There's been an increasing demand for helmets equipped with concussion reduction technology, and there has historically been one option for that technology â MIPS. MIPS seemingly took the bicycle helmet industry by storm a few years back, but we now have a new player producing some amazing helmets. 6D has been manufacturing helmets used in motocross and BMX for a while, and has finally ventured into mountain bike with the ATB-1T. This helmet uses a system they are calling ODS, or Omni-Directional Suspension. It's similar to MIPS, but it's executed a bit differently. The system basically creates a ball-in-socket from the inner and outer shell, with 27 elastic isolation dampers connecting the two EPS Foam layers. The benefit is that it cuts down on rotational forces like MIPS, but unlike MIPS, I've never noticed any noise or rattling from the ATB-1T.
One of the first things you notice about the helmet is the weight. It is heavier than my Bell Super 2 MIPS that I had been riding prior. However, once the helmet is on your head, the weight is less noticeable, mostly due to a fantastic retention system. The buckle is a nice touch as well. It's a magnetic system called Fidlock that automatically locks together, and allows for quick, one-handed connection of the buckle.
I find that a warm day is best when getting a feel for a new helmet, since it allows one to experience the ventilation and wicking performance. Luckily I was able to give the helmet a solid shake down in approximately 75-degree weather on exposed, sunny trails. The padding does a good job of wicking the sweat away from the eyes, and while it has fewer vents than my Bell Super, my head didn't feel any warmer in the ATB-1T. The added weight of the helmet disappeared as I was riding, whether I was climbing or descending.
Comparing this helmet to the Super 2, the difference is definitely noticeable. Weight aside, the 6D is a larger helmet, overall. I currently own a large Super 2, and the 6D is a M/L, which puts me at the top end of the size range. I wouldn't want to size up to the XL/XXL due to the increased size of the shell on the 6D.
Although I appreciate the added protection, one of my biggest complaints about MIPS helmets has been the noise. Noise is not something that one usually thinks about when it comes to a helmet, but after riding a POC Trabec Race MIPS and the Super MIPS, I have found that the plastic MIPS layer can rub against the inside of the helmet, which creates a distracting squeak while riding. The 6D has not developed any noise in the few weeks I have been riding it, and is far more comfortable on my head. After spending the early season in the ATB-1T, my take is that this helmet would be a great option for someone looking for a comfortable, well-ventilated helmet that provides maximum protection when you're on the trail.