For christmas I got a Leatt DBX ride 3 neck brace or because I got it in white to go with my white helmet "toilet seat" as it is affectionately known as by my husband and friends!
I was pretty excited to get it as I've been wanting to get one for ages, especially as my friends have them and everyone at the southwest champs race did too. Also doing bigger jumps and feeling a bit more vulnerable it seemed a no brainer.
We seem to have had this conversation about body armour quite a lot lately with various people.
Its been mentioned to me and my husband a lot that we don't wear much body armour. All we usually wear is helmet, soft knees and gloves to ride downhill, and now leatt braces. Not being fans of hard knees and shins, mx roosters or padded shirts we get a lot of comments asking how we feel safe to ride steep tracks or do bigger jumps but if you never have worn these things you don't think about it. Not being big or clever about it we often go for just jeans, helmet and gloves. Guess thats what comes with riding with the old school sprung era guys. Keeping it real Steve peat style!
I digress somewhat!
First impressions when you open the box there are plenty of adjustment pieces to fit your leatt brace to you. The padding looks really high quality and feels really thick high quality to with stand use and being washed. The brace itself feels quite plasticy but sturdy. Overall it feels quite heavy when you first pick it up, its also very firm. Sounds silly but its hard to imagine wearing it when your riding when you first pick it up because it is so unflexable. The hinges were stiff at first but feel robust and well made and easy to use to get the brace on and off once you have done it a couple of times.
My husband helped me to fit it but it would be easy to do on your own with a mirror. I fitted the straps but decided to try wearing it with out them which was fine. It does move around a little when your riding but not so much that its annoying. The fit on the back piece and shoulders is so good that it feels secure.
Once you put a helmet on your realise that your movement is much more restricted than without the brace. Because the padding is tough aswell its kind of clonky when you hit your helmet on the brace. At first I felt unsure that I'd made a good decision getting it, it did make me feel a bit awkward turning around to see people behind me, also I couldn't bend down enough to do the zip up on my coat easily. It fits well over my jersey tho and my coat went easily over the brace.
Once I started to ride in it it did feel strange but I soon got more used to it. Only time I noticed it getting in the way was on one long steep berm, I could't quite turn my head as much as I would like to see the exit of the berm.
Also I did a jump and landed awkwardly on the front a bit heavy and couldn't lift my head up enough to see far ahead like I would normally in that situation.
I like wearing it because I don't much like the thought of a serious neck injury but I do find it awkward at times and think it will still take a bit of getting used too. My husband has been wearing his for a while now and said the same at first but now doesn't even notice it so I will wear it again and again.
I bought a small based on the leatt size chart.