6D's New Mountain Bike Helmet - Sea Otter 2014

Apr 12, 2014 at 15:26
Apr 12, 2014
by Mike Levy  
 
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6D

The 6D name is likely familiar to those who follow motocross or supercross racing, with a number of top 250 and 450 riders choosing to wear a 6D helmet over the more established brands that have been around for many, many years due to its Omni-Directional Suspension (ODS) technology that is said to better protect the head and brain against impacts. That same ODS technology is now being applied to their brand new ATB-1 Carbon mountain bike helmet that is only a few months away from being release to the public. Pricing is still being decided upon, but 6D founder Bob Weber readily admits that they are not trying to compete price-wise with any existing helmets already on the market, but rather just design and manufacture the safest full face that they possibly can. Regardless, it's a safe bet to assume that the ATB-1 Carbon will be one of the most expensive helmets out there when it becomes available, something that is due in large part to its much more complicated construction and the research behind it.

6D

The ATB-1 Carbon is an entirely new helmet for 6D but it still features their ODS technology.



The helmet's ODS system is hidden from view underneath a carbon fiber shell that is different from the moto lid in that it features more vents and a different chin bar. The former is to allow for plenty of air flow despite the slower average speeds of a mountain bike, and that latter is to increase field of vision for the rider. The removable liner is also changed to suit mountain biker's needs, with a more breathable foam being used. The different EPS foam shells and other changes add up to a 150 gram weight loss compared to the moto helmet, with a total weight for the ATB-1 Carbon sitting at 1350 grams. That's a bit heavier than some options out there but remember that, much like cost, 6D is putting safety above all else.

6D

The ODS system consists of rubber dampers between two EPS foam shells that allows them to move independently of each other.



It isn't just the obvious straight-on impacts that are said to present the most danger to racers, with angular acceleration - think impacts from a shallower angle - also playing a major role in causing serious head injuries. This is where the ODS system comes into play due to its ability to better isolate the head by separating the 6D helmet's inner and outer EPS shells with a number of very strategically placed rubber dampers, a system that essentially creates a sort of in-helmet suspension by allowing the inner and outer EPS foam shells to move independently of one another. The result is a system that can not only better deal with straight-on impacts, but is said to be able to also dissipate those low-angle collisions by allowing the two shells to shear in relation to each other.

6D also says that the specific hourglass shape of the rubber dampers and the inserts that they fit into on each side of the two shells produces a ''rapidly escalating spring rate under compressive load'' that further helps the rider's cause, meaning that it isn't just a matter of putting any old bumpers in between the two shells.

6D

This demo was handy for showing how the two shells can shear independently of each other.



There is another benefit to the two shell system, though, with the company saying that it allows air to pass between the shells and escape better than if it relied solely on channels in a single shell. Yes, there are still a number of traditional vents on the ATB-1 Carbon helmet, but the air gap between the shell is said to actually work to flush hot air out to be replaced with cooler air that is forced into the same gap.

6D

The gap between the two EPS shells is also said to allow hot air to flow freely out of the helmet.



www.6dhelmets.com
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34 Comments

  • + 61
 If you need someone to crash test your helmet, let me know.. seem to be pretty good at it.
[Reply]
  • + 8
 It's smart, but it looks like they spent lots of time and R&D on the inside, but didn't give the outside much thought. Of course, if it can keep my dome intact better than any other helmet, I'm all for it.
  • + 0
 True the design doesn't seem to be really their thing ... And I'm pretty sure there won't be any XXL size for me Frown

Make one that looks cool, and even if it costs 500€ I might get one when I want to change my D3s
  • + 1
 Their moto version has a huge size, I remember they had to make custom ODS inserts for their team riders because they hadn't made a small shell size yet and the helmets were massive.
[Reply]
  • + 5
 This is really cool....

Pinkbike: I think it would be cool if you delved more into finding out more about these products R&D. You do a lot of pinkbike product picks and I know for a fact at a strong majority of these projects would be sourced to a design constancy, maybe not this one i don't know, but it would be sweet to get exposure to these design powerhouses.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 I used one of the moto ones on a hot mx day and it was incredible! I could not believe how well it breathed and I forgot I was even wearing it. I've also had a chance to try on the mtb version and it is just as comfortable and even lighter! The 6D will set a new standard in DH helmets just as they have in moto!
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  • + 6
 This just in, helmet manufacturer inadvertently solves shaky helmet cam syndrome..
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  • + 3
 Yoikes! Just checked prices on their moto helmets. I don't know if my hollow-head is worth $745. Really impressive tech though.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 I wanted to be a helmet for Halloween, but I couldn't fit 6D's in my mouth.
  • + 10
 If I learned anything from my uncle it's that there are plenty of other places in your body to put a D if your mouth isn't adequate..
  • + 2
 what the f*ck does your uncle do???
  • + 2
 Sodomize me relentlessly on Thanksgiving.
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  • + 3
 They should call it the 26d to differentiate between moto and mtb version.
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  • + 0
 when I buy I use this maxim: Performance/function, then aesthetics, then price. unfortunately this brain bucket knocks me out with the price. :/
[Reply]
  • + 2
 So basically it's the same concept as MIPS, just executed differently?
  • + 0
 this came well before mips, it's awesome though - because of the true progression in 6d's technology, all other helmet companies will be pushed to step up their game as well - making more crashes less serious for everyone!
  • + 3
 It offers way more protection than mips in multiple ways!
  • + 2
 I've spoken with a few helmet designers/testers and they all said MIPS (which is a slip plane allowing the inner shell to slide independently of the outer in a crash) didn't work or had no significant benefit over a regular helmet. I am pretty stoked to see 6D make bike helmets though, after hearing about so many traumatic brain injuries in action sports it's nice to see a company really strive for safety above all.
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  • + 1
 i got a 6D for mx and it super light and i never wear a fullface that confortable!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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  • + 2
 Troy Lee Designs watch out
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  • + 1
 I've been waiting for them to jump into the bicycle game. Awesome
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  • + 1
 Now that, that is something worth paying for!
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  • + 1
 3rd photo lot ,It transfers your thoughts to your suspensions
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  • + 1
 so that's where my old ear plugs end up Smile looks good though
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  • + 1
 This helmet has saved many a moto guy...just ask Zack Bell and Eli Tomac
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  • + 1
 Any functional difference between this and POC's MIPS system?
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  • + 0
 i saw this display at my local moto shop. it works
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  • + 0
 1350g!!! That's circa 50% more than other cf helmets out there!!!!
[Reply]
  • + 0
 Amazing helmet,i would like to try one
Smile
[Reply]
  • + 0
 looks like a great design
[Reply]
  • + 0
 way too heavy....
  • + 1
 Indeed!
Can't be bothered working it out, but it needs that shock absorption to deal with the extra 400+g of mass that will add to the G-force before impact!!
  • + 1
 A lot lighter than my Arai
[Reply]

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