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BBB Icarus helmet



Stylish and well ventilated helmet, but not especially light or as comfortable as it could be

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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As worn by Thibaut Pinot and the squad in this year's Tour de France, the BBB Icarus is a stylish, well ventilated and reasonably light helmet with decent comfort.

The Icarus is made using high density EPS foam with a double in-mould construction. As well as having the polycarbonate shell bonded to the EPS foam inner, an extra reinforcement structure is bonded within the helmet, and BBB uses its SpiderWeb reinforcement structure at the rear, to ensure structural integrity during an impact.

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It's quite a compact shaped helmet with a noticeably lower profile than other helmets in the same class. And there's no denying it's a good looking lid, with a similar appearance to Giro's old Aeon helmet. Out of the box, it immediately won me over.

At 272g for the medium size tested here, it's light but not especially so - if weight is a key priority when choosing a new helmet, the Specialized Prevail at 185g easily trumps it. It's worth saying the Icarus doesn't exactly feel heavy on the head when tested in isolation, but after testing it alongside the Prevail, the difference is apparent. And you can pick up the Prevail for the same price.

In warmer weather, the Icarus provides ample ventilation, its 29 vents providing sufficient air flow when the work load and temperature increases. BBB claims the shape of the vents, and their orientation, has been optimised for better ventilation, and it certainly seems to work that way.

Inside, it's lined with QuickDry pads that have an anti-bacterial treatment. They soak up a reasonable amount of sweat during hard workouts. The straps have hidden anchor points and easy-to-use multi-angle adjusters; you can even fine-tune the fit easily on the move, if needed. The retention system uses a rotary dial, so more easy adjustment there too.

You have a choice of only two sizes, medium (52-58cm) and large (58-62cm). I tested the medium and found the fit a bit narrow compared with other helmets from Lazer and Bell. I have a 'regular' shaped head and fit most helmets well, so the fact that it's on the narrow side means it's probably a good idea to check if you do have a wider head.

Despite that, I found it comfortable once I'd adjusted the fit. Critically, there are no discernible pinch points. The retention system does a good job of keeping the helmet secure, preventing it from moving around unduly, even when you're riding off-road. The choice of just two sizes is a limiting factor, though, especially when compared with helmet brands that offer three sizes. If it fits, though, it's a comfortable helmet.

It's also compatible with most cycling glasses I tested, and the vents are well shaped and positioned to allow you to park the glasses in the helmet when you're not wearing them, which might be a critical matter for some.


Stylish and well ventilated helmet, but not especially light or as comfortable as it could be test report

Make and model: BBB Icarus Helmet

Size tested: Medium (52-58cm), Silver/White

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?

BBB says: "When you are out there, on the very edge of control, it's a good think to know that we have taken the design of your helmet to another level. The AirFlow cooling system was designed to further improve ventilation. The fit has been improved by embedding the padding into the inner of the helmet and with a two-way adjustable closure system the FlexClose system. When the racing gets a little too hardcore, you can rest assured that we have done our work to keep your head as safe and sound as possible. This entire package is more compact and sleeker than its predecessor. Ready to fly."

Solid, it is provided with the AirFlow Cooling system that was designed to further improve ventilation. It adjusts easily thanks to its two-way adjustable Flexclose closure system. The fit has been improved by embedding the padding into the inner of the helmet.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Airflow Cooling System (ACS) design : 29 air vents

Rear vents for optimum air flow

Double In-mold shell construction

PC reinforcement web structure

Spiderweb rear reinforcement

Hidden strap anchors

Open Structure adjustable straps for a perfect and comfortable fit

Smooth touch multi angle strap dividers

Easy to use height and length adjustable FlexClose system

Optimized airflow padding design

High density EPS foam

QuickDry padding with Silver Protection anti-bacterial treatment

Sizes : M (52-58 cm), L (58-62 cm)

Colours : white / blue / red, colors of the FDJ team

Rate the product for quality of construction:

High quality construction is evident and it's well finished.

Rate the product for performance:

BBB says: "All BBB helmets distributed in the USA comply with the US CPSC Safety Standard for Bicycle Helmets for persons age 5 and older."

I've not thrown myself under a bus yet to test it, in the UK or the USA.

Rate the product for durability:
Rate the product for weight, if applicable:

There are lighter helmets available.

Rate the product for comfort, if applicable:

Reasonably comfortable but narrower than other helmets, with generous pads and a good retention system. The choice of just two sizes is a limiting factor; plenty of other helmet brands offer three sizes. If it fits, it's a comfortable helmet.

Rate the product for value:

It's not especially light, and the size range is restrictive.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

It's a comfortable, well ventilated and good looking helmet, but there are better designs for the money.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

It looks good and is well ventilated.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

It's not that light and the fit could be improved with an extra size option.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes, mostly.

Would you consider buying the product? Maybe not.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Not without considering other helmet choices.

Use this box to explain your score

The BBB Icarus is a nice enough helmet but the fit and weight could be improved. It does provide good ventilation and it looks smart, so if it fits you, and you're happy with the weight (which, let's face it, isn't exactly heavy) it's a good helmet choice.

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 31  Height: 180  Weight: 67kg

I usually ride:   My best bike is:

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

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, touring, mountain biking


David worked on the tech team from 2012-2020. Previously he was editor of and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds, and you can now find him over on his own YouTube channel David Arthur - Just Ride Bikes

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Kadinkski | 8 years ago

You don't get out much...

fennesz | 8 years ago

That is the dorkiest helmet I have ever seen!

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