The importance of fitting your Leatt Neck Brace
Buying great protective gear is only the first step to prevent injuries while mountain biking or BMX racing. The second and more important step is the process of fitting your new equipment.
Product fit is crucial. Even the best gear won't do its job to protect you if it's not fitted properly, even if it's the right size. Don't be overwhelmed by this! We're here to help. This article will guide you through what's important when it comes to fitting your neck brace. Spending a few minutes with us now will save you loads of time and hassle later, so read on!
Leatt Neck Braces are very technical products. While the innovations and technology Leatt has packed into their DBX neck brace is extremely impressive, you’re not going to reap the benefits in a crash if it’s not fitted properly. That’s because how the neck brace sits on your body factors into Leatt’s fundamental principles of design. Trust the experts!
How Leatt DBX Neck Braces Help Combat Injury
The guiding principle behind Leatt’s DBX neck braces is their patented Alternative Load Path Technology.
When paired with a full face helmet, the brace and helmet work in conjunction to drive the force of any impact away from the ultra-sensitive neck and spine area, into your other major muscle groups such as your back, shoulders and chest. This technology along with the underlying function of the Leatt DBX Neck Brace is what can help you avoid serious neck injuries such as hyperextension and hyperflexion.
Why is a Leatt Neck Braces worth every penny? Their technology has been improving since 2006 making Leatt the most trusted name in the industry. They are always developing, testing and innovating to make their bicycle neck braces better. The best riders in the world trust Leatt.
The First Step – Getting the Right Size Leatt DBX Neck Brace
How you wear your Leatt DBX neck brace is important, but the first thing every rider should do is make sure they purchase the right brace for their measurements.
Leatt provides a size chart to help make the selection process as easy as possible. The chart uses two critical measurements; your height and your chest circumference. If you don't have a tape measure, use a piece of string then measure it with a ruler. Once you've got those two measurements, find which brace will fit your body. Each Leatt DBX neck brace model comes in either S/M or L/XL, but remember, each brace also has a variety of adjustment features to help dial in the fit.
One thing to note, we noticed that the deck height of the Leatt DBX 4.5 neck brace is about an inch and a half taller than the other models. The 4.5 works best for taller, slender riders who have a longer neck.
The Second Step – Adjusting The Leatt DBX Neck Brace to the Right Fit
As discussed above, fitting the Leatt neck brace is crucial to assuring it works correctly and, with the Leatt 5.5 and 6.5 models, it has never been easier. Thanks to dual front and back Surefit sliding adjusters, adjustments can be made in under 30 seconds and offers a much faster, tool-less option for securing proper fit.
Start by putting your neck brace on without making any adjustments. When the neck brace is on, it should fit comfortably on your chest and shoulders while touching them.
Often riders will fit their neck brace incorrectly, having only the chest padding and rear thoracic strut contacting their bodies, leaving space between their shoulders and the shoulder pads. NOT GOOD! All parts of the brace should make contact at all times including the chest, rear thoracic strut and the shoulder pads resting on your shoulders. If the brace is too loose or too tight, use the front and back sliding adjusters to find the proper comfort and fit. When you have achieved this, the brace should sit comfortably on your shoulders and fit snugly but not too tight. It should not be able to rock back and forth. If it does, do some adjustments.
The thoracic strut’s primary function is to keep the brace in place upon impact. While it also absorbs some of the impact forces, it's main role is to keep the brace in position for just long enough for the upper portion to do its job during a serious crash. The strut is designed to break at about 70lbs (32kg) of force, which is far below the forces required to injure this area, The strut can be replaced.
When properly fitting the thoracic strut, a hand should be able to fit tightly between the back and the strut. If this is not the case, either because it is too big or small, use one of the four rubber inserts that come with the brace to change the angle of the strut. Included with each neck brace is a 0,5,10 and 20-degree rubber insert to ensure the best fit possible for each rider.
Fitting a Leatt DBX 4.5 Neck Brace
The Leatt DBX 4.5 neck brace has some differences from the two higher priced models. We addressed these differences in an earlier post regarding “How to choose a Leatt Neck Brace."
The fit process will be relatively the same. The only difference is instead of using the quick Surefit sliding adjusters; the 4.5 comes with four different spacers which can be changed with the Allen wrench that comes with your brace. The Leatt DBX 4.5 neck brace’s deck height also sits about an inch higher than the 5.5 and 6.5, so make sure to adjust and fit accordingly.
Continued Fit and Adjustments
Congratulations! Your Leatt DBX neck brace should now be fit properly. Even so, be aware of the fit each time you use it and adjust if necessary. It's up to you to ensure your personal neck brace fits and feels right so that you're protected in a crash. For young riders who are still growing, expect to make adjustments as your body changes. All riders should remember to always to refit their neck brace when changing riding attire or body armor.