As a company founded on the premise of providing top-performing safety equipment, initially with its ground-breaking neck brace, it came as no surprise when Leatt branched out into other areas of protection in 2014.
Now with a comprehensive range of protection and clothing, has Leatt managed to successfully apply its company ethos of keeping thrill-seekers safe to its line of lids?
The odds are stacked in its favour, so I tested the most affordable lid in the range, the DBX 1.0 AM, to find out.
Leatt DBX 1.0 AM helmet details
Even though the DBX 1.0 is Leatt’s cheapest lid it still comes with its 360-degree Turbine Technology – Leatt’s answer to MIPS, which is claimed to reduce up to 40 per cent of rotational acceleration forces into the head and brain.
The peak is height adjustable and should break away in an impact, to further reduce transferred rotational forces in a crash.
It’s got a ratchet fit adjustment system and the cradle is also vertically adjustable. There are 14 vents with internal channelling to help improve air inside the helmet.
The shell is made in three sizes with in-moulded EPS foam for impact protection and an exterior hard shell to protect the lid from damage.
The pads are moisture-wicking, breathable, washable and anti-odour. The chin strap is fastened using a standard buckle and the strap dividers are height adjustable and lock in position.
Leatt DBX 1.0 AM helmet performance
The DBX 1.0 has a fairly narrow fit, particularly towards the top of the helmet, and the turbines encroach somewhat into the internal cavity. This created multiple hotspots on the top of my head where the two highest turbines sat.
With the helmet tensioned securely, there were additional hot spots around the front of the helmet just behind my temples, but this didn’t seem to be caused by the turbines. Instead, there are protrusions where the cradle attaches to the EPS liner.
It didn’t sit very deep on my head either, even with the retention system adjusted to its deepest position. That said, once the retention system was tightened, the helmet was stable and didn’t bounce or rattle around over rough terrain. The thumbwheel was easy to adjust on the move, too.
It felt light on my head and was fairly airy thanks to the six forward-facing vents. However, on slower climbs, it did get quite hot, mainly because there aren’t a huge number of vents in total, particularly at the rear, to exhaust hot air.
The padding is soft and comfortable but didn’t hold a lot of sweat before it got saturated. Two gaps in the padding — that make way for two internal air channels — around the front of the lid concentrated any dripping sweat into those areas.
The retention cradle didn’t interfere with any of the glasses I tried with the lid and there was plenty of room between the liner and retention cradle for their arms.
There’s also plenty of space around the front of the helmet for bulkier glasses and I never experienced any issues with the lid contacting my specs.
Even with the retention system set in its deepest position, there was plenty of space for large goggles – they didn’t push the lid backwards and neither did the helmet push the goggles down over my nose.
Although the peak is adjustable, it doesn’t move up enough to park goggles on the front of the lid, but did move up enough to not encroach on my peripheral vision when descending or climbing.
The bottom of the lid has exposed EPS which means that it could get damaged if you’re not paying particular attention to where it’s placed.
Technical editor Tom Marvin’s take on the Leatt DBX 1.0 AM helmet’s fit
Although I struggled with the DBX 1.0’s fit, technical editor Tom Marvin had fewer issues and found the helmet reasonably comfortable even when worn for long periods.
He did notice a small hotspot that was focused on his forehead but couldn’t describe the sensation as uncomfortable, just noticeable.
With Tom’s findings in mind, I’ve elevated the score from 2.5 stars to 3.5 stars to reflect its price and performance while still considering the issues I encountered.
Leatt DBX 1.0 AM helmet bottom line
The DBX 1.0 is a good lid; it’s got Leatt’s proprietary rotational impact force dissipation system, an adjustable peak, feels pretty light and is relatively inexpensive.
This review proves how crucial it is to try on a helmet before you buy, and your success will depend greatly on what you’re used to and the shape of your head.
I personally found it fairly uncomfortable to wear and because it didn’t fit my head, none of its features would have been able to redeem the score.
But if, like Tom, it fits, you could be on to a winner with this bargain lid.