Oozing stereotypically Germanic refinement, the Uvex XP City helmet feels much closer to a road specific model than its urban tag suggests.
Sixteen vents, CE accreditation, peaks, bug netting and integral LEDs add up to an absolutely flawless finish - an example of in mould construction at its very best. I was particularly taken with our sample's grey livery that looked great with everything, but coupled with some equally subtle reflectives, comes alive under street and vehicle lighting.
The XP opts for a shallower peak design that manages to shield the eyes from rain, wind and airborne detritus pretty well without looking out of place with road bikes and/or wardrobes.
The most significant deviations from the universal city lid script lie in the rear section, which is cut lower to afford better protection to the skull's occipital region and of course, the 3D harness. I had feared the low back would catch against jackets and hoods, restricting movement but this proved unfounded.
Now harnesses sound a bit gimmicky but it has long been recognised that head injuries commonly result from jarring and the XP's system is basically a sophisticated cradle that works in much the same fashion as a car's roll cage - in theory at least.
Credit where it's due, things certainly feel very secure, while refined webbing and chin piece eliminates chafing/similar discomfort. The helmet's modest weight and sixteen vents mean an extremely comfortable inner climate, even when cantering across town at 23 mph.
Washable anti bacterial pads mean trench helmet remains an urban legend, while long, blustery descents at 35 mph haven't induced painful ice cream headaches. Those prone to chill will be pleased to note those clever folks at Uvex also supply a winter specific kit.
Great all rounder with excellent performance and build quality.
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Make and model: Uvex XP City
Size tested: Stone, 55-60cm
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?
"Sporty and safe, with excellent ventilation, xp city is an ideal choice for regular city riding. Specially shaped, extended coverage around the back of the head protects this vulnerable area. An integrated rear light and strategically placed reflectors offer additional visibility in city traffic. Excellent fit thanks to the height adjustable uvex IAS-3D fit system. The slim visor provides a functional design highlight."
No quibble here.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
"X-fit inner lining - Removable and washable helmet inner lining, antibacterial and sweat-absorbing.
Monomatic - The comfort lock - multistage and adjustable with only one hand. Comfort padding for pressure-free fit.
Made in Germany - Market leader technology and innovation made in Germany.
FAS chin strap system - Stepless variable and easily adjustable chin strap system.
IAS 3D / IAS 3D - The uvex IAS-3D-system can be adapted individually to the head shape in length, width and height. Ergonomic wearing comfort and perfect fit. Stepless variable, cushioned and ventilated ring adapting system.
Cross shield available - Removable shield, simple handling.
No insects - A special mesh in the front ventilation openings protects against insects and small particles not Impairing the ventilation.
Inmould technology - Extremely safe, solid and low weight helmet construction. Perfect ventilation guaranteed.
Venting openings - Ventilation channels, integrated in the EPS shell, guarantee optimal fresh air supply and exhaust air outflow even during highest physical performance"
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
So much more than a commuter lid, Uvex XP city will tour, train and even tackle the trail convincingly courtesy of low weight, sensible ventilation and tunable refinement.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Attention to detail and clever styling that manages to be neutral but never bland.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Accessing the integral LED's batteries proved a chore.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Quite possibly.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? High on my list.
Age: 38 Height: 1m 81 Weight: 70 kilos
I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,
Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)