Protective gear for DH?

bdl

Squid
My now 16 yo son's been riding for a couple of years, and was hospitalised - fortunately only briefly - 2 years ago with broken vertebrae from a stack he had when he was riding his hard tail school bike down Mt Keira (NSW)... He now has a decent bike, couple of helmets (Bell 2R and a proper full-face). He is now getting into DH, and we've got him a Leatt neck brace. As a 16 year old, he's practically invincible of course, but has accepted the ff and brace "when conditions require it".

My question is: is body-armour often or ever worn by DH riders? My son says no, and further it seems it's debatable / not well tested whether these things are effective considering the performance and dollar cost.

What else should we be laying on him?

Ta,
Ben
 

Mattyp

Likes Dirt
Teach him not to crash. It might sound silly but good skills and technique are worth more than any body armor. Plenty of people offering coaching these days.
 

pink poodle

Clinically Inane
Teenagers love a good sook and whinge about safety gear, pros riding naked doesn't help much. I've been taking teenagers riding for a long time. Gloves, knee/shin, and full face helmets are compulsory for most trails i use. I can't remember any complaints about using a full face, nobody wants to get any uglier.

- Gloves...who is going to wipe his arse when he takes all the skin off his palms?
- Goggles are pretty handy. Nobody wants a bug in the eye while charging a rock garden.
- Knee pads are pretty common. I prefer full knee/shin guards still as I've had enough pedal induced stitches. A good fitting set up is important here as it reduces the whinging about uncomfortable guards.

Body armour has become fairly uncommon. I think this is a trickle down from the pro ranks. I can't imagine the old battle armour providing much benefit crashing at the speeds Sam Hill and his ilk would be crashing at, but taking it off can provide manoeuvrability, weight, and cooling advantages. For regular punters I've seen it work out really well when fitted correctly. You may also find that a some body armour isn't compatible with neck braces.
 

bdl

Squid
Thanks for the comments.

@Mattyp: good point re. instruction; open to recommendations in the Sydney area.

@pink poodle: I forgot to mention he has gloves and goggles - the two things he wants to wear. I guess it's handy being able to see where you're going... He also has shin/knee and elbow pads as well, but doesn't use them much. I'm not too fussed on the stuff that'll heal eventually, his choice to live with grazes/stitches.

Seems like it's hard to argue strongly for body armour; without much of a guarantee that it's actually effective and against all the cons of loss of maneuverability, heat, etc, I guess it's obvious why it's not terribly common.

Maybe these guys could branch out with a new product line, and start sponsoring some DH riders: http://www.hovding.com/how_hovding_works :)
 

Mywifesirrational

I however am very normal. Trust me.
My question is: is body-armour often or ever worn by DH riders? My son says no, and further it seems it's debatable / not well tested whether these things are effective considering the performance and dollar cost.
The evidence if body armor works or not, has left little to discuss, it works as advertised and has standards it must conform to. But interestingly, Leatt braces and other neck braces are completely lacking in evidence other than emotive testimonials.

I am a joint injury researcher, wreaked joints are for life, smash a knee hard enough at 16 (or any age) and it will never be 100% again. Shoulders are even worse for recovery. Body armor can prevent an injury or limit the extent of an injury, catastrophic injuries will still occur regardless.

It's a fashion statement not to wear it, but it works.
 

John U

MTB Precision
I've had a dianese pressure suit and currently rocking a fox jacket and dianese DH shorts. I also use knee/shin guards. The only stack this set up hasn't helped with was an otb onto a rock embedded into the track. I put my hand out and promptly crushed it between my chest protector and the rock. Soft tissue damage only but my hand was sore and useless for a couple of days.
Every other stack it has helped. It has saved me from a smashed shoulder and plenty of gravel rash.

