Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Gear Review: Abus Montrailer Ace MIPS Helmet

Abus Montrailer Ace: Stormtrooper Style?
This review has been a long time coming! I got the chance to test out the Abus Montrailer Ace mountain biking helmet in the summer, & got it in time for our camping trip to Newcastle Island. I wore it for two longer days of riding (note: long for me means I was wearing the helmet for two to three hours) in warm weather, as well as a little rain. I wore it to work some more in the fall & meant to write about it before winter hit... but then I got hit by a car.

I was wearing a different helmet that day, so can't give real world crash test results for his one! Sorry! The resulting concussion meant I needed to drastically reduce screen time from late October into December to recover. So here we are into February & I'm finally getting out from under the pile of things on my to do list.
Off we go! Let's start with style, shall we?

When you're wearing a bike helmet--let's be honest--they all look somewhat dorky. If you're going to wear one (not getting into that debate here) it's basically a choice of what kind of dorky you want. Sporty/Space robot dorky? This one is for you! The Abus Montrailer MIPS gets bonus points for unique style. The air vents & overall shape create a space age look in a matte black. It also manages to look a lot less bulky than other Abus helmets; giving you less of a "mushroom head" when wearing it.
Minimal mushroominess!

The visor, which flips up into several different positions to accommodate goggles (I don't ever use them, but you can see a pic here of how the Montrailer helmet does this), is quite large, solid & translucent to block sunlight but doesn't come that close to your face to impede visibility. The Abus Montrailer comes in six different colour schemes: black, mostly white, or black with turquoise, yellow, red, or pink accents.

Okay, enough about looks, how does it feel on?

The Montrailer features a dial adjustment at the back, which is easy to use on the fly. The chin strap adjusts the usual way but I found it a bit short. Though I don't have a particularly long face, there is a bit less than 2cm of slack left in the strap. The side part around the ears was a little fiddly to get adjusted but both the side straps & under the chin stay put well & haven't moved in the time I've been wearing it, unlike many other helmets I've had. The buckle is the lateral sliding magnetic type, which generally avoids pinching the neck.

Does it ponytail? YES, IT DOES
This helmet is definitely designed for a more oblong shaped head, I'd say--longer front to back than side to side. It's higher at the back than the upright city cycling helmets that I typically wear, so if you have a more forward leaning riding position on a drop bar bike or sporty mountain bike, this helmet will allow for that without getting pushed forward when you hunch your shoulders. This helmet also comfortably allows for a ponytail or braids to come out the back. I could have actually had my ponytail higher than shown in the pic here.

If you're buying one of these online, & can't try one on in person, I'd highly recommend sizing up a bit. The helmet comes in just two sizes--medium 55-58 cm & large 58-61 cm. Despite following the measurements on the website, I found the Abus Montrailer medium to be tight fitting because the MIPS inside takes up a bit more space. The MIPS is intended reduce injuries from rotational sort of impact--for more details on that technology, see their website here.
A look inside at the Abus Montrailer MIPS 

I assume because of the MIPS the Montrailer is somewhat heavier, weighing in on my kitchen scale at 438g. I don't find this particularly heavy, however, & tend to prioritize durability over weight when it comes to helmets.

Which leads me to my next question, what about quality?

The Abus Montrailer feels well made. The exterior shell is bonded to the foam & the various parts are precisely made & fit well together, including the sturdy hinged visor. The visor is actually one of the things that helmet companies often seem to skimp on, but Abus hasn't here. That thing is not going to break off & end up in the gutter on a ride. The more durable exterior coating extends around the underside of the edges to protect the foam when you're putting it down. The X-Static pads inside seem good quality & have padding everywhere that your head is likely to contact the inside of the helmet.

The Abus Montrailer Ace is the top in a line of three Montrailer helmets, with the Montrailer & Montrailer MIPS. The range varies from $225 for the Montrailer up to $300 for the Montrailer Ace MIPS (in Canada).

Follow Spokesmama here too:

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for commenting! (I've had to enable comment moderation on older posts to thwart spammers, so your post may not appear right away.)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...