt fits "close". The Alpinestars back piece sits quite a way out from my spine and moves around a lot more. Even without the strap on the Leatt, it was much more comfortable on me. The Alpinestars brace I would HAVE to wear the strap, and even then I didn't like it much.

    Regardless, it's a personal preference thing - go and try them on.

  13. #13
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    Having been a human lawn dart on occasion, and feeling a sickening crunch in my neck on a relatively minor bail, I decided to get a brace. I ended up with the Leatt GPX Club II and wear it with Dainese torso armor and a Giro full-face. I can see up and down really well, but I find it restrictive when turning my head. It probably needs to be tweaked a bit for better fit.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by ustemuf View Post
    pro's are it's made out of carbon fiber.

    con's are it cost me $450.

    pro's are it has saved my life more than once and my life has no value.

    That's not true!
    Leatt values your life @ $450.00 + s/h!
    Now, doesn't that make you feel all better?

    Have a happy 4th of July!

  15. #15
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    Since Tara Llanes' accident and working in surgery fusing cervical spines started me thinking about getting a neck brace for bike park/DH stuff. I got a Leatt DBX Comp 2. The less expensive DBX Ride does not have height adjustments fore and aft that the Comp has. I wear it without chest armor at Whistler and with armor at Northstar because of the rocks and boulders. If you have a short or no neck check out the Alpinstars or Omega. I'm borderline short neck and will consider the others as I gather more info. Last month, I misjudged a stairstep drop on the Samauri Cat Pizza trail in Whistler and went over the bars shattering the visor and goggles on a face plant. I felt pressure on the spine extension as my helmet hit the rear plate preventing hyperextention of my neck. I've had falls before and don't know if this fall would have really hurt me without the brace but I'm not taking chances since I see how minor accidents to the neck can change lives so dramatically from that point on, working in the Operating Room. If you go to the Sea Otter, the Leatt booth gave discounts to racers and the general public.

  16. #16
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    I went with the Omega for MX. I had a bad endo over a 65' triple a couple months back and it did it's job. I've had some neck pain since then, but I hate to even think what could have happened without the brace (unfortunately, my prized TLD SE3 helmet didn't fair so well). The Omega is comfortable, and I really like the suspension system it uses over the tops of the shoulders which are used to disperse energy from an impact over a larger area. I had concerns about all the reports of broken collarbones in low speed fall overs with the Leatt and the fact the Leatt just didn't fit bigger guys well sealed the deal for me. In defense of the Leatt, almost everyone at the local tracks are wearing them and I've never seen anyone end their day due to a collarbone break from a low speed fall over.

  17. #17
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    I should be receiving my Leatt Comp Mike Day brace tomorrow. I had a pretty bad wreck at Diablo. In this instance my helmet broke my collar bone, got a stained neck, and a concussion. Straining my neck that bad made me think a lot on how close it could have been to breaking. The brace would have saved me from the broken collar bone and I am sure it would have helped with my neck. I do not think (so long as it fits me fine) I will ride without a brace anymore while doing DH.

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  18. #18
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    The Leatt simply is amazing. Im one of the few people in my area that wears one. Having worn one for moto and DH for 4 years helps. I feel naked without it. In this time ive had 2 over the bars, head first, spikes into the ground. One was 2 years ago and one was last week. (same jump Chris got hurt on 2 days later). Both times just shrugged it off was amazed at my lack of fatigue. There is no doubt in what it accomplishes when the going gets bad. I anticipate surges in sales over the years. Price is stupid low for what you get ! Get Better soon Chris we need to ride !

  19. #19
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    Thought I would update my post. I did some jumping Saturday and a couple of shuttle runs today and the brace feels great. I do feel my helmet touching the back of it in my "attack" position, but full lateral motion and it was very comfortable. I am happy to be taking it to whistler next week!

  20. #20
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    Just got back from Whistler. Had an amazing 4 days of riding without any serious injuries! Even learned backflips into the foam pit yesterday.

    The Leatt Comp Mike Day brace I ended up with was pretty comfortable overall. At first I really didn't like it and felt restricted. Then I went back to the house and added the 7 degree wedge to the thoracic strut and it pushed the back of the brace further so I could look up better w/o the helmet hitting the brace. Long story short is that I spend the first day or so playing with all the different options of setting it up. However, it was well worth it. After a few adjustments the brace felt pretty decent and I stopped noticing it after a few runs.

    I use a Bell Drop helmet and the Rockgardn Trailstar body armor. I can insert the thoracic strut between the spine protector and the mesh of the body armor and then put the front of the brace under the chest armor. Then I put my jersey collar over the lower part of the brace which also helps to keep it down. After doing this I don't even think I need the chest strap that comes with the brace since it seems to stay in place pretty well. So far I'm quite happy with the fit and feel of the brace. It definitely feels like it would protect the neck during falls and doesn't inhibit my riding on jump lines or steep downhill courses. My friend also had luck with putting his backpack straps over the lower part of the brace (that rests on shoulders) to keep it down better since he couldn't get front of the brace under his chest armor. I think most people should be able to make the Leatts pretty comfy if they spend a day or two tinkering with the adjustments on the brace and positioning of it on the body armor.

    What would be nice is a guide on fitting it properly. It feels comfy right now, but I have no idea if it's positioned in the safest way possible.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by genemk View Post
    What would be nice is a guide on fitting it properly. It feels comfy right now, but I have no idea if it's positioned in the safest way possible.
    I'm with you on that! Just got mine and reading the instructions tells you how to adjust but in no way do they tell you how it should fit. I got it the way I like it so far but not sure if it's the best way to set it up for the best protection.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by supermoto View Post
    Thought I would update my post. I did some jumping Saturday and a couple of shuttle runs today and the brace feels great. I do feel my helmet touching the back of it in my "attack" position, but full lateral motion and it was very comfortable. I am happy to be taking it to whistler next week!
    I got one last weekend after talking to you at the hospital. Suddenly $285 didn't sound very expensive. Now I just need one last part for my bike.
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    Bob asking advice thats a first. I run the moto GPX carbon as its adjustable and is very light. It takes a little while to get use too. I do not notice it at all after a few months and will not ride without it as i have no health insurance. I bought mine used off ebay for 250.00 and its held up very well.I have yet to test it and hope i never have too, I have been lucky i guess or just good at crashing or maybe all those times in the surf bodyboarding has taught me to RELAX in the event of getting pounded. I have broken both collarbones and shattered PELVIS at Drainers in El Nino 1997 & 1998 BIG BARRELS.

  24. #24
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    I bought the DBX Comp II at the beginning of the season and have been impressed. Honestly, I barely notice it. Just make sure you wear it properly -- the back piece goes under the spine protection on most armor, although a few companies are making things that are neck brace compatible now.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by MBX5 View Post
    I'm with you on that! Just got mine and reading the instructions tells you how to adjust but in no way do they tell you how it should fit. I got it the way I like it so far but not sure if it's the best way to set it up for the best protection.
    I am getting mine next week from the Leat office

    I will have factory set-up instructions next week
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  26. #26
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    I just received mine the other day. It fits really well and it pretty light, lighter than I thought it would be. It will still be a month or two til I can really test it though.

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  27. #27
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    SMT I thought you'd have been kitted out ages ago.

    It surprises me its still even a topic, its a no brainier, no pun intended

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMUSuperman View Post
    I bought the DBX Comp II at the beginning of the season and have been impressed. Honestly, I barely notice it. Just make sure you wear it properly -- the back piece goes under the spine protection on most armor, although a few companies are making things that are neck brace compatible now.
    That way fits rather well with my (relatively old) Dainese armor, but from a protection standpoint it seems backward.

    In a scorpion-type fall, I'd rather have the armor protecting my spine from the edge of the back plate. Seems like that would distribute the force across more of my spine, reducing the chance of breaking it right where the back plate ends.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by NWS View Post
    That way fits rather well with my (relatively old) Dainese armor, but from a protection standpoint it seems backward.

    In a scorpion-type fall, I'd rather have the armor protecting my spine from the edge of the back plate. Seems like that would distribute the force across more of my spine, reducing the chance of breaking it right where the back plate ends.
    It would provide more protection in that type of fall, but due to being a separate item it would be almost impossible to achieve a good fit on-top of the armour. As you move around so does the armour, with the device on your spine it sits more stable and will actually do its job (protect your neck) at the right time, ok it might cause a bit of bruising etc, but then you get that under your armour on big hits too.

  30. #30
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    I did a review on the Leatt Brace:

    http://all-mountain-next.blogspot.co...brace-gpx.html

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maverick05 View Post
    SMT I thought you'd have been kitted out ages ago.

    It surprises me its still even a topic, its a no brainier, no pun intended
    back burner...have not ridden much due to injuries, work schedule
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  32. #32
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    Anyone have experience with either the Leatt or Alpinstars neck brace in conjunction with a POC Spine VPD Tee? Do they play well together?

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by SHIVER ME TIMBERS View Post
    I am getting mine next week from the Leat office

    I will have factory set-up instructions next week
    Any particular reason you decided to go with the Leatt over the Omega? I ask because I've considered picking a neck brace up and I like what I've read about Omega (i.e. less stress on the collar bones and one of the braces not being placed on the upper spine).

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by kdiff View Post
    Any particular reason you decided to go with the Leatt over the Omega? I ask because I've considered picking a neck brace up and I like what I've read about Omega (i.e. less stress on the collar bones and one of the braces not being placed on the upper spine).
    I've owned all 3. Omega then Leatt and finally A-stars. The Omega sat way too high for me to look properly down the trail. Keep in mind that these braces were designed for moto riders. You sit way more upright on a moto when compared to a DH bike.

    The Leatt was the best quality but I also had a problem with the fit. My chest was too big for it to sit down properly, therefore it gave me the same problems as the Omega.

    The A-stars fit the best for me by far. I forget I'm even wearing it. Also the x-strap system it comes with seems to do the best job of keeping it in the right place.

  35. #35
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    Do this:
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails neck braces.............-shermanneck.jpeg  

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  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by DRIDE View Post
    I've owned all 3. Omega then Leatt and finally A-stars. The Omega sat way too high for me to look properly down the trail. Keep in mind that these braces were designed for moto riders. You sit way more upright on a moto when compared to a DH bike.

    The Leatt was the best quality but I also had a problem with the fit. My chest was too big for it to sit down properly, therefore it gave me the same problems as the Omega.

    The A-stars fit the best for me by far. I forget I'm even wearing it. Also the x-strap system it comes with seems to do the best job of keeping it in the right place.
    Thanks for the response! Now that you mention it I definitely see how the moto designed braces like the Omega could not be right for DH posture.

    What did you think as bar protection levels between the three? How is the Leatt the best quality? Thanks

  37. #37
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    After doing some research on Leatt style braces and whether I should have one, I came to the current conclusion that their use concerns me. It seems like they are as likely to cause a spinal injury as they are to prevent one, or rupture the big artery in your neck and cause you to bleed out. They also transfer the pressure and concentrate it to your back, possibly breaking it instead. I'm certainly not an expert on the matter, but just a word of caution to do your research and decide for yourself if you believe they work to your benefit. Just take the manufacture's, some random dude, or even my word for gospel.

  38. #38
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  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbdawgJeff View Post
    Anyone have experience with either the Leatt or Alpinstars neck brace in conjunction with a POC Spine VPD Tee? Do they play well together?
    yes. And I have tried every setting and still dont like it. I rode a half day at Whistler with the brace (I have a Leatt Pro Carbon, cost no object when it comes to protection), and I felt it was much more dangerous riding with it on than without. This was after fiddling with it for an afternoon at the local bike park.

