Added reply in a thread Forum Hot Seat - Dave Camp, RockShox Design Engineer 11/19/2015 3:46 PM

I have a lot of questions. 1) How many bike parts did you personally break this year? 2) Does the ground make any screaming noises when you unleash your DC Special cornering ability upon it? 3) In one sentence, what is your life's motto? 4) Describe

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Added a comment about product review Tested: 6D ATB-1 Full Face Helmet 11/12/2015 9:36 AM

Good ideas!

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This product_review has 13 comments.

Added a comment about product review Tested: 6D ATB-1 Full Face Helmet 11/12/2015 8:14 AM

Ha. You certainly may have your point...but again, unless you can have the exact same crash over and over again in a number of helmets any sort of "hey it really did its job better than XYZ" is completely subjective/useless.

I do agree that better lab results would be awesome though!

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This product_review has 13 comments.

Added a comment about product review Tested: 6D ATB-1 Full Face Helmet 11/12/2015 8:11 AM

"This statement is a little dangerous. Most helmets use an EPS liner, this only rebounds after the most minimal impacts, otherwise it undergoes permanent deformation - even if it can't be seen. That's the reason you should replace the helmet after a significant impact."

This is *absolutely* correct. I didn't mean to imply the helmet is still safe for use after a hit (even when no cracks/deformation are visible) I will amend my comment to reflect this.

I am taking the marketing as fact as it the testing was done by an independent lab (not 6D) though I realize this this can be skewed by picking/choosing what test results they reveal and what they simply don't post. If you read between the lines this is exactly why I was suggesting a better/new/more progressive testing standard.

I like the idea of Vital doing our own objective "lab style" tests with certain items. However, helmets are not one I'm comfortable with unless we can get a team of Neuroscientists to help conduct the tests (EG: Its not happening!). 3 guys rigging our own proprietary testing standards in a garage may work for something like brake pads but "homemade testing" and "brain safety" don't go together.

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This product_review has 13 comments.

Added a comment about product review Tested: 6D ATB-1 Full Face Helmet 11/11/2015 1:15 PM

Great question. I wouldn't say its "too stiff" especially with the speeds we are often carrying these days on the DH bike. However, I am saying its probably not going to work as well as the 6D with respect to lower speed impacts much like Aaron Gwin's fork is going to suck for mere mortals noodling around some singletrack.

Bad analogies aside, remember, most modern (conventional) helmets were designed to fail. If the helmet is dented, deformed, cracked etc in a crash it did its job (energy went to breaking/compressing the helmet not your head). If the helmet looks okay the only way it absorbed energy was through its padding and perhaps a bit of "temporary material deforming" (compresses other materials for a moment before they return to their original shape). This isn't to say the helmet does nothing in these situations, but again, according to 6D's independent lab testing, its not going to do as much as the 6D is able to do.

EDIT: I don't want to imply the 6D can take repeated impacts better or that if the helmet isn't visibly scarred its still "good to go". End of the day, if you take any crash on your head its time to look at a new helmet!!! Please be aware of this!!

EDIT X2: I didn't read the commenters question as though I should have. I was answering "6D ATB-1 vs Any DOT moto helmet" not "6D ATB-1 vs 6D moto helmet" The former is what I've answered. The latter remains something I'm not confident in answering but an excellent question.

This is a debate (DH vs moto helmet) that has gone on since I've started riding bikes.

Maybe a neurologist can chime in...

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This product_review has 13 comments.

Added reply in a thread 2016 Racing Rumours 10/27/2015 9:39 AM

Okay here is my best guess... In The Look for = On the hunt = CRC Nukeproof? Hole int he mountain = Canyon So this means Loic was talking with CRC and Canyon but somehow ended up with Specialized. Gwin starting his own team - sort of already was doing ... more »

Added reply in a thread How to fix Red Bull Rampage...IMO 10/23/2015 10:10 AM

Yeah, most of the FWT (big top level comps) are like that being they are so remote. Its a "watch the live feed only" kind of thing. Plus, with snow conditions often questionable, it'd be hard to put anyone this side of anchored in photogs/medics on the ... more »

Added a product review for 6D ATB-1 Full Face Helmet 10/23/2015 9:43 AM

Tested: 6D ATB-1 Full Face Helmet


The Good:

