Crammed with technologies that we've never seen before, the 6D ATB-1 is the most advanced and downright safest open-face helmet on the market to date. The question is, are you brave enough to wear one?
The not-so-minor details
6D ATB-1T Helmet
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New, intelligent technology.
A little warm.
Styling and size won't appeal to all.
So what is this thing again? And how is it safer than my regular helmet?
We went into the technology in detail in our first impressions piece, and it makes for some interesting reading, so we do suggest you take a look.
Here’s the nutshell version. The 6D helmet is constructed using two shells of different densities (harder outside, softer inside) which are separated by 6D’s Omni Directional Suspension system. This suspension allows the two shells a degree of independence from each other. It’s all about reducing the transfer of energy to your head and brain at the moment of impact, in a way that a conventional helmet, even those equipped with MIPS, simply cannot match.
6D deserve to be applauded for really re-thinking helmets to find new levels of impact protection.
The basic concepts of helmet construction haven’t really evolved in a couple of decades, and 6D deserve to be applauded for really re-thinking helmets to find new levels of impact protection.
I’m self-conscious. Should I get this helmet?
Well sorry, but you’re going to get noticed wearing this one! Maybe it’s because we opted for the brightest colour in the range, but the 6D does look considerably bigger than most helmets, including the larger ‘extended coverage’ lids out there.
At various stages we were told we looked like a toadstool or that we had a pumpkin on our head. Lucky we’re thick skinned, and you should be too, knowing that your brain is being well looked after.
Do you feel safer in this lid?
Perhaps unsurprisingly, yes, we did. Interestingly, we found ourselves consciously reaching for this helmet instead of our usual lid on a number of occasions, especially when we were heading to more technical trails, and particularly when we were going riding on our own.
How about the fit and feel?
We really like the quality feel of the magnetic clasp on the chin strap, and the fact the strap is padded too (why don’t more helmets do this?). The retention system had no problems keeping the helmet nice and secure, but without any obvious pressure points.
Even though the 6D weighs around 200g more than many open-face helmets, you’re never conscious of this, and the helmet doesn’t shift around, even on the roughest trails. You’d be surprised how many helmets fail terribly in this department – we’ve used plenty that are just about covering your eyeballs by the bottom of some of the rougher trails around Flow HQ!
The adjustable visor is easily bumped out of position – the plastic screws which secure it can’t be done up very tight, or they begin to round out. It’d be good to see this revised.
A little hot?
The only compromise we noted with using this helmet over our usual lids, was airflow. With the double shells and comparatively small number of vents, there’s not as much air getting to your melon. In summer, this will definitely be a warmer lid than many others.
Does it work?
Sorry team, as much as we’re dedicated to the cause, we didn’t crash onto our melons in the name of product testing this time around. So we can’t give you an honest answer in that regard. But the theory and testing data that 6D have made available makes a lot of sense.
Anything that makes mountain biking safer, but without overly impinging on your riding, gets a big tick from us.
Would you recommend it?
Anything that makes mountain biking safer, but without overly impinging on your riding, gets a big tick from us. And the 6D ATB helmet definitely delivers in that regard, bringing you more protection with very few downsides other than a little bit less airflow.
Whether or not you like the styling, well that’s a personal choice, but we’d suggest you’ve got your priorities a bit muddled if that’s the only thing stopping you from considering this helmet!