Leatt’s 4.0 Enduro helmet is the South African brand’s go at a downhill-rated full face with a detachable chin guard.
Lightweight, ventilated full face helmets are a regular sight at races and trails these days, however helmets with removable chin bars divide opinion between riders. Are they the best of both worlds, two helmets in one? Or are they just an over-complicated compromise?
Ben has been hitting some laps in the new Leatt MTB 4.0 to find out.
Leatt are a brand that have a focus on innovation and safety and this new helmet is no exception. It features their own 360 Degree Turbine Technology which is effectively their own version of MiPS that you are probably familiar with. It reduces rotational acceleration in the event of a crash as well as reducing low velocity linear acceleration. This is what Leatt say on their website about how it works.
“Disc-shaped turbines made of Armourgel, a non-Newtonian polymer that can absorb energy, are strategically placed all along the inside of the helmet’s EPS liner. So, when you put the helmet on, they are positioned directly against the skull. In a crash, these turbines deform and bend, reducing rotational impact forces and absorbing energy from the impact. This technology can absorb both low-velocity linear and rotational impact forces in a crash.”
With the chin bar fastened, the 4.0 is fully DH certified so you know it is up to the job of DH racing and laps of the lifts. It certainly feels like a very solid piece of kit, unlike some earlier helmets from other brands with removable chin bars that felt pretty flimsy. He interface between the chin bar and main helmet is very secure and there is minimal flex. I certainly felt confident in the strength of this area as this is an area that worries some rider when considering a helmet like this.
Adding and removing the chin bar is simple, but takes a bit of practice to get it done quickly and smoothly. I am not sure if riders these days would carry the chin bar on a pack and add/remove it during a ride, like in the early days of enduro, so this wasn’t really an issue for me.
Another feature that I really like on helmets is the magnetic Fidlock fastener. It is secure, simple and easy to use.
As an open face helmet it does look and feel quite bulky, sitting high on your head and sticking out a bit more that an A3 from Troy Lee Designs for instance. This is accentuated by the more blocky, angular design aesthetic. It provides good coverage at the back of the skull and over the ears, providing a good level of protection.
In full face mode I felt that the Leatt MTB 4.0 Helmet more closely resembled a ‘normal’ full face helmet in terms of the way it looks and fits with the snug cheek pads and solid construction. When I put it on, I felt like I had a full on DH helmet, albeit with a bit better ventilation, and when I wear a helmet like this it gives me a bit more confidence to send it.
So, the questions still remains. Does investing £279 really get you two quality, wearable helmets in one, therefore saving you money and giving you a helmet for every occasion? Although I didn’t like the bulky look in open face mode, I do think that the Leatt achieves its goal of providing a rider with a helmet for any ride they want to go on. To buy a decent open face and full face would probably cost you more money to get similar levels of protection and would take twice as much space.
What do we think?
It is not the best looking lid without the chin bar attached, but as a full face it actually looks pretty decent, especially in black. The Leatt 4.0 MTB Enduro Helmet offers good levels of safety in robust package that should mean you can tailor the amount of protection to the trails and level of commitment you want to take on that day.
Solid, full on DH helmet feel.
Interface between chin bar and helmet
Could do better:
Doesn’t look great in trail mode.
You can check out the Leatt 4.0 Enduro helmet on their website here.