Most of you probably know Brady Sheren as a top Canadian racer, and more recently as a part of the crew working on Matrix Concepts. But we ran into him at the season finale of the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship series at Pala Raceway, and he had a sample of an interesting new neck brace that he's been working on.

Brady Sheren and the Atlas Neck Brace. Click any image for a larger version.

Vital MX: How did you get started on this?

Brady Sheren: Back in February of 2009 while racing West coast lites SX, I was unhappy with how my current brace was, but had some ideas on how to fix those flaws as well as add some new features. Being a racer, I know how important comfort is while trying to perform your best. I felt like with my ideas I could provide other racers a product that not only did its job, but did it in such a way that it wouldn't force them to change how they did their job. Being that neck braces are still a very young product, there is still huge potential for innovation and growth, so I took my ideas and got to work.

What prompted you to jump into a project like this?

I knew I could do something to help evolve neck braces in general. As a racer I was aware of what other racer wanted and what it would take to produce a product that the masses could feel comfortable in wearing and believe in. From the day back in 2009 that I decided to do this, I have spent nearly everyday (and many nights) working on this project to get it to that point. I am probably the biggest perfectionist I know and I feel that is why I was never able to take my racing further than I did. Having said that though, my transition into business and designing products was a very exciting one for me personally because now I can allow my self to be that perfectionist, and it only translates into better products at the end of the day. Being that type of person I always feel like things can be improved no matter what they are, and that drive motivates me to constantly keep pushing forward and evolving the things I am working on, and the neck brace is no different. As I mentioned this is a very young product category still, and I saw that as an opportunity to jump into this project.

What makes this one different from some of the other products out there?

The Atlas brace started with a different, you might even call it reversed mentality. I wanted to make a product that was functional on the track, rigorously tested around the necks of professionals, and then I wanted to take that product into a lab to verify that the results of the product do indeed provide the safety that it should. A product like a neck brace that is developed in a lab by Doctors will generally suffer during real world use, especially in a sport like motocross that requires so much body movement. I think that there are too many people out there who want to wear a neck brace for protection, but simply can't wear it because they aren't comfortable. My goal with the Atlas was to change that and provide a product that allowed people to continue enjoying their riding, without feeling like they were trapped.

One way to make people more comfortable is to allow more head and neck movement, but that decreases the effectiveness of a neck brace, mainly for compression related injuries… the Atlas is different. The Atlas is the first semi-flexible neck brace that moves with your body, while still retaining height for protection. As far as some of the important features go, the chest and back supports sit around your spine and sternum in order to move impacts into safer, less harmful places on the body; The gap in the back of the frame allows the brace to flex upward and downward, so when you move on your bike, the brace moves with you instead of being one ridged unit; Simplistic design allows the user to slip the brace on over the head just like you would put on a helmet, with no flimsy clips or fasteners; In an emergency, the brace is equipped with what I call the ERS (Emergency Release System). By removing the red front axle nut, medical staff can then simply pull the two frame pieces apart horizontally and continue safely attending to the downed rider without movement of the head or neck; The only brace with 3-Axis adjustability (Length, Width, and Height); The entire brace (including padding) is all water resistant, and can easily be washed and dried between motos without retaining water weight.

The Atlas Brace is packed with a long list of key features, and I encourage everyone to stay tuned for www.atlasbrace.com, where you can find more info on the product, features, testing, and much more.

How soon before it's available?

The Atlas brace will be available in US and Canadian dealers by early December, just in time for the holidays. MSRP is $299.99 in USA and Canada, and the brace will be available in three adjustable sizes (small, medium, large), and in seven colors. Keep an eye out for magazine/web coverage, where we plan to release ads and interviews that tell our whole story, along with in-depth coverage of the brace itself.

How do people contact you for more info?

For product and company info please stay tuned for www.atlasbrace.com that will be launching in November, or email info@atlasbrace.com. US dealers can contact our California office at 661 505-4407, and Canadian dealers can contact our BC office at 604 542-5661.

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