Alpinestars Bionic Neck Support Tech Carbon

Closure System

The closure systems on the two braces are quite different. The BNS Tech Carbon uses magnets to close the brace in the front, and it’s incredibly easy to use. All you have to do is align both pieces, and the magnets on the brace snap closed. To remove the brace, you pull a release lever in the front and the brace opens quickly and easily.

Putting on and removing my older DBX Ride requires fiddling with latches on either side of the brace, a system that the current DBX Comp 4 still employs. Some of the newer Leatt braces, like the DBX 5.5, have a push button on the right side to release the brace, and it swings open around a pivot on the left side. If, for some reason, the brace needs to be opened from the left side, the pivot can easily be disassembled, so the brace can open from both sides. Even though the latch system on my DBX Ride took a little getting used to, it worked well. I have seen people riding in Leatt braces with the system not properly latched, and it seems fair to say it’s not quite as easy to use as the BNS Tech Carbon’s system.

Since DBX Ride can be removed from both sides, while the BNS Tech Carbon can only be removed from the front, it seems to me that the DBX Ride would be easier to remove in the event of a crash where the head needed to remain immobilized. If I’ve crashed hard and am getting carted off in the meat wagon, I want the paramedics to be able take the neck brace off to stabilize my neck quickly and efficiently. It’s also worth noting that the latch releases on the DBX Ride are fairly obvious, while the pull tab on the BNS Tech Carbon is tucked out of the way, which could potentially be missed by a first responder who’s not familiar with neck braces.

So while the BNS Tech Carbon is easier to use on a day-to-day basis, the DBX Ride would be simpler to remove in a crash scenario.


Both the BNS Tech Carbon and the DBX Ride have optional strap systems to keep the brace in place while riding. I pretty much always use these straps; without them I find the brace bounces around on my shoulders.

The two companies take fairly different approaches to the straps. The DBX Ride’s straps are attached to the brace and have buckles. You pop one of the buckles open and climb into the brace like a harness. It effectively keeps the brace from bouncing around, but isn’t particularly quick to get in and out of.

Noah Bodman reviews the Alpinestars Bionic Neck Support Tech Carbon, Blister Gear Review
Noah Bodman in the Alpinestars Bionic Neck Support Tech Carbon, Hurricane, UT.

The BNS Tech Carbon’s straps are quite different. The straps are basically just two stretchy bands that you put on in an “X” so that they run diagonally from your armpit over your shoulder. The straps then hook onto little tabs on the side of the brace.

While the DBX Ride’s system is more refined, the BNS Tech Carbon’s system is simpler. Even though the BNS Tech Carbon’s straps are faster and easier to use, I actually prefer the clean system on the DBX Ride. I’m usually worried that I will forget or lose the BNS Tech Carbon’s straps since they are not actually attached to the brace.


According to my measurements, the BNS Tech Carbon weighs 730 grams, while the DBX Ride weighs 923 grams. Considering they cost about the same (the DBX Ride was actually a bit more expensive when I bought it a few years ago), a ~200 gram difference is pretty significant. While I can’t say there’s a noticeable difference in weight while riding, I tend to prefer things that are lighter. The nod here goes to the BNS Tech Carbon.


The BNS Tech Carbon is made entirely from plastic, carbon, and foam of various densities. The DBX Ride has some cloth padding that covers the inner portion of the brace, which I’m not a fan of. The cloth gets dirty and grimy and is a pain to clean. The BNS Tech Carbon has no such problem; spray it with a hose after a muddy ride and it’s good to go. Another point for the BNS Tech Carbon.


One of my favorite features of the BNS Tech Carbon is that it easily pops apart into three pieces. This is useful for traveling and for rides with some uphill where wearing the brace while pedaling is cumbersome. Disassembly / reassembly of the BNS Tech Carbon is a five second process, whereas the DBX Ride can’t be broken down into packable pieces without a tool. The back portion of the newer Leatt DBX 5.5 folds down to make it a bit more packable, but it’s still pretty bulky. The BNS Tech Carbon definitely wins on this front.

Bottom Line

The Alpinestars BNS Tech Carbon is a good, lightweight neck brace that fits comfortably and allows for better range of motion than my Leatt DBX Ride. I can’t say with absolute certainty that it’s guaranteed to protect me from significant neck injuries, but I’m in the “better safe than sorry” bandwagon.

Like most protective equipment, fit matters. While the BNS Tech Carbon has a number of adjustments, it isn’t quite as adjustable as some other options. But if you’re like me and the BNS Tech Carbon fits you well, then it’s a great option – it’s comfortable, it’s light, it stays put when you’re on the bike, and it doesn’t overly impede head movement. And to top it off, it’s a bit less expensive than many of the other options out there.

With the DBX Ride and the BNS Tech Carbon both sitting in my garage, I generally reach for the BNS Tech Carbon when I’m heading out to spin some laps.



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