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Verdict: 
Competent and very likable road helmet, though one favouring standard head shapes, so try before you buy
Weight: 
270g
Contact: 
www.hotlines-uk.com
Cratoni C-Blaze RD helmet
7 10

The Cratoni C-Blaze road helmet is a nicely executed lid offering the sort of performance demanded for racing, but affordable enough for training and everyday riding too. However, despite angular styling and comprehensive range of adjustment it favours regular head shapes, so try before parting with your wedge.

These days, most manufacturers have in-mould techniques sussed but a surprising number of budget to mid-range models are still let down by so-so finish. Thankfully our black/grey sample was blemish free and despite some initial scepticism; the retro reflective stickers have remained firmly attached. It conforms to the usual CE1078 standard.

Achieving a perfect fit takes all of ten seconds thanks to the ratcheted chin strap and stocky thumbwheel closure. This is particularly useful when wearing winter gloves; the serrated texture and positive action seem more convenient than most.

Helmet ventilation was once just a numbers game - Count The Vents - but helmet design has become more scientific, and you now usually get an inlet and exhaust system that's designed to drag cooling air over the scalp and carry rider-generated heat out for a consistently temperate inner climate. The C-Blaze nudges 200g and sports 21 vents and I've barely noticed it. Alternating between it and supposedly airier models suggests additional vents will only present a noticeable advantage in stonking hot weather more typical of the Mediterranean than blighty.

Meanwhile, back in rural north Essex, chill, blustery descents at 45mph failed to induce painful 'ice cream' headaches, or that irksome whistling that can stifle communication on group rides. Slower ascents confirmed the exhaust system's worth, retaining an even temperature throughout, and the low density, machine washable Clean Tex pads and chin straps mopped up excess sweat. The bug netting should bar entry to kamikaze insect life.

On the flip side, recent rains of biblical proportion had us soaked given twenty minutes or so but I'm pleased to confirm it appears compatible with standard Gore-Tex covers.

Verdict

Competent and very likable road helmet, though one favouring standard head shapes, so try before you buy.

road.cc test report

Make and model: Cratoni C-Blaze RD

Size tested: Uni

Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

"Attractive Allrounder - Our C-BLAZE is characterized by an attractive prize performance ratio and an outstanding finish. Perfect fit and wearing comfort is achieved through our reliable 360° adjustment system and additional height adjustment sidewards".

Bold claims but broadly agree.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

* "21 Air vents

* Removable visor incl. visor-pins

* Reflectors

* Rearlight compatible

* Height adjustment sideways

* Inmolded insect protective net

* Strap dividers for easy handling

* Ratchet buckle incl. chin pad

* Clean Tex pads

* Incl. spare pads

* Bag included

* Weight: 220 g"

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
7/10

To a better standard than I've come to expect at this price point.

Rate the product for performance:
 
7/10
Rate the product for durability:
 
7/10

Holding up nicely against the rigours of everyday service thus far.

Rate the product for weight, if applicable:
 
8/10

Highly unobtrusive—barely noticed it.

Rate the product for comfort, if applicable:
 
8/10
Rate the product for value:
 
7/10

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Overall, the Cratoni C-Blaze is an extremely capable all-rounder that delivers the sort of performance demanded from a competition lid, while remaining user friendly and versatile enough for generic road riding, whether audax, club runs or commuting.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Pretty much everything given the design criteria and asking price.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Nothing of note.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, for general road riding or riders seeking a good entry level race lid.

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 40  Height: 1m 81  Weight: 70 kilos

I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset  My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,

 

Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)

7 comments

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mikroos [257 posts] 2 years ago
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I have to say I don't understand the rating that you gave here. It seems to be a pretty nice helmet with no serious flaws and still you gave it just 3,5 stars? I'm a bit disappointed as I really like Cratoni helmets, especially considering theie outstanding price/quality ratio.

Avatar
dafyddp [371 posts] 2 years ago
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Inlet and exhaust system, eh? I once saw an advertisement in a climbing mag that described a waterproof's zip as a 'variable temperature control system'.

Avatar
levermonkey [667 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

For the price it's not a bad looking helmet with some good features...but!

1. That harness strap under the ear looks like it's going to annoy the tits off you! Why can't helmet manufacturers come up with a better design?

2. Does it exceed EN1078 or does it only comply with? Is it anywhere near being able to pass Snell B-90?  26

Avatar
mikroos [257 posts] 2 years ago
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There's no such thing as "close to complying with a standard".

A standard is a standard - either a product complies with one or it doesn't. That's what standards are for.

Avatar
levermonkey [667 posts] 2 years ago
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Up until the 1990s British cycle helmets were tested to Snell B-90. By 1998 this standard, in the interests of EU harmonisation, had been replaced by the much lower EN1078.

There are a lot of helmets (admittedly, mostly at the cheaper end) out there that do not even reach this standard.

The reason I asked if it exceeded EN1078 is that the reviewer was recommending it for racing as well as general everyday.

No-one said "close to complying with a standard".

Avatar
mikroos [257 posts] 2 years ago
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Actually, every helmet sold in the EU must comply with EN1078.

Avatar
levermonkey [667 posts] 2 years ago
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Mikroos stated
Actually, every helmet sold in the EU must comply with EN1078.

And yes you are correct. So why do Trading Standards keep finding helmets that claim to be complying with EN1078 that don't.

Why are helmet manufacturers so happy to reach this low standard? Is it because it is so low? Is this why helmet wearing seams so pointless?

If you want to read more go to www.cyclehelmets.org