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Tech Week 2023: 3 New Half Shell Helmets from Abus, Lem, & Sweet Protection

Oct 24, 2022 at 8:59
by Sarah Moore  


LEM Spyne Helmet

The Spyne is LEM's new $150 USD all-mountain and enduro half lid. It uses a micro-adjust fit system, a Fidlock buckle, and LEM's GelMotion technology for the management of high and low-energy impacts, and rotational and oblique impacts. The Spyne has removable, washable, anti-microbial inner padding, 15 vents for ventilation, an indexing visor for on-trail adjustment and goggle stowage, and is E-bike compatible, Class 1 and 2.
Spyne Details
• 15 vents
• GelMotion technology
• Micro-adjust fit system
• Goggle storage + adjustable visor
• Fidlock buckle
• Sizes S-M-L
• 6 colors
• MSRP: $150 USD
• More info: www.lemhelmets.com



Abus CliffHanger Helmet

Abus says the CliffHanger is a deep-fitting half-shell-style helmet that gives that extra needed protection to the back of your head when riding on the trails. The $199 USD helmet uses MIPS and has 14 vents for air circulation, eight inlet vents located in the front and sides of the helmet to bring in cool air and six rear exhaust vents draw out the heat. ​Abus incorporated the Zoom-Ace retention system into the CliffHanger that they've been using on their road helmets and the helmet includes a “Ponytail Outlet” feature for riders with long hair. ​ There is also a new TriVider strap adjustment system, a magnetic Fidlock clasp, and a multi-height adjustable visor that allows for eyewear and goggle storage. ​The CliffHanger is also compatible with lights and cameras.
CliffHanger Details
• 14 vents
• Zoom-Ace retention system
• Ponytail Outlet
• TriVider strap adjustment system
• Magnetic Fidlock clasp
• Compatible with QUIN crash detection sensor
• Sizes S-M-L
• MSRP: $199.99 (With MIPS)
• More info: www.abus.com

The CliffHanger is available in 9 different colors and 3 sizes in most markets around the world. ​ It can be purchased with or without the MIPS multi-directional impact protection system. In addition, the CliffHanger is QUIN-ready, meaning that you can upgrade your helmet with the QUIN crash detection sensor (sold separately). The new Abus CliffHanger starts shipping on October 24th, 2022. ​



Sweet Protection Bushwacker 2Vi MIPS Helmet

Sweet Protection says that the new Bushwacker 2Vi MIPS helmet offers improved coverage from the original Bushwacker. It features Sweet Protection’s 2Vi technology platform and includes MIPS Air for protection against rotational force. The Bushwacker 2Vi MIPS helmet is designed to integrate well with Sweet Protection eyewear and passes CPSC 1203, EN 1078 and NTA 8776 (e-bike) standards. The helmet is available in small, medium, large and extra large, and is available in five colors: dusk, matte black, matte white, nani and woodland.
Bushwacker 2Vi MIPS Details
• MIPS Air
• Sizes S-M-L-XL
• Adjustable visor
• 5 colours
• MSRP: $250 USD
• More info: www.sweetprotection.com

Tech Week 2023 is a chance to get up to speed on the latest mountain bike components, apparel, and accessories. Click here to view all of the related content.

Author Info:
sarahmoore avatar

Member since Mar 30, 2011
1,478 articles

  • 139 16
 a friendly reminder that Abus doesn't allow women to hold high positions in their company as a rule. Do with that info what you will, but I think it's worth knowing.
  • 50 0
 @plustiresaintdead: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ABUS
I actually didn't know this before the PB comment section taught me. It will affect my future buying behaviour. ABUS, contrary to what is stated in the title of this page, is not a lesser known brand here in NW Europe. THey are one of the biggest brands in locks and helmets for commuters, and gaining more presence in cycling sports.
  • 36 2
 @ak-77: Had no idea. Wont be buying anything from them.
  • 16 2
 Wow. I like my Abus lock but knowing that now would have me looking at other companies for locks in the future.
  • 6 2
 The sweet protection looks like they slapped a visor on an old tron prop helmet. Is it light cycle approved?
  • 21 0
 @plustiresaintdead: one women of the owners family talked to the media, German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung f.ex.

  • 4 0
 @SacAssassin: as I was a kid in Australia in the 80s all I see is a classic orange Stack Hat. They were the only helmet to have!
  • 23 2
 Yeah, good to keep this being mentioned under every Abus article. The helmets do look nice but people need to know about their ethics before they vote with their wallet.
  • 11 0
 thanks @BaconBikeJoe, this is all I need to know.