The Bad:


Review by Jeff Brines // Action photos by Matthew Doherty

When it comes to function, downhill-oriented mountain bike helmets have remained more or less the same over the last decade. Helmets have become better looking, helmets have become lighter and in some cases, such as inclusion of MIPS, helmets have become marginally better at protecting your head. But, for the most part, helmets haven’t changed too much. New comer to the mountain bike space, 6D, has launched their ATB-1 full face helmet, which aims to make a marked improvement when it comes to noggin floggin'. This is not a mail-order, re-branded generic helmet, but a uniquely designed and potentially game-changing dome protector with some very interesting proprietary technology.

As someone who almost had his riding “career” nearly halted decades earlier due to an “atypical concussion,” our tester was thrilled to see a company seek out a way for a helmet to absorb more energy. After learning more about their helmets, we started thinking “6D isn’t a helmet company, it’s a suspension company for your head.” What does 6D do different and how did it perform? Read on to find out…

ATB-1 Full Face Highlights

  • Patented ODS (Omni-Directional Suspension) Technology
  • SHELL – Advanced aerospace 3K CARBON FIBER
  • New PC Halo – Improves durability of inner EPS liner and overall performance
  • Air Flow Management – 10 intake ports, 13 transfer ports and 4 aggressive exhaust ports
  • Rear Delta-Vent– Aids heat transfer by scavenging air
  • SuperCool Comfort Liner – Genuine CoolMax anti-bacterial fabric exclusive to the ATB-1
  • Emergency Release Cheek Pads - With SuperCool foam
  • Shear-away Visor Screws
  • Roost Guard – Provides additional face protection
  • Clavicle Cut-Away – Provides increased clavicle clearance without sacrificing strength
  • Sternum Pad – Provides added protection of the chin, jaw and sternum in the event of an accident
  • Exceeds ASTM F-1952-10 and CPSC 16CRF 1203 standards
  • Weight: +/- 1,310 grams
  • 3-Year Limited Warranty
  • Crash Replacement / Rebuild Program
  • MSRP $649

6D offers full faced helmets for everything from street bikes to BMX. The materials they use and intended application changes model to model, but the company’s ODS Energy Management Technology is carried down throughout the their offerings.

ODS Energy Management Technology is the 6D special sauce which makes these helmets so unique. The basics are as follows: there are two separate liners within the helmet that are held together by 27 precisely placed elastic isolation dampers (think of the same spring within the RockShox Indy C). In the event of a crash, these elastomers are able to absorb more energy, regardless of impact speed, than a conventional foam liner. Additionally, the dampers are able to absorb impacts in a number of directions, something akin to what MIPS does, only on a much bigger scale. To put it another way, the helmet does offer “rotational float” in the event of a twisting crash, which most crashes involve, as well as blunt force impact.

The elastomers were designed in an hourglass shape to provide more of a progressive spring rate to be somewhat supple off the top with a ton of support at the bottom. What does this mean for your head? It means the helmet will be able absorb more energy in both small and big impacts alike, unlike more conventional helmets. Conventional helmets are more or less “tuned” to one impact speed, sort of like a really specific fork setup from 1995. Too soft a hit and the helmet acts like a rigid fork. Too hard a hit and the helmet acts like a kids fork. 6D's helmets, on the other hand, are able to differentiate between impact speed through utilization of these elastomers.

All this technology is great, but what does it translate to? The company’s website is littered with independent lab results comparing the 6D ATB-1 to the competition. Not surprisingly, the helmet is shown to do a better job absorbing energy in every type of crash. In some cases, the tests show the helmet has twice the ability to absorb energy compared others in the test. One thing seems clear, the helmet allows your brain to come to a “stop” over a longer period of time, thus reducing damage. It goes without saying, better you shear a helmet's elastomers than shear your brain’s axons.

Note: The helmet featured in this video is 6D's ATR-1, not the ATB-1, which utilizes the same ODS Tech.

6D's graph illustrating their TTP testing results. Time to peak (TTP) is the measurement of time (in milliseconds) it takes the energy of an impact to reach the maximum(peak) G force. Deceleration time is the single most beneficial component of reducing the severity and magnitude of anyimpact. The more time, the less severe the energy transfer will become.

