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Verdict: 
An excellent balance of aerodynamics and cooling in a well-priced package
Weight: 
241g
Met Strale Helmet
9 10

Met's Strale helmet strikes a balance between aerodynamics, cooling and comfort that makes you wonder whether you really need to spend any more on a polystyrene lid.

Last year I tested the Met Manta Aero helmet and it became my favourite; I'm still wearing it on practically every ride, or rather, I was until the Strale turned up.

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The Strale is half the price but offers nearly the same performance. No doubt there'll be some data out there to say it doesn't save as many watts at a given speed, but for the majority of your riding that probably doesn't matter.

With eight vents up front, the Strale has a lot fewer than most traditional helmets but you certainly don't overheat when you're wearing it. A few weeks ago the temperature in this part of the country was nudging 30°C and I spent the week riding in the Met without issue.

Met Strale Helmet - side.jpg

Met Strale Helmet - side.jpg

Met says that it uses the Venturi effect, scooping air in at the front, and with the small gap between your head and the inside of the helmet, the hot air from your head is forced out of the rear to keep you cool. If it is working then you can't physically feel it, but I certainly never felt like I was baking in this matt black helmet.

When the speed is low and you're working pretty hard – like on a climb, for instance – you will sweat, but I didn't feel noticeably more sweaty than when wearing a helmet with 20 vents. The pads inside the Strale do soak everything up pretty well too.

Met Strale Helmet - back.jpg

Met Strale Helmet - back.jpg

Met's shape and fitting system suits the shape of my head so I find its helmets really comfortable as I can get them fitting snug without any pressure points anywhere. That's pretty good from a helmet that only adjusts the rear section for size rather than the full circumference, like the cable system used on my Poc.

The fit is controlled by the Safe-T Duo Fit System, which is adjusted circumference-wise by a small dial with close increments to get everything just right. You can also adjust the position vertically by four settings – and flop your ponytail through, too, if necessary.

Met Strale Helmet - inside.jpg

Met Strale Helmet - inside.jpg

Size-wise, this test model is a medium, which fits a head size of 52-58cm, while a large comes with a 59-62cm circumference. There are seven colour choices.

The only niggle is the small LED light that clips over the adjustment knob for some extra visibility in the dark. Each of the light's three modes are plenty bright enough, but the actual fitment to the helmet isn't that great. It didn't seem to really connect with the dial by clicking into place or anything.

> Buyer's Guide: 16 of the best performance helmets

Comparing the Strale with some of the other helmets we've tested recently shows there is even more to like. The Salice Levante, for instance, is a similar styled, semi-aero lid which is both heavier (277g) and more expensive than the Met by about £25.

For a similar price, there's the Giant Strive MIPS helmet, but that weighs 80g more at 320g. Not a massive amount, admittedly, but it's more weight on your neck muscles.

Taking all this into account, the Met Strale looks to be a very competitive all-round package.

Verdict

An excellent balance of aerodynamics and cooling in a well-priced package

road.cc test report

Make and model: Met Strale Helmet

Size tested: Medium

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?

Met says: "The Met Strale utilizes the Venturi Effect via an air channeling system that pulls in cool air and pushes heat out.

"Feather-light, wearing the Strale is unobtrusive, as any top range all-around helmet should be."

The Strale offers a great balance between aero and cooling.

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

Met lists these features:

Outer shell construction In-Mould

Inner shell Shock absorbing polystyrene

Chin strap buckle Anti-pinch buckle

Strap and Divider Anti-slip cam divider

Fit system Safe-T Duo. Ponytail compatible

Comfort Anti-allergenic interior padding. Hand washable

Be seen Reflective rear sticker

Compatibility Duo LED light

Certifications CE, AS/NZ, US

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10
Rate the product for performance:
 
9/10
Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the product for weight (if applicable)
 
8/10
Rate the product for comfort (if applicable)
 
9/10
Rate the product for value:
 
8/10

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

The fit is great.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

It's an excellent all-rounder for the price.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

A minor quibble, but the rear light could do with attaching more firmly.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your score

The Strale is a great helmet if you want to go down the aero route without the associated price tag. Back that up with an excellent fit and comfort levels and there is very little to fault.

Overall rating: 9/10

About the tester

Age: 38  Height: 180cm  Weight: 76kg

I usually ride: This month's test bike  My best bike is: Kinesis Aithein

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed

Stu knocked out his first road.cc review back in 2009 and since then he's chucked the best part of seventy test bikes around the West Country, a couple of them quite literally! With three alloy and two steel bikes in his fleet he's definitely a metal man (that'll be the engineering background) but is slowly warming to that modern carbon fibre stuff along with fat tyres & disc brakes.
It's not all nostalgia though, after spending the last few years in product design Stu keeps banging on about how 3D printing is going to be the next big thing and he's a sucker for a beautiful paint job too.

4 comments

Avatar
Peowpeowpeowlasers [498 posts] 1 week ago
0 likes

And once again, absolutely no information on how this helmet might perform in a collision, which surely is the most important thing people need to know.

I understand that it's difficult for reviewers to test for this, but cycling publications should insist that helmet manufacturers supply test results, including photographs and video, before any reviews will take place.

Avatar
midschool [54 posts] 1 week ago
2 likes
Peowpeowpeowlasers wrote:

And once again, absolutely no information on how this helmet might perform in a collision, which surely is the most important thing people need to know.

I understand that it's difficult for reviewers to test for this, but cycling publications should insist that helmet manufacturers supply test results, including photographs and video, before any reviews will take place.

 

All helmets sold in the UK pass the required CE safety tests, so what more are you looking for in terms of endorsement? Did you ask for crash test photos or impact videos when you bought your car? If not why is it an issue here?

The amount of variables that are factors in a collision would make it impossible for any media outlet to give you a comprehensive review of how each helmet performed in every instance. This is why the CE standards exist, to ensure that the required levels of safety are achieved my the manufacturer prior to the helmet reaching the market.

Avatar
Peowpeowpeowlasers [498 posts] 1 week ago
0 likes
midschool wrote:

All helmets sold in the UK pass the required CE safety tests,

By what margin did this helmet pass those tests?

Avatar
bob_c [23 posts] 1 week ago
0 likes
Peowpeowpeowlasers wrote:

By what margin did this helmet pass those tests?

You obviously know a lot about the tests. Are they a binary pass/fail or is there actually a scoring system (e.g. NCAP-style stars/percentage) for each category?