If you're not familiar with neck braces, the "Leatt Brace" is widely recognized as the "Original" Neck Brace which is the basis of which several emerging competitors have based their neck braces off of. In a sense, manufacturers of other dirt bike safety equipment, and motocross gear have attempted to reivent the wheel with their neck braces which Leatt Corporation, a South African based, and originating company founded by a Trauma Surgeon / Off Road motorcyclist, Dr. Chris Leatt had developed through exhaustive laboratory and field testing ahead of, and unprecedented by other manufacturers of neck braces.
Whatever you ride, whether MX, SX, an off-road discipline or FMX, you're gonna' crash. Unfortunately, a header that no one plans on taking which ends 'em up over the bars, head first into the ground can have devastating results in an instant should that rider injure their neck or spinal cord through compression, over extension, or unnatural movement of their neck, which every leatt brace is designed to help limit by limiting a rider's head movement, which in turn can greatly minimize the potential of neck injuries, or spinal cord damage (SCI), which often leads to paralysis or death.
Although there are several models of the Leatt Brace, Including the Leatt Five Five which we reviewed We're prinarily going to be discussing the features of the Leatt GPX Race brace which shares many of the features found on Leatt's GPX, GPX Club, GPX Pro and STX neck braces as well.
No, the Leatt GPX Race brace, as well as most prior models which included the Leatt GPX, Leatt GPX Pro, STX, Club and Adventure come in multiple pieces and although they ship with default settings which would allow the brace to be quickly assembled, for the brace to perform properly and limit a rider's head movement as intended without posing an additional risk, it's imperative that the brace is properly fitted to it's wearer through the use of included intrerchangeable spacers and shims which allows each neck brace to be fitted to the rider upon assembly as the accompanying multilingual instruction booklet clearly illustrates, otherwise the protective qualities of the brace will be hindered.
Fortunately and unlike many competitor's neck braces, Every Leatt Neck Brace prior to the Five Five is designed to accommodate a wide range of rider's upper torso shapes, and neck lengths through the use of interchangeable wedges and spacers which modify the width of the brace while adjusting the clearance between the rider's chest and the front wings of the brace, as well as the proximity of the rear thoracic strut to the rider's back.
Additionally, the rear table on any of the early to present Leatt brace's prior to the Five Five allow the helmet strike area height to be adjusted through use of elongated holes and pinch bolts allowing an often adequate range of adjustment for achieving an ideal helmet to brace distance as the accompanying instruction manual illustrates.
Even with a properly adjusted neck brace, for riders that have never worn a neck brace, upon initially wearing any neck brace, you'll quickly notice a limitation in the amount you can move your head but this restriction is designed through laboratory and field testing to allow a rider ample range of movement permiting visibility for what he/she needs to see, yet limit a rider's head movement in the event of a bad case of coming up short, or taking a digger head first which is what any neck brace is intended to achieve.
All the Leatt braces with the exception of the leatt five five open on either the left or right side via rearward latching levers which can be easily fastened or unfastened by either left or right handed riders, as well as the latches on each side allow the brace to be disassembled allowing the brace halves to be removed from a downed rider with minimal to no movement of the rider.
Although neck braces have always been a point of discussion regarding their use with roost guards, Leatt Corporation has designed the Leatt GPX Race brace in a manner to allow integration with some body armor, there remains an issue normally addressed by modifying the roost deflector to clear the neck brace wings. however, Leatt has also designed their own "3DF"Body Protector / Roost Deflector that does work seamlessly with any neck brace and offers chest, back and shoulder impact and roost protection equivalent to most hard shelled chest protectors.
In an effort to increase the comfort, functionality and ventilation properties of the Leatt Brace over previous models, Leatt Corporation designed the front wings which rest against a rider's chest to flex independently of one another which permits a channel
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