The Ibex is HJC's top flight race helmet which, as you can see by the Lotto Soudal team logos on this model, is already being used by the pro peloton. It's a good weight, very comfortable and impresses on the ventilation front, but like most top end helmets, you have to pay for it.
- Pros: Shape and padding makes for a comfortable helmet, good at removing heat
- Cons: Pricey
The Ibex is very similarly shaped to the Furion lid, HJC's aero offering, so it's no surprise I find it very comfortable. The shape suits my head perfectly and with some decent thickness padding I felt no pressure spots anywhere once everything was tightened.
Its lightness helps too. Weighing in at just 245g for this 57-59cm size, it doesn't feel as though you are wearing it at all.
My only real criticism of the Furion was its lack of ventilation, even for an aero helmet with minimal venting, but the Ibex doesn't suffer at all. It might not be a full aero helmet but compared with a lot of others on the market it does have minimal venting – 16 in total – so I was really impressed with the performance.
With four large vents at the front and two smaller ones (which are positioned so that they will hold your sunglasses should you need somewhere to store them), it really lets the breeze in.
There are more vents on the top and at the rear of the helmet to let wind through, and while it is difficult to confirm without seeing it in a wind tunnel (which HJC does actually have), the shape of the vents and shell certainly look like they have been sculpted to channel air over the top to keep you cool from front to back.
Right at the rear you get another selection of vents which work like exhaust ports.
Bearing in mind that a lot of the test rides were taking place in heat ranging from the mid-20s to low 30s, as long as I was moving at a decent pace the airflow was impressive.
The HJC confirms to EN 1078 and has a special cradle skeleton system which sits inside the polystyrene. In the event of an impact it's designed to keep the structure of the helmet intact should a secondary impact happen before you stop moving.
For fit, the Ibex uses a simple thrumbscrew to tighten the cradle at the rear. It's not as advanced as some systems I've tried but it does the job and with bare hands it's easy to adjust things on the fly. The thumbwheel is a little small to adjust with winter gloves on.
You get two sets of padding in the package and it is well positioned inside the helmet. It's called X-Static, and uses silver in its construction to kill bacteria. Should it get overwhelmed and needs a wash, HJC provides a mesh laundry bag to pop the padding into so it doesn't get snagged in the washing machine.
As always with top-end helmets, the Ibex looks like a lot of money for something that passes exactly the same safety test as one a tenth of the price but if you read my review of the £29.99 Raleigh Extreme Pro Helmet you'll see why I think it makes sense to spend as much as you can.
Saying that, though, a lot of very good performing helmets are a fair bit cheaper. Bell's Stratus MIPS, for instance, costs £129.99 for just a little bit more weight but Neil reckoned it was near perfect, really close to the top flight Zephyr model at £199.99.
Another helmet used in the pro peloton is the Kask Valegro, which was designed for Team Sky. It costs £169 and weighs just 206g, so the Ibex isn't completely out of the ball park.
If the team look isn't your thing you can get the Ibex in matt black/gold, matt white/gold, matt teal/gold, matt/gloss black, glossy white/silver, burgundy/black and pale blue/white. There are three sizing options too: XS/S (54-56cm), M/L (57-59cm) and XL/XXL (60-63cm).
A great all-round helmet for fit, ventilation, weight and comfort at a pro-level price
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road.cc test report
Make and model: HJC Ibex Lotto Soudal helmet
Size tested: M/L
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?
HJC says, "Helmet IBEX is one of high-end helmet designed from HJC. IBEX improves on aero dynamic and ventilation. It has integrated with Venturi Dynamics to balance the air resistant force with exhaust ventilation function. You are able to experience more aerodynamic and optimal function with impressive well-balanced design."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Wind Tunnel Tested
Double In-Mold Construction
Advanced Air Channel System
Adjustable fit system
Feather Light 220g (+/-10)
CE EN 1078 Certificate
Not the most expensive we've seen, but up there with the best of them.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
A really light helmet that is comfortable and really gets the air moving through the vents.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Comfort and ventilation.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Other than the outlay, I can't really fault it.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes, but not sure I could bring myself to shell out full whack...
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
This helmet is really good in so many ways, and I especially love its comfort levels. The price is high, though, even for a peloton-level skid lid, but it's still an 8 overall.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed
Stu knocked out his first road.cc review back in 2009 and since then he's chucked the best part of seventy test bikes around the West Country, a couple of them quite literally! With three alloy and two steel bikes in his fleet he's definitely a metal man (that'll be the engineering background) but is slowly warming to that modern carbon fibre stuff along with fat tyres & disc brakes.
It's not all nostalgia though, after spending the last few years in product design Stu keeps banging on about how 3D printing is going to be the next big thing and he's a sucker for a beautiful paint job too.