•Awesome construction quality
•Dialed fit that worked for all testers
•Added protection without sacrificing ventilation
•Bigger than most helmets in this category
•Doesn’t work with all eyewear
Bigger protection in a trail-friendly package
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.
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. ❏