Triple Eight, the NYC purveyor of skater lids and pads, has been moving into bike specific helmets recently. The bike line has four models, ranging from a kids helmet to a full face helmet, and we received their Compass (MTB) and Gotham (urban/commuter) for testing. Hit ‘more’ for weights, prices, and review.
The Compass is a burly MTB lid, with more coverage and less venting (9 holes) than traditional bike helmets. I’ve ridden in 80+ degree days and found it cooler than I expected, and comfortable. Beefier than standard EPS XC lids, it’s a match for the Trail bike category. With more material, comes more weight, and at 375g it’s noticeably heavier than XC helmets, but not noticeably heavier than other Trail helmets. The additional coverage provides peace of mind, and makes it hard to go back to XC helmets that now feel small and awkwardly perched, like a Yamika with straps. On all but the hottest days, the Compass worked well in the woods. It plays well with riding glasses, fits well, and like me has a stealthy gray finish and understated good looks. Small point: With less vents, attaching a light required additional velcro and a bit of Macgyvering.
At $74.99 retail, the EPS foam Compass is on-par for Trail category features, with an adjustable moto visor, functional and comfortable dial fit system, and swappable pads. It looks well made, without the blemishes or glue drips that I’ve seen on other products. I refuse to use the stock reviewer phrase, “fortunately, I haven’t tested how it stands up to a crash”. Instead, I’m banking that the compliance to CPSC certification covers the safety angle. With cooler weather, the Compass is now my go-to helmet. For Spring 2015, the Compass will be offered in a MIPS version for $99, and I’ll be looking to get one.
The Gotham is skater/bmx styled, with an ABS hard shell, with even more coverage than the Compass. The helmet is decidedly more X-games than my townie bike and it’s white basket. However, with its sturdy construction and minimal vents, it’s a good choice for cool weather urban riding, so I rock it proudly around town. For it’s intended urban use, the helmet is comfortable, thanks to adequate padding and a nice dial adjustment system. I use a road bike when I do commute to work, and the Gotham didn’t work well in a race bike riding position. But on a more upright commuter or e-bike, the hefty 515 grams would be less of an issue, and worth every gram of extra coverage if you ever needed it. The $59.99 Gotham is CPSC and ASTM certified, and will also be available with MIPS in Spring 2015 ($89.99).