Never getting any of my money, and going to let everyone I know about these dingdongs. What the actual f*ck???

Hyped that Pinkbike will turn down any ABUS ad dollars going forward, too!
  • 4 1
 I guess none you guys and gals will be buying a name brand ebike any time soon, seeing as ABUS locks are in every single bloody one.
  • 16 3
 An. Abus can eat a dick. There should be plenty around.
  • 35 46
flag neroleeloo (Oct 24, 2022 at 15:48) (Below Threshold)
 Oh god, can we cut the virtue signalling on Pinkbike please? The vast majority of the products you buy is made in Asia…not exactly a continent that is well know for having women holding leadership positions but very well know for child labour.

You dont want to support one company ,thats fine by me, I do the same but if you turn a blind eye on most other manufacturers ,you should keep it to yourself.OR AT LEAST CALL OUT PINKBIKE FOR TAKING THE MONEY AND PROMOTING THEIR BRAND !
  • 5 1
 gross abus-im glad fellow canadian micayla gatto stopped riding for abus.
  • 14 2
 @neroleeloo: Look into Taiwanese companies and production. Quite good. Velo is a great example. Female led and managed through a lot of their business. They are one of the largest manufacturers of saddles, grips, etc in the world and they produce for many large brand names. Also look at the legendary Bonnie Tu of Giant. Taiwan has pretty good gender diversity in the bike industry. Taiwan is where most of your high end carbon and aluminum bikes are built. The country is a real gem and they produce tons and tons of components for the bike industry.
  • 14 0
 Way to throw them under A BUS
  • 7 0
 @neroleeloo: the president of Taiwan is a woman. Not sure if that counts though .
  • 6 11
flag neroleeloo (Oct 24, 2022 at 19:42) (Below Threshold)
 @WheelNut: now do the same with mainland China , Vietnam and Korea…and look into child labor…once youve done that, you’ll might get my point…Im not defending Abus here.
  • 8 0
 @neroleeloo: isn't the point here that you *dont* have to look into it before acting?
Are all those things you mention true? Probably, but until someone can prove a specific brand is benefiting from it, it's hard to vote with your money. That's not the case with arbus.
  • 14 0
 @neroleeloo: Yeah, never let people know what’s happening behind a major brand in the industry. Shame on people for politely letting others know something they likely didn’t know.

Let’s just keep all our mouths shut so someone like you doesn’t get their feelings hurt on a bike website.
  • 4 3
 Sexism in western culture is absolutely something we can and should be fighting against. Maybe cancel culture comes across as petty or hypocritical but truth be told it works. I do not support Abus however I would if they could prove that they have changed their archaic mentality. Equal rights equal pay, it’s quite simple.
  • 14 0
 @oldfaith: I would argue that choosing not to buy something or even as far as boycotting a brand is not "cancel culture". In my opinion at least the first is just a plain example of a free market working, putting your money where your mouth is
  • 3 0
 @yakimonti: I'm sure it had nothing to do with the fact she released a video wearing a TLD D4 with ABUS stickers plastered on.
  • 2 3
 @BaconBikeJoe this sounds like ...an incentive!
  • 2 0
 @sspiff: they should probably eat pussy from what I'm reading
  • 3 0
 If only people payed this much attention to what's going on in America, then we might be half as bad as our current situation we are in right now.
  • 2 0
 @owl-X: "Hyped that Pinkbike will turn down any ABUS ad dollars going forward, too!"
Where have you seen this?
  • 3 0
 @JohSch: thanks for the article
  • 5 15
flag ciechan FL (Oct 25, 2022 at 3:33) (Below Threshold)
 This is based on their religion beliefs (remember - it's a private, family run company). So is it better to discriminate one's sex or religion? I truly don't know, getting lost in this whole cancel culture.
  • 10 0
 @ciechan: They can still believe into whatever god they want, so they still have freedom of religion, and other people have the freedom to buy what they want or don't want.
  • 5 0
 Wow, didn't know this. I kinda feel bad for selling a lot of ABUS products over the years now. Won't be doing that anymore. Even though they do make good products.
  • 11 0
 @likehell: Freedom to believe whatever you want is one thing, but it does not give you freedom to opress others because they're not like you.
  • 4 0
 @megatryn: That's why I won't buy from them
  • 6 0
 I was considering buying an Abus helmet until I learned this a few months ago. Immediately turned it down.
  • 2 1
 @meditationman: certainly they will decline to promote this anti-woman company. Actually, they're more than just not misogynist, they understand that it's important to be ANTI-misogynist. It's something they've learned from in the past. I expect they'll put out a strong statement denouncing ABUS soon. Pinkbike has tons of integrity and totally does that "be the change you want to see" stuff!
  • 1 0
 @WheelNut: true. Let's hope it stays that way and China doesn't decide to act any worse than they already have... Gender equality doesn't seem to have landed in the country where until recently people did away with their daughters in order to get a son.
  • 2 0
 @TinuKu: it does
  • 1 0
 @Arierep: it is if there's just an accusation, but no definitive evidence besides edited Twitter videos. In this case though, that evidence is there.
  • 1 0
 @Mac1987: yes, fully agree.
But I would go as far to say that stop buying something even if only based on some accusation is not cancel culture. That's simply exercising your right of preference as a consumer. Cancel culture for me is actively firing or excluding someone based on dubious accusations.

