PRODUCT | Atlas Air Neck Brace
PRICE | $329.99
SIZES | Small, Medium, Large
WHAT IT IS
For 2017, Atlas Brace has released four products to fit riders of all sizes: Air for fully grown adults, Prodigy for teenagers and women, Tyke for youth, and Broll for the smallest PeeWee class. All braces share design and safety features, particularly the Split Frame flex chassis, wear-resistant padding, and emergency open button underneath the front shelf. Compared to other neck braces, the Air makes contact with more of the body (twenty-seven percent claimed by Atlas), which allows energy in a crash to be dispersed across a wider area. Because our staff is comprised of five adult men, the Air is the brace that is required for our size.
– Atlas wasn’t the first neck brace in the motocross market, but their design elements have greatly influenced the competition, particularly the “split frame” design of the front and back pieces. Two “wings” rest on the muscles of the back rather than the spine, which keeps the force from a crash from pushing directly on the part of the body that the brace is intended to protect most. To further diminish the pressure, Atlas has shortened the wings by eight percent on their 2017 line. Thanks to the aluminum axles, the wings neatly fold up for storage.
The front pieces divert the energy across the upper part of the rib cage, rather than just the center of the sternum. For 2017, they’ve been made a bit stiffer and better absorb energy in a crash.
– The Air brace frame comes in the three sizes: Small, Medium, Large. This is a crucial feature, because the body dimensions of two riders can greatly differ. We could tell a difference in feel between the small and medium and even more between the small and large, particularly in the opening for the head and the rear pieces.
– In addition to the frame sizes, there are a number of adjustable details that allow a perfect fit. There are taller pads that rest on the shoulders and raise the height of the brace, along with angle adjustment mounts for the rear wings that are available through the company’s webstore.
– On the track the brace is practically unnoticed, thanks mostly to its lightweight (1.3lbs/599grams) and slim, flexible chassis. Like any other brace there is some movement over jumps, but this can be remedied by using the supplied optional chest straps.
– The rubberized pads are both comfortable and durable, two things that rarely go together.
– In an emergency, a small red button that is hidden under the front of the brace can be pushed, which flops the brace open with ease. Its use isn’t limited to just crash situations, because the feature can also be used instead of simply slipping the brace over the riders head before a moto.
– The Air mostly made of flexible plastic, while a lighter and stiffer carbon fiber model is also available.
– Although flexibility is the point of the Air brace, there are a few areas we feel could accidentally break. The small rubber tether between the rear wings is one such area, and a replacement part is offered on the Atlas website.
– Be mindful when conducting the chest measurement, as small mistakes could result in an inaccurate number and the purchase of the wrong brace.
It’s no secret that neck braces have wained in popularity recently, due to rider’s feelings of interference or discomfort. This is exactly why Atlas continues to update the design, and the 2017 line are some of the best that we’ve worn. Fit and finished are exceptional, and there is a certain piece of mind that comes when wearing a neck brace.