You can’t put a price on your neck. A kid I know broke his biking and in a split second was paralyzed. He was damn impressive in a wheelchair though. The majority of serious bike accidents involve neck injury. It’s the weak link for downhillers. Neck braces were originally developed for motorbikes but have fast become de rigueur for downhill racers and any other mortals who can afford one!
DIRT ISSUE 130 – DECEMBER 2012
Words and Photo by Tybalt
One of the newer braces on the scene is the Moveo Neck Brace Dynamic which is a slick thermoplastic material reinforced with fiberglass weighing in at around 700 grams. Moveo have spent years researching serious bike accidents and the brace works in conjunction with certain full-face helmets (make sure yours is compatible before you go shopping) and limits the movement that occurs in the neck region during a crash.
The Moveo Brace comes into its own in a typical downhill accident scenario where the rider is catapulted over the handlebars and head plants at speed. The brace allows a small amount of initial movement, which absorbs some of the impact but then connects with the helmet creating a protective shell around the neck restricting whiplash movement that can do serious damage.
The brace is an obvious but genius piece of kit. The price tag starts from around £250 not cheap but worth it as the Moveo is a real lifesaver. A gadget there to help prevent neck fractures. In the UK there are over 100,000 off-road cycling accidents a year and half of all casualties are kids. The neck is very vulnerable area with seven vertebrae that act as shock absorbers but can snap or something like that.
The Moveo Brace slips on as easily as a pair of gloves. I made some minor setup adjustments with a 4mm allen key before my initial ride, then popped it over my head and pulled the straps tight to secure it in place. The first time I wore the brace I rode to the uplift at Antur Stinog and thought I might get irritated by it moving around like some giant necklace. In fact I pretty much forgot that I was wearing it all day. If I were to be picky then I’d say I became fleetingly aware of it on steep sections as it slipped forward a tiny bit. However I wasn’t bothered by this and think it’s definitely a bit of kit for everyday use. A plus when buying it is that it can be used for skiing, motorbikes and any other extreme sports needing a full-face helmet.
After a day on the tracks I got home, hosed down my bike, kit and neck brace. I am now going to keep it with my helmet for everyday use.