661 has always been known for having eye catching Interbike booths with the season’s hottest colors and coolest gear. This year was no exception, although I couldn’t help but notice there was something slightly different about the booth that I couldn’t put my finger on. Well, it turns out that 661 has new owners and hence the slightly different vibe. The new 661 is still very much the same company, it just seems slightly more polished possibly due to the company maturing over the years. The other thing I noticed was the lack of Royal Racing gear at the 661 booth due ti Royal sharing a booth with Urge Bikes on the opposite side of the show floor. I didn’t get the full scoop due to everyone at the 661 booth being crazy busy with appointments and meetings, but I’m guessing that there is no longer any connection between the two brands with no mention of each other on their sites. One Industries is still the owner of not only 661, but also Sunline components, Tag Metals, and Filtron Filters.
On the product size, the biggest bit of news from 661 is the long awaited release of the new Recon All Mountain helmet.
Wonder what a tattoo gun has to do with mountain biking? Find out, along with more on the Recon after the break!
According to 661, the Recon is a helmet that they have wanted to release for a long time coming, but due to issues with the molds not fitting to their satisfaction they had to delay over and over again. While the All Mountain, or full coverage XC style helmet market is blowing up lately with more and more offerings from a lot of companies, 661 did not want to release a helmet they weren’t happy with. Thankfully, they feel that they now have it dialed, and by the looks of it I would have to agree.
The Recon features full coverage like most AM helmets, and dips down plenty far on the back of your head. Also it appears to be pretty well ventilated with 18 vents to keep your head nice and cool on the hottest days. Obviously in-molded, the Recon weighs in a very light 303 grams which is well under many of the current AM helmet offerings.
Appearing very similar to the retention system on the Fox Flux, the Recon’s Detox fit system should work very well to keep your lid on as you are bouncing down the trail. Along with the removable visor, the Recon sports all the adjustments you’ve come to expect on a high end brain bucket with adjustable ear loops and chin strap. The Recon will be available in two sizes, a sm/md and a lg/xl in two colors white and black, and will retail for $99.95.
661 now really has a complete line of DH helmets, that all have top shelf style even if a few don’t have that top shelf price. The Comp II at the bottom in grey and black offer all the protection and looks of the more expensive helmets at an astonishing $79.95 retail. Moving up to the next two rows, the EVO Inspiral which is built on the same shape as the EVO Carbon, but features a fiberglass shell to keep the price down. The Inspiral will also feature a removable, washable, Coolmax liner to keep you cool and comfy race after race. Finally, the top line EVO Carbon now receives a 3k weave Carbon shell which gets a very minimalistic paint scheme to show off the beautiful carbon. The weight comes in at 968 grams which is competitive with the lightest helmets on the market. The EVO Carbon also gets the removable, Coolmax liner to keep things fresh.
In a glass case at the front of the booth was an interesting set up that included a tattoo gun along with some helmets and gloves. Turns out that 661 is working on a collaboration between the tattoo studio Hart & Huntington, who conveniently set up one of their first tattoo parlors here in Vegas. While more for the Moto crowd, the dirt jump gloves and helmets shown here would certainly be at home at a lot of dirt jumps and freeride competitions.
I particularly like the glove, it’s just too bad that it will be closed around your grips most of the time you’re riding. The black helmet features sublimated graphics that are very similar to the glove, however hard to see behind the glass. While I’m sure the H&H collection won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, if it get’s younger riders to wear a helmet I’m all for it.