So, Sam Manicom, what do you think?
For a budget helmet I like it. To begin with, it’s a flip front helmet and I’m a real fan of them – the best of both worlds, usually. Although the name suggests you are dealing with an Italian brand, you aren’t. Launched in 2015, this helmet is made in China. Although far from being the lightest on the market, this helmet looks and feels well made. I’ve had no problems with it over nearly 4 months of use.
It has an ABS shell that has UV protection and is safety certified ECE 22.05. The shell is aerodynamically designed so as to improve the air flow over it. You get an anti-scratch visor, a sun visor, a removable washable lining, air vents and a ratchet seat belt type chin strap.
My first thought when I tried it on was that it fits snugly on both the cheeks and the forehead without any uncomfortable pressure, and that it has plenty of space for your ears. I like the feeing of the lining material too.
The chin piece’s one-button opening mechanism works very well. A gloved thumb fits comfortably into the pocket between the lining and the shell in front of your chin. I like the fact that this is hidden away. Previous helmets, where the mechanism is exposed to the elements, have suffered from salt spray and a build-up of grime. The mechanism at first was a little stiff, but this has released to a very comfortable level with use. Closing the helmet, to begin with was also on the stiff side and a firm tug was needed, but this also eased with use. Sadly, I gather that riding with the front flipped up is an issue as technically it’s not approved for that and for me this is a major downside.
I like the chin strap mechanism a lot. It’s a very easy to use ratchet type, works well and feels very secure. As a side point, I found that the helmet is easy to take on and off. A slight tug on either side of the check sections and off it comes.
There are air vents. The first is just below the bottom of the visor which gives a welcome air flow, but when there’s lots of humidity in the air and it’s cool, I can’t say I was overly impressed with how well this combination kept breath mist away. Actually, it is poor. The other two vents are on the top in the forehead area and though I haven’t used them in very hot weather, the airflow seems good. They ‘exhaust’ at the back of the helmet as part of the aerodynamic design.
The lining is washable and that I like a lot, particularly when the helmet isn’t in the top price bracket. It is a little fiddly to do but I’ve used worse. The sections are held in with press studs and you need to remove the cheek pads to release the lining. You are supposed to be able to machine wash it, but I erred on the side of caution and hand washed this one. The lining dried fast and was easy to put back in.
There are two visors. An internal sun visor; which as a glasses wearer I love. Some sun visors have a tendency to sit on my nose but not this one. I’m not totally convinced about the lever to open and close the visor. Located on the left side of the helmet, below the cheek section, it has a small button which has to be pushed to allow the visor to be moved up or down. With a gloved hand, this button sometimes doesn’t release. However, its location makes it easier to use than those on the top of the head. The good news is that the lever allows you to position the sun visor where you like it, and that is a bonus. Many internal sun visors on budget end helmets become sloppy after a while and they are either up, or down!
The external visor is clear and scratch resistant. Its ratchet only gives you two options. Half open or open. I would have liked to see it fitted with the option to have it a few millimetres open. You can use it without the visor clipped into place and do get a small amount of air flow, but not enough to clear fog on the inside of the visor. Initially it’s a little stiff getting the visor up to the wide open stage, and equally it was hard to get it to close from that position, but as with the main front opening, these things have eased quite quickly. A negative of the visor is that it’s not supplied with a pinlock. And so far I haven’t worked out how to take the visor off!
So, is it as good as the higher end flip front helmets? No. But it is good value for how it’s made, what it does and its price. I think that if you are on a tight budget or don’t ride very often then this should be on your list of helmets to try. One thing that surprised me was that in comparison to other lower end lids I’ve tried, this one is quite quiet.
Available in Black and White
Sizes are XS to XL.