08 May 6D ATB-1T: It’s got you covered – Mountain Bike Action Magazine
6D ATB-1T: It’s got you covered – Mountain Bike Action Magazine
6D is known for building helmets that buck the idea that EPS foam is the best solution for preventing concussions and injury on the bike. They’ve been building helmets for motorcycle and downhill riders for many years with their patented ODS system, one that’s designed to not only help with big impacts, but also the small ones that we’re now discovering can cause irreversible damage in the form of repetitive concussions. The ATB-1T takes this technology and puts it into a 3/4-shell helmet that’s built for trail riders instead of downhillers or Supercross junkies.
Tech Features: The 6D Omni-Directional Suspension system seeks to reduce the energy of both low-speed and rotational impact forces. This system uses a series of hourglass-shaped rubber bumpers placed between two separate layers of EPS foam. These elastomeric isolation dampers provide a progressive rate at which the helmet compresses. In the event of a small or mid-size impact, the dampers activate before the rest of the EPS foam does, making it possible to displace energy at a much lower threshold than with the foam alone. Thanks to the hourglass shape of these bumpers, they also allow the outer layer to float relative to the inner layer. The technology is only available on 6D helmets. The 6D ATB-1 has been available since last spring in their larger helmets and is now available in this trail version.
Bottom line, we’d be hard pressed to say that we’d want any other technology than this protecting our head.
The ATB-1T helmet features a polycarbonate shell with a two- stage shell design that houses the ODS bumpers. The helmet has 15 vents to direct airflow over your head and keep you cool. The helmet also features an adjustable retention system to dial in your fit, and visor screws that will shear away in the event of a crash. The straps are very adjustable and feature a unique magnetic closure system that’s designed to be easy to use and quicker than a typical buckle. The ATB-1T is available in six different color schemes, tips the scales at 491 grams and sells for $270.
Field test results: If we could describe the 6D ATB-1T in one thought, it would be “big protection.” The helmet has a seriously engineered feel that makes you feel safer on the trail. In fact, when you take the helmet off and feel the cushion between the two layers of EPS foam, the ones that are separated by the ODS bumpers, you can see and feel the added movement this helmet is allowed in the event of a crash to save your brain. Bottom line, we’d be hard pressed to say that we’d want any other technology than this protecting our head.
The helmet itself is reasonably well-ventilated and kept us cool on our SoCal test-riding sessions even on the warmest days. The ATB-1 worked well with our goggle setups when we went “full enduro.” While not every pair of riding glasses we tried mated well with it, we were able to find several pairs that worked quite comfortably. As an added bonus, that magnetic closure on the chin-strap makes the ATB-1T quick to use, and adds a bit of technology “cool factor” to the package.
Our only critique of the 6D ATB-1T is its sheer size. The ODS system needs an entirely separate EPS foam shell to work properly. As such, this is probably the biggest helmet we’ve ever tested. Most of that extra space is made of air, so the helmet is not bulky-feeling or heavy. However, if you catch a glimpse of yourself in the reflection of a riding buddy’s glasses, you might think it looks bigger than you’re used to. That said, though, if you’re a slave to fashion to the point where you’re willing to risk a head injury, we probably don’t want to ride with you anyway.
The ATB-1T is a dialed-feeling product that has a great on-the-trail feel. The adjustments are spot-on and work well. It also ventilates well and is compatible with nearly any glass or goggle combo we tried with it. While we’ve (thankfully) yet to test the ODS system in a crash, we will say that the extra girth it gives the helmet is probably worth the extra protection