The Arella is essentially the female specific version of Bell's Muni urban helmet, and is aimed squarely at commuters, urban riders and recreational cyclists in both its styling and features.
Catlike's Vacuum helmet is a distinctive and well thought out helmet that is a good all round bet for a wide range of riding styles. Described as 'very European' by my local bike shop owner the styling is certainly original and it's available in a variety of colour schemes. The silver white, black and grey that I tested certainly looked the part.
The LAS Victory exudes the kind of secure fit and attention to detail that you'd expect from a top-level lid. It's pretty light too, and the swappable liners are a nice touch. It's well vented, well made and comfortable, with a good range of adjustment.
What first jumps out at you about the Catlike Sakana is its striking looks - a fellow cyclist likened it to a hedgehog. Although I was initially unsure over its aesthetic appeal, I will concede that its looks have grown on me.
Although a touch weightier than much of the competition, Bontrager's new high-end Oracle helmet - the one being used by the Leopard Trek pro team this year - is among the most comfortable I've ever used.
The LAS Squalo looks quite distinctive, from the front it's a bit like a multi-eyed monster staring at you. I quite like it, but it might not be for everyone. The Squalo is distinctive also because it comes with two sets of pads: a winter one with mesh covering the holes in the helmet and a lighter weight summer one. The winter one has worked quite well for me these last few weeks when there's been a bit of a chill in the air on the early morning commute. I like this concept a lot. The 29 vents keep the air circulating well.
With styling, safety, weight and ventilation comparable with models twice the price, Canyon's Excel race helmet illustrates how far mid range lids have evolved, to the point where making distinctions between models is very difficult.
However, for all its good points the detailing and overall finish quality of our test sample was disappointing.
Bell Muni Urban Sports Helmet is an extremely clever design and frankly, one that has much broader horizons than traffic jamming. Modest weight, subtle styling and colour choice coupled with a neat peak mean it's also a very capable tour and trail lid. There's a choice of mean and moody matt black/titanium stealth colours but our 'safety yellow' is anything but garish.
Essentially two products in one, Haloglow Ice helmet is prefect for the rough and tumble of regular commuting thanks to the polycarbonate outer shell and unique integrated fibre optic/LED. 24 vents, in mould construction, washable pads and sturdy thumb closures are very high spec relative to the asking price, extending its horizons towards touring and winter training too.