The Smith Maze Bike Helmet is a good looking, simple urban helmet, although it would be nice to have a little more adjustability to create a more secure fit.
The Maze Bike Helmet is the US company's urban cycling offering, so I took it round the streets of London on my daily commute to see how it fared.
The rounded shape is like the kind of generic helmets you see for skiing or skateboarding, but it has a couple of nice touches that set it apart from others in this category. For instance, the two small vents at the front, with one being surrounded by silver; it's a simple and understated look that works well.
Ventilation on the helmet is naturally not as good as you get with a road helmet, but the two front vents, combined with six above the crown and four at the base of neck, work better than most I have tried with this kind of helmet design in the past. This is helped thanks to the channels across the top of the head and a nice design on the front vent which splits the air so it flows both over the head and down over the face. It still gets a bit sweatier than road helmets if you're riding fast or uphill, but for easier rides it is more than adequate.
Fit on the helmet is okay, but there are a couple of issues that Smith could look at fixing in future models. The straps work well with nice dividers which keep everything from twisting, and they are simple to adjust and keep in place too. The element that is slightly frustrating is the cradle at the back, which does away with the more commonly seen dial and instead just puts a small length of elastic in its place. This doesn't create a great deal of resistance, so I often found the helmet would slip down at the front, and pushing it back up every five minutes can get very annoying.
The Maze does have a decent set of pads that are relatively thick and comfortable against the head, and haven't started smelling yet...
Weight is a very respectable 282g, which is pretty good for an urban helmet. For instance, compared to the TSG Status I reviewed last year, it's a good 30g lighter. Weight certainly isn't a factor in urban helmets, but regardless, this is definitely a plus point.
RRP on the helmet is £54.99 which is about what I would expect for a decent quality urban helmet.
Overall this helmet has some really strong points, such as the ventilation and looks, but it is let down by the cradle and lack of adjustability.
A decent helmet for urban riding that's slightly let down by the fitting system
road.cc test report
Make and model: Smith Maze Bike Helmet
Size tested: Medium , 55-59
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?
An urban helmet for relatively low-intensity rides or commutes.
Smith says: 'The Maze is the go-to helmet for a clean, modern look and urban-friendly cruising'
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Lightweight In-Mold Construction
Self-Adjusting Lifestyle Fit System
X-Static Performance Lining
Ultra-Light Single Layer Webbing
A well made solid helmet, straps seem strong too.
Did everything it needed to on shorter or more relaxed rides.
Seems like it would last a while thanks to decent construction.
Not too applicable to urban helmets, but this is lighter than others I've tried in the same category.
Difficult to rate... it's comfortable in terms of pads and ventilation, but is let down by the fitting system.
Pretty good value for a decent urban helmet.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Performed fairly well, but let down slightly by the fitting system.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
It looks really minimalistic and simple, which I really like.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The fitting system is frustrating.
Did you enjoy using the product? Sometimes
Would you consider buying the product? If Smith fixed the cradle with adjustability.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? If Smith fixed the cradle...
Use this box to explain your score
It's a decent helmet that would score higher if the cradle worked better.
About the tester
I usually ride: Mercian King of Mercia or Cinelli Gazzetta My best bike is: Cannondale Supersix Evo
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking
George spends his days flitting between writing about data, running business magazines and writing about sports technology. The latter gave him the impetus (excuse) to get even further into the cycling world before taking the dive and starting his own cycling sites and writing for Road.cc.
When he is not writing about cycling, he is either out on his bike cursing not living in the countryside or boring anybody who will listen about the latest pro peloton/cycling tech/cycling infrastructure projects.