With almost half a century producing motorcycle head protection, Korean helmet maker HJC is getting into cycling. And hitting the ground running with a full 2018 road cycling portfolio of four helmets – sponsoring Lotto Soudal, who are now racing in HJC helmets, including a stage four win at the Giro d’Italia this week.
HJC Sports road cycling helmets
Since 1971 HJC has been developing & manufacturing helmets, primarily for motorcycling, making a name for themselves with lightweight, safe, and often affordable products. Now they want to bring their R&D and manufacturing knowhow to cycle & snowsports protection, so they are jumping in with road cycling helmets.
Furion aero road bike helmet
With extensive expertise developing helmets for aerodynamics and designed in ventilation at higher speed applications, bringing that down to cycling speeds was a logical first step. HJC has their own wind tunnel, and that’s where the Furion aero road helmet got its start.
Of course an aero road helmet isn’t just about being slippery in the wind, but minimizing drag while maximizing both intake & exhaust. HJC says their new Furion aero helmet outperforms other market leaders in drag, while using an advanced design internal channel system to match them on ventilation as well.
The helmets all use a skeletal frame molded within the EPS protection layer to hold together in a crash. They then get multi-piece in-molded polycarbonate shells for rigidity and durability, with the Furion getting a unique full-wrap 4-piece shell.
The 200€ Furion is available in three sizes (54-63cm total range), nice different color schemes, and weighs just 190g. It gets a 3D fit dial retention system, 15 vents overall and is CE EN & KC certified.
Ibex lightweight, vented road bike helmet
The Ibex also shares a Venturi-effect aero optimized design, but is much more open with its 16 vents.
Opening up the helmet makes it suitable for riding in much hotter conditions (like winning a Giro stage this week), but actually requires a bit more material to maintain the same level of safety.
The 250€ Ibex is available in the same three size range (XS/S, M/L & XL/XXL) and a more muted color palette. It claims a medium weight of 200g, and uses the same retention system and Polygiene silver chloride treated anti-microbial wicking pads.
H.Sonic all-around road helmet
The H.Sonic is meant to be a more affordable all-around helmet that incorporates much of the same tech, with the advanced aerodynamic design. With an open 24 vents it should ventilate well when it comes to market later this summer, and is still light at 210g.
Furion TT/ Prim3TT time trial helmet
Details on the TT helmet remain thin (HJC doesn’t seem to have even settled on its name yet).
But you can’t sponsor a pro team without an aero TT helmet, so this is generally what to expect. It will use all the tech of the Furion, plus a large optical lens held in place with magnets, and just four external vents.
Lotto Soudal LTS Team Edition helmets
Since the start of 2018 Lotto Soudal has switched from Lazer helmets to these new HJC helmets.
The team is been competing with the Ibex, Furion & Prim 3 TT already clocking in wins from the 4 Days of Dunkirk, to the Tour of Romandie, and now the Giro d’Italia in the aero Furion and the all-around, more vented Ibex.
They team helmets don’t seem to have popped up in stores yet. But HJC has says they will offer LTS team replica versions of each helmet to consumers.
While we haven’t spotted the new HJC helmets on our local roads yet, they are being distributed globally now. And look to be readily available from both regular cycling accessory distribution channels and several big online retailers.