When you’re lining up that next big double, or waiting in the start house for your race run, the last thing you want to be worried about is if your helmet will save you in a crash. As soon as downhill started pushing the limits of what you could do on a bike, riders have been faced with a choice. Opt for the DOT certified helmet which may offer better protection but includes a hefty weight penalty, or go for the non-DOT mountain bike full face that is lighter and better ventilated but may not do as much good in a crash.
Comparatively, the biggest difference between DOT certification and other helmets is an additional penetration test, a higher drop test to simulate higher speeds, and a stiffer chin bar. The added protection has always been seen as a benefit, but it is the added weight that is considered a drawback. That additional weight also comes with an increased volume which in and of itself can cause more energy to be transferred to your brain.
Factor in all of the above and you have the genesis for one of the most difficult projects that Kali Protectives have taken on. DOT Certification with mountain bike weight. Sounds simple, but in reality the combination required a tremendous amount of design work and testing along with a few proprietary technologies to make it all work…
In what’s becoming a familiar design story from Kali, most of the ability to create such a ground breaking helmet relies in their Composite Fusion technology. Composite Fusion allows Kali to inject the EPS (expanded polystyrene) liner directly into the outer shell of the helmet which happens to be full carbon fiber in this case. The Composite Fusion 3 part of the equation adds multi density triangular pyramids into the EPS liner which help to spread out the impact laterally. Between the lack of a gap between the EPS and the shell, and the cones, both technologies allow less energy to be transmitted to your brain which should make for a safer helmet in the end.
Since the Composite Fusion 3 foam and carbon shell are better at dissipating energy from an impact, the helmet is much smaller and lighter as a result. Claiming to be the world’s lightest DOT certified helmet, the Shiva has a listed weight of just 1050g – around 400-600g lighter than the competition. Lighter also means smaller, with the Shiva checking in at about 70% of the size of the average motorcycle helmet. According to Kali, reducing the volume of a helmet by just 10% can reduce rotational forces that are transmitted to the brain by upwards of 20%. As well as being DOT certified, the Shiva also meets ASTM DH, ASTM BMX, ASTM Snow, and CPSC Standards.
Built with 8 forward facing and 8 rearward facing vents, the Shiva has also been designed with a rounded profile and a breakaway visor to keep the helmet from snagging or hanging up in the event of a crash. Inside the helmet uses washable and adjustable anti-microbial padding to keep things fresh.
Integrated into the visor, you’ll find a mount that is compatible with GoPro, Contour, Light and Motion mounts as well as a universal bar. The mount is removable when not being used.
Finally making its way to trails near you, the Shiva is available in 5 sizes (XS-XL) and three different colorways with Raw Carbon, Speed Machine (red and white), and Stripes. Available now, each helmet will sell for $500 USD, $399 Euro, and ships with the camera and light accessory kit and a premium travel bag.