Italian brand Dainese has been protecting riders on two wheels for 50 years. It used to offer a DH lid, but hasn’t made a helmet for over 10 years until this brand-new Linea range, which includes a full-face helmet, the Dainese Linea 01 MIPS, the lightest DH-certified helmet in the world.
A trio of Linea 01 helmet options includes three sizes in three colors, all shipping with different head and cheek pad thicknesses so that you can fine tune the fit for your head shape. The 01 comes with the latest (thinner) MIPS system rotating liner and Dainese’s digital rescue technologies. The heavily vented outer shell and chinbar use a polycarbonate outer layer on top of an EPS liner.
Design and aesthetics
Dainese owns major motorbike helmet brand AGV and has worked with that firm’s R&D department on every aspect of the Dainese Linea 01 MIPS. Key to its incredible low weight – 100g or so less than rivals – is an embedded nylon exoskeleton that bolsters penetration resistance and overall strength. Even at 570g, the helmet still boats the highest safety standards. Certifiably.
The Linea range uses an impact-absorbing polystyrene layer underneath the exterior shell like most lids, but Dainese uses different densities in different zones to optimize protection equally all around the skull. The reason for this is that sharp edges and pointy profiles on the exterior accelerate forces through the EPS to the skull more than flatter profiles on the outside of a helmet. As a result, the designers have tuned the density and absorption properties of the EPS layer in specific areas to make sure impact absorption is uniform throughout the helmet. The flexible (adjustable) visor can also distort in a crash to avoid accelerating forces or extra twisting loads.
Inside the EPS is the nylon exoskeleton mentioned that forms a hidden lattice. This webbing adds extra penetration resistance and has a structure using a design similar to Dainese’s body armor: small nylon beams that look like mini scaffolding, but are pre-compressed and distorted into something called an “auxetic” layout. Auxetic refers a structure with “negative Poisson ratio”, which means that if the squished shapes in the webbing are extended in one direction, they increase in size in perpendicular direction, thus strengthening the structure. I’m no scientist, but imagining this as some more mechanical version of impact-hardening polymers like D30, which is also used in body armor.
If you crash so hard the extra protection here doesn’t help enough, there’s also technology from snow sports embedded inside the helmet, such as RECCO and NFC TwiceMe. The first is avalanche location tech to help rescue services potentially find you and the latter can store personal data like blood group or next of kin information. Call me cynical, but haven’t many helmets for years offered little stickers inside for you to simply write your personal details on, that any paramedic can see without needing an app?
Extensive vents aid air flow and cooling, including on the chinbar where a huge mouth port pumps cooling air into the face. The rear retention dial moves with a three-height head band and there’s a padded chinstrap using Fidlock’s quick magnetic clasp system.
The latest (slimmer) version of the MIPS rotational impact liner forms an extra slippy layer between scalp and shell to better absorb a glancing blow and thick foam cheek pads protect against the chinbar getting smashed into your jaw.
With a 58cm head I nearly always use a Medium helmet and the M/L Linea 01 fitted perfectly. There’s minimal wiggle even with the chinstrap set looser and the foam pads are well located with good cushioning and no hot spots. The helmet doesn’t bounce about at all when riding and vision is excellent for a full-face lid with a wide eye opening and good line of sight in all directions.
Despite the low weight, the Dainese Linea 01 MIPS feels pretty stiff and robust in the good old “twist in your hands test” – the chinguard doesn’t waggle or compress if you wrench at it and, when it’s on your head, there’s a reassuring feel with good coverage and padding on all sides, but, crucially, without the noticeable weight on the neck usually associated with a full-face.
This Linea 01 is so light, in fact, it’s barely more noticeable than many an open face lid; multiple times while riding I totally forgot about packing extra protection, even when climbing. The Linea 01 dumps heat well and there’s a great feeding air over the top of the skull and the zone above ears. The chinguard also seems to funnel cooling air onto the face while moving, all making it as cool as class-leading products in this vein, such as the iXS Trigger FF and the Leatt 4.0 convertible.
It's hard to argue Dainese hasn’t achieved its goals with the Linea 01. This is a product perfectly tailored for ever more demanding tracks and the “more runs, more fun” ability of modern e-bikes. The 01 is so lightweight, with excellent vision and ventilation, it’s basically a full-face you’re prepared to wear more of the time, which lets the end user define which riding segment or discipline it best suits for them.
The Dainese Linea 01 MIPS is so lightweight and well vented, it’s suitable for riding in all day (even in warm weather) if you want extra protection for e-biking, enduro or aggressive trail riding. While it’s fully certified, DH racers might still want extra material and less exposed EPS for riding usual uplifts where cooling and weight is less of a priority.
Tech Specs: Dainese Linea 01 MIPS helmet
- Price: $332 (US) / £219.95 (UK) / €279.95 (EU)
- Style: Full-face with reinforced EPS liner and MIPS evolve liner
- Weight: 570g (M)
- Sizes: XS-S, M-L, L-XL
- Webpage: www.dainese.com
- Rivals: IXS Trigger FF, Endura MT500, Troy Lee Stage
- Available: Now