6D ATB-1A Helmet
6D is a name that many Supercross fans will recognize, with Eli Tomac (yes, of that Tomac family
) choosing to run their helmets, among others, but the company also jumped into the cycling world last year with their ATB-1 Carbon full face. Now they're incorporating that same clever dual-shell, Omni-Directional Suspension technology into a trail helmet, the ATB-1A, that should be available by February of 2016. The new lid's name stands for "Advanced Technology Bike" and the "A" is for all-mountain. The company isn't quite ready to quote any exact weight or price figures, and the helmet you see pictured here is the very first rideable prototype that's been manufactured with EPS foam, which they only just received last Friday - all of the others have been non-rideable, 3D printed models.
The ODS system requires some explaining, but let's first go over the basics. Being a trail / all-mountain helmet, the ATB-1A features more protection that extends lower down at the back of the head when you compare it to a traditional cross-country lid, and it will be goggle-friendly as well. Compared to the paper thin coverings you see on lighter weight helmets, 6D have used a thicker polycarbonate shell, with them putting more of an emphasis on durability than what the scale says. There's eighteen vents in that shell, and a traditional retention system at the back of the helmet can be adjusted with a single ratcheting dial.
It isn't just straight-on impacts that present a danger to riders, as angular acceleration - think impacts from a shallower angle - also factor in when talking about serious head injuries. This is where the ODS system comes into play due to its claimed ability to better isolate the head by separating the helmet's inner and outer EPS shells with a number of very strategically placed rubber dampers, a design that basically creates a sort of in-helmet suspension by allowing the inner and outer EPS foam shells to move independently of one another. 6D says that the result is a system that can not only better deal with straight-on impacts, but is also able to better manage those low-angle collisions by allowing the two shells to shear in relation to each other.
6D explained that the specific hourglass shape of the rubber dampers, which are actually different than what's used in their full face, produce 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. The new trail helmet also makes use of an in-moulded support web that connects each of the small dampers, and that this design is something that would be relatively easy to configure for use in a road helmet, making it a no-brainer to see where they might be taking the ODS technology in the future.