The all-new Dainese Linea 01 is the world's lightest DH-certified full-face mountain bike helmet, but that's not all it offers...
After over a decade out of the helmet game, Italian protection legend Dainese is back with the world’s lightest ever DH-certified full face cycling helmet. The new Dainese Linea 01 targets a new breed of long travel e-biker or trail rider looking for extra coverage and the best full-face and convertable helmets available, and results from zooming in on every construction detail with its own AGV helmet brand to shave weight, while still attaining the higher protection rating.
Like most lids, the Linea 01’s heavily-vented shell uses a polycarbonate outer layer on top of an EPS liner, but inside, a key to the exceptionally low weight (100g or so less than rivals) is an embedded nylon exo-skeleton that bolsters penetration resistance and overall strength.
This webbing also reinforces the chinbar using a lattice structure similar to Dainese’s body armour. Small nylon beams (that look like mini scaffolding) inside the helmet are pre-compressed and distorted into something called an ‘auxetic’ layout. Being auxetic describes a structure with a ‘zero Poisson’ ratio, which means if the squished shapes are loaded or extended in one direction, they’ll subsequently increase in size in all directions, thus hardening the structure.
I’m no scientist, but I’m imagining this as some more mechanical version of impact-hardening polymers like D30, also used in body armour.
Dainese also uses different EPS densities in different zones to optimise protection equally all around the skull, thick foam cheek pads to protect against the chinbar getting smashed into your jaw and the latest (thinner) MIPs rotating liner. A flexible (adjustable) visor can also distort in a crash to avoid accelerating forces or extra twisting loads.
If you crash so hard the extra protection here doesn’t help enough, there’s also RECCO and NFC TwiceMe technology carried over from snow sports and embedded into the Linea 01’s structure. The first is avalanche location tech to help rescue services, and the latter stores personal data like blood group or next of kin information – technology is great and everything, but there’s nothing stopping you from writing personal details on a sticker inside any helmet, and that doesn’t require an app to view.
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 headband, and there’s a padded chinstrap using Fidlock’s quick magnetic clasp system.
With a 58cm head, the M/L Linea fitted perfectly with minimal wiggle, even with the chinstrap set relatively loosely. Foam pads are well located with good cushioning and no hot spots and the helmet doesn’t bounce 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 Linea also feels pretty stiff and robust in the good old ‘twist in your hands test’ – the chinguard doesn’t waggle or compress when wrenched, and, on your head, there’s a reassuring feel with good coverage and padding on all sides, all without the noticeable strain on the neck usually associated with a full face.
This Linea 01 is so light in fact, it’s barely more noticeable than many open face lids; multiple times during testing I totally forgot about packing extra protection, even when climbing. It dumps heat well and feeds enough cooling air over the top of the skull and the zone above the 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 like iXS’s Trigger FF and the Leatt’s 4.0 convertible.
It’s hard to argue against Dainese achieving its goals with this Linea 01. I’m not a massive fan of the visor’s aesthetics but, looking out from inside, it all works great and seems like 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, it’s basically a full face you’re prepared to wear more of the time, enabling end users to define which riding segment or discipline it best suits.
The Linea 01 helmet is so lightweight and well vented, it’s only marginally hotter than some half shells and 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.