Leatt DBX 3.0 Enduro Helmet
Words & Photos by Chili Dog
As enduro bikes become more and more like pedal friendly downhill rigs, the need for breathable, lightweight helmets that protect like a DH lid has grown. The all mountain full-face market has split into two sectors – one camp is offering more breathable full-face lids, like Fox’s Proframe, and “convertible” helmets that have a removable chin bar that attaches to a traditional half shell base. Despite the rugged looks, most of these conversion lids (DBX3.0 included) don’t meet the ASTM 1952 DH certification.
That said, it’s hard to argue with the added safety benefit of a chin bar on trails where most riders, including myself would normally just opt for a half shell if convertibles weren’t an option. If you’re looking for that added safety on days when you go full endur-bro, here’s another helmet for your list.
If you read our review of the DBX 3.0 All Mountain helmet, then the Enduro model will seem pretty familiar. The DBX All Mountain and Enduro helmets share the same half shell starting point. The Enduro adds a removable chin bar that secures using two Fidlock buckles. That’s good news since we really liked the DBX 3.0 All Mountain, especially its substantial forehead, side and rear coverage. Despite all that extra coverage, ventilation abounds. With the chin bar attached, the Enduro has an impressive 23 vents, meaning you really don’t have to remove the chin bar to still experience impressive air flow.
Safety comes from an EPS foam layer wrapped in a polycarbonate shell. To mitigate rotational impacts, Leatt developed something they call 360 Turbine Technology. It’s a fancy name for a series of blue, squishy pucks dotted within the helmet liner. These turbines are formed from a velocity sensitive material Leatt uses in several of its products. It hardens on impact, absorbing impact energy and allowing for slight rotation of the helmet’s shell in relation to the user’s head. According to Leatt, this translates to a reduction in “Head impact at concussion level by up to 30% and the rotational acceleration to the head and brain by up to 40%.”
Other safety features include a visor with breakaway pins that sheer off in the event of a crash. The design is intended to prevent the visor from hanging up on a tree, root, or rock while sliding your face over the earth. We tested the feature on our All Mountain lid when I slammed my head into a low tree. I can personally attest to the functionality of the breakaway visor and Turbine technology.
The chin bar offers additional security by protecting a rider’s face and chin during high-speed impacts, but not as well as a DH helmet. The E.o Enduro helmet is certified to meet both EN1078 and CPSC 1203 safety standards, but not the DH standard mentioned above.
Even though the DBX 3.0 Enduro has one of the simplest chin bar attachment and removal systems around, it’s still something that takes some getting used to. Even now, it’s not something we do on the fly– we have to pull the helmet off and take the time to line up the holes and snaps to make it work. This usually isn’t an issue though, since we don’t use the chin bar like a dropper post. It’s either on for a gnarly descent or off for most of our riding or climbing.
Even with the chin bar on, this helmet breathes exceptionally well for a full face. So well in fact, we found ourselves climbing with the chin bar on more than once. The chin bar provides good visibility as well, striking a balance between coverage and being visually intrusive.
The nice part is that the helmet is still a fully functional and normal looking half shell, so you can leave the chin bar at home for casual riding. The magnetic strap closure is just about as simple and easy as it gets too. If this helmet were DH certified, we’d truly have the perfect one helmet solution for any riding type.
Leatt left room for a goggle strap on the rear of the helmet, but don’t expect to rest your goggles under the visor when not in use since it doesn’t lift up and out of the way far enough. Instead, we either put our goggles in our packs, or left them around our necks. You can also put the goggles on backwards, with the lens at the rear of the helmet. Don’t even ask about wearing glasses with the chin bar on or we’ll call the fashion police…
Much like its All Mountain sibling, the DBX 3.0 Enduro does have more forehead coverage than most helmets, so be sure to try one on before purchasing. I found it to be very comfortable, but some other testers complained of forehead hot spots. The rear adjustment dial should help you dial in the fit, and it’s easy enough to do on the fly.
The Wolf’s Last Word
While we didn’t get to actually crash test the Enduro model, I did have a good encounter with a tree wearing my DBX 3.0 All Mountain and managed to make it out with just a mild headache and a broken helmet. We’d call that a job well done given just how hard I smacked the tree.
Overall, the DBX 3.0 Enduro a great option for riders who spend a lot of time pedaling but want the added protection when hitting some more aggressive trails. It’s also the ideal option for riders that want to only bring one helmet on a trail riding and enduro trip. Another added travel benefit is that broken down, this helmet takes up far less space than a traditional full face. Leatt has created a solid offering for the convertible enduro helmet crowd and so long as the sizing works on your head, this is an easy recommendation from us.
Weight: 375 grams without chin bar, 750 grams with.