In this context, rather than simply choose to buy something else, cancel culture would be trying to force the retailers to drop Abus
  • 3 0
 @Arierep: Or get MTB publications to stop carrying ad's from said company.
  • 1 0
 @subwaypanda: and donmt forget Skid Lids from the 80s as well
  • 3 0
 @Arierep: Along similar lines I've stopped buying chocolate from Läderach as I don't want my money supporting weird religious hate
  • 1 0
 Cool, should spice up the comment section.
  • 2 0
 @Mac1987: Abus helmets are made in China as well, so they combine it all Big Grin
  • 48 2
 This is me, and my choice, so not preaching here at all. But back in 2016 a buddy showed me how his convertible Bell saved his face on a chute crash on his local afternoon ride. After almost 30 years of half-shell, I got me one. Quickly stopped taking off the chin bar as it really didn't make it much hotter and I didn't want to futz with it while everyone else dropped in at the top. Then moved up to a TLD Stage. Totally fine, even in SoCal furnace riding. 2020 riding some fun black single track in central VT, a trail I knew well, a rock snagged my pedal and ejected me, Superman-style, face first into a tree at speed. Worst crash of my life. However, the chin bar, which was the first thing to impact, cracked and a small piece came off, but other than a couple of stitches in my lip and chin, I was none the worse for wear. Otherwise, I literally would have caved in my jaw. Life altering, or even life-ending injury as it would have taken many hours for S&R to get to me.

The other day, a buddy who I influenced into riding with a FF after that crash, rang his dome hard off a jump on some local trails. Needed S&R. Bad concussion, but thankfully all is well. And from the marks on his helmet (he can't remember anything past the lip of the jump), face impacted hard.

So like I'll never ride in some old car that just has lap belts, I'll never ride trail with a half-shell.
  • 8 0
 facts. i love my stage.
  • 11 2
 @mior: the stage is a poor sense of safety though. I’ve seen multiple stages crumble and split open horrifically. There have even been life altering head injuries in those helmets that could maybe have been lessened with an actual downhill helmet.

If you are jumping or riding sustained downhill perhaps an actual DH full face is warranted?
  • 3 0
 Similar feels here.

Now that breathable full face helmets are easy to find, I cannot see myself riding trail with a half shell.

Thankfully, I've not had a huge head impact story like yours (fingers crossed). But I've heard too many like that to ignore it (two acquaintances this year alone with huge concussions, and broken noses due to slamming face first).

At this point, I feel the $200-300 for a breathable full face is well worth the greatly reduced risk (and associated costs) of smashing out some teeth, a broken nose, or eating through a straw for a while due to a broken jaw. Or, at least it is to me now that I pay my own health care costs, and have to support the family.
  • 3 0
 @leviatanouroboro: i do beginner dh race. will get a true dh helmet soon.
  • 1 0
  • 12 0
 Truth be told we should probably all be riding breathable full faces a la Fox Proframe and the like. I still ride a half shell on trails but I can't argue against the alternative.
  • 7 0
 If I wore a fullface helmet for all my hometrails, I'd encounter even more problems with people going for walks in the woods.
  • 2 0
 @bashhard: Same issue here. Still wish there was a good convertible option.
  • 4 0
 @leviatanouroboro: I think that comes down to education on it's purpose. A Stage, or similar, should be used to ride pedal trails. As soon as you go to a DH park you should be in a proper full face. The amount of people I see in half shells on the mountains is crazy. The build difference between a Stage and a D3 should tell you all you need to know about what each helmet is used for.
  • 4 0
 I kept trying to convince my daughters to wear their full face helmets but it took riding with a friend who went otb in a parking lot and lost teeth to convince them! Now they always grab their full face helmets when we go ride.
  • 1 0
 @leviatanouroboro: depends on the type of riding. It's still infinitely better on trails where a full DH helmet is too hot and people would otherwise be riding without chin protection. There are ASTM certified helmets that have decent cooling though.
  • 1 0
 @ocnlogan: I'd love one myself, but after visiting several large shops in several countries and ordering and returning multiple different helmets, I've given up on finding a breathable fullface helmet for now, and am forced to choose between a cool halflid or hot fullface every ride.
  • 1 0
 @ocnlogan: I forgot to add the reason for my difficulty in finding a suitable breathable fullface helmet: none of them seemed to fit even remotely well. Really bummed about it.
  • 29 2
 Sorry Sweet and ABUS, it appears that the LEM is the only one that's "E-bike compatible"
  • 10 0
 Seriously what the hell is that even supposed to mean? Level 1 and 2, meaning it can withstand crashed up to their assist limit of 20mph? Lmao.
  • 15 1
 @chacou, that's referring to the fact that it meets the NTA 8776 requirements. It's a helmet testing standard developed in the Netherlands - there are numerous companies out there that are getting their helmets certified to that standard along with the other typical CPSC testing.

