Bikes and components are becoming stronger and lighter every year, but my bones and joints are not. With that in mind, here is a list of eight new protective products that will help keep you healthy and happily riding.

The hourglass elastomers in the new 6D helmet act as secondary shock absorbers in an impact

The hourglass elastomers in the new 6D helmet act as secondary shock absorbers in an impact (click to enlarge).​

6D Trail Helmet

Most helmets built today use the same technology and construction methods as those manufactured 20 years ago. 6D has upended the status quo with its ODS technology, which uses small hourglass shaped elastomers sandwiched between two layers of EPS foam to help reduce linear and rotational forces during a crash. The arrival of this technology has forced motorcycle manufacturers to release more innovative products and we hope the same holds true for the bicycle industry now that 6D has announced a new trail lid. For more info, check out our Interbike coverage here.

The 80s called.

The 80s called (click to enlarge).​

100% Speedcraft

While goggles offer the ultimate in visibility and protection, they often fog up at low speeds, and some consider pairing them with a trail helmet to be a major fashion faux pas. Enter the new Speedcrafts from 100%, which offer goggle like coverage, 1980s styling, and excellent venting. MSRP is $175-$195. For more info, visit 100%.

The helmets are available in gender neutral colors or with sweet graphics.

The Bell kids helmets are available in gender neutral colors or with sweet graphics (click to enlarge).​

Bell MIPS Helmets For Kids

Whether you buy into MIPS or not, it is exciting to see a brand offer an arguably safer product for children. Retail for the new kids MIPs equipped helmets start at $60. For more info on the new helmets, check out our coverage here.

Bell gave both their Super 2R and Segment dirt jump helmets the Star Wars treatment.

Bell gave both their Super 2R and Segment dirt jump helmets the Star Wars treatment (click to enlarge).​

Bell Star Wars Helmet Collection

In anticipation of the new Star Wars film, Bell partnered with Disney to produce a line of Star Wars themed helmets - and the results are awesome. For more images of the new helmet, check out our coverage here.

Continue to page 2 for more of this year's best new protective gear »



Both the Montaro and Montara helmets both integrate MIPS, deep coverage, and excellent ventilation.

Both the Montaro and Montara helmets integrate MIPS, deep coverage, and excellent ventilation (click to enlarge).​

Giro Montaro

The long awaited sequel to the beloved Giro Xen, this new helmet has huge vents and a liner inspired by ShamWow commercials. According to our eyes on the ground, the new Montaro (and Montara for ladies) is the half shell we've all been waiting for Giro to release.

Other nominees for our favorite new helmets of the year include the Specialized Ambush and Kali Maya.

The use of a flexible shell material and EPP foam allowed POC to create a better multi impact helmet

The use of a flexible shell material and EPP foam allowed POC to create a better multi-impact helmet (click to enlarge).​

POC Multi-Impact Coron Full Face

As I've mentioned before, the state of innovation in bicycle helmets is deplorably slow, but there are a few brands out there that are pushing the limits such as POC. Their new Coron full face uses a special fiber shell called M-Forge that is more flexible, which allows it to better absorb energy. When paired with their multi-impact EPP foam, the helmet is better able to withstand repeated hits without compromising performance. For more info, check out our Interbike coverage here.

Both Leatt and Kali make use of a new material called Armor Gel, but utilize different patterns and integration solutions.

Both Leatt and Kali make use of a new material called Armor Gel, but utilize different patterns and integration solutions (click to enlarge).​

Leatt Turbine 360/Kali Bumper Fit 2.0

MIPS has been at the forefront of anti-rotational technology for over a decade, but brands such as 6D, Leatt, and Kali are introducing new alternatives. Both Leatt and Kali are using a new material called Armor Gel, which is pliable when soft, but hardens on impact. This material can move laterally to help reduce rotational forces, but also helps absorb lower speed impacts that could cause concussions but aren't hard enough to cause regular EPS foam to compress. For more info on the tech used by Leatt and Kali, check out Interbike coverage here and here.

No more gaper gap.

No more gaper gap (click to enlarge).​

Specialized Atlas Kneepads

It's no secret that mountain biking is all about fashion (sarcasm intended), so we wouldn't be caught dead exposing a little thigh between our shorts and kneepads (aka the gaper gap). We don't really care about looking silly, but we do like how the new Specialized Atlas pads eliminates the issue and stay perfectly in place. Check out our First Impressions here. The other kneepad that impressed us this year was the slim fitting 5.0 from Leatt.

Did we miss any new products this year? Or maybe you disagree with our picks...Let us know in the comments!