Neck Brace! Umportant or not so much? I'm Confused

Yep, title says it all. I don't know if they are all that important. I don't jump my dirt bike much but I do ride a lot of woops. I flew over my bars but thankfully I was fine and the bike just rolled beside me. What could happen in a crash? Break my neck? Is that what the neck brace protects the most? I intend of buying a real motorbike. Currently I have (I know but hey I'm short on $) a Chinese piece of bowel movement. It's a Xmotos 250 4T. It's extremely heavy and slowww. The suspension is miserable. When I purchase a better bike such as a 2t 250, I will plan to head out to a Mx track. I will be practising to jump etc... I suppose a neck brace would be a must. I am not sure how they attach to my helmet as well if that's how you wear yours. I am a noob at the neck brace safety gear. Do they attach to my armour?

Thanks in the future for any help. :D

Just to update, I misspelled (Important) Pardon on that :S

Edited by KTM_Insanity

it's your decision.  it boils down to whether or not you want to increase the chances you'll go home to your loved ones after riding. 

I crashed in front of some motocrossers who always wear neck braces.. the first thing they said was, "OMG is your neck ok!?!?"  They even repeated it several times because my head touched the ground after wrecking on a natural terrain jump.  I was fine, bike was fine.  But OMG without a neck brace, how could I not have BROKEN MY NECK!?!? 

 

What I learned from this experience is that the neck braces can be beneficial, but unless you wreck hard and really twist yourself up, they are unnecessary.  I've never crashed and needed one, never messed up my neck.  If you are jumping and riding motocross which I don't do, then I would wear one for sure.

Fear mongering and emotional marketing is what the neck brace manufactures are counting on for you to buy their product.  To this date there has not been a single independent study on neck braces.  Go read any of the helmet threads and you will see many good folks debating the differant testing standards like Snell 2005 to Snell 2010, to DOT to ECE and getting very passionate about it too.  Now look at the neck brace debates, the typical pro-neck brace responce is "I crashed and I know I would have broken my neck but my neck brace saved me." 

 

I really truely feel the only way there will ever be a neck brace testing standard is if a high profile MX racer breaks his neck wearing a neck brace, I for one do not want it to come to that.  The Leatt has been on the market since 2006 and there has not been a single advancement in standardized testing, while SNELL alone has updated their standards twice in that time.  Makes you kind of think doesn't it.

I raced my entire childhood without one. Not because I prefer not to, but because they weren't around. I've had plenty of spectacular crashes, and seen way more than I could ever count, and not one serious injury that a neck brace would have prevented. I'm in no way saying they haven't saved lives, or that you shouldn't wear one, I just don't believe all the "hype" around them. I bought one a while back and couldn't get used to it. It stays in the gear bag, but hasn't been worn in a long time. In my opinion it comes down to preference and what makes you feel good. If a person feels safer while wearing one, more power to them, and for the people like me who were around long before them, they don't always seem necessary. As mentioned above, until there is data to back up what the companies are selling and some sort of safety certification I will continue to ride comfortably without one.

It is definitely personal taste. I myself ride with a leatt. It makes me feel a little more comfortable and protected. I do however have quite a few friends that refuse to ride with one. For them, they feel like they have less movement with it on and actually feel less safe because of that. Bottom line is that if it makes you uncomfortable when you're riding then you are more likely increasing your chances of a crash. Conversely if it makes you feel more comfortable then it works to help your confidence. If you're not confident in any part of your bike/setup then you're more likely to be taking that dreaded dirt nap.

 

as MNkayaker said, there really hasn't been a test out there that "proved" that you are safer wearing a neck brace or vise-versa. I do believe that the theory of what the brace does during a crash makes a whole lot of sense. It is designed to keep your head/neck from extending too far in any direction. It does this by taking the force from the movement of your head in a crash, away from your neck and distributing it more through your upper body.

 

As far as how you wear them, EVS used to make a foam neck roll that attached to the base of the helmet. I don't believe these are still on the market tho. There are foam types that attach to a chest protector. The more solid carbon fiber types which are the Leatt, a-stars bionic, and the Asterisk brace, all rest on your shoulders. They then have a strap that connects to the front and back of the brace and goes around under your arms and around your chest to kinda keep them from flopping around. Hope that all helps

There will never be independent testing of neck braces.  The only reason there is independent testing of helmets is because they are used on highways.  I agree with MNkayaker that debates about helmet testing standards are robust, but nobody is arguing whether helmets benefit riders, just whether current standards make any sense to our particular community.  Helmet standards are, in fact, incredibly misleading on purpose.

