Leatt Brace, the self-proclaimed 'helmet for your neck' kicked off a whole host of similar products within the motorcross world, however, they continue to be one of the only manufacturers to make a bike specific model. The model formerly called Bicycle DBX gets a redesign for 2012 and a name change to DBX Comp III.
Recently while riding at the Trestle Bike Park in Winter Park, CO with an older DBX Bicycle we had conversation with an emergency room physician assistant regarding Leatt.
He commented that, aside from a helmet, it seemed the smartest piece of protective gear a gravity rider can use. "The injuries that are most concerning to me are impact to the head and the resultant extension and flexion injury the cervical spine (neck)," said Anthony Carcella, PA-C, MMS. "While other significant injuries can and will happen, brain and cervical spine injury are the things we [the medical community] have the least ability to fix.
"It's interesting to see such a prevalence of leg, arm, and body armor on so many riders, but a much less common use of neck protection. For me, in terms of dollars spent versus life changing injury prevention, give me a full-face helmet and neck protection. I'll heal from bruises, cuts, scrapes, and even a broken arm or leg, which pads don't typically prevent anyway, but save my brain and spine."
Structurally the greatest improvement is the new latch, which can't be over tightened even if a rider over-torques the bolts
The new DBX Comp III brace features new low-profile padding that adheres without Velcro, a new harness, new graphics, and is molded from a new polymer called LHIP (Leatt High Impact Polymer), but the most important new feature may be the redesigned hinge, which is more durable and cannot be over-tightened by a rider like the previous design.
The 790g fully adjustable brace costs US$399, but a non-adjustable DBX Ride III model will also be available in 2012. The latter entry-level brace offers the new padding, but without the Comp's adjustability or other upgrades; it costs $299.
Leatt offer body armor for 2012
One of the major issues for those using a Leatt Brace is its compatibility—or incompatibility—with body armor. Riders were previously forced to forgo or irreversibly modify jackets with chest and spine protectors in order to properly fit the brace.
Leatt's new jacket, which they bill 'Adventure Body Protector' and 'Adventure Body Vest' armor feature precision cut-outs for their braces with removable plates, as to make the armor relevant to non-brace users as well. Leatt will also offer a light vest, which uses straps as opposed to a mesh vest to hold the chest and back plates, back protector and full motocross chest protector with the removable brace sections. In addition to better accommodate the braces, they also feature tabs that help keep the brace aligned and in-place while riding.
Leatt's new 'Adventure Body Protector' jacket (which could come in handy for Star Wars themed parties)
The gear features hard shell protection that meet CE and EN 1621 safety approval. The standard jacket and vest are likely the most relevant to downhillers. All of Leatt's body armor will be offered in three sizes and will be available at the beginning of November.
The armor has removable windows to accommodate the brace
Suggested retail prices have not been set, yet, but the full Adventure Body Protector (jacket), with back, chest, shoulder and elbow protection should be competitively priced around US$300, which means the lighter options will likely slot in below.