2 most innovative new helmet technologies from Interbike

Progressive solutions for reducing sub-concussive and rotational injuries

Helmets Interbike

Interbike Mtbr

The Interceptor is Kali’s new high-end enduro helmet. If features a bevy of new safety technologies, as well as an adjustable visor, accessory mounting system, BOA closure, and anti-microbial pads. It should ship by late winter next year. Retail is set at $180.

The Interceptor is Kali’s new high-end enduro helmet. It features a bevy of new safety technologies, as well as an adjustable visor, accessory mounting system, Boa closure, and anti-microbial pads. It should ship by late winter next year. Retail is set at $180.

Ten years ago, there weren’t many helmet manufacturers talking about rotational forces or sub-concussive impacts. But in light of several high-profile suicides linked to repeated brain trauma, the race is on to create better brain buckets. Here are two of the most interesting new approaches that we saw during trade show season.

Kali Interceptor Helmet

Our understanding of the human brain has dramatically changed over the past 30 years. We’ve learned that it’s not just big hits we have to worry about. The brain is also vulnerable to repeated small impacts or any force that causes it to rapidly rotate inside the skull.

The green Lego strips are Kali’s version of MIPS + D30. They help protect against rotational injuries and low-speed impacts. The material is usually covered by a layer of padding, so you shouldn’t feel it against your head. The Interceptor also includes a removable light/camera mounting system that will breakaway in the event of a crash.

The green Lego strips are Kali’s version of MIPS + D30. They help protect against rotational injuries and low-speed impacts. The material is usually covered by a layer of padding, so you shouldn’t feel it against your head. The Interceptor also includes a removable light/camera mounting system that will breakaway in a crash.

Our current helmet safety standards don’t do anything to address these issues, but brands such as Kali Protectives are taking a proactive approach. Their newest helmet, the Interceptor, uses a layer of material called LDL that works sort of like D30 in a straight on impact. The main advantage, claims Kali, is that it starts working to absorb impacts at a lower threshold than EPS, so it helps with the low-speed impacts that are sometimes described as sub-concussive.

The LDL system resembles a Lego brick, but the rubbery material is soft to the touch and flexes under pressure.

The LDL system resembles a Lego brick, but the rubbery material is soft to the touch and flexes under pressure.

LDL also has the added benefit of helping to reduce rotational injuries. The raised nubbins can flex laterally, to help reduce the amount the brain rotates in a crash. Think of it as their version of MIPS, except it also helps with lower speed hits.

Kali is working on bringing their LDL technology downstream to more affordable price points.

Kali is working on bringing their LDL technology downstream to more affordable price points.

This technology was first introduced on the Tava helmet last year, but is slowly trickling its way down the line. In addition to the Interceptor, a new version of the Shiva full face will also be released with the new tech.

The new MacDuff shares the same shape as the Viva, but uses an acrylic foam to make it capable of withstanding multiple impacts.

The new MacDuff shares the same shape as the Viva, but uses an acrylic foam to make it capable of withstanding multiple impacts.

The other new technology that Kali has been touting is Nano Core. This material is made from an acrylic foam with carbon nano polymers. Unlike the EPS foam used in traditional helmets, Nano Core is capable of self-healing.

Other manufacturers use a self-healing foam called EPP in their multi-impact helmets. The downside to this material is that it’s heavy and doesn’t work quite as well as EPS. Kali’s new Nano Core is claimed to not only withstand multi-impacts but do so more efficiently than EPS, without substantially increasing weight.

The MacDuff will retail for $100 when it launches early next year.

The MacDuff will retail for $100 when it launches early next year.

The first helmet to get this new treatment is the MacDuff skate helmet. Kali states this helmet is capable of withstanding between 8-10 impacts, but over some beers, Brad Waldron, Kali’s co-founder and director of engineering, let slip that he drop tested the MacDuff on the same spot more than a dozen times without it failing the drop test.

Continue to page 2 for more innovative new helmet technologies from Interbike »


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