Leatt has a new helmet on display here at Eurobike--a helmet that promises to do a lot, without costing a hell of a lot.
Okay, quick disclaimer: the DBX 2.0 will sell for $99 and, no, I'm not saying that is "cheap" or "affordable", but plenty of helmets cost a whole lot more than that and don't bring anything more to the head-protection party.
So, here's the deal. The DBX 2.0 is an all-mountain style, half-shell lid. Pretty much the coin of the realm today for anyone not running a Swiss Cheese'd, brain thong that coordinates well with their plum smugglers. You'll find more rear coverage here than is present on a true XC lid, yet the claimed weight is a very impressive 295 grams. Ventilation comes courtesy of 20 vents. There's the usual adjustable fitment system as well. Leatt calls it their Quattro Force Control, which sounds like some kind of Audi-driving, super-hero task force. Sadly, it's not nearly that awesome: It's merely a dial you turn, but since that's how nearly every bike helmet works, we won't hold it against them.
Concussions are the big, scary wolf at the door these days. We used to shrug them off. Now the world has come to realize that mild traumatic brain injuries (MTBIs) can be the precursor for early onset dementia (among other things). If you, like me, have rung your bell a fair bit of the years, it's a sobering-as-hell thing to ponder. No helmet manufacturer can claim to make a concussion-proof helmet. No such thing exists. Why that's true is a long and complicated story, but the take-away is that once upon a time (like, until 10 years ago) helmet manufacturers focused their talents on making sure your head didn't split in half when you hit something really hard (laudable goal, that). Today, more and more helmet manufacturers are upping the ante by attempting to create helmets that also reduces the lower-energy rotational accelerations that are often the root cause of concussions.
You've probably heard of MIPS--it's a slip plane that allows the helmet to rotate a few millimeters upon an angled impact. This in turn reduces the rotational forces that reach your brain. Reducing energy transfer to your brain is the big goal. Anyhoo, a number of manufacturers are trying to cook up similar technologies. The helmet industry is still working on standardizing the test protocols for measuring rotational accelerations, so it's impossible for anyone to definitively claim that one technology is superior to another. Yes, that's frustrating for consumers, but there we are in helmet-protection limbo land. On the upside, at least the men and women making helmets are keyed into the problem now.
Whew...that was a serious digression, but it lends context to this paragraph here. Leatt's approach to attenuating rotational accelerations is called 360° Turbine Technology. Put simply, if you flip the helmet over, you'll see what look like a bunch of blue donuts stuck to the EPS foam liner. The ten "turbines" do several things. For starters they compress and deform a bit upon impact, thereby providing additional protection during low-speed linear impacts (a good thing). In other words, the squishy turbines complement the job that the EPS foam is designed to perform. The turbines, however, also provide a similar action as other slip planes and this helps reduce rotational accelerations during those angled impacts. If that all sounded like just so much gobbledygook, you can refer to the Leatt illustration above. The Turbines first debuted in Leatt's moto helmets. RC wrote about it
way back in 2014.
The DBX 2.0 will be available by early 2018.