Leatt DBX 6.0 Helmet - Review from Pinkbike.com:
Leatt first made their mark in the mountain bike world six years ago with the introduction of their DBX neck brace, which was based on the protective gear they first designed for motocross racers. In the ensuing years the South African company has continued to expand their lineup, adding in everything from knee pads to riding apparel.
The DBX 6.0 is their high-end full-face helmet, packed full of features like a carbon shell, Leatt's 360° Turbine Technology, and generous venting. Available in sizes XS-XXL, the DBX 6.0 retails for $499.00 USD.
Leatt DBX 6.0 Helmet Details
• Carbon fiber shell
• 360° Turbine Technology
• Removable liner and cheek pads
• EN1078; US CPSC; ASTM F1952–10 Certified
• Sizes: XS, S, M, L, XL
• 8 color options (chrome adds $50)
• Weight: 1030 grams (size M)
• MSRP: $499 USD
There's still a lot we don't know about brain injuries, but in recent years the dangers of withstanding multiple concussions have become increasingly clear, and more and more helmet manufacturers are trying new technologies in an effort to reduce the amount of force that reaches the brain during a crash.
With the DBX 6.0, the carbon fiber shell itself was designed to have a low profile shape, which Leatt says helps reduce the rotational force that reaches the head and brain. The visor is mounted with three plastic screws that are designed to break during a crash, releasing the visor and reducing the chance that it will hang up and put additional strain on the head and neck. Underneath the carbon shell are two layers of foam, each with a different density. A V-shaped pattern allows the two pieces of foam to lock together, forming a cohesive protective layer. By using two layers, Leatt says they are able to create a thinner, stiffer, and more impact absorbent layer compared to the traditional method of using one density of EPS foam.
Next, eleven Armourgel discs are attached to the foam, which Leatt calls “360° Turbine Technology.” Commonly used in knee and elbow guards, Armourgel is a viscoelastic material that's pliable until an impact occurs, at which point it immediately hardens. That transformation serves to reduce the force of an impact, and according to Leatt those blue discs also reduce the amount of rotational acceleration that occurs during a crash.
As always, when it comes to helmets, fit will vary from rider to rider depending on head shape, and whether your skull is shaped like a watermelon or a bowling ball, it's best to try a helmet on in person to ensure the optimum fit. I have more of an oval shaped head, and while the DBX 6.0 fit well around the top of my skull, it was a little looser around my upper cheek bones than I would have preferred – slightly thicker cheek pads would have helped. Conversely, the actual opening of the helmet seemed a little smaller than it needed to be, and it tended to yank on my ears when I took it off. Granted, I do have big ears, so this might not be the same for everyone. Otherwise, the helmet was very comfortable, with a nice cushy liner, and even with all of those Armourgel discs in place there weren't any odd pressure points. If anything, those discs added comfort by putting a compliant layer of rubber between my head and the foam liner.
As far as ventilation goes, the vents located just above the forehead are relatively small, but luckily the larger openings closer to the rear of the helmet take up the slack by giving hot air plenty of room to escape. I never felt uncomfortably warm even during the height of summer, when temperatures were sitting in the upper 80s / low 90s (28-34° C). Regarding goggles, I found that the DBX 6.0 worked best with lower profile frames, something along the lines of the Smith Squad. Models with larger frames or thicker foam, like the Spy Optic or Giro Blok didn't fit as well, and it felt like they were filling the entire face opening.
Leatt recently announced an updated version of the DBX 6.0, the DBX 6.0 Carb V23. The name may not exactly roll off the tongue, but the new version receives larger vents at the front of the chin bar, a revised visor shape, less busy graphics, and a Fidlock magnetic buckle instead of the D-ring design. The shell design and the other features remain unchanged, but the slight revision does help to make the helmet look even more appealing.
Pinkbike's Take: There's no shortage of options these days when it comes to high end full face helmets, and that's a good thing. I had a few little issues with the fit, but that's a matter of head shape more than anything, and otherwise the DBX 6.0 meets all the criteria for a helmet of this caliber - carbon shell, light weight, well ventilated - and goes a step further with the use of multi-density foam and the 360-degree Turbine Technology. It's pricey, but if there's one thing worth investing in, it's keeping your head safe. - Mike Kazimer