I couldn't give a shit if I don't look pro. What would shit me is if I copped an injury which a piece of kit I had at home in the the cupboard would've saved me from.
 

treble

Likes Dirt
pretty sure a lot of the pro downhillers wear something like this:

http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/troy-lee-designs-bp-7850-hw-short-sleeve-shirt/rp-prod59939?gs=1&gclid=CjwKEAiApLDBBRC8oICb9NvKsg0SJAD9yOHsx5HlUb26YjH9gnVXz9D9lm1ZV1wKnFys4PUsN4cYgRoC-Q7w_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds

When you see videos of them doing their warmup before race runs they won't have a jersey on but seem to have something similar to the above.
A mate of mine actually has the one shown above, its extremely slim, a few times I didn't even realise he had it on before he takes it off at the end of a ride. doesn't seem to limit mobility much, it can be warm though (I'm told).

also, no knee pads is just plain stupid. Once you really injure a knee, its never the same.
 

pink poodle

Clinically Inane
Thanks for the comments.

@pink poodle: I forgot to mention he has gloves and goggles - the two things he wants to wear. I guess it's handy being able to see where you're going... He also has shin/knee and elbow pads as well, but doesn't use them much. I'm not too fussed on the stuff that'll heal eventually, his choice to live with grazes/stitches.

Seems like it's hard to argue strongly for body armour; without much of a guarantee that it's actually effective and against all the cons of loss of maneuverability, heat, etc, I guess it's obvious why it's not terribly common.
I enforce the shin guards on the kids to avoid pissing around with frustrating little tiny first aid issues that hold up the rest of the group.

*sob* I need a band aid for my shin...*sob*

The evidence if body armor works or not, has left little to discuss, it works as advertised and has standards it must conform to. But interestingly, Leatt braces and other neck braces are completely lacking in evidence other than emotive testimonials.

I am a joint injury researcher, wreaked joints are for life, smash a knee hard enough at 16 (or any age) and it will never be 100% again. Shoulders are even worse for recovery. Body armor can prevent an injury or limit the extent of an injury, catastrophic injuries will still occur regardless.

It's a fashion statement not to wear it, but it works.
Its a bit like all those bmx maps with riders not wearing helmets...pulling a lot of mad hit, but slip up and your head looks like a kicked watermelon.
 

jarrod839

Banned
The evidence if body armor works or not, has left little to discuss, it works as advertised and has standards it must conform to. But interestingly, Leatt braces and other neck braces are completely lacking in evidence other than emotive testimonials.

I am a joint injury researcher, wreaked joints are for life, smash a knee hard enough at 16 (or any age) and it will never be 100% again. Shoulders are even worse for recovery. Body armor can prevent an injury or limit the extent of an injury, catastrophic injuries will still occur regardless.

It's a fashion statement not to wear it, but it works.
what a load of fucking shit. If it wasn't for my Leatt neckbrace i wouldn't be walking right now. It fucking shits me hearing chunts say they don't work. There have been so many university and medical studys carried out on the leatt braces and even though its not going to stop you from neck or spinal injurys its differently going to help prevent it. The amount of people winging about how they restricts head movement or all they do is break your collarbone. Which is what they are designed to do is take the force away from your neck when a impact occurs and transmit the force into your shoulder and collarbone.
I would highly consider getting only a Leatt neckbrace and have it professionaly fitted (i see so many poeple with them incorrectly fitted).

Im a serious DH rider and i wear the following kit and for DH i would recommend spending top dollar on safety.
Full face. TLD d3
Neckbrace.LEATT
Knee pads. i run 661 kyle straits but get what fits comfortably.
Gloves and riding jersey and shorts.
Also good quality shoes like fiveten.

Starting off with DH i would recommend body armour like MX armour that is compatible with leatt neckbrace or a under jersey pressure suit.
 

dhd

Downhill Direct
I've been DHing for about 25 years now and have taken the approach of wearing it when I think it's required. ie track that I find difficult or consider it a high risk on goes the body armour.
Pretty much any time I throw a leg over the DH bike though its full face helmet, goggles, gloves, knees and elbows. I currently have the Troy Lee protective shirt linked above and I find I hardly notice it's there unlike older style armour that is way more intrusive and makes you feel like robo cop. You can also remove foam from some of the areas you feel it's not needed so you can customize it.
I have had crashes in the past with armour on that would probably have put me in hospital, but have got up and laughed it off. That's enough convincing for me!
 

bdl

Squid
My take on the brace is that the pros outweigh the cons, and there's at least a little bit of evidence they can help mitigate some types of catastrophic injuries (neck) though perhaps at the expense of less disastrous ones (collarbone).

