I Stand Corrected Part 1
Not quite in trouble (yet) but i have heard back from Si Paton, he is not an AXO man ! he is Dianese through and through, so i was right when i thought i missheard, thats what happens when you dont speak direct to people, you miss-quote them, havent heard from AXO yet, so either they dont mind me butchering there armour or they havent seen it yet.
So on to this neck brace business, i was going to do a bit on them at a later date, and have been gathering info on them. I dont own one and have never worn one so cant comment first hand on what they are like.
However since last year rather a lot of people are wearing them, some for function like Lee in the photos but i reckon some for fashion !
Hands up who saw the Fort William freecaster, did you see Blenkinsop race without a brace, then wear it on the podium, what was that all about ? wearing a neck brace without a helmet is the worst thing you can do with them, i dont own one and i know that.
So Lee Huskingson there wearing a Leatt Neck Brace, in case you didnt know what they look like, Lee likes to go very fast and at times try to get his bike sub-orbital (into space) this in turn means when Lee crash lands it hurts.
He has damaged 2 vertebrae in his neck and had one rebuilt lower in the spine, for Lee it was a no brainer, a pure case of function over fashion, he bought it last year, dont always see him wear it in practice (depends on the track) but you know when it goes on he is gonna go for it. Speaking to people that have team riders, well i asked if the riders are asking to have them, and they are, the riders want to wear them even though they have to buy them and are not sponsered by Leatt.
Well i am 50/50 on them, some riders i see the logic (Lee) others i dont know, fashion perhaps, then i hear back from Si and things take another turn for the unexpected.
www.leatt-brace.uk.com have let out a press release, heres the short version "Leatt-braces now have certification in accordance with EC Council Directive 89/686/EEC EC Type-examination GB09/77362 and are the only brace with CE Approval" in english they have been tested to do what it says on the box and are now classed as "Personal Protective Equipment" or PPE, to make that even easier to understand health and safety say they work.
I was going to drone on about them for longer, but CE approval has changed my view on them for now, this means people will take it more serious and they are here to stay in Mountain bike racing. I like armour i wear it all the time when racing, but for now i am going to watch this develop and see if i can "borrow one to try out" before i make any more opinions on them.
If your curious then go to www.descent-gear.com or catch Si at an NPS race as he tends to have a brace you can play with or go to look at the www.leatt-brace.uk.com web site.
Thanks to Si for being nice and not shouting at me and to Lee Huskingson for letting me take his photo.