Spanish sportswear brand Spiuk has put together a comfortable aero helmet for the time triallists and – dare I say it – triathletes among us. It might even appeal just for fast road riding.
Aero helmets have never been the most accommodating of shells to wear while on the road. In the pursuit of speed, they can be as uncomfortable to wear as ungainly to look at. However, Spiuk has gone to a lot of effort to make the Obuss more than just a cool-looking piece of kit.
Complete with air-funnelling creases over the top of the crown and an accompanying black, white and fluoro-green colour scheme, it certainly turns heads, in a good way (it's also available in a white, red and black scheme too). I can't vouch for the science without a wind tunnel, but it does seem to resist and deflect gusts of wind, which suggests it handles fast moving air well.
Wear it without the aerodynamic visor and it reasonably resembles a normal helmet with a similar footprint around your head. Attach the supplied visor and suddenly you look like a fighter pilot. Or like you're auditioning for the next Tron film.
The quality of that visor isn't fantastic, though, with clarity far, far short of what I and many others will be used to with dedicated cycling shades. Additionally, one of the four small magnets that stick the visor to the helmet fell off after one use – with the best will in the world, not a great advert for its build quality, although I've stuck it back on and it's still there.
As you can wear the helmet with your own shades, visor quality isn't the end of the world, and in many other respects it's as comfortable to wear as any other helmet. There's padding on the top and frontal areas of the inside of the shell, with two small padded strips sited at the temples to cushion your head as well as to aid sweat absorption, and another around the chin strap to avoid chafing.
Not that you need to worry too much about sweating. Wind channels cut along the top sides of the head draw cooling air in through the interior and out the back, with four strategically placed intakes at the front and four slightly large ones at the rear. It means wearing the Obuss is not only ideal for time triallists and racers, it can also be used for fast road rides – I took it on a 60km ride and found it comfortable throughout, although it's no super-lightweight shell, weighing in at 307g.
A good fit is virtually guaranteed thanks to the 'W-Precision X3 two-position clip adjustment'. Essentially, it's like pretty much any other rotational clasp that helps fasten the helmet to your head – there's no wobble once you've got it sorted. And, of course, it complies completely with European CE regulations.
Overall, the Obuss is an enticing proposition for a race-ready helmet, at a solid £99.99. It's one to be given serious thought if you care about saving watts without sacrificing ride comfort.
Race-ready aero helmet with impressive comfort thrown in
road.cc test report
Make and model: Spiuk Obuss Helmet
Size tested: Medium/Large
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?
Spiuk says: "Our special helmet for time-trial and triathlon is particularly aerodynamic and safe. In its design, special attention has been paid to rider comfort. In taxing races in which concentration really matters, even the tiniest detail can make a difference. These features have transformed the Obuss into a real missile."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
- Single shell In-Mold construction.
- Interior ventilation channels for greater comfort.
- Dark aerodynamic front visor attached by magnets.
- W-Precision X3 rear fit with two-position angle clip adjustment at the back of the neck.
- Includes protective microfibre bag.
- Transparent front visor can be purchased separately.
Construction is generally excellent; the only reservation is the magnetic nubs, one of which came unstuck.
Clearly aerodynamic, while also keeping you relatively cool.
No issues here at all – except those magnetic nubs. I reglued the one that fell off, and it's still there.
Decent at just over 300g for a medium aero lid.
It's not exceptional, but it is impressive.
£99.95 is a lot for a helmet you'd only wear in race conditions, but you can get away with this on fast road rides too, just.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
A great-looking design, aero features and cooling technology.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Strength of the factory-fitted glue to the magnet fittings.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes, for time trials.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your score
This is an ideally pitched and designed helmet, justifying its high score.
About the tester
I usually ride: Specialized Allez Sport My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding