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Old 09-11-2021, 07:39 PM   #1
gixxerjeff
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Leatt brace: Your thoughts

I'd gone hot and cold on wanting one for a few years. Honestly, the price was what drove me away every time. Then one day at Hollister I was flying along before pitching myself over the bars and going full-on lawn dart between 2 trees. It was one of my nastier get-offs. The long walk over to where my motorcycle had come to a stop after flipping and sliding gave me plenty of time to recall the words of my adult son only a few weeks prior. "Dad, at the speed and level you're riding at you could really fuck yourself up pretty easily. You should look in to getting a Leatt."
A few weeks after that I pulled the trigger and bought a Leatt neck brace. I knew it would take some time getting used to but I've had it for well over a year now and find I have to force myself to wear it. My main complaint is how much it limits my head movement, it's nearly impossible to look behind me. I realize the head immobility is a reason for it being affective. Now I tend to only put it on when I expect to really be pushing it which really should just foster a thought process around me dialing my riding down a bit instead.
My questions are: Do you have one? Do you use it? Do you ever get used to it?
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Old 09-11-2021, 08:11 PM   #2
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I have one. I rarely use it. I should. It doesn’t bother me. I don’t ride fast enough to fall down though.

It's just that one time you need it though… priceless?
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Old 09-11-2021, 10:08 PM   #3
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I have one, I use it every time I ride and it doesn’t limit me in anything I do. Long Single track rides, exploring National forests and riding track. I’ve even got the chest/back unit that the neck brace fits right into.
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Old 09-11-2021, 10:13 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by MotoJP46 View Post
Iíve even got the chest/back unit that the neck brace fits right into.
Yeah, that's an integral part of it. In fact, I don't think it would work without it.
You have no problem looking back to check traffic or the wellbeing of riders behind you?
That's my fundamental issue.
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Old 09-12-2021, 07:20 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gixxerjeff View Post
Yeah, that's an integral part of it. In fact, I don't think it would work without it.
You have no problem looking back to check traffic or the wellbeing of riders behind you?
That's my fundamental issue.
I have never been able check the folks behind me. It takes too long taking my eyes off the trail ahead of me.

Except on a turn. Then I can take a quick glance behind me. And at intersections, cause I want them to know which way I went.

I just listen. Ah, another advantage of the Silent Alta. Actually, the chain and tyres make a lot of noise.
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Old 09-12-2021, 05:27 PM   #6
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Honestly I don't think anyone on BARF really cares enough to engage in discussion.

But search around on Thumpertalk or VitalMX and you can read hundreds of pages across dozens of threads on people arguing about neck braces.

Surely it's one of the most divisive and controversial topics in all of off-road. if you want you can easily spiral down a black hole reading threads, studies, articles, blogs, and watching youtube videos about neck braces.

Like every other piece of safety equipment, I think that people need to educate themselves on the pros, cons, and alleged efficacy, then decide how much risk they are personally willing to be exposed to.

I don't wear one, never tried one.
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Old 09-12-2021, 09:28 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gixxerjeff View Post
Yeah, that's an integral part of it. In fact, I don't think it would work without it.
You have no problem looking back to check traffic or the wellbeing of riders behind you?
That's my fundamental issue.
I do not have any issues looking around, watching for fellow riders or anything. The key is to set it up (angles adjustments on the back spinal piece) in a way that best suits your gear and helmet. I like running the 5’ degree piece.

Come over to Thumpertalk too!!

Last edited by MotoJP46; 09-12-2021 at 09:30 PM..
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Old 09-14-2021, 10:37 AM   #8
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Same don't wear one and never tried one
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Old 09-15-2021, 10:30 AM   #9
gixxerjeff
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Originally Posted by thedub View Post
Honestly I don't think anyone on BARF really cares enough to engage in discussion.

But search around on Thumpertalk or VitalMX and you can read hundreds of pages across dozens of threads on people arguing about neck braces.

Surely it's one of the most divisive and controversial topics in all of off-road. if you want you can easily spiral down a black hole reading threads, studies, articles, blogs, and watching youtube videos about neck braces.

Like every other piece of safety equipment, I think that people need to educate themselves on the pros, cons, and alleged efficacy, then decide how much risk they are personally willing to be exposed to.

I don't wear one, never tried one.
You are probably right about the level of discussion available on this topic, especially here in the lonely corner that is the Dirt Forum. I actually wasn't looking for any black holes to go down, just more curious to see if I am alone or not in my thinking.
I rode Carnegie on Monday and spent some more time with it on. There certainly is an element of getting used to the cumbersome feeling of having extra equipment hanging on me. That will obviously take some patience, a quality I don't seem to have much of. I want to want to use it often, if that makes any sense.
Slightly off topic: Like I said, I rode Carnegie on Monday. It was awesome, I had the entire place to myself. I got there at 9:30 and was on the trails by 10:15. I didn't see another bike until a little after 2:00.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MotoJP46 View Post
I do not have any issues looking around, watching for fellow riders or anything. The key is to set it up (angles adjustments on the back spinal piece) in a way that best suits your gear and helmet. I like running the 5’ degree piece.