@Mywifesirrational, I'd be keen to see anything related to the effectiveness of body armour w/ MTBs/DH - I've had a bit of a look without finding much of anything.

I hardly notice it's there unlike older style armour that is way more intrusive and makes you feel like robo cop.
- I kinda regret forcing him to wear a hired suit when we visited Thredbo last year (first time). Obviously as hire gear, it was the cheapest most durable stuff you can get, form/performance be damned - the 'robo cop' image is pretty accurate. He looked pretty uncomfortable, and I suspect that's at the root of the pushback now.
 

pink poodle

Clinically Inane
My take on the brace is that the pros outweigh the cons, and there's at least a little bit of evidence they can help mitigate some types of catastrophic injuries (neck) though perhaps at the expense of less disastrous ones (collarbone).

@Mywifesirrational, I'd be keen to see anything related to the effectiveness of body armour w/ MTBs/DH - I've had a bit of a look without finding much of anything.

- I kinda regret forcing him to wear a hired suit when we visited Thredbo last year (first time). Obviously as hire gear, it was the cheapest most durable stuff you can get, form/performance be damned - the 'robo cop' image is pretty accurate. He looked pretty uncomfortable, and I suspect that's at the root of the pushback now.
Where are you guys located? It might be worth dropping into a well stocked bike store (ring before you go...not a lot of bike shops carry this stuff) or a dirt bike shop for some try ons. It will also give you son the chance to hear "cool dudes" shoot the shit about how important this stuff is when you "shred the gear". You know...someone with a bunch of tattoos and wierd piercings.
 

Mywifesirrational

I however am very normal. Trust me.
what a load of fucking shit. If it wasn't for my Leatt neckbrace i wouldn't be walking right now. It fucking shits me hearing chunts say they don't work. There have been so many university and medical studys carried out on the leatt braces and even though its not going to stop you from neck or spinal injurys its differently going to help prevent it. The amount of people winging about how they restricts head movement or all they do is break your collarbone. Which is what they are designed to do is take the force away from your neck when a impact occurs and transmit the force into your shoulder and collarbone.
I would highly consider getting only a Leatt neckbrace and have it professionaly fitted (i see so many poeple with them incorrectly fitted).
Yes, there is that emotive response I mentioned, how predictable.

I didn't say they didn't work, I said there is no evidence that they did, which there isn't, you may have missed that during your rant.

Now, back to the efficacy of Leatt neck braces, you only think they do what they claim to do. Because you feel it made a difference with absolutely no evidence whether it did or did not, your experience (N=1) does not prove anything. If you weren't wearing one, maybe there would have been no injury at all? Its amazing how well their emotive marketing has worked, yet the same marketing doesn't highlight the number of para's, quads and fatalities whilst wearing one.

Prove this 'chunt' wrong, and link these 'university and medical studys carried out on the leatt braces' I would really like to read some of this. As I am confident I have access to medical research data bases you don't even know exist, and I can't find any published research to show they work, none at all.

Leatts own webpage can't cite one paper that their own neck brace is efficacious, but they do have a nifty testimonial section you could add to?
 
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jarrod839

Banned
Yes, there is that emotive response I mentioned, how predictable.

I didn't say they didn't work, I said there is no evidence that they did, which there isn't, you may have missed that during your rant.

Now, back to the efficacy of Leatt neck braces, you only think they do what they claim to do. Because you feel it made a difference with absolutely no evidence whether it did or did not, your experience (N=1) does not prove anything. If you weren't wearing one, maybe there would have been no injury at all? Its amazing how well their emotive marketing has worked, yet the same marketing doesn't highlight the number of para's, quads and fatalities whilst wearing one.