 

As an expert in sales and marketing and clinical trial design, I can tell you that there will never be any well controlled studies that will prove that neck braces work.  You can wait a lifetime for such data if you are so inclined.  The contrarians in the neck brace argument hold false perceptions about human reflexes and mistake correlations as causation.  They insist that humans are capable of reacting fast enough to "tuck and roll" out of crashes, and they see injuries associated with crashes as evidence that neck braces caused those injuries.  

 

Working backwards from crashes that result in serious injury is convenient, but not scientific.  "A guy broke his collar bone while wearing a brace" doesn't mean the brace caused the broken collar bone.  "I see more injuries in my ER than I saw before, so it must be the neck brace" ignores co-variables, such as more dangerous obstacles, four stroke machines that make clearing triples as easy as twisting the throttle with much less thought, and more kids trying to emulate their heroes, among others.

 

The science available to us now is in the form of testing done by manufacturers in a lab.  Whether that testing is credible to you or not is the question.  Cynics will say such testing is rigged to make braces look more effective than they are.  Interesting hypothesis, but Leatt opened its books to Dr. John Bodnar of Asterisk who found the data compelling, and Leatt has made scientific transparency a cornerstone of its marketing effort.  I respect that.  You should, too, because when companies take the time to compile data and make it available for you to see, they are doing good.  When was the last time you bought a helmet based on the manufacturer's hard data about how the thing performs in multiple crash scenarios?  Unless you own a 6D, the answer is never.  That should change, and it probably will.  Leatt is actually ahead of the curve on this.

 

Other information includes the anecdotal experiences of riders who crashed with neck braces.  I offered my son's example on these boards to contribute to that pool.  The cynics will say "So what? he got lucky!"  and discount any report of a rider who crashed with a brace and didn't get hurt as meaningless.  They will call you a fool for buying into the hype.  That's what contrarians do.  

 

I don't buy into hype, or false logic or bad science.  I do buy dirt bikes, though, and neck braces.  Those two should always go together.

There will never be independent testing of neck braces.  The only reason there is independent testing of helmets is because they are used on highways.  I agree with MNkayaker that debates about helmet testing standards are robust, but nobody is arguing whether helmets benefit riders, just whether current standards make any sense to our particular community.  Helmet standards are, in fact, incredibly misleading on purpose.

 

As an expert in sales and marketing and clinical trial design, I can tell you that there will never be any well controlled studies that will prove that neck braces work.  You can wait a lifetime for such data if you are so inclined.  The contrarians in the neck brace argument hold false perceptions about human reflexes and mistake correlations as causation.  They insist that humans are capable of reacting fast enough to "tuck and roll" out of crashes, and they see injuries associated with crashes as evidence that neck braces caused those injuries.  

 

Working backwards from crashes that result in serious injury is convenient, but not scientific.  "A guy broke his collar bone while wearing a brace" doesn't mean the brace caused the broken collar bone.  "I see more injuries in my ER than I saw before, so it must be the neck brace" ignores co-variables, such as more dangerous obstacles, four stroke machines that make clearing triples as easy as twisting the throttle with much less thought, and more kids trying to emulate their heroes, among others.

 

The science available to us now is in the form of testing done by manufacturers in a lab.  Whether that testing is credible to you or not is the question.  Cynics will say such testing is rigged to make braces look more effective than they are.  Interesting hypothesis, but Leatt opened its books to Dr. John Bodnar of Asterisk who found the data compelling, and Leatt has made scientific transparency a cornerstone of its marketing effort.  I respect that.  You should, too, because when companies take the time to compile data and make it available for you to see, they are doing good.  When was the last time you bought a helmet based on the manufacturer's hard data about how the thing performs in multiple crash scenarios?  Unless you own a 6D, the answer is never.  That should change, and it probably will.  Leatt is actually ahead of the curve on this.

 

Other information includes the anecdotal experiences of riders who crashed with neck braces.  I offered my son's example on these boards to contribute to that pool.  The cynics will say "So what? he got lucky!"  and discount any report of a rider who crashed with a brace and didn't get hurt as meaningless.  They will call you a fool for buying into the hype.  That's what contrarians do.  

 

I don't buy into hype, or false logic or bad science.  I do buy dirt bikes, though, and neck braces.  Those two should always go together.