Come over to Thumpertalk too!!
Thanks for this. I did play around with the adjustments. I didn't find the sweet-spot but was able to achieve some more mobility with it. I'll keep using it and dialing it in.
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Old 09-15-2021, 11:18 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gixxerjeff View Post
You are probably right about the level of discussion available on this topic, especially here in the lonely corner that is the Dirt Forum. I actually wasn't looking for any black holes to go down, just more curious to see if I am alone or not in my thinking.
I rode Carnegie on Monday and spent some more time with it on. There certainly is an element of getting used to the cumbersome feeling of having extra equipment hanging on me. That will obviously take some patience, a quality I don't seem to have much of. I want to want to use it often, if that makes any sense.
You are definitely not alone. Your primary complaint, that it limits your head movement is THE primary complaint against them.

Some contend that they prevent your head from being in the correct position, which in turn prevents the rest of your body from being in the correct position, which in turn leads to poor technique. Poor technique could increase the possibility of a crash in which you would need the protection of the neck brace. A self fulfilling prophecy if you will.

The key point to the efficacy of the brace is the standoff distance from the brace to the helmet. In other words, how far the head is allowed to move before being stopped by the brace. That distance has so many variables, including the anatomy of the shoulders and how the brace sits on them, the size/type of brace and how it's adjusted, the size/type of helmet, and simply just how long the wearers neck is. Also of course the angle of the neck upon crash impact. The mechanism of injury can easily take place within the limited movement the neck has before being stopped by the brace. The safest position would be the helmet is always in contact with the brace. But then of course you wouldn't be able to move your head at all, and that wouldn't really work for riding motorcycles.

There have been several studies on braces in the real world. But the method of collecting data as well as the conclusions drawn from the statistical analysis of the authors leaves a lot to be desired and it easily picked apart by opponents.

The debate has once again heated up in the last few months becuase Ryan Hughes was on the Gypsy Tales podcast and went on a rant against neck braces. Pointing out that Jason Anderson took off the brace and starting winning again. Justin Barcia took off the brace this year and won again. He claimed the brace was holding Marvin Musquin back. Then that very week Marvin took off the brace and won in Salt Lake. Of course all those people had previously won with the brace on. Also this dude named Villopoto won a shit load while wearing a brace. Most people think Ryan is a kook anyway. Then the icing on the cake was Hughes himself crashed racing the 125 vintage race at Washougal and broke his neck. So, a bit of a hit to his credibility on the subject.

Of course, an important thing to keep in mind is that what the top pros of SX/MX are doing really bears absolutely no relation to what the average weekend warrior trail riding at Carnegie is doing.

So, like I said, very controversial topic and there are a lot of opinions from qualified people on both sides to get into.
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Old 09-15-2021, 12:30 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thedub View Post
Honestly I don't think anyone on BARF really cares enough to engage in discussion.

But search around on Thumpertalk or VitalMX and you can read hundreds of pages across dozens of threads on people arguing about neck braces.

Surely it's one of the most divisive and controversial topics in all of off-road. if you want you can easily spiral down a black hole reading threads, studies, articles, blogs, and watching youtube videos about neck braces.

Like every other piece of safety equipment, I think that people need to educate themselves on the pros, cons, and alleged efficacy, then decide how much risk they are personally willing to be exposed to.

I don't wear one, never tried one.
Thanks Dub, for the well thought-out response. You hit on multiple things I've been thinking about. Working backward, I do recall the strong number of riders wearing braces at the pro start lines a few years ago as compared to how many you see now. That speaks to a potential loss of competitive edge with the good not necessarily outweighing the bad. As you correctly pointed out, I am banging around on trails, not launching myself 30 feet in the air. That opens up another debate in my mind as my "results" at the end of a ride aren't aimed at a championship thus putting food on my table. However my ability to put food on my table does hinge on my not getting seriously hurt while playing on my day off. That then becomes a good argument for dialing it down and using effective equipment as much as possible. As of now I am committed to at least finding some balance in using the brace and will continue to spend some time to discover the level of need for it I actually have.
You provided some good information that provoked some more thought for me on the topic. Thanks.
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Last edited by gixxerjeff; 09-15-2021 at 01:25 PM..
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Old 09-15-2021, 01:14 PM   #12
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+2 on the reply from Dub. Was planning on buying a brace last year but got off on a different tangent and now having second thoughts after looking into some of the stuff he is talking about.

Wearing wrist guards when skating will keep your wrists from getting broken but the locked-in wrist position screws up my balance so more prone to fall so I don't wear them. Guess I'll rely on getting old/slow to stay safe....: )
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Old 09-16-2021, 10:38 AM   #13
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+2 on the reply from Dub. Was planning on buying a brace last year but got off on a different tangent and now having second thoughts after looking into some of the stuff he is talking about.

Wearing wrist guards when skating will keep your wrists from getting broken but the locked-in wrist position screws up my balance so more prone to fall so I don't wear them. Guess I'll rely on getting old/slow to stay safe....: )
I've been thrashing my wrist lately. I need that too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MotoJP46 View Post
I have one, I use it every time I ride and it doesnít limit me in anything I do. Long Single track rides, exploring National forests and riding track. Iíve even got the chest/back unit that the neck brace fits right into.
Which one are you using??
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Old 09-16-2021, 08:50 PM   #14
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Which one are you using??
The 4.5 neck and body protection
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Old 09-16-2021, 11:54 PM   #15
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The 4.5 neck and body protection
Ridiculously nice, too bad I'm too fat for that
https://www.revzilla.com/motorcycle/...iABEgLvp_D_BwE
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