Prove this 'chunt' wrong, and link these 'university and medical studys carried out on the leatt braces' I would really like to read some of this. As I am confident I have access to medical research data bases you don't even know exist, and I can't find any published research to show they work, none at all.

Leatts own webpage can't cite one paper that their own neck brace is efficacious, but they do have a nifty testimonial section you could add to?
you dead set Muppet. I am still walking and spared the life of a being in a wheelchair like many hundreds of others who owe it to the leatt brace. You are just one of the many halfwits that hate them because you think they don't work. The leatt brace is like a helmet its going to help prevent serious injury not stop it. Yes it is hard to prove in any case if the leatt brace made a difference or not but i know for a fact that it worked for me as i luckily escaped with only a fractured T1 and a broken collarbone which was caused my my Leatt brace transferring the force away from the compression of my neck into my collarbone. Yes i did think if my injury would of being the same with or without it. But even the doctor at the ER who was a specialist in neck and spinal injurys and was familier with the leatt braces explained to me that the leatt brace worked as designed and without i had a 80% of being in a more serious way.

You don't have to wear a leatt brace and nobody is forcing you too but to come out and say that they don't work is a load of shit when i am living proof and still walking cause it helped prevent me from more serious injury and i am more than happy to shell out $600 for this piece of mind.
 

Mywifesirrational

I however am very normal. Trust me.
you dead set Muppet. I am still walking and spared the life of a being in a wheelchair like many hundreds of others who owe it to the leatt brace. You are just one of the many halfwits that hate them because you think they don't work. The leatt brace is like a helmet its going to help prevent serious injury not stop it. Yes it is hard to prove in any case if the leatt brace made a difference or not but i know for a fact that it worked for me as i luckily escaped with only a fractured T1 and a broken collarbone which was caused my my Leatt brace transferring the force away from the compression of my neck into my collarbone. Yes i did think if my injury would of being the same with or without it. But even the doctor at the ER who was a specialist in neck and spinal injurys and was familier with the leatt braces explained to me that the leatt brace worked as designed and without i had a 80% of being in a more serious way.

You don't have to wear a leatt brace and nobody is forcing you too but to come out and say that they don't work is a load of shit when i am living proof and still walking cause it helped prevent me from more serious injury and i am more than happy to shell out $600 for this piece of mind.
Yes, I am a muppet for not blindly believing testimonals and a complete lack of published evidence... if they work, why aren't they mandatory like helmets at MTB events? Why don't equestrian riders where them who have overall a horrific neck fracture rate when compared to cyclists? Why aren't they mandatory in MX? Every singly rider who wears one has a grand story on how they are alive or not in a wheel chair because they were wearing one, just like yours. Testimonals are not evidence, but they are a great marketing approach into scaring people into feeling they need to spend 600.

Unless your specialist was there at the crash, measuring the forces and vectors, they don't actually know if it did help, did nothing or made things worse, how did he/she manage to come out with a stat? particularly when nothing has been published? It's actually not that hard to prove if they work, all they need to do is publish their methods, let some independent labs see if they can attain the same results in, we have two such world class labs in Melbourne who specialise in exactly this.

I am guessing at this point your not going to cite (and school me) just one of these university or medical studys? Since there are 'so many' it shouldn't be hard to find one? Yet, I am the chunt and muppet? Great rebuttal!
 

jarrod839

Banned
Yes, I am a muppet for not blindly believing testimonals and a complete lack of published evidence... if they work, why aren't they mandatory like helmets at MTB events? Why don't equestrian riders where them who have overall a horrific neck fracture rate when compared to cyclists? Why aren't they mandatory in MX? Every singly rider who wears one has a grand story on how they are alive or not in a wheel chair because they were wearing one, just like yours. Testimonals are not evidence, but they are a great marketing approach into scaring people into feeling they need to spend 600.

