The Limar 555 helmet offers a decent blend of comfort and performance. It's the sort of lid that's inexpensive enough for everyday, general riding, yet light and airy enough for training and maybe more competitive riding too.
There's a lot of choice at this price point, which is generally good news as it means you tend to get more for your money. The specification here is what I'd expect, although I was pleasantly surprised by some subtle touches.
Like most lids, it's an in-mould mono-shell design, which basically means the EPS liner and polycarbonate shell are moulded together simultaneously, resulting in a lighter, theoretically stronger helmet.
Standards of construction and finish met my expectations, although I prefer shells to cover the rim. Manufacturers would argue this adds weight, but I'd rather a few grams and greater protection from everyday wear and tear, but there we are. In terms of protecting your head, it's compliant with CE1078.
The 555 also follows a trend for fewer vents. On paper, 15 sounds firmly in commuter territory – not long ago, 22 was the going rate for racier lids – but their design here seems very efficient, and arguably more welcome during a British winter. Limar doesn't refer to inlet and outlet ventilation but this seemed pretty consistent with those that do. Belting down a 1-in-4, tugged by a blustery wind, or winching up the other side in the blazing sun, I remained temperate.
Anti-bacterial pads are there to mop up what isn't vented away. Limar doesn't say whether they're machine washable, but I took the risk and no problems thus far.
Mips technology – a cradle system designed to mimic a roll cage, theoretically protecting the head's occipital region from the twisting forces experienced during a nasty crash – hasn't trickled down this far, yet. Instead, Limar relies on its Competition + system which ensures a good degree of adjustability so the helmet cradles the head securely. It's dialled in via the familiar knurled thumbwheel, intuitive to use and a cinch to set up and adjust, even at speed, so no qualms there.
It seems to me that helmets have become slightly heavier in recent years, and 300g is not that uncommon. Our large (57-62cm) came up 2g lighter than the 285g cited, which is always pleasant, and with the fitting system fine-tuned, I wasn't conscious of it.
Some designs seem prone to wind roar, which can hamper awareness and conversation. On really blowy rides in the Limar there has been some low-level "swoosh", requiring more focus, but nothing out of the ordinary.
Angry insect invaders can really ruin a ride, so I was pleased by the inclusion of a bug net. I like the padded chin-strap, too; even though they can turn a bit funky given a few weeks' summer riding, they're a small touch that can make a surprising difference on longer rides.
Used daily for the past few weeks, the 555's matt finish still looks good, although given a few long, wet rides it's benefited from a quick lick of matt 'polish'. And if matt black finishes aren't your thing, fear not – the 555 is offered in several alternative colours.
Last but not least, there is the option of a universal aftermarket light, which sits within the thumbwheel. It looks a little dated, especially compared with integral designs such as Giant's, but in fairness, the Giant is close to twice the Limar's asking price. More importantly, trial and error confirmed several full-blown 20-lumen lights could be tethered to the vents, for arguably better effect.
The Limar 555 is very well equipped and feels very safe. Aside from my usual moan about exposed EPS rims, it's well finished and feels comfortable and unobtrusive. It does face some strong competition – most notably from the Oxford Raven, which is a tenner cheaper and nearly 30g lighter.
But overall, the 555 is a good choice for everyday road-biased riding, whether commuting, training or even racing – though I'd spend a bit more for serious competitive duties.
Comfortable and well designed everyday or entry-level race/training lid
road.cc test report
Make and model: Limar 555 Road Helmet
Size tested: 52/57 cm
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?
Limar clearly feels the 555 requires no introduction, skipping straight to the technical specification. I would describe it as a capable, entry-level lid for most genres of road biased riding.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
The tech spec from Limar:
SIZES: M (52-57 cm) - L (57-62 cm)
WEIGHT: M 260 g - L 285 g
Universal light available as accessory
Technology: Monoshell In-mould
Air vents: 15 air vents
Sizing system: Competition+ Fit-System with height adjustment
Pads: Antibacterial pads
Bug Net: Yes
15 air vents
Competition+ Fit-System with height adjustment
The helmet stays secure on the head in all
situations and straps are always in good position."
Generally well made. Shame the outer shell doesn't extend around the rim, but typical at this price point.
Decent airflow, even on the hottest rides, and the padded chin-strap is another definite plus.
Quite a high spec/performance ratio for this end of the market.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Overall, the Limar 555 is a decent entry-level road lid. Ventilation is more than adequate and the fit precise yet easily adjusted, so comfort hasn't been an issue. I've discovered several LED lights will mount between the vents, which is helpful for commuting and training.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Well conceived, versatile and very comfortable.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Nothing per se, although shame the outer shell doesn't extend around the rim.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Possibly
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Worth a closer look if they wanted an entry-level race helmet or second lid for training/general riding.
Use this box to explain your score
It's a very comfortable helmet that puts in a good performance, but the exposed EPS is vulnerable to knocks and general everyday carelessness, otherwise I'd be tempted to score it 8.
About the tester
I usually ride: Rough stuff tourer based around 4130 Univega mountain bike 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, mountain biking
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)