2011 orbea odin road bike helmet

Orbea just sent over images of their 2011 helmets, straight from Spain, and they’re beautiful…and beautifully odd looking in some cases.

The Odin (above), Rune and Thor have some wicked styling, and all appear to offer full coverage and beefy retention systems. Two have included visors, and there’s a good selection of colors and patterns on them, too.

Orbea USA sales manager Ronnie Points said their focus on helmets was comfort and airflow (and protection, obviously), rather than fighting the lightest helmet battle. The three models vary in the layers of materials they offer, and thus protection and weight. Check them out after the break…

2011 orbea odin road bike helmet 2011 orbea odin road bike helmet

The Odin is the top of the line model, though not the lightest. It’s designed to pull air around the sides and completely around your head. Orbea USA sales manager Ronnie Points says even when mountain biking he can feel the air moving all the way through to the back of his head. Retail on the Odin should be around $200.

2011 orbea odin road bike helmet

The Odin has the broadest range of colors, and it’s what the Euskatel-Euskadi team is rockin’ this year:

The differences between the models, besides the shapes, is the layered construction. In a nutshell, here’s the breakdown:

  • Odin – 4 layers: polycarbonate, carbon fiber, EPS and nylon.
  • Thor – 3 layers: polycarbonate, EPS and nylon
  • Rune – 2 layers: polycarbonate and EPS

Orbea says the more layers used, the more they can reduce the surface area, which allows for bigger vents and better cooling airflow. Based on the list above, it’s pretty evident when you look at the photos. For security and comfort, the retention system is separate from the straps. They have COOLMAX pads and a rubber support surface inside to make it feel softer and smoother, and there’s a winter kit to block some of the vents available separately.

2011 orbea thor road bike helmet

The Thor is the mid-tier helmet. It comes with a visor (a tiny one). Colors and other views below.

2011 orbea rune road bike helmet 2011 orbea thor road bike helmet

Being the god of thunder with a winged helmet and all, Thor was the design inspiration for this one. Retail price should be around $150.

2011 orbea thor road bike helmet

2011 orbea rune road bike helmet

The Rune is the last of the collection. It also comes with a tiny visor and has your basic red, blue, white and black color options:

2011 orbea rune road bike helmet


  1. I’m sorry to the good people at Orbea. But I do not find these attractive. Helmets being as “nerdy” as they are, I want to make sure the lid I put on my head looks good. At least in my eyes. These, I’m afraid to say, do not.

  2. When Orbea first showed these helmets at InterBike in ’09…I was at a loss for words…
    It was like a friend showing you pictures of their ugly baby…
    I think All I could come up with is…they have nice buckles…
    The lower priced helmets are simply put… turds…
    I doubt my customers would even take one as a freebie w/ a bike purchase
    Catlike may have pulled it off with the Whisper…but Basque lightning didn’t strike twice in this case.

  3. I always enjoy reading your reviews. But in this case, all you did was review a picture.

    I care less about looks and more about fit and feel.

    Let us know when you’ve tried one on and can compare it to the more popular brands.

  4. Jamie, you must be new here. BikeRumor will put a big REVIEW, or TESTED, etc when they actually test stuff. This is a bike rumor site therefore the majority of the things are just pictures and heresay. Reviews come later. Hold tight young grasshopper.

  5. I got one of these from Orbea early, the Thor. GREAT fit and quality for the the price point, I love the looks but some people have been hating on it. Jealous.
    The helmet gets 5 stars with one complaint… it is a little loud and feels slightly top heavy on your first ride. I feel like since I have put a 1000 miles on it, the pads have worn in and the helmet fits even better and does not seem to feel top have. I love mine. Good stuff and a crazy look, good or bad.

  6. I find them ugly too !!!
    I mean even if you ride with a helmet on top of your head and you don’t see it, people around you do. So I prefer have a nice helmet that makes me look fast on race photos rather than one of these… I doubt that they’re launching a trend here 😉

  7. Personally, I like the design. The rounded nature not only provides excellent aerodynamics, but better protection than the majority of craggy helmets out there. When looking at a helmet, a person ought to be considering functionality FIRST! After all, you can’t live without your brain. The round design means it will slide easier in a crash, which helps to dissipate impact.

    I’ve not tried this helmet yet, but I sure want to! I REALLY want to get my hands on an Odin! Helmets have saved my life 3 times… I hope never again, but I protect my brain for every ride… just in case.

  8. An update to my previous comment.
    A bicycle wreck involving a 30 foot fall onto granite boulders meant the end of my old Giro Atmos. While the Atmos DID save my life in that wreck, I opted to replace it with the Orbea Odin. I found some positive reviews of it, including one where the reviewer mistakenly put it to the real test… the reviewer was involved in a major wreck while testing the Odin, where he suffered a broken collarbone among other injuries, yet no injury to his head (helmet was destroyed, though).

    The Odin definitely has better coverage of my head than any helmet I’ve previously had- coverage that includes areas where I DID have head injuries in the fall off the mountain (where the Atmos had no coverage). While the Odin is slightly heavier than many high-end counterparts, this is hardly noticeable, and this is countered by improvements Orbea has made compared to other helmet designs. In fact, holding the Odin and my Giro Ionos side by side, the Ionos seems almost flimsy in comparison, as though the shell parts were glued on as an afterthought. The carbon fiber used in the Odin also appears to be of far higher quality, with glossy looks on par to those of my carbon fork and stem, rather than the barely weaved appearance it has in all of the Giro helmets I’ve had (Pneumo, Atmos, Ionos).

    Wearing the helmet: The balance of the helmet is superb, as is the ventilation. I have yet to have my hair plastered by sweat while wearing it. I couldn’t ask for more comfortable padding, and the adjustment in the rear adjusts to my head perfectly. When riding with the Odin, I forget it’s there. It becomes a part of me. I always noticed a bit of vibration… chatter with my past helmets (Giro, Bell, etc…). The cushioned wrap for the side with the adjustment strap (over the chin/face area) is also a great addition, eliminating the bother of flying straps and strap vibration in wind.

    The Orbea site did say that the helmets run a bit smaller when compared to other helmet brands. With other helmets, I’ve always been on the cusp of small/medium, but always got small. Occasionally I’d regret this, as especially with the Ionos, I couldn’t fit my balaclava under it in winter. With this in mind, I opted for a medium Orbea Odin. The fit couldn’t be more perfect! I’m definitely at the smallest end of the medium range, but it fits over anything I might want to wear underneath perfectly, be it a cap, skull cap, or balaclava.

    I hope never to test it in the way I ‘tested’ my Atmos, but if anything does happen, I’m pretty sure I’ll have some of the best protection out there… protection that doesn’t compromise ventilation or aesthetics.

    Here’s a picture of me with the Odin:

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