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I think that the Leatt brace is a necessary piece of equipment for all downhill and freeride mountain bikers. I was on the fence about buying one since I am a student and it would constitute a pretty massive purchase for me, but after a substantial amount of research I realized that I would either have to stop mountain biking the way that I was, or buy a neck brace. So I bought a neck brace. In hindsight I think this was a great decision. The brace is easily customizable to fit just about anyone, super comfortable to ride in, and much like purchasing your first full face lid, it gives you a huge boost in confidence. I have taken a few gnarly spills while wearing this brace and I am not going to come out and say something like IT SAVED MY LIFE, but I would bet that were I not wearing a Leatt,some of my crashes could have ended up being much worse.
I just switched to the Core from a Casio Pathfinder. My first impressions are as follows:
1) It looks really cool. (This should hardly be a concern but lets face it, people don't like buying ugly things)
2) It is incredibly comfortable. I have often thought that I just have an odd sized wrist, because watches always seem to be uncomfortable, but not the Core.
3) It seems like the features and design were really well thought out.
I think a watch with these functions is a necessary piece of gear for climbers, and the Core seems to be like a good place to start if you are not put off by the price tag.
These pads are great. Super bomber protection via kevlar, and they have a relatively breathable mesh back panel. They fit really well, and even though I ordered a large when I probably should have ordered a medium, they still dont slip. Only possible complaint is that they can get really hot, especially if you wear them riding up, but I think the same can be said of any pad and I just ride with them down around my ankles.