 

I agree with a lot of your philosophy.  Tracing from the event to the cause opens up huge doors for a subjective interpretation of the data.  In historical analysis, this is called a priori thinking, or "not in sequence, not priority" thinking.  You must be able to construct the cause in order to view the effect accurately, otherwise your data will always be skewed.

 

On the neck braces though, I don't wear one for the cost, and that I've crashed really hard many times.. never needed one.  I don't ride motocross though, if I jumped then I would get a neck brace.

 

The science available to us now is in the form of testing done by manufacturers in a lab.  Whether that testing is credible to you or not is the question.  Cynics will say such testing is rigged to make braces look more effective than they are.  Interesting hypothesis, but Leatt opened its books to Dr. John Bodnar of Asterisk who found the data compelling, and Leatt has made scientific transparency a cornerstone of its marketing effort.  I respect that.  You should, too, because when companies take the time to compile data and make it available for you to see, they are doing good.  When was the last time you bought a helmet based on the manufacturer's hard data about how the thing performs in multiple crash scenarios?  Unless you own a 6D, the answer is never.  That should change, and it probably will.  Leatt is actually ahead of the curve on this.

 

Dragon, I do like what you have to say.  But I am very much sceptical of the Leatt has produced is the way of their research.  I have read their white paper several times and have come to the conclusion in that they have found a single test, the pendulum swing, that they can pass and show minor reduction in forces.  Those forces are based on a single test using a very light 150# analog and they don not publish the velosities at which they gathered their data.  Their claimed reduction in forces are not going to be linear as the weight or the velosity of the analog increases.  There is a point at which the neck brace will fail and I want to know where that failure point is before I ever put a plastic collar around my neck.

 

I have watch the video of your son crashing dosens of times frame by frame.  Then seeing the damage that was caused to his neck brace, should be more than enough to scare you into throwing the current batch of neck braces away until there is something better made.

I agree with a lot of your philosophy.  Tracing from the event to the cause opens up huge doors for a subjective interpretation of the data.  In historical analysis, this is called a priori thinking, or "not in sequence, not priority" thinking.  You must be able to construct the cause in order to view the effect accurately, otherwise your data will always be skewed.

 

On the neck braces though, I don't wear one for the cost, and that I've crashed really hard many times.. never needed one.  I don't ride motocross though, if I jumped then I would get a neck brace.

 

I know you have been hurt badly before and that you are very competitive.  You are also young and find yourself in bad situations unexpectedly from time to time.  You are probably not slowing down any time soon.  For you, a low profile carbon fiber neck brace would make a lot of sense.  You won't even notice it.  If you never need the brace from the time you buy one until the time you stop riding, the cost of that brace over time will be minimal.  The life you are building now is priceless, and you are doing it right.  Just bite the bullet and get a brace.  Just my advice to someone I like, FWIW.

I have watch the video of your son crashing dosens of times frame by frame.  Then seeing the damage that was caused to his neck brace, should be more than enough to scare you into throwing the current batch of neck braces away until there is something better made.

 

The thing is, you want the neck brace to take all of that force. A helmet is the same way. If you crash and hit your head hard, the helmet should stress to the point of failure BEFORE your head takes that force. The neck braces are the same way. If you were to wear a steel helmet and take a hit to the head it would be very damaging to your head but not the helmet. It would transfer the force to your head instead of absorbing it. All of this is the same thought behind crush panels on cars. You want the material to stress and absorb as much of the impact as possible with less force being transferred to the person inside.

The thing is, you want the neck brace to take all of that force. A helmet is the same way. If you crash and hit your head hard, the helmet should stress to the point of failure BEFORE your head takes that force. The neck braces are the same way. If you were to wear a steel helmet and take a hit to the head it would be very damaging to your head but not the helmet. It would transfer the force to your head instead of absorbing it. All of this is the same thought behind crush panels on cars. You want the material to stress and absorb as much of the impact as possible with less force being transferred to the person inside.

 

You have to go find the video.  He didn't land on his head not even close.  The neck brace broke because it got caught in the ground.  If he had landed head first then I would agree with you on the breaks, he didn't he landed on his shoulder and rolled onto his back, the rear ledge of the brace caught in the dirt and broke in several places.

I know you have been hurt badly before and that you are very competitive.  You are also young and find yourself in bad situations unexpectedly from time to time.  You are probably not slowing down any time soon.  For you, a low profile carbon fiber neck brace would make a lot of sense.  You won't even notice it.  If you never need the brace from the time you buy one until the time you stop riding, the cost of that brace over time will be minimal.  The life you are building now is priceless, and you are doing it right.  Just bite the bullet and get a brace.  Just my advice to someone I like, FWIW.