Unless your specialist was there at the crash, measuring the forces and vectors, they don't actually know if it did help, did nothing or made things worse, how did he/she manage to come out with a stat? particularly when nothing has been published? It's actually not that hard to prove if they work, all they need to do is publish their methods, let some independent labs see if they can attain the same results in, we have two such world class labs in Melbourne who specialise in exactly this.

I am guessing at this point your not going to cite (and school me) just one of these university or medical studys? Since there are 'so many' it shouldn't be hard to find one? Yet, I am the chunt and muppet? Great rebuttal!
you are nothing but a dead set fucking Muppet. Helmets have been around since the age of the dinosaurs and even though they have a proven track record of reducing serious head injurys they don't stop them. And we are drilled as we are born about wearing a Hemet for safety and nearly any sport at risk of falling its compulsory. Neck braces have been around since the 70,s and we're usally only compulsory in high speed motorsports like F1 but now in the modern era some sports have become more full on and dangerous and thats were the leatt brace was introduced as a effective and otherwise a bit more stylish than the foam neck warmer. Unfortunately in this era we also live in the age of the idiot (people like yourself) who sit on forums and preach that a piece of safety equipment is a waste of $600 and doesn't work and is nothing but a fashion accessory. There are several MX and BMX clubs in the states that neck braces are compulsory for members and unfortuntly Idiots (like yourself) and most teenage kids bitch and winge how they have restricted head movement when wearing one. Or why should I spend 600 bucks on a neckbrace when all they do is break your collarbone when you fall or the best one they don't stop you from breaking your neck.

I don't need to waste my time gathering the medical papers for you to read and prove to you the effectiveness of wearing a neckbrace unless the tube you breathe into to power your wheelchair and daily tasks because you are now a quadraplichic from not wearing a neckbrace prevents you from carrying out this task.

Keep the posts coming u halfwit cause you don't have any ground to stand on and i will shut you down everytime.

Fucking wanker.
 

Mywifesirrational

I however am very normal. Trust me.
Keep the posts coming u halfwit cause you don't have any ground to stand on and i will shut you down everytime.

Fucking wanker.
If 'shutting me down' is random abuse and zero ability to address any of my actual questions and comments, your doing a great job, well done!

But, unfortunately, the reality is your doing a hillarious bad job at 'shutting me down'.

If you going to make a bold statement as this;

It fucking shits me hearing chunts say they don't work. There have been so many university and medical studys carried out on the leatt braces
Then I politely requested some of these studies to read;

Prove this 'chunt' wrong, and link these 'university and medical studys carried out on the leatt braces' I would really like to read some of this.
The you respond with this;

I don't need to waste my time gathering the medical papers for you to read and prove to you the effectiveness of wearing a neckbrace
Well your the one who highlighted there is (in your vaste scientific expertise) that there is many research papers into Leatt braces, yet you response directly above doesn't not even attempt to validate your claim. In fact, you appear to be trying to avoid exposing your lack of knowledge in this area (other than spouting advertising material knowledge) by side stepping your own statement.

But please, but all means, shut me down again?

Unlike you, I don't have a vested emotional bias, I am happy to take what ever evidence there is, which your experience is not, and make a reasonable and unbiased decision on the evidence at hand. In the future, if further evidence is published I will re-evaluate my decision in an unbiased fashion.

It was you who has made the bold claims evidence supporting Leatt braces, yet, you are not able or willing to produce any of this evidence, that you, not me, initially highlighted. And, thus, at this point, I have made a reasonable and unbiased decision that your not very good at shutting me down.

But, please, link some studies, I have access to pretty much any scientific journal, I am happy to read and learn.

A leatt produce youtube video, ah, lol? is that all you could find. I can find youtube clips to show we never landed on the moon.
 
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pink poodle

Clinically Inane
Running low on popcorn....can't find pause button...

Are the neck braces single "use" like a helmet? Or are you able to endure multiple crashes in one before they require replacement?
 
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