A downhill bike helmet must face strict safety standards, but for many riders the additional DOT safety rating is a strong selling point. The drawback? The additional size and weight of a DOT helmet is not only annoying, it can compound injuries due to the pendulum effect. Kali Protectives already makes some of the most advanced bike and moto helmets on the market, and its latest product combines what it has learned in both segments into a super light bike and DOT full face. Kali says reducing the volume of a helmet just 10 percent can reduce rotational forces transmitted to the brain in a crash by 22 percent. At 1,050 grams the Shiva’s weight is competitive with other brands’ top-tier bike helmets without DOT certification.
The new Shiva is built around Kali’s in-molding process in which the carbon fiber shell and foam are molded as one piece instead of being glued or taped together. This means there is no impact from the foam hitting the shell before compressing. As small as that distance may be, it’s your brain we’re talking about here. The foam itself is Composite Fusion Three, a dual layer design with cones that crumple to absorb the impact. Kali has tested several cone shapes over the years and some of its helmets use a round cone while the new Shiva uses a pyramid shaped cone.
Details include a breakaway visor and a rounder helmet shape that is less prone to getting caught and turning your head during a yard sale crash. It also has the requisite GoPro and accessory mounts for any sort of light or camera. It will retail for $500 in the US and is available in five sizes.