    Over the next few days of riding, I saw that about half the people wearing them at whistler did not even bother with chest/spine armor. That seems just stupid. Having witnessed a person slamming back first into a sharp edged bolder. I wrote that off to stupid kids. The kind that wear short sleeves with no elbow pads

    In my surgical internship, I did only neurosurgery cases for 2 weeks straight. So, I have had lots of bits of brain and spine in my hands. Believe me there is every bit of motivation to protect my brain. (I have two disability policies, just in case...and I used to have 3---I would actually make more money if I was disabled)

    I will only ride what I feel is safer. I am just not convinced it is that much safer. In a crash it may be a bit safer, but it is way more distracting and dangerous than a FF helmet or body armor. It took forever to get dialed, I went med--> small--> large, then adjusted the spinal brace. I put in inside and outside, used the straps, avoided the straps.

    In the end, it banged around on my helmet (also a POC) so much, and limited the view of my landings, that I felt it was more dangerous than now wearing it and took it off.

    I am thinking about selling it, but am hopeful that I can make it work. It's a shame, it is in pristine condition.
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  40. #40
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    older Omega K1 was a bit taller, the new X1 has lower profile.
    I tried various Leatts before, never could adjust them to fit me, tried friend's Omega K1, fitted me perfectly. So I ordered newer X1, spent a nice hour in front of the mirror adjusting it, then took it for a day in bikepark. I realy liked it, no need for further adjustements. The front/back plates fit under my 661 Vapor Suit, helmet is 661 Evolution.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by bustanutley View Post
    After doing some research on Leatt style braces and whether I should have one, I came to the current conclusion that their use concerns me. It seems like they are as likely to cause a spinal injury as they are to prevent one, or rupture the big artery in your neck and cause you to bleed out. They also transfer the pressure and concentrate it to your back, possibly breaking it instead. I'm certainly not an expert on the matter, but just a word of caution to do your research and decide for yourself if you believe they work to your benefit. Just take the manufacture's, some random dude, or even my word for gospel.
    Yeah, I def. have reservations so I do not use one... what you said plus the fact that they inhibit your ability to tuck and roll... they limit your range of motion front/back to a much greater degree than I think is necessary or safe... but this is for me, and guys with different physiques might have different results. My helmet easily touches my chest and back armor without any neck strain, so I don't feel I need to limit my range of motion front to back any more than it already is. I would like something to limit the compression of my neck in a lawn-dart type accident but I don't want the whole brace with the front and back "shelves"... I tried on an Omega brace and the back was far too high.

    Maybe I just have a short neck?

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by bustanutley View Post
    After doing some research on Leatt style braces and whether I should have one, I came to the current conclusion that their use concerns me. It seems like they are as likely to cause a spinal injury as they are to prevent one, or rupture the big artery in your neck and cause you to bleed out. They also transfer the pressure and concentrate it to your back, possibly breaking it instead. I'm certainly not an expert on the matter, but just a word of caution to do your research and decide for yourself if you believe they work to your benefit. Just take the manufacture's, some random dude, or even my word for gospel.
    As far as lower-spine injuries are concerned, I think it's a bit like wrist guards and skateboarding - if you fall hard enough, you're going to break something in your forearm, with or without a wrist brace. It just moves the break from there to here. If I fall hard enough to break my spine, I'd much rather move the break further down, below my neck.

    And like wrist braces, I think there's a pretty significant range of impact where they do help, a lot.

    But like I was referring to a few posts back, I think that having the rear 'paddle' of the neck brace underneath body armor might be even better. Transmitting force to the wearer's spine isn't ideal by any means. I think it beats the alternative (no brace at all) but I hope to see better solutions on the market soon. And, come to think of it, I've been itching to make something out of fiberglass, and this is not a bad candidate...

    I saw the story about the guy who left out some (manufacturer-supplied) padding and cut his neck, but I really think that's user error. I just don't see anything about my Leatt that would cut my neck.

