A New Spin on Helmet Protection
Helmet manufacturer 6D has produced a new concept in Trail Helmet protection, ODS (Omni-directional suspension)
safety that gives you more than the MIPS (Multi-directional Impact Protection System)
now offered on selected road bike helmets. Although now geared for trail (mountain bikes and dirt cycling), it's important to be aware of the technology because it may be the wave of the future for all cycling helmets. This article is based on several review and it should be pointed out that, as of this date, there are yet to be independent studies from U.S Consumer Product Safety Lab or Consumer Reports
. Bearing this in mind, let's have a look at the technology and what the manufacturer has to say about safety.
Our understanding of the helmet impact has evolved over the years from ideas of direct impact in cycling crashes (used extensively and exclusively by U.S Consumer Product Safety Lab) to an understanding of rotational impact (another likely source of head trauma) incorporated into the new MIPS helmets
. Now 6D manufacturing comes to cycling from a motorcycle background and is bringing its technology to mountain bikes. In an impact, energy transfer happens extremely fast, on the order of just a few milliseconds after initial impact. The peak forces created can put a rider at risk of a serious brain injury, even if the helmet protects skull integrity. The goal of the 6D helmet is to spread the energy transfer of a crash over as long a period as possible to reduce the severity of those peaks.
The key difference between the MIPS and ODS is that MIPS addresses rotational energy only; impact forces are handled solely by the EPS foam. 6D's ODS system handles rotational energy and linear impact energy. The 6D helmet has two inner movable liners separated by elastomers. One for rotation as in the MIPS and another with the elastomers for both compression and twist of a direct impact.