Sometimes you've got to admire marketing folks. Consider aero helmets as an example and you'd probably say that they're a summer item, as you'll want your most aero clothing and equipment for fast summer riding. Now when it comes to winter, most of us are not so focused on speed but on slower rides, social rides, exploring and just generally keeping warm, while we clock the miles up.
Well the folks at LAS helmets must have had a bit of moment of 'inspiration' whilst looking at aero helmets that typically feature fewer vents and realised that this might in fact make them perfect for winter. In fact the description for the Victory Vento is "A helmet to ride in the wind, also great for winter, thanks to its special smooth shell shape. The front and rear vents guarantee just the right air flow."
Now when you actually stop and think about it, this makes a certain amount of sense. Highly vented summer helmets often see cyclists wear caps or the like to offset the level of ventilation during colder winter riding. Most of us also know that you lose a lot of heat from the top of your head.
A typical LAS summer helmet offers 25 vents to keep you cool but the Victory Vento only has 12 with many of what would be the others becoming solid sections of the outer shell.
Available in two sizes and three colours, it's the Lime Small we've been testing (white and black are also available).
The Victory Vento also has a few additional features that may help make it of interest to you.
There's the fitting system called 'Cat-Eye 3D EVO2', which has both an adjustable wheel at the rear of the helmet but also includes vertical adjustment. We'd have to agree with LAS that this system, whilst a little bulky did enable us to get a perfect fit on several different riders. They system holds the helmet on your head particularly well. The chin strap has a nice soft pad under your chin & features a magnetic clasp, which again works very well and is pleasingly intuitive to use.
The Victory Vento also comes with two sets of pads and an intriguing insect proof net on the inside to stop bugs ending up in your hair, which is a nice touch. We've not found any bugs in the net, we're pleased to report. A helmet bag is also included.
In fact the fitting system, padding and inside of the helmet all give a sensation of quality. Ironically the outer shell didn't give off quite the same feel. Perhaps because it's difficult to believe that the outer shell is enormously aerodynamically validated and there's no data on the LAS website to suggest this either.
So with that in mind we rode it on some cold wintery days to see how it performed as a winter helmet and were generally impressed.
Riding down to 0 degrees or just above, the Victory Vento's 12 vent system does a good job of regulating the air flow and keeping your head at what felt like a good temperature.
The vents move an airflow across the side of your head, across the top of your ears and across to the back of your head. They move enough air that when you've built up some heat from a climb or from pushing on that you can feel the coolness flow around you. There's less ventilation over the top of your head but we never felt overheated or that the top of our head lacked ventilation.
There was absolutely no need for a cap under the helmet and the fitting system was very comfortable over a number of hours out riding.
Another bonus of the more solid outer shell was being caught in a hail shower on one of our first rides. Icy rain is not something many riders would have on their list of favourite things, but the Victory Vento certain took care of that for us. The same with rain as the helmet provides a good barrier to nasty weather and shape of the helmet worked well for our test rider.
Several rides later and the LAS Victory Vento has proven itself well in cold and wintery conditions. Sadly we'll have to wait to at least the Spring to work out how well it ventilates with warmer weather.
If you're the type of rider who does get a cold head or would like some extra protection from the elements, then you should definitely put the LAS Victory Vento on your shortlist. It provides a comfortable fit, some nice detailing and above all it'll help keep your head warmer on winter rides.
Comfortable, warm aero winter helmet, with a good shape that'll eliminate the need to wear a cap on cold rides
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Make and model: LAS Victory Vento helmet
Size tested: Small (53-59), Fluo Lime
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?
LAS say this is a helmet to ride in the wind, also great for winter, thanks to its special smooth shell shape. The front and rear vents guarantee just the right air flow. Available in two sizes, the "Cat-Eye 3D EVO2" system with adjustable wheel and 12mm of vertical travel ensures an absolute perfect fit. Also supplied with two sets of pads: one piece padding with Interpower treatment anti insect net and Filter padding with no insects net and a handy helmet bag.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
12 air openings
Magnetic buckle closure with soft nylon strap with protector
Anti-insect Networks into ventilation openings
Matching bag with logo
Weight: 290g (S)
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
I'd never considered that someone might want a winter helmet before, but the Victory Vento has shown me that for those who want one, this is a fine product.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
It's really comfortable and I was pleasantly surprised at how well it kept my head warm on cold rides without over heating.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
I wasn't convinced about the aesthetics of the outer shell, but the shape suited my head well.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
Age: 46 Height: 180cm Weight: 68kg
I usually ride: Stoemper Taylör My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: sportives, general fitness riding, Social, Family and whatever I get talked into