A word on “standards” before we go any further. If you look at our Bell Feature MIPS review, you’ll note we did a little homework on helmet standards. The fact is, current helmet standards are pretty outdated and were designed an entire generation of neuroscience ago. What we're driving at is there is no “platinum” standard for helmet companies to strive for, just a "D-" grade they must achieve to be sold in the United States. Despite what you may have been told by the sales guy at the shop, not all helmets are the same when it comes to head protection, and for the most part, it's hard to tell objectively which are better than others. 6D’s independent testing is a start, but it’d sure be nice to see a non-profit entity comprised of passionate neuroscientists/engineers to provide a new standard all together. A "Michelin 5-star of helmets" kind of rating. We can dream, right?

On The Trail

Unlike Kidwoo, we do our best to not test helmets in real life. To be honest, any head bonk – helmet or not – is bad. To add, it'd be extremely anecdotal for us to comment on a crash and say whether or not the helmet did its job. Let that be for the lab. Thankfully, this helmet has not seen the wrong side of the trail yet. That said, we have put a number of days in the lid and can report a few findings.

First things first. The helmet's lines are clean, the graphics are fairly neutral and look enticing. That said, it is far more bulbous than the likes of the more conventional, svelte mountain bike helmets. It looks a lot more like a DOT-approved moto helmet than your typical DH-specific helmet, not that there is anything wrong with that. Do note, however, this helmet is not DOT approved. Either way, we're a form-follows-function kind of a point, of course. This helmet is bigger and there is a reason for that – the elastomers and better protection. Overall, we give this thing kudos in the looks department, though it may look a bit "funny" on smaller riders.

The helmet has a snug fit. Our tester measures 58cm (ahem, ladies, huge brain) which puts him in between a medium and large lid. Even with his George-Costanza-like-hair-loss (classic horseshoe pattern…probably only have 9 months), the medium fits snugly. So snug, we might have opted to go to a large for our tester's dome. We're not going to make the claim that if you are between sizes to “size up,” but we are suggesting you try this one on before pulling the trigger.

The good news is, even with our testers between-sized noggin and tight fit, the helmet was still fairly comfortable. Our guess is the padding will continue to pack out a bit as the helmet is worn more for an even better fit; sizing crisis averted.

Sizing woes aside, the helmet was fairly invisible once on our head. You aren’t going to fool yourself into thinking you are wearing some enduro hybrid lid, but we never felt the slight weight penalty over the competition (about 150 grams heavier than a D3) while doing proper DH laps. On that note – this is a DH helmet and is not meant to be a trail helmet with face protection. It can be carried and utilized as such but we wouldn’t suggest it, just as we wouldn’t suggest riding your DH steed on mellow singletrack.

Ventilation, however, is a different story. This helmet does not run super cool. Our tester was okay with that, being he lives in Jackson, WY, where he rarely see temps into the mid-80's. For desert dwellers, this will likely be a hot helmet – something akin to a full DOT moto helmet. When our tester was asked if he'd go a different direction, his answer was no. "Full face helmets are going to be hot. This is a true DH lid, not something you’ll wear on a trail ride. As long as it's utilized as it was intended, like ripping down a trail and taking it off for the ride back up, it does just fine when it comes to cooling."

Unfortunately, the biggest knock to the helmet is the design of the jaw/face protector, specifically the way it is ramped. Without utilizing a snowmobile style breath deflector, our goggles would fog at a stop and it felt as though we were breathing right in our own face, which is sort of a suffocating feeling. There may be a remedy to this, but it was annoying, especially while standing still after a big effort. At speed, it wasn’t as noticeable, especially while cruising, but, at sustained efforts it did continue to be a bit of a bother. Maybe we just need to huff and puff less!

Long Term Durability

If you konk your head hard, get a new helmet. The whole premise is that it's “designed to fail.” That said, the helmet is holding up to “normal use” very much to par. No complaints here.

Things That Could Be Improved

For this to be a 5-star product, the helmet’s mouthpiece needs to be revised to allow better “exhaust” while breathing. Second to that, the price is higher than anything out there, at $649. While we would argue that the increase in complexity does justify a price increase, this may be a bit much for a number of riders to stomach. Which is too bad, as the helmet maybe game changing and deserving of the 5-star rating, otherwise.

