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Abus Urban I helmet



Well designed urban helmet that's practical and comfortable

At every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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Not everyone that wants a bike helmet is after the race-prepared look, and the Urban I is one of a growing number of metropolitan-styled lids for the city commuter. It's a good one, too, with a pleasing range of features, and it's light and comfortable as well.

Abus make their helmets using an in-mold process to bond the shell to the EPS foam, and the Urban I conforms to the European EN1078 standard for safety. 15 vents and air channels inside the lid keep you cool and there's a removable peak to the front and bug mesh to stop unwanted visitors to your scalp. Round the back the rear triangular vent is highlighted in reflective material and the retention system incorporates a small LED unit for after dark.

The most noticeable thing about the Urban I straight out of the box is that it's really quite light. At 265g it's comfortably lighter than Abus' similarly priced road offering, the S Force, and that coupled with the comfortable fit (for me, anyway) rendered it unnoticed for most of the test period, which is a good thing for a helmet to be. Venting isn't up to the standards of a top road lid but it's effective enough.

The rear LED is a nice touch as it's at a good height to be seen by traffic. It's not meant to replace a bike-mounted light but as an extra safety feature it's very welcome, and Abus even throw some spare button cells into the box. We haven't run ours down yet though.

There's a range of finishes available; ours is the 'map' one that's covered with a stylised street map of Berlin. We'd probably plump for the tweed one if it was our cash, but there should be something for everyone. At £50 the Urban I represents decent value too.

My one gripe was that the rear retention system sat a bit low and hit the top of one of our test rucksacks. It's not a big issue but other urban lids have a more recessed retention strap to better accommodate backpacks – which commuters often use – and we'd like to see Abus follow suit.


Well designed urban helmet that's practical and comfortable test report

Make and model: Abus Urban I helmet

Size tested: L

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Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 36  Height: 190cm  Weight: 98kg

I usually ride: whatever I\'m testing...  My best bike is: Trek 1.5 with Ultegra 6700

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

I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb, Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling, track

Dave is a founding father of, having previously worked on Cycling Plus and What Mountain Bike magazines back in the day. He also writes about e-bikes for our sister publication ebiketips. He's won three mountain bike bog snorkelling World Championships, and races at the back of the third cats.

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