World’s Safest Bike Helmet? New Tech Says Yes

Two EPS foam shells sandwiched around a matrix of 27 pliant, hourglass-shaped buffers are the key to a ‘revolutionary’ new design for cycling that could mark the future of all helmet technology.

6D lead

California-based helmet manufacturer 6D has announced its ATB-1T, which employs two layers of hard shell protection, supported by numerous energy-absorbing dampeners that compress and sheer during impacts to disperse energy.

The ATB-1T is the latest in a line of omni-directional suspension (ODS) equipped motorcycle and downhill-biking helmets that have already been available for years. The trail helmet marks the company’s first foray into the broader cycling market, and it’s the first iteration without full-face protection.

The design allows the outer helmet to “float” around the inner shell; both inhibiting the transfer of energy to the head and deflecting angular impacts – widely believed to be most responsible for concussions – to prevent damage from rotational forces.

6D body

6D showcased the ATB-1T at the Sea Otter Classic event in Monterey, Calif., earlier this month.

While numerous helmet manufacturers have struggled with a design that reliably prevents concussions, the technology in the ATB-1T is intriguing. The NFL awarded 6D and the ODS model a $250,000 grant for further development and study of the helmet’s efficacy.

The ATB-1T exceeds Consumer Product Safety standards and retails at $270. Expensive for sure, but worth the cost if it can help prevent brain injury in a crash.

Adam Ruggiero

Adam Ruggiero is the Editor In Chief of GearJunkie.

Adam has been covering daily news and writing about cycling, camping, hiking, and gear of all kinds for 15+ years. Prior to that, Adam lived in Hawaii and Puerto Rico, at which time he realized he’d never have a “normal job.” His pastimes — farming, bike racing, and fitness — provided a gateway to all manner of physical challenges and recreation outdoors.

Based in Kansas City, MO, Adam tests as much gear as he can get his hands, feet (and dog) into each and every day. As editor in chief, he works to maintain GearJunkie’s voice, style, and commitment to accurate and expert reporting across every category.