I haven't dug enough to find the full test standards, but there's some more info here: helmets.org/ebike.htm.
  • 3 9
flag Chuckolicious (Oct 24, 2022 at 11:37) (Below Threshold)
 @mikekazimer: Err... that doesn't really answer the question many of us seem to have. Can you elaborate?
  • 7 0
 What the people really need is e-bike compatible chamois. More padding for more time in the saddle.
  • 7 0
 @mikekazimer: As far as I can tell, this standard certifies helmets to withstand impacts up 28 mph. I'm sure you and most readers on this site regularly exceed 28mph while wearing a trail helmet.
  • 4 0
 @mikekazimer: Here in NL, that standard is required for speed-pedelecs, ebikes whose pedal assist modes are not limited to 25 km/h, but 40 km/h. Those bikes require the more stringent helmet tests, as well as a licence plate and insurance.
  • 3 2
 @pisgahgnar: I have never exceeded that on my road bike. Lie. I have never exceeded that on my mtb. Unsure but probs a lie.
Stupid pointless standard. I go faster down some hills in lycra than I do in my car or on the motorbike.
  • 3 0
 @ilovedust: Indeed bicycle helmet standards are pretty pointless for true high speed impacts. Think about it: if you're going faster on your leg&gravity-powered bike than on your motorbike, you should be wearing a more sturdy helmet than your motorcycle helmet to get equal amounts of protection.
The regular bicycle helmet tests are supposed to simulate an impact at 20 km/h. That's basically the speed your head reaches during a fall from a standstill.
  • 24 2
 ABUS no woman among the KG shareholders!
  • 15 2
 Because the owners are members of the Plymouth Brethren, a Christian religious sect.
  • 18 4
 Abus: The company's self-portrayal refers to the fact that the company's mission statement is shaped by Christian principles. The equal participation of female family members in the company is rejected. There is therefore no woman among the KG shareholders.

gotta love Christianity
  • 3 5
 *gotta love a very specific fundamentalist sect of Christianity