    Personally I've given it a lot of consideration, and I just wish there was a version that was more suitable for snowboarding so I could wear a neck brace in the winter too. One backward fall would destroy the back half of my Leatt.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by NWS View Post
    As far as lower-spine injuries are concerned, I think it's a bit like wrist guards and skateboarding - if you fall hard enough to break something in your forearm, you're going to break something in your forearm, with or without a wrist brace. It just moves the break from there to here. If I fall hard enough to break my spine, I'd much rather move the break further down, below my neck...
    This logic is flawed. The forearm bones are essentially equal strength along the arm (you may have a radius fracture (thumb side bone) if it breaks one place, and an ulna fracture if it breaks another, but the forearm has equal strength along its course. The spine is VERY VERY different. The amount of force needed to cause a spinal cord lesion in the cervical (i.e. neck) is much less, than in the thoracic (upper back). Therefore, Leatt and the others rationale for transfering some of that energy to a stronger part of the spine, makes sense. The physics works out too.

    It probably works on most types of injuries. I just feel it is not for me. Try one out for a couple days and see if it works for you.
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  44. #44
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    What I don't get is why does Leatt brace support run down the spine? Wouldn't it be better if it went down either side of the spine?
    Last edited by kdiff; 07-11-2011 at 07:37 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rdhfreethought View Post
    This logic is flawed. The forearm bones are essentially equal strength along the arm (you may have a radius fracture (thumb side bone) if it breaks one place, and an ulna fracture if it breaks another, but the forearm has equal strength along its course. The spine is VERY VERY different. The amount of force needed to cause a spinal cord lesion in the cervical (i.e. neck) is much less, than in the thoracic (upper back). Therefore, Leatt and the others rationale for transfering some of that energy to a stronger part of the spine, makes sense. The physics works out too.

    It probably works on most types of injuries. I just feel it is not for me. Try one out for a couple days and see if it works for you.
    I think it may be your understanding of wrist guards that is flawed. They're intended to stop you from injuring your wrist. They do that by limiting the range of movement of the wrist, and they do that by transferring force from your hand to your radius and ulna. Sort of like limiting the movement of your neck by transferring forces further down your back. The rationale makes sense and the physics works out, I completely agree.

    In really hard falls, people wearing wrist guards end up with broken forearms. But their wrists usually come out fine. Some people think wrist guards are a bad idea though because they break forearms. I think that's missing the point.

    If I have a really hard fall, I'd rather protect my neck, even if it comes at the expense of my back.

    But it's not clear to me why neck protection needs to come at the expense of spine protection. Why not shape that paddle thing on the back of the Leatt more like an inverted V, and build some flex into the tips, so that it doesn't focus the force at one point on your spine, but rather distributes it across your back? I think this is what kdiff was getting at with his question.

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by NWS View Post
    But it's not clear to me why neck protection needs to come at the expense of spine protection. Why not shape that paddle thing on the back of the Leatt more like an inverted V, and build some flex into the tips, so that it doesn't focus the force at one point on your spine, but rather distributes it across your back? I think this is what kdiff was getting at with his question.
    Yep, that is what I as asking.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DRIDE View Post
    I've owned all 3. Omega then Leatt and finally A-stars. The Omega sat way too high for me to look properly down the trail. Keep in mind that these braces were designed for moto riders. You sit way more upright on a moto when compared to a DH bike.

    The Leatt was the best quality but I also had a problem with the fit. My chest was too big for it to sit down properly, therefore it gave me the same problems as the Omega.

