7iDP recently released their new Project.23 Full-Face Helmet and we’ve been lucky enough to already have a couple solid hours riding in it. Being that we are mountain bikers with a history of concussions, we take our brain protection seriously and don’t take brand’s claims and marketing hype without a grain or five of salt. As such, when we started reading the 7iDP press release talking about experts studying numbers and developing new technologies to protect our brains, naturally we wanted to know more. Despite what you think, we don’t just stick our heads inside anything! Below is an interview with 7iDP representatives who have given us a bit more insight into the SERT-equipped Project.23 helmet. After a few rides in the lid, we’re impressed so far and are happy to report that this protective technology looks quite promising. Stay tuned for a full review.
WHO DESIGNED/DEVELOPED SERT?
Our design team headed up by Tav Capewell our creative director had been working on rotational force reduction concepts for over a year. During a visit to Strategic Sports, our vendor, we discovered that they were very much on the same page. Rather than pursue our own technology we opted to work with Strategic on their concept which we named Seven Energy Reduction Technology. Strategic are looking to roll out ERT to other brands in the coming months.
WHO ARE THE EXPERTS USED BY SEVEN TO STUDY, VERIFY AND DEVELOP THE TECHNOLOGY?
ERT (Energy Reduction Technology) was developed by the team at Strategic Sports. The Strategic team build helmets for most of the key players in our market and there’s not much about MTB helmets that those guys don’t know. We’re fortunate to have a relationship with them going back over 20 years (predating 7iDP).
Strategic have an enviable R+D department and they tested SERT against standard helmets with just an EPS and the most prominent brands currently available, the results illustrated that SERT reduced impact energy transfer to the brain by up to 20%. Secondly the results indicated that SERT was on par with the market leader in terms of the reduction in rotational forces impacting the brain.
IS THE TECHNOLOGY SIMILAR TO CONEHEAD, WHERE A HARDER AND SOFTER LAYER OVERLAP TO HELP ABSORB HIGHER AND LOWER SPEED HITS?
ConeHead is a great technology that is part of the EPS construction. Both Conehead and SERT are trying to achieve the same goal of reducing the amount of energy that reaches the brain. However, SERT material is much softer than the low-density EPS found in Conehead. Because of this, SERT is very effective in improving the absorption of low G impacts.
HOW IS THE FOAM SMART?
SERT shifts and folds over to distribute energy – so it compresses, rotates and sheers. Because of this movement of SERT, it will also allow the reduction of rotational forces if necessary while also offering impact absorption.
WHERE/HOW DOES THE TECHNOLOGY DIFFER FROM OTHER OPTIONS THAT CONSUMERS ARE FAMILIAR WITH AND TRUST?
We concur with Snell and Helmets.org that real-world benefits are not proven and more studies need to be conducted when it comes to slip-plane technologies. Given that we all have a scalp and hair that operates as an inbuilt (no charge) slip-plane, compared to crash test dummies with grippers on the “skull,” brands and technology, including SERT, need further scrutiny and testing to always be improving on our quest to build the safest helmets possible. What is great about SERT though is it isn’t just a slip-plane layer, it actually reduces energy transfer to the brain and this for sure is a real-world benefit.