6D ATS-1 helmet: a helmet breakthrough? In our time?

6D ATS-1 helmet: a helmet breakthrough? In our time?

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The guys over at 6D helmets have dubbed the technology Omni-Directional Suspension (ODS). The concept is simple: Two layers of typical, helmet-grade expanded polystyrene (EPS) are connected with rubber “isolation dampers” that can compress and stretch. This allows for low-energy impacts to be absorbed by a softer cushion, and it means the inner EPS can rotate to soak up shear forces–in the likely event that the blow to the helmet is not completely direct. (Further explanation of the technology, as well as videos of testing the helmets, can be found at 6dhelmets.com.)

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The team at 6D has conducted loads of testing and even turned the data over to a graduate student writing a thesis on head impacts, all to high acclaim. Practically, 6D’s ODS technology has been in use by Motocross, Supercross, and off-road riders in growing numbers. This new ATS-1 streethelmet is simply an adaptation of the technology in road-going form, including a three-year warranty, Pinlock shield, washable liner, and so on. If there’s any bad news, it’s that assembly of the 6D helmets is more laborious than standard lids, which puts pricing at $895 for the ATS-1 (dirt helmets are slightly cheaper). The theory behind ODS protection seems to have universal potential for head impacts, from football, to construction, to military, but luckily the team at 6D are motorcyclists and think we two-wheelers need it most. Thanks, guys!

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