Sea Otter 2016: 6D Helmets

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Rotational forces on your head are bad, m’kay? Crash impacts tend to have both an impact force on your head and often a rotational force, as you bounce your head down the trail. This rotational force can’t be reduced by the EPS helmet foam that will protect you from impacts and can cause brain damage as the brain sloshes around in your skull.

This movement is what MIPS helmets are designed to reduct, though it’s not the only way of doing it. A relatively new company, 6D helmets has a different way of going about it. It calls it ODS – Omni Directional Suspension.

Instead of having a plastic shell next to your head that can move within the helmet (that can be hot and a little unyielding) its helmets feature two, thinner, EPS foam layers that are separated by a matrix of little rubbery dots. This allows the two layers of foam to move against each other and slow your head – and therefore brain’s – rotation.


The system adds a little extra volume to the helmet, (and about 100g to the weight) but due to running two thinner shells, it’s not actually that much. The two layers are clearly visible and a squidge around can show you how they can move against each other. The helmet weighs in at 480g, which is on the chunky side for an all mountain lid.

Black and blue – hopefully not



6d helmets, ods, sea otter 2016, mips, mountain bike,
The 6D All Mountain helmet looks pretty swish, with little added volume


6d helmets, ods, sea otter 2016, mips, mountain bike,
And here in orange


6d helmets, ods, sea otter 2016, mips, mountain bike,
Visible here are the two thin layers of EPS foam

The helmets are just being released about now and will be available in the UK through Decade Distribution. US price is $269.99.

Chipps Chippendale

Singletrackworld's Editor At Large

With 23 years as Editor of Singletrack World Magazine, Chipps is the longest-running mountain bike magazine editor in the world. He started in the bike trade in 1990 and became a full time mountain bike journalist at the start of 1994. Over the last 30 years as a bike writer and photographer, he has seen mountain bike culture flourish, strengthen and diversify and bike technology go from rigid steel frames to fully suspended carbon fibre (and sometimes back to rigid steel as well.)

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