Fixed it for you.
  • 8 1
 @funkentratzen: well… that whole Adam & Eve story or man giving women their rib, these are rather sexist tales that the Christianity is based on. I’m not judging anyones beliefs here but you don’t have to look far back in history at any form of religion that celibates Christ to see the sexism increase, it’s popular culture, media and medicine that has gained more freedom for women but we are still so far from equality.
  • 11 1
 What exactly is an e-bike compatible helmet?
E-bike compatible riding socks next?…
  • 1 0
 Yea, I'd like an explanation for that too?
  • 4 0
 That's the first thing I check whenever I'm buying a helmet, don't you?
  • 3 0
 It's simple, ebike compatible helmet is a helmet which makes you look like a total bike noob, so your style is 100% consistent with your bike and clothes. The last thing you want is a cool looking helmet while wearing lycra and shredding gravel roads.
  • 3 0
 @MC13368, you can read about it here: helmets.org/ebike.htm. It's essentially a higher impact testing standard, similar to what's required for a helmet to become DH certified.
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer: Gotcha. Premise, especially for Class 1, still seems weird, but I understand now.
  • 6 0
 @mikekazimer: just in case that 60lbs porker lands on your head lol
  • 3 1
 @mikekazimer: Interesting. What it says there is that is for powered vehicles traveling at over 20mph. However, the typical (legal) mountainbikes with pedal assist are only powered up to 16mph. You can exceed that obviously, but then it is no longer powered. There are e-bikes that assist up to 25mph, but as far as I know these aren't of the mountainbike variety and require a license plate and all that. Not sure whether this was also mentioned on Pinkbike, but back when Dirt was in print (and I wasn't yet reading Pinkbike news) there was this insight that mx helmets were actually less safe than bicycle specific helmets for the kind of impact a cyclist is likely to see. Is this still valid? If so, there is no reason why a helmet with motorcycle-like protection would be safer for the e-biker. After all, they don't reach higher speeds. They may climb faster, but the highest speeds are obviously met at the descends and then the pedal assist doesn't matter. The ones who do scare me shitless are the road racers. If there are some who find themselves in conditions similar to motorcycles (in speed and obstacles) it are the road racers. Yet these seem to be happy enough with a very minimal helmet. If my post doesn't seem coherent it is because I'm confused as f*ck.
  • 1 0
 @vinay: AFAIK there is no separate standard for mountain bike helmets in the EU. There is a Downhill standard but it is American. EN 1078 is the European standard for bike helmets and it doesn't say anything about the type of biking you use the helmet for. A simplified description of the testing procedure is to drop the helmet onto the floor. It wasn't designed to take riding speed into account, the impact speed you need to test at is the speed your head would have when you topple over from a standstill.
The NTA standard referred to here is the one designed for high speed pedal-assist (45 km/h) bikes which in NL are officially classified as mopeds, including license plate and mandatory helmet use (remember that legally there is no obligation to wear a helmet on a leg-powered or 25 km/h assisted bicycle). This is also why there are no 45 km/h mountain e-bikes for sale. They wouldn't be allowed on the trails.
  • 8 1
 E bike compatibility in full = if your ebike falls on your head your skull wont be crushed like a kinder surprise
  • 1 0
 Excellent !
  • 1 0
 Sweet Protection seemed to do really well in the Virginia Tech labs. I’ve looked at Leatt helmets and the half shell I was interested in was down after 100. How rigorous are these certifications? Is there a broad range of protection among helmets that meet x cert or am I essentially choosing something with slightly better protection? Not sure I’m expecting an answer but maybe someone on here is a helmet engineer.
  • 2 0
 The helmet standards I've read define a testing procedure that the helmet must meet. Does it meet that minimum? Ok it gets the tick. Does it do better than another helmet? Still gets the tick but you don't know whether it's better.

VT testing is useful because it shows when a helmet does well on all their tests and scores low, or when a helmet does particularly poorly in one, or some of their tests (it'll score higher and get fewer stars).

It's worth considering that, as of now, all the first 98 helmets on Virginia tech bicycle are rated 5 star. According to VT's ranking system, all those helmets fall into the best category- at least 70% reduction in likelihood of concussion versus not wearing a helmet. The lower the helmet's score the better it's done on their tests.

FWIW I pick my helmets based on:

Fit (not many of those VT 5 star helmets fit me and only a few fit me well)
Is it certified? (Is my insurance and my race insurance cover OK with this helmet?)
Will I replace it when it's damaged / aged / overheated / chemically damaged? (can I afford to replace it when needed)
How high does it score on VT?
  • 3 0
 bushwacker, as worn in return of the jedi’s speedster chase thru the forest.
  • 3 0
 The Abus helmet sort of looks like a duck.
  • 6 0
 ....Hit by ABus
  • 10 2
 Hopefully a male duck? Everything else isn't ok by Abus own standards
  • 1 0
 I love the look of the Sweets helmet the others look like they don't come down the neck enough for my liking. Also the sand colour on that helmet looks soo sick.
  • 1 0
 That Sweet Protection helmet looks really hot. I have one of their arbitrators and it's hideously hot even with the chin guard off.
  • 1 1
 Sweet jayzus that Sweet Protection helmet is an ugly colour. Good thing it is available in 5 colours; even if I don't know what three of them mean.
  • 3 0
 Shit, I actually kind of like it and I like the way their helmets fit my head.
  • 1 0
 Whats wrong with Caterpillar Yellow (TM) lol
  • 1 0
 Baby poop
  • 4 0
 @kingbike2: Bro this hits hard with a 6 week old at home. Is that why I am drawn to the color?
  • 2 2
 Well seeing that we never wore helmets as kids and crashed all the time cause the bikes sucked a good half shell will do just fine
  • 7 0
 No offense, but could it be that your reasoning is affected by the hits your brain took as a kid?
  • 2 0
 for $150 I want my visor to look like its not an after thought
  • 1 0
 Bring back the Full Face!
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