What's The Bottom Line?

You only have one brain. The 6D ATB-1 may arguably be the best preventative tool with respect to all types of brain injury, from large to small, on the market. While this may not be the most svelte or sexiest helmet out there, it’s the one we are going to grab anytime things get spicy. We applaud 6D for putting investment into developing a new technology to protect the most important part of your body. We look forward to seeing more objective testing regarding what could be the most significant piece of brain protection in the last 30 years.

Visit for more details.

About The Reviewer

Jeff Brines didn't go on a real date until he was nearly 20 years old, largely as a result of his borderline unhealthy obsession with bicycles. Although his infatuation with two wheels may have lead to stuttering and sweatiness around the opposite sex, it did provide for an ideal environment to quickly progress through the ranks of both gravity and cross-country racing. These days, Jeff races enduro at the pro level, rides upward of 150 days a year while logging over 325k of human powered ascending/descending on his bike. Bred as a racer, Jeff is more likely to look for the fastest way through a section as opposed to the most playful. Living in the shadow of the Tetons in Jackson, WY, Jeff works in financial intelligence and spends his winters as head ski gear guru and content manager over at

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Added reply in a thread How to fix Red Bull Rampage...IMO 10/22/2015 5:35 PM

Side side note - there was an article about PTSD and skiing somewhere I wanted to post. It sort of plays into this discussion. Will find in the AM. Reserving this as a spot for it!

Added reply in a thread How to fix Red Bull Rampage...IMO 10/22/2015 5:27 PM

Side note - one interesting thing to compare is how big mountain ski contests are judged. Any wrecklessness is heavily frowned upon. There are also "no fall zones" of every venue in which the skier is massively penalized for crashing (doing something ... more »

Added reply in a thread How to fix Red Bull Rampage...IMO 10/22/2015 4:59 PM

I have a different perspective on this as one of the few dudes who splits time equally between riding/racing bikes and big mountain/bc skiing. Both sports have a number of parallels. Unfortunately, unlike bikes, experienced athletes die skiing every ... more »

Liked a comment on the item FOX Buys "Certain Assets" of Marzocchi MTB 10/19/2015 2:34 PM

Kashima Super Monster with 40mm stanchions?

Liked a comment on the item Opinion: When Does Risk Outweigh the Reward? How Red Bull Rampage Changed Our Perspective 10/19/2015 9:47 AM

Agreed with most written aside from the insurance bit. The Rampage falls under the FMB Tour, in which riders cannot compete without insurance. In no other sport, action or otherwise, is an event's title sponsor responsible for providing insurance to the...more

Added a comment to Sugar_Glider's bike check 10/8/2015 2:27 PM

bad joke fail. Hands. Big Hands. Chicks. Sigh. nevermind

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This setup has 5 comments.

Added a comment to Sugar_Glider's bike check 10/8/2015 1:58 PM

That's what she said.

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This setup has 5 comments.

Added reply in a thread 2016 Racing Rumours 9/24/2015 4:37 PM

If you really want to debate that I say rally is what made Audi a formidable automotive brand. Prior to Group B I think most people in Europe thought Audis were washing machines. Ha. Automotive brands race for a lot of reasons. Recognition being one, ... more »

Added reply in a thread 2016 Racing Rumours 9/24/2015 2:30 PM

You must work at really cool bike shops in really cool places. Besides myself and a handful of others where I live, nobody even knows what bike Gwin is on...or even who he is. They certainly aren't buying bikes because of it. I love racing. I want to ... more »

Added reply in a thread 2016 Racing Rumours 9/24/2015 9:14 AM

Formula 1 vs Rally (in the 80s)

Added reply in a thread 2016 Racing Rumours 9/24/2015 7:59 AM

I'm not knocking the Athertons. They are all talented and have a big impact in the sport. My point is more to the effect that you don't get the sort of splash now that you got earlier with them. When they were signed, GT had some pretty awful bikes. ... more »

Added reply in a thread 2016 Racing Rumours 9/23/2015 1:05 PM

WC racing is awesome and with the right racers it certainly brings attention the brand. I'm just not convinced the Athertons are the best fit for the brand. My $0.02. Having spent time around Martin, I can say he's a true pro and barely 18. He is the ... more »