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review

Abus Macator MIPS helmet

6
£69.99

VERDICT:

6
10
Decent value MIPS-equipped lid, but limited ventilation restricts it to lower intensity rides
Useful amount of adjustment
MIPS at a reasonable price
Pads are easy to remove for washing
Limited ventilation
Smaller pads can't cope with the sweat produced
Weight: 
300g

At road.cc 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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The Abus Macator with MIPS is a reasonable all-round helmet for less intensive riding, featuring a useful amount of adjustment, a removable peak and that MIPS layer for added protection. It does suffer from limited airflow, though, making it quite hot for more intense riding.

The Macator is available in nine colours and three sizes. The medium size on test is listed as 52-58cm, and weighed 321g with the removable visor fitted, 300g without, which is reasonable for the style and price.

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With a reasonably low volume, the helmet looks good on the head, and feels well balanced weight-wise. The peak is quick and easy to lock in or remove, although it only comes in matt black, not colour matched to the helmet. There is also an insect mesh fitted over the three vents at the front.

The helmet can be adjusted for size quickly and easily using the rear 'Zoom Ace' dial, and it also features three-point height adjustment.

2021 Abus Macator MIPS helmet - tension system.jpg

Abus calls it an all-around helmet, and while it is suitable for on or off-road riding, the biggest factor I noticed was the very limited airflow. Despite the helmet having 13 vents, even when riding in colder winter conditions I found I was sweating far more than in other road-focused helmets, and this, combined with the pads' limited ability to absorb sweat, resulted in lots of sweat dripping down.

2021 Abus Macator MIPS helmet - side.jpg

For less intense riding I found the helmet comfortable, with the extra little padding section to cover the buckle a nice touch that suits its purpose and design.

2021 Abus Macator MIPS helmet - clip and strap.jpg

Value

At £69.99, this is among the better value MIPS-equipped helmets available, and while it may not be the most ventilated, it's not alone: ventilation was a similar issue for Stu when testing the Giro Isode, for example, which is now £74.99.

That said, the Smith Signal fared better, and has the slightly lower price of £65.

> Buyer’s Guide: 22 of the best cycling helmets

If you're not so bothered about the MIPS rotational protection layer, Abus still does the standard version without, which retails for £20 less at £49.99.

Conclusion

Overall, the Abus Macator MIPS is a decent helmet for various styles of riding, with sizing and colour options to suit almost everyone, but if you like to push yourself a little harder then the limited ventilation might become a frustration.

Verdict

Decent value MIPS-equipped lid, but limited ventilation restricts it to lower intensity rides

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Abus Macator MIPS helmet

Size tested: M, 52-58cm

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?

Abus says: "The Macator is a sporty entry-level helmet for cyclists looking for an outstanding all-round helmet.

"The Macator has not only a comfortable padding but also offers an excellent ventilation, and it comes in a variety of bright, highly-visible colours."

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

Abus's UK distributor Extra lists:

* In-Mould: Lightweight, durable helmet with a longlasting combination of EPS core and Polycarbonate shell

* MIPS (Multi-directional Impact Protection System)

* Bug mesh: Full protection from insects

* Ponytail compatibility: Perfect fi t for people with long hair

* Excellent ventilation with 5 air inlets and 8 air outlets

* Zoom Ace Urban: Height adjustable retention system with full-ring enclosing the whole head

* Supplied with removable visor for MTB rides

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
7/10
Rate the product for performance:
 
6/10
Rate the product for durability:
 
7/10
Rate the product for weight (if applicable)
 
6/10
Rate the product for comfort (if applicable)
 
7/10
Rate the product for value:
 
6/10

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

The Macator MIPS is reasonably comfortable and has plenty of adjustment, but not great for more active riding with very little airflow through the helmet while riding.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Shape, looks and simple adjustment.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Very little airflow made it feel hotter than expected, even with multiple vents.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

It's £20 more than the Macator without MIPS that Stu tested last year. Other helmets around the same price, with MIPS, include the Giro Isode MIPS, now £74.99, the Smith Signal MIPS at £64.99, and Giro's Vasona Women's MIPS, now £79.99.

Did you enjoy using the product? Not really.

Would you consider buying the product? Not for the style of riding I do.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? For someone who rides more casually it is a good value and comfortable helmet.

Use this box to explain your overall score

The Macator MIPS is quite good: it's comfortable and easy to adjust, and available in lots of colours. The downside is the limited ventilation that can make it hot and sweaty for faster paced rides, even in colder weather.

Overall rating: 6/10

About the tester

Age: 35  Height: 168  Weight: 62

I usually ride:   My best bike is: Cannondale SystemSix

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: road racing, cyclo cross, sportives, mtb, Lots of gravel style riding

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