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Pinkbike – Ridden & Rated: 8 Mid-Range Downhill Helmets including Leatt DBX 5.0

“It is possibly the coolest of the bunch.”

Pinkbike recently featured their favorite 8 mid-range downhill helmets and included our DBX 5.0 helmet.

“There’s a wide range of quality downhill full-face helmets on the market packed with features at a good price. There is also a lot of new technology aimed at reducing the effect of oblique (rotational) impacts being developed in order to keep us safer. As more is becoming known about the dangers of repeated concussions, this is most welcome. There are a plethora of different tests, safety standards, and theories that are still evolving, so we don’t go in-depth on that topic in this article. Instead, this is an observation of fit, feeling, and features – we suggest you visit each brand’s site to find more about their types of technology and how they could improve safety.

With so many newcomers, are the reliable favorites being surpassed? We’ve been testing a range of mid-level options from the main players as this is a reflection of the helmets most popular with consumers. The main difference with most products in this test compared to their more expensive brethren is they all forego the carbon shells of their top of the line counterparts for a small increase in weight, but most retain the same styling, technology and safety features.

Regardless of features, styling, and price, the number one most important factor with a helmet is fit. I must have a fairly ‘normal’ head shape as every helmet (except one) in medium size fitted really well. Head to your local bike shop to test for size and fit, and remember that the removable foam interior will compress slightly with use. Buying from your local shop can also make things easier if you choose a helmet with a crash replacement policy; sometimes you can go back to the shop and they will be able to hand over a new one, but if you buy online there could be a long process of posting the helmet back and forth,” they said.

 

“Leatt may have previously only been known for their neck braces, but for the past few years, they’ve been showing their hand in the helmet game. The DBX 5.0 is what they think a downhill helmet should be: incredibly protective without compromising on ventilation, even at low speeds. They’ve done this by using 360° Turbine technology, which is their chosen method of rotational impact protection, along with in-molded impact foam to reduce the overall size of the helmet, reducing the transfer of rotational forces to the head, neck, and brain. Other features include ‘Eject System’ compatibility, emergency release cheek pads and a breakaway visor.”

In a similar vein to the Kali Shiva, Leatt use an energy absorbing material that hardens on impact create low-speed absorption and rotational dissipation – ‘360º Turbine’ discs, in this case, claim to reduce up to 40% of rotational acceleration to the head and brain as well as reducing up to 30% of head impact at concussion level. Another similarity to Kali is the dual density foam molded together with tesselating pyramids to give progressive absorption and dissipation of incoming forces.

The Leatt DBX is the only helmet without mesh-covered vents as standard, but these can be added later as well as a ‘winter kit’ that can block the vents for cold days. It also has a nifty ‘Hidr8’ system allowing you to thread a hydration tube through the helmet and to your mouth. Both features suggest that this helmet is verging towards the enduro side of the spectrum over pure downhill, and this is proven when riding as it is possibly the coolest of the bunch. It’s also the only helmet here with a magnetic snap-on Fidlock buckle, which is the quickest and easiest type I have found to use, and also suggests it can be a good crossover lid for downhill and aggressive enduro – something like the Megavalanche, for example,” they concluded.

Pros

+ Turbine rotational system
+ Dual density foam construction
+ Best ventilation

Cons

– Most expensive in this test
– Polarizing looks

 

THE SPECS: 

Leatt DBX 5.0
• Material: fiberglass
• Rotational impact protection: 360 Turbine
• Buckle type: Fidlock magnetic
• Additional features: Breakaway visor, hydration ready (optional) and emergency cheek pad removal
• Colors: Ink, Ruby (2019 versions)
• Sizes: XS – XXL
• Weight: Large shell, medium liner – 1131 grams (actual)
• MSRP: $349USD / €349
• Crash replacement: No
• leatt.com

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