 

You are probably right.. in the grand scheme of things it's inexpensive for the brace.  It's a serious thing to consider.  I'm only going to buy through Leatt, their customer service surprised me in a good way after buying a Cool It vest.  Thanks for the admonishment.

You have to go find the video.  He didn't land on his head not even close.  The neck brace broke because it got caught in the ground.  If he had landed head first then I would agree with you on the breaks, he didn't he landed on his shoulder and rolled onto his back, the rear ledge of the brace caught in the dirt and broke in several places.

 

Well in speaking with the CEO of 6D after that crash, he said as I recall "Jeff, Liam sustained a major impact to the front right of his helmet.  The whole front quarter of the liner is torn up.  This helmet is destroyed.  Are you sure Liam sustained no head injury in this crash?" I told him Liam had no head injury.  That's when he told me the ATR-1 was exceeding even their initial expectations.  Bob Weber, CEO of 6D is not one for hyperbole.  He is an honest and serious man.  If he says Liam hit his head hard enough to destroy another ATR-1, that's what happened.  Phil Davy of Leatt is also all over this.  I have been in communication with Leatt and their lab is evaluating the crash video and the damage to the GPX Pro Lite that Liam was wearing.  Never in my experience with any product has any company taken this kind of interest in crash evidence.  Now there are two; 6D and Leatt.  Both pioneers in innovative safety for our sport, and both very serious about what they do.  Good for them.  Good for us. 

You are probably right.. in the grand scheme of things it's inexpensive for the brace.  It's a serious thing to consider.  I'm only going to buy through Leatt, their customer service surprised me in a good way after buying a Cool It vest.  Thanks for the admonishment.

 

I have to agree with you on the customer service front.  Leatt is the real deal.  Thanks for taking my suggestion the right way.  We need you healthy so you can start more of those thought inspiring threads  :thumbsup:

Fear mongering and emotional marketing is what the neck brace manufactures are counting on for you to buy their product.  To this date there has not been a single independent study on neck braces.  Go read any of the helmet threads and you will see many good folks debating the differant testing standards like Snell 2005 to Snell 2010, to DOT to ECE and getting very passionate about it too.  Now look at the neck brace debates, the typical pro-neck brace responce is "I crashed and I know I would have broken my neck but my neck brace saved me." 

 

I really truely feel the only way there will ever be a neck brace testing standard is if a high profile MX racer breaks his neck wearing a neck brace, I for one do not want it to come to that.  The Leatt has been on the market since 2006 and there has not been a single advancement in standardized testing, while SNELL alone has updated their standards twice in that time.  Makes you kind of think doesn't it.

You could probably say the same about knee braces. I am not a believer in knee braces because they do nothing for a severe twisting type impact. Lower leg and femur breaks seem to be on the rise. Something has got to give if you hit the ground right. All that said, I spent on neck brace since I feel that I can survive an ACL injury, I don't want to risk my neck.

 

Edited by MNkayaker

 

What is there to get? Why does it mean anything to you if I "get it"? You don't know if I'm emotional. I've seen people killed and injured in every way possible except for human sacrifice. I said I don't stress over my knees. To me and me only, the Leatt made sense. If you don't want to want to wear one, good for you. Get over yourself and quit judging.

 

IMO, A $40 neck roll with do the job just fine, The difference is if it is comfortable. I have 4 prolapsed disk in my neck and the Doctor said you better find some thing. I just had a post up about neck roll or neck support. I Have about 10 buddy's how have crashed at over 100MPH (Snowmobile grass drag racing with 280HP & 625lb sleds) and they all said the neck roll works just fine as it limits how far your neck can move.

Scientific data is nice but logic tells you that a neck brace can help prevent neck injurie. Just like I don't need scientific data to tell me that knee braces help prevent knee injuries. You have to realize though that nothing prevents all injuries. The best crash test I have said seen with a neck brace on was one where the rider did not survive. When Jeremy Lusk had his fatal crash he was wearing a neck brace. The footage you would have thought for sure he.broke his neck. The reports said he died from head trauma and his neck was not broken. This is data that had been reported so if it is incorrect then that is on the press release.

All that being said, I do not wear one. They are out of my price range and I have been riding for years when the were not invented. If I had one would I wear it? Probably. Especially if . Was working on a jump or obstacle out of my comfort zone.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now