Neck Braces: Why the EVS R4 is Best is part three of my five part series on why each brand of neck brace is the best. In this story I’ll focus on the things EVS has done that makes their neck brace appear to be the best. There isn’t much info on the EVS R4 online and most of the information in this story came directly from EVS. Alpinestars & Atlas have already been covered, Leatt and Moveo will all have their own version of this story soon.
EVS could be considered the originator of neck protection for motocross. Back before there was any fancy neck braces, EVS started selling their foam race collars to help protect motocrosser rider’s necks. Over the years the design evolved to where it is today, their newest “race collar”, the EVS R4. EVS touts the R4 as a high end neck brace at an affordable price. When the EVS R4 first came out, EVS produced a video that really made their neck brace seem like the solution everyone is looking for. EVS doesn’t offer much info on their R4 race collar anywhere online, so to get enough info to create this story I contacted EVS and received some very passionate responses.
EVS R4 Development & Design
EVS started the R4 development process by referring to the lab studies they used to create the RC Evolution, where they used high speed video of the race collar during a wide variety of impacts at different speeds and impact angles. These videos led EVS to focus on impact energy absorption, deflection and alternative load paths in their design process.
Beyond their own previous R&D, EVS used injury studies from the NCAA and other sources focused on sports where athletes wear helmets. Their research shows that what they call the “shelf design” places your head in a dangerous, upright position, not allowing the rider to naturally tuck and roll, putting the rider at greater risk of axial loading. This led EVS to avoid the “shelf design” when developing the R4.
EVS says the R4 is virtually the only product on the market that protects against axial loading. It does this by providing a barrier filling the space between the bottom edge of the rider’s helmet and the top of the shoulder that absorbs the energy that’s placed onto the top of the head. Just like other neck braces, the EVS R4 is designed to protect against injuries caused by hyperextension, hyperflexion and lateral hyperflexion. It does this by limiting how far your neck can bend in these situations.
EVS puts a big emphasis on the R4 not being rigid, allowing it to absorb energy. The R4’s closed cell polyurethane design absorbs energy by allowing the brace to deform rather than simply letting it pass directly through to the rider’s body. The brace then disperses the energy that it couldn’t absorb into the body. The “rear axial load absorber” (other companies call this things like the “rear support” or “rear stabilizer”) redirects impact energy across the upper back, rather than into the spine. From the things EVS said, it sounds like the ability to deform and absorb energy are major advantages of the R4.
If you did not understand any of the terminology above, make sure to check out Neck Braces: Definitions
If you didn’t click the link in the first paragraph, here’s the EVS R4 video I was talking about
EVS R4 Features
- Minimizes risk of axial compression, hyperflexion, hyperextension and lateral hyperflexion
- Provides amazing head / neck range of motion
- Soft rubberized edges for increased comfort
- Adjustable sizing
- Works well with most chest protectors
- Very comfortable and lightweight
Why the EVS R4 is the best neck brace on the market
This is quite simple really, the R4 is super lightweight and designed to offer the same protection as more expensive neck braces, but is offered at a very affordable price.
This is part 3 of a 5 part series on why each brand of neck brace is the best, you will be able to read other articles here.