6D ATB Helmet

Nick Ee | 11th Jun 2016 | REVIEWS

If you ask most people and cyclists which part of the body is most important for cycling, chances are the majority will answer you that you require strong legs, or a stable core, or even a slim body with muscular legs, and very rarely will you hear that it’s actually your head.  Honestly speaking, you definitely need to be very fit and have a great lower body physique to be a good cyclist, but what about the brain?  Many people take our heads and brains for granted because as most of the time, we aren’t aware that it’s the actual driving force behind all our mobility functions, our brain controls practically our entire body and without it, we would just be a limp piece of body matter and fluids, similarly, your bike would just be a beautifully constructed assembly of carbon fiber and metal pieces if it doesn’t have a rider to utilize it.  So all the more reason that we should ensure that our heads are well protected when we are riding, to keep it far away from any harm that might occur as much as possible.

Even though our brains are encased in a very hard and protective shell that is our skull, and filled with fluids all around it to keep the brain safely away from any hard surface inside our skull in case if we are unfortunate enough to ever happen to knock our heads hard against something, our body’s own defence mechanism might not be sufficient to prevent any damage to the brain.  The reason why cycling helmets have been so extensively and strictly researched, designed, tested and manufactured is simple to give our brains an additional level of safety in any accident, but standard cycling foam helmets with a thin and hard plastic shell has now evolved and progressed to a totally different and significantly higher level of safety altogether.

Introducing 6D’s ATB-1T mountain biking trail helmet, at first glance, it looks more or less about the same as the countless other brands and models of offroad helmets out there, but take a closer look on the inside and that’s where you are going to be very pleasantly surprised with all the advanced safety features that have been incorporated into this new helmet.  The first thing that you will notice is the foam shell of the helmet, it is essentially two separate and thinner foam shells that is being held together by twenty seven red coloured rubber dampers, instead of the usual thick one piece foam shell.  This new innovation is 6D’s patented Omni-Directional Suspension Technology, or ODS for short, it is actually two separate EPS liners that are separated by special elastic isolation dampers which offers a three dimensional displacement of the inner liner upon any impact, meaning that it uncouples the force of the impact at the helmet’s outer shell away from the rider’s head.  These special dampers also significantly reduces any linear accelerations and mitigates angular acceleration forces to the head and eventually the brain, ‘time-to peak’ values have also roughly increased two fold and this helmet now delivers progressive ‘ride-down’ for any low, medium and high velocity impacts that may happen, for much more superior safety performance, and when the impact load is removed, the inner EPS liner will automatically re-center itself again.

The ATB-1T name is an abbreviation for ‘Advanced Technology Bike’ and the ‘T’ stands for trail, so this helmet is particularly suited for all mountain and trail riding.  The helmet’s outer shell is made from polycarbonate and the inner EPS shell is also replaceable.  Ventilation for this helmet is also excellent, with 15 air scavenging transfer ports for maximum ventilation, superior air flow, heat transfer and sweat evaporation via the gap of air in between the two EPS liners.  The helmet has an adjustable fitment system and has a fidlock magnetic buckle system to easily and securely secure the chin straps, the visor is also adjustable or removable entirely.

The ATB-1T helmet looks slightly larger than most other helmets, primarily because of the double liner shells, but it’s not entirely noticeable, other than the fact that your riding buddies might spot the brand name that’s been boldly printed on the sides of the helmet, the rear of the helmet also nicely covers the back of the rider’s head for added protection from impacts from the rear.  The slightly heavier weight is barely noticeable, especially when you’re in full concentration and zipping and weaving your bike along a trail, you’d probably never notice the added weight, but in all honesty, I would rather ride with a slightly heavier helmet than with a lighter but less safe and effective helmet in case if (touch wood) I would ever encounter a crash.

The ATB-1T helmet retails for $388 and is available at Wheels & Cycles. There is a limited promotion for 5 units (1 colour each) at $338 exclusively for Togoparts readers.