If you’re looking for integrated lights, 2-way walkie talkie communication, or just a very unique take on impact and rotational protection, there were a few helmet standouts at Eurobike 2021. They covered the gamut, from trail to enduro to DH, and road to gravel to commuter. And one of them talks directly to Amazon Alexa!
Starting with SEVENTWENTY’s Hex Air design, which they say incorporates both industry-leading impact protection and integrated rotational impact protection. Here’s how…
SEVENTWENTY Hexago elastomer padding
The helmet uses a fairly standard polycarbonate shell on the outside, albeit potentially fewer ports for air flow in order to maintain the necessary structure. They only make one mountain bike model, the all-mountain/enduro Awake 1.0 shown here, as well as a nearly vent-free city helmet, and a snow/ski helmet is in the works.
What makes them unique is their Hexago technology, which swaps the standard EPS foam for an elastomer honeycomb structure. They say it has better energy absorption in a linear impact, and the entire structure can break free of the outer shell to rotate slightly. Thus, no need for a separate MIPS-like rotational system, the two parts take care of that as built.
While the hexagonal structure felt very rigid to me, they say it’s better at reducing energy transmission to the rider’s head. Dramatically so, according to their chart, which humorously (?) includes Death at the top.
Claimed weight is 499g, price is currently €179.00 (showing as marked down from €219.00), available in five colors. Check them out at 720protections.com.
2022 Abus mountain bike lineup & lit commuter lids
Abus has dramatically expanded and updated their mountain bike lineup to include a full face gravity helmet, deep coverage enduro helmet, and several affordable trail helmets…plus new kids and commuter lids, too.
The all-new Abus AirDrop is their first full-face helmet, and it’s aimed at downhill, bike park, and enduro riders. Its design comes from input from Cedric Gracia, Richey Schley, and Gabriel Widmer and years of development.
Standout features include a fit adjustment dial in the back that’s fully integrated into the MIPS system, removable/washable cheek pads in several sizes, breakaway height-adjustable visor, and padded lower edges to protect your collarbone. Internal cage reinforcements allow them to use larger vents for better ventilation, with an “Ambient Sound Channel” ear opening to enhance spatial awareness.
It’s compatible with their QUIN crash detection chip, too, which connects to an app to alert others if you wreck hard. Claimed weights are 790g (S/M) and 890g (L/XL), available Spring 2022.
The new CliffHanger succeeds their MonTrailer model and gives them a full coverage enduro helmet that’s ready for shuttle runs, e-MTB rips, and race day. It uses an extremely deep backside to increase coverage, and an internal cage embedded in the EPS foam keeps it all together in a big impact.
It keeps the ponytail gap between the shell and the adjustment/retention mechanism. The chin strap uses a quick-opening Fidlock buckle, and has an adjustable “TriVider” slider on either side to manage straps under the ears. Two models will come with QUIN pre-installed, but no MIPS, and three MIPS models are compatible with QUIN, but won’t include it.
Claimed weights are 360g (S), 380g (M), 410g (L) without MIPS, +30g for MIPS. Coming Spring 2022.
The Abus MoDrop is a new trail helmet for most riders, suitable for XC to AM when extended coverage or a full face would be overkill. A goggle-friendly adjustable visor and big vents join broad coverage and a two-piece shell fully encases the EPS foam to protect it from drops and dings in transit.
It also gets the “Ponytail Outlet” and “TriVider” straps, and the air inlets on the front and top have a mesh panel inside to keep bugs out. Also available in QUIN or MIPS versions in six different colors. Claimed weights are 310g (S), 330g (M), and 360g (L), plus 30g for MIPS.
For riders on a budget, the MoTrip comes out of the same mold, but uses a single-piece shell and standard straps, but keeps the ponytail-friendly retention mech. The visor is a less technical design, and it doesn’t have MIPS or QUIN options, but provides the same coverage and will cost a good bit less. And it’s about the same weight.
The new Abus HUD-Y is a very sleek urban helmet with magnetically detachable, rechargeable tail light. An integrated visor, two large front vents, and their TriVider strap design should make it both comfortable and functional for commuters.
Adding more vents and lights is the new Hyban 2.0 LED helmet. It’s visor attaches externally and it places mesh panels across the front vents to block bugs and debris. But its real trick are the integrated LED lightson front and rear. Control them with the button on back and you’ll be more visible from more angles.
For kids, the new Smiley 3.0 brings updated designs and colors and the option for a USB-rechargeable clip-on rear light. Some models will come with it, but it can be added afterward for those that don’t.
Across the line, look for plenty of color options and, for kids, a ton of graphics to appeal to anyone. Pretty much all of the new helmets will start shipping in Spring 2022, pricing TBA. In the meantime, check out Abus’ current lineup at mobil.abus.com.
Sena R2 X chats directly with Amazon Alexa
Coming for 2022 is an updated version of their R1 road helmet that gets a more aerodynamic, sporty design. The 2022 Sena R2 will come in three versions…the standard R2 with Bluetooth Intercom that connects up to 4 riders, the R2 EVO with their proprietary Mesh Network communication, and an R2 X that can also interact with Amazon Alexa directly from the helmet.
If you’re unfamiliar with Sena, their Mesh Intercom Technology allows you to link with and communicate with an unlimited number of other riders. It’s great for big groups when you need to keep everyone together, and it comes from years of development on the moto side of their business.
Full details on the Amazon Alexa integration will be released later, but we imagine it’s a good way to play music, check the weather, or just get an answer to all those weird little questions you think of when you’re out riding…all hands free.
Want to add their Bluetooth intercom system to your existing helmet? Check out the Sena Pi universal headset kit that clips to almost any helmet’s straps and gives you quick, easy communication between two riders.