Leatt DBX 3.0 All-Mountain Helmet – First Look – Sea Otter 2017:
Leatt may be best known for their neck braces, an item that the founder originally created after seeing the issues with neck injuries in cycling disciplines, but over more recent years the brand has quickly updated their range to include a range of protection for riders. The brand’s most recent release? Their third helmet. Having already developed both a DH and “enduro” helmet (a helmet with a removable chin guard, which the brand dubs as their enduro helmet) they felt it time to have a trail/all-mountain specific helmet in the line. Enter the DBX 3.0 All-Mountain.
Leatt DBX 3.0 trail helmet.
The helmets exhaust vents at the rear.
The helmet features a total of 14 vents.
For Leatt, protection of the head and brain is of the utmost importance. They say that their focus when developing a helmet is not only to minimize the effects of head impacts (like every other helmet out there) but equally important is reducing the momentum of the brain during an impact. To do this the brand has developed what they call 360 ̊ Turbine Technology. For those that have been paying attention to Leatt, you already know that this is not something new given that they run this throughout the other two helmets already in the line, but for those that aren’t aware, a quick summary.
The 360 ̊ Turbine Technology is a system of little, rubber-like donuts strategically placed throughout the inners of the helmet. These turbines are manufactured with a material that Leatt sourced called, Armourgel. Armourgel has some pretty impressive properties, one of which is that 4mm of it is claimed to be able to stop a .22-caliber air gun pellet (though we weren’t able to get a distance on that stat). In the helmet the material acts and an energy buffer, while the rotational properties of the turbines reduce the stress on the head from rotational forces during an accident. The Turbines are constructed of roughly 4mm thick pieces of the material, and the brand also utilizes 6mm thick pieces over the knuckle of some of their gloves, noting that the material’s flexible properties work well for such placements. In the event of a crash, the 360 ̊ Turbine Technology is claimed to provide a 40% reduction in rotational forces and a 30% reduction of head impact at concussion level.
Leatt's 360 Turbine Technology "donuts" placed throughout the helmet
Additionally, Leatt found that the size of the helmet greatly affects the rotational forces in the event of a crash. They note that a 10% decrease in the size of a helmet shell (material between the head and the outermost portion) can translate up to a 10% decline in rotational forces. Rather than simply adding more material in an attempt to increase impact resistance, the brand instead focused on finding a balance between this and rotational effects. The result is a helmet that they claim to be of the same safety level as the 6D but in an overall smaller package.
With minimizing rotational stresses in an accident being a key component of helmet safety for Leatt, they also designed the visor to break away during an impact by using attachment bolts that shear during such an event. They also provide an extra set of three so that riders can mount their visor correctly in the event that they have a good enough spill to break the visor off. On the topic of extra bits, Leatt also provides extra sections of the Comfort Liner material used in the helmet, for any customizations required to get a better fit. The Comfort Liner is a washable, anti-odor and antimicrobial material.
The visor bolts male and female hex pieces for easier removal of a broken bolt
The helmet is priced at $169.99 USD and the brand pits it against the TLD A2 for the price but notes that the safety level of their helmet is comparable to the standards of the 6D ATB-1T, though for a considerable amount less money. It’s available in five colors: Orange/Teal, Black, Blue, Green, and Grey/Teal. It also features a Fidlock magnetic closure system, contains 18 vents and is available in either, small, medium or large sizes that fit a range of head sizes thanks to the ratcheting retention system. They also noted that the large size goes up to 63cm, which Leatt claim most size large helmets cap out around the 61cm mark.
The dial for the helmet retention is big and clear of obstruction
The inside of the cranium support for the DBX 3.0 helmet retention system
How the helmet's retention system wraps around to the front of the helmet.
The Fidlock magnetic closure system strapped up
The helmet features the Fidlock magnetic closure system.
The helmet passes both CPSC and EN-1078 safety standards and Leatt makes these documents (called “whitepapers”) available for the public to see, on their website. If you’re interested in finding out more about the tests make sure that you check those out.
Leatt also had their new gloves on display. The line features a pretty common, super slim looking palm in most, and many double up with a thin, minimal layer on top, which should be good for riding in warmer climates. The interesting thing, however, is their use of Armourgel over the knuckles, adding potential protection to that part of the hand without the stiff bulk of some other methods used to create knuckle protection.
Leatt's growing glove range was also on display.
The Leatt DBX 4.0 Lite glove and its Armourgel knuckles
A lot of their bike gloves have very minimal material in the palms, regardless of how much protection there is on the knuckles and hand.
Leatt Glove range with "Armourgel" knuckles.