What makes a really nice mountain bike helmet? Job number one should be safety. Two, it should fit well. Three, it should have good features. And four, it should look awesome. The new Leatt DBX 3.0 AM ticks all of those boxes.
Leatt DBX 3.0 AM Features
Leatt includes some unique and awesome features in the DBX 3.0 all mountain helmet. I’ll tick them off, starting with the things that add safety.
First and foremost, Leatt puts their proprietary 360° Turbine technology in the helmet. These little circular doohickeys are made out of Armourgel, an energy-absorbing material. They serve a dual purpose. The Amourgel itself absorbs impact energy, reducing the forces your brain experiences in a crash by up to 30%. The shape of the 360° Turbines also allow lateral deformation, which can reduce sheer forces by up to 40%. This is a huge feature.
(To be clear, Leatt is not the only helmet company that uses Armourgel for impact absorption. Kali Protectives uses the same material, in a slightly different configuration, in their Interceptor helmet.)
Leatt uses the normal in-mold shell over an expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam base. They use 3D molding that reduces foam thickness where possible. It makes for a low-profile lid.
The DBX 3.0 AM also features a FidLock buckle for easy, one-handed closing. Inner padding is comfortable and treated with zinc pyrithion for odor control. It’s also removable and machine washable. Eighteen vents make for decent air movement. And, typical of all helmets, there’s an adjustment dial on the back to fine-tune fit.
The visor breaks away in a crash, but stays in place when you want it to. The pivots and retention mechanism are replaceable, so you can reattach the visor after you faceplant. And, the helmet comes with spares, so you don’t have to wait for the brown-shorts fella to arrive to keep riding. (Although, if you crash hard enough to break the visor away, you may want to inspect the helmet and consider replacing it.)
Leatt DBX 3.0 AM Review
I’m really digging this helmet. It has a few quirks that I thought would cause trouble. Those quirks ended up being invisible, so to speak, once I started riding with it. I’ve had it out on trails for both short and long rides, up to a max of just over three hours (moving time), in weather ranging from pleasantly cool to scorching hot and sunny.
First, I love how low-profile the helmet is. I was just about at the limit of a medium helmet. The 360° Turbines fit directly on my head without any extra space. I was able to crank down the adjustment dial a bit to get everything snug, all around. The adjustment dial is comfortable and doesn’t cut into the back of my neck like some others have.
Coverage is great. Leatt designed the DBX 3.0 all mountain to come down over the occipital bone without adding so much material as to make the helmet clunky. You can see where they shaved down some unnecessary foam thickness on the rear of the helmet
Leatt has an interesting strap system – only the rear strap is adjustable. The fronts are fixed. This caused some interference with my earlobes because the front straps were too short for the y-sliders to drop under my ears. During a ride, however, I simply stuck my lobes inside the straps and didn’t notice any discomfort.
What I did notice, however, is that there’s a tiny little peak at the front, center of the helmet. It ends up focusing any sweat that makes it into the shell into a single point, which can drip down onto the outside of your sunglasses.
Speaking of sunglasses, there isn’t really a spot to stash them on the DBX 3.0 AM. The vents just aren’t located well for that purpose. If you have a decent pack, you should have a pocket for them. But, it’s nice to have a place to stick them temporarily when you’re stopping to fix a flat or tighten a bolt.
DBX 3.0 AM Specs
Leatt makes the DBX 3.0 AM in three sizes. Small fits 51-55cm – 20 5⁄64 – 21 21⁄32″, medium fits 55-59cm – 21 21⁄32- 23 15⁄64″, and large fits 59-63cm – 23 15⁄64- 24 51⁄64″. Each is EN1078 and CPSC 1203 certified. You can find the actual certification results at each of those links. Leatt specs the helmet at 375g, +/- 50g, which isn’t heavy, but isn’t light either. MSRP is $169.
Leatt put together a nice all-mountain/enduro helmet. It’s comfortable and has some innovative safety features not found in any other product. It’s not quite perfect, but I’d rock it any day of the week and twice on Saturdays. The Armourgel 360° Turbines are, in my opinion, better than MIPS because they serve the dual purpose of reducing sheer and absorbing force. I rate the Leatt DBX 3.0 AM a solid buy.