Making up one third of the ZeroRH+ helmet range (along with the ZR and the recently reviewed ZW), the Zero RH ZX Helmet promises premium head protection with good looks and build quality to match.
The ZX is available in two sizes; S/M (54-58cm) and L/XL (58-61)cm. With a head circumference of 56cm, the S/M fitted me perfectly - benefiting from the offering of narrower sizing brackets compared to cheaper alternatives. This helps to give the helmet a nice close fit that is apparent in both looks and feel.
Firmly of the tarmac tribe, the Bell Lumen sports a gently sculpted profile, that's accommodating of Gore tex covers when its biting cold and raining dogs while conforming to both EU and US safety standards. The latter might also explain why ours tipped the scales at 317g.
The Met Xilo helmet hails from the Italian brand's 'active' range aimed at budget conscious sports minded road and trail riders who want a lid that will perform in both contexts with nominal compromise.
Frankly, for the money I'm seriously impressed - but a comparatively shallow cradle gave the sensation of it being perched atop my head, so I'd strongly recommend trying before buying.
Bell's Sweep helmet is refreshingly different and an excellent choice for road racers who enjoy competitive mountain biking but want a single, lid with nominal compromise. Riders expect something very special for one hundred quid, especially in the present economic climate. So how does it hold up?
Italian brand ZeroRH+ have a range of three helmets in their cycling portfolio; the ZR, the ZX and this - the ZW.
The ZW, like practically all helmets on the market,is made from an expanded polystyrene (EPS) liner which is co-moulded to the polycarbonate shell. This keeps the helmet together after the first impact just in case of a second.
The Abus Lane U helmet is a unisex design marketed as having a more feminine friendly shape but in my experience it just seems better fitting and finished than most lids.
We take in mould construction (where outer shell and EPS liner are formed seamlessly together) for granted these days but Abus have employed a double shell, which supposedly offers greater protection and combined with a softer, more rounded profile and subtle liveries certainly looks more flattering worn with street/inspired clothes.
The Carrera Radius helmet is the top-of-the-range model from specialist manufacturer Carrera. It's pretty light, claims good aero credentials, and has an adjustable set of straps at the back to hold it firmly on your head.
The Bell Volt helmet is the brand's second-tier helmet. It feels reassuringly tough, not weighty, and looks similar to the top-tier Gage helmet, as worn by BMC team riders, thanks mainly to the pods behind the ears.
The Volt is priced at an RRP of £139.99, it's currently available at just under £100 at most outlets. The 320g claimed weight of the helmet disappears when in use; I've yet to use another helmet where the weight seems so well distributed.
Oozing stereotypically Germanic refinement, the Uvex XP City helmet feels much closer to a road specific model than its urban tag suggests.
Sixteen vents, CE accreditation, peaks, bug netting and integral LEDs add up to an absolutely flawless finish - an example of in mould construction at its very best. I was particularly taken with our sample's grey livery that looked great with everything, but coupled with some equally subtle reflectives, comes alive under street and vehicle lighting.
The Amare from Giro is no cheap and cheerful beginner's lid, it's a properly technical, super light and highly ventilated helmet, aimed at demanding riders.