    The A-stars fit the best for me by far. I forget I'm even wearing it. Also the x-strap system it comes with seems to do the best job of keeping it in the right place.
    you forgot to mention what type of Omega brace you used. I get the impression you were using the old moto style model.

    for some time now (2 yrs?) there's been an X1 version which is lower profile and very adjustable (takes just a minute or two to adjust). works very well with all the DH helmets I own. With my POC Cortex helmet, which comes down lower in the back than all my other helmets (specialized deviant, giro remedy, ...), i do have to lower the X1 to the lowest position if I am wearing full armor under the neck brace, but everything fits fine.

    with my other helmets, i adjust the X1 higher. Besides height, the X1 can also be adjusted in terms of how 'open' it is i.e. can be adjusted to sit properly on your shoulders whether you are a skinny emo teenager or a grown up with a deep chest.
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  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by rdhfreethought View Post
    yes. And I have tried every setting and still dont like it. I rode a half day at Whistler with the brace (I have a Leatt Pro Carbon, cost no object when it comes to protection), and I felt it was much more dangerous riding with it on than without. This was after fiddling with it for an afternoon at the local bike park.

    Over the next few days of riding, I saw that about half the people wearing them at whistler did not even bother with chest/spine armor. That seems just stupid. Having witnessed a person slamming back first into a sharp edged bolder. I wrote that off to stupid kids. The kind that wear short sleeves with no elbow pads

    In my surgical internship, I did only neurosurgery cases for 2 weeks straight. So, I have had lots of bits of brain and spine in my hands. Believe me there is every bit of motivation to protect my brain. (I have two disability policies, just in case...and I used to have 3---I would actually make more money if I was disabled)

    I will only ride what I feel is safer. I am just not convinced it is that much safer. In a crash it may be a bit safer, but it is way more distracting and dangerous than a FF helmet or body armor. It took forever to get dialed, I went med--> small--> large, then adjusted the spinal brace. I put in inside and outside, used the straps, avoided the straps.

    In the end, it banged around on my helmet (also a POC) so much, and limited the view of my landings, that I felt it was more dangerous than now wearing it and took it off.

    I am thinking about selling it, but am hopeful that I can make it work. It's a shame, it is in pristine condition.
    Did you have issues with the fit over or under the POC vest?

    Is there a brace that works better with a moto sized helmet? I have the Fox V3 carbon, it is hudge.

  49. #49
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    As others have said, it's a matter of what fits you best. But I gotta put in a plug for Omega. My brother uses one for motocross, and I've played with it a lot. It's pretty dang nice.

    Rumor has it that the designer of the Omega was part of Leatt until he split off and went the way he saw as being an improvement over the Leatt design. Not sure if it's true, but the product is definitely innovative. As was mentioned before, the new one is indeed lower profile in the sides and rear, allowing for a better riding position on a bike. It feels FAR lighter when riding than either the Leatt or the A-stars. It also seems to hold in a bit less heat with the front being open. The Omega's strap system looks like it wouldn't be all that great, but it's burly and the brace stays put better than any other option on my body. ZERO pressure on the collarbones when it's adjusted right. I know the same can be said of the Leatt if it fits correctly, but the Omega just feels like it conforms to your body better, no matter your body shape. I've got a North Shore lumberjack chest, and my brother is a skinny roadie-looking guy, for reference. Same brace fits us both perfectly with very little changes to the adjustment straps. And there's no chance of the admittedly rare Bruce Lee chop to the throat.

    According to Omega's site, it's designed to use your whole upper body as an absorption system for an impact, while Leatt directs more of it to your sternum and spine. I can't verify that, as I've never crashed hard in either. But my brother has. He lawn-darted himself head first into the face of a double a while back. He hit so hard it nearly shattered his helmet, and I'm sure he would have probably broken his neck. It did the whole downward fold of his face toward the chest thing. It was ugly. But he said that as he impacted, all of a sudden it felt as if something cradled his head and neck, taking all the pressure off them, and he felt the force distributed down through his torso just as was intended. His back is still a mess from such a hard impact, but his neck has zero problems. He says he is sure that the brace saved him from possibly a life-ending crash.

