Construction and Features
Leatt were originally a neck brace manufacturer, but have been working hard on their complete mountain bike protection and apparel range in recent years, and more specifically their helmets. The just-released DBX 4.0 is their new enduro and downhill helmet, which is certified to full downhill safety standards, but lighter and better ventilated than anything they have produced before.
There has been an influx of helmets aimed at enduro racing introduced recently, and the DBX 4.0 aims to be top of the class, with ventilation and safety being at the forefront during its development.
It is offered in four sizes, going from S up to XL, to fit head circumferences from 55cm to 62cm. Four color options are offered, with these being Steel, Ruby, Ink (reviewed here) and Black. Retail price is $230 USD and can be bought right now. It will be available in European stores shortly.
DBX 4.0 Details
• Intended use: Enduro and Downhill
• In-moulded EPS and EPO foam
• 360° Turbine Technology rotational impact protection
• Breakaway peak
• Fidlock magnetic closure
• 22 vents
• Dri-Lex moisture wicking, anti-odour removable liner
• AS/NZS 2063:2008, ASTM F1952–10, EN1078, CPSC 1203 certified
• Colors: Steel, Ruby, Ink, Black
• Size: S (55-56cm), M (57-58cm), L (59-60cm), XL (61-62cm)
• Weight: 880 grams / 31.04oz, size M (actual
• MSRP: $230 USD
The profile of the DBX 4.0 is similar to Leatt's other downhill helmets, but with more material cut away for ventilation, and a more angled and edgy style. It features Leatt's 360° Turbine Technology, which uses 10 small viscoelastic discs that are intended to absorb rotational acceleration and low-speed impacts. A combination of EPS and EPP impact foam has also been used to provide additional impact protection against both small and large impacts. Other safety features that are always good to see are a breakaway peak and neck brace compatibility, which isn't exactly surprising to see in a full face helmet from Leatt.
With an actual weight of 880g for a size medium, including the mouthpiece, the DBX is heavier than the TLD Stage (685g, M, actual) and the Fox ProFrame (750g, M, claimed), and a similar weight to the Bell Super DH (850g, M, claimed), though the Bell has added weight from the connections for the removable chin bar. However, some of the extra weight is from the 360º Turbines, which are one of the few rotational protection systems that are also designed to help to protect against oblique impacts and add low-speed impact absorption. MIPS, for example, doesn't add any absorption protection.
Other features include the Fidlock magnetic closure, and a removable and washable helmet liner. The 'piece de resistance', and a feature I haven't seen before, is the removable mouthpiece grill, which can be removed for hotter rides with more pedaling, and returned when you want more protection or to keep mud, dust, and flies out of your mouth. The only feature some riders might like to see, but isn't present, is a POV camera mount. However, with lots of riders placing the camera under their peak, this might not be a problem.Ride Impressions
I tested the size medium and it offered a great fit, and the magnetic Fidlock buckle is the easiest on the market to connect as it guides itself into place; it can even be done with one hand while riding. Generally, I prefer a classic double-D with a full face, but the Fidlock is a suitable option for enduro riding.
The removable mouthpiece/grill is a great option and a feature that is not an option from two of its main competitors, the Fox ProFrame and TLD Stage. For dry days you should be OK, and be able to breathe more easily, but if it's muddy or dusty, or don't like inhaling flies, you can pop the plastic plug in and get some extra protection.
The lack of peak adjustment might frustrate some riders; it was just in the top of my view when riding. I would like the option to move it a few millimeters higher. The lack of adjustment also means there's no option for storing your goggles underneath it. This breakaway peak also developed a slight rattle on bumpy sections after I had popped it in and out a couple of times to see how easy it would break away. This could be solved with some rubber tape. The breakaway force needed to remove the peak was low when pushing downwards, but took a decent amount of force upwards. Catching a small branch could still pull your head back.
Compared to the TLD Stage, the DBX helmet feels more secure as there is more padding and the shell is more closed. The cheek pads are also bigger and thicker, which make it a little harder to breathe on those "200-bpm, mouth open, feel like I am going to die" sprints at the end of a stage. The area around the ears is also more closed, which cuts out some wind noise. Of course, the downside of this is that the DBX weighs nearly 200g more than the Stage.
The DBX 4.0 bridges the gap between the super light TLD Stage, Fox Proframe and a full-on downhill lid. The DBX is more towards the downhill side of the spectrum, but still offers great ventilation and a competitive weight.Pinkbike's Take