    All of the three options are great, honestly. Others may have different preferences (let's face it, Leatt has a Steve Jobs stranglehold on the market), and that's fine. They're great. It's a personal balance of cost, fit and function, but but I personally am 1000% sold on the Omega. It's cheaper, lighter, got more airflow, more comfortable (to me), super high quality, and most importantly, it works.
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    I don't recall the details, but yeah there's a slightly different injury-protection-design-philosophy between Leatt and Omega...i think there was a 6 page review on a moto site that covered this a while back.

    for me, one of the most important considerations in buying any piece of protection is comfort & breathability. i know that if either are seriously compromised, i'll rarely wear that protection, in which case any theoretical advantage or disadvantage becomes irrelevant.

    the Omega is one of those set and forget items. i notice it on the first run (a slight squeaking noise when the lower edge of the helmet rubs the collar, typically on the entrance to a turn when my neck is bent to the side) but for the rest of the day i don't even think about or notice the brace.
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  51. #51
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    Do the braces fit OK with hydration packs? Pack goes OVER the brace?
    I see that a company (USWE) has a hydration attachment for the Leatt but my Camelbak is just fine.

  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by fgiraffe View Post
    Do the braces fit OK with hydration packs? Pack goes OVER the brace?
    I see that a company (USWE) has a hydration attachment for the Leatt but my Camelbak is just fine.
    over the top of the brace
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  53. #53
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    Thanks, I don't see many brace users wearing hydration packs so I wondered. I guess if anything the pack straps help keep the brace down.

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    Just acquired the leatt DBX today - lbs spent close to an hour fitting it to me, but I am really impressed with it.

    Hydration pack wont interfere if I decide to use that.

    I know if I had one of these 7 years ago I would not have received a fractured/compressed vertebrae when I did my best impression of a lawn dart on dirt merchant.

  55. #55
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    I have been riding with Alpinestars BNS for the last couple of weeks and really like it. I don't even notice it anymore. I hope I never find out if it will save me from breaking my neck.

  56. #56
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    Just FYI. The Alpinestar neck brace is also supported on your spine but it has multiple breakaway points to protect your spine. I am not sure if the Leatt does or not.

  57. #57
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    Just bought the non adjustable leatt. Hated it the first day but got better by day 2. Didnt even notice it on day 3. I didn't have too many options for changing the brace so once I set it up on day 1, it stayed that way. I just think you need to give it a bit of time. I don't even notice it rolling down steep rock faces.

    FYI I ride with no armor and a large giro remedy. A bit of rubbing now and then on the back but not a deal breaker for me. I'll probably look into getting a tld to fix the rear rubbing issue. Also wear a super old camelpack without problems.

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    Leatt DBX Pro vs Comp

    Quote Originally Posted by rdhfreethought View Post
    yes. And I have tried every setting and still dont like it. I rode a half day at Whistler with the brace (I have a Leatt Pro Carbon, cost no object when it comes to protection), and I felt it was much more dangerous riding with it on than without. This was after fiddling with it for an afternoon at the local bike park.

    I am thinking about selling it, but am hopeful that I can make it work. It's a shame, it is in pristine condition.
    hey freethought...

    it's biobike from the "Whistler Accommodation for nice people" thread...

    i too have a POC Spine VPD Tee but coupled to a Leatt DBX Comp. i too have shifted it about and adjusted the settings and presently ride with the Leatt tucked into the zippered front and the throracic rear riding on the outer back of the Spine pad. (Leatt with the largest 30mm insert setting).

    it sort of works. but isn't perfect. don't think i could ride - psychologically - comfortable without it. might try cutting a section out of the top of the spine pad?

    was actually thinking of selling my Comp and getting the Pro cause its so damn light and i'm a bit of a weight weenie. (you should keep yours but if you're ever in the market to sell... !!!). this said, i think the Pro has no fore and aft height adjustability on the collar. am i right, they eliminated this to save weight?!?

    whereas, on the Comp:

    - i've got the front plate dialed up as high as it can go - in case of a crash provides max protection by limiting my chin smashing forward down movement.

    - got the back neck plate dialed down as far as it can go - otherwise the bugger was pushing up against the back of my helmut restricting riding movement as i looked up when rocketing the bike down.

    catch me sometime on the way up or at Whistler and i'd be happy to trade for a ride/day to see how the 2 compare.

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