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Good scores are more common than bad, because fortunately good products are more common than bad.
The Dashel Urban cycle helmet has a unique style and comes in many colours. It exceeds the CE standard for safety testing, and the magnetic Fidlock clasp is neat, though as there's no adjustable cradle getting the right fit can be tricky.
If your riding is primarily in the city, the Dashel Urban is a standout option in more ways than one.
First, the looks. Yes, I know – love it or hate it. Personally, I'm in the love camp. When it's actually on your head it looks pretty cool in a nouveau retro kind of way that absolutely doesn't resemble a WW1 French helmet (it's called an Adrian, by the way... you're welcome). There are six colours to choose from too.
The Urban's other standout feature is the Fidlock magnetic connector for the chin strap. This isn't something you see all that often on helmets (my S-Works Evade II has it, and that's pretty high end) but it works really well, allowing you to quickly attach and detach the chin strap without fear of pinching your beloved jowls.
The powerful magnets keep it firmly connected at all times, and it's easy to undo, even with gloves on.
A couple of minor criticisms related to both the Fidlock system and the strap: first, the underside of the plastic connector is a little uncomfortable against the skin, so some cushioning would have been welcome.
Then there's the excess when the chin strap is connected – if you have a smaller head, you'll have loads of strap dangling around. There's no band or magnet to secure it with.
The Urban comes with two different thicknesses of pads for the liner, allowing you to dial in the fit. My head shape is pretty much long oval, while this shell veers more towards the intermediate oval shape (it's a little more rounded).
For me, it took quite a bit of experimenting to get the fit right with no tight or loose spots, and even then it was a tiny bit looser overall than I would normally settle for with an adjustable system.
Made in the UK, the Urban is constructed from recyclable ABS and EPS foam (it's also posted in a recycle cardboard box), and if your helmet is damaged or gets a bit old and smelly, Dashel will recycle it for you and give you money off another purchase (it doesn't say how much, mind). You also get a high-quality drawstring bag.
The Urban helmet features five neat ventilation holes along the top, which should help exhaust hot air, though there are no intake vents to encourage air flow. It could get warm on hot days, but given the time of year (officially terrible) I can't definitively say.
Thankfully what I can say is that when it rains, those same holes don't act like plugholes on top of your head, probably due to the smooth curve of the top.
At 390g (medium), it's lighter than any similar helmets we've reviewed on road.cc before, though on par with my present go-to urban helmet, the Giro Sutton MIPS (383g).
Dashel boasts of the Urban helmet's CE EN1078 safety rating, which certainly sounds good on paper. However, as all cycling helmets sold in the EU have to pass this test, it's not something to really boast about. If it could pass the more stringent EU NTA 8776 standard for S-EPAC use (or even the older but more rigorous Snell helmet standard), that would be worthy of note.
That being said, according to Dashel the Urban helmet aces that test: a pass mark involves no more than 250G (so 250 times the force of gravity) being transmitted to the rider's head during a standardised drop test, and the Urban topped out at 155G. A pretty tough helmet, then, at least within the constraints of the basic European standard.
Speaking of safety, the light strap on the back (made of vegan leather, if you're interested) is a nice feature, and Dashel's own Beryl light (£20) is a direct fit. You can probably adapt other rear lights to work with it.
The Dashel Urban's £79 price might seem high, but it compares reasonably to other urban lids out there. One seriously good option is Lazer's Next+ MIPS. It looks visually similar to the Urban, though it has MIPS built in as well as a rear light, and it costs just £59.99. It's quite a bit heavier at 470g, though.
If you want the increased protection that an NTA 8776-approved helmet offers, the Bontrager Charge WaveCell Commuter helmet is impressive, though it's a lot more money at £130.
The Dashel Urban Cycle Helmet is a good-looking lid with some tidy features, but the fit is hard to adjust, it doesn't lacks any MIPS-style safety system and the minimalist venting could be an issue in hot weather.
A stylish and rugged helmet for urban rides, but adjusting the fit is awkward
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Dashel Urban Cycle Helmet
Size tested: Medium
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?
Dashel says, "Dashel's Urban Bike Helmet is light, slim and ventilated. When it's time for a new one, Dashel will recycle it. Manufactured sustainably in the UK."
It's an urban helmet for those who appreciate a unique type of style.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Made in the UK
Certified CE EN1078
Slim & Lightweight with 5 air vents
Fidlock® Magnetic Clasp - no more pinched skin!
2 sizes of washable fit pads supplied with each helmet.
Vegan leather carrying loop - use it to attach lights to your helmet
Sold packaged in a reusable, drawstring backpack so you can carry it about
Dashel will recycle it for you (in return for money off a subsequent purchase) when it's time for a new one.
Weight: Small (54-56cm) 360g, Medium (56.5-59cm) 380g, Large (60-62cm) 430g
Simple design, well executed. All components feel as if they're made to a high standard.
The Urban helmet exceeds the minimum CE EN1078 safety standard, though it hasn't been tested to any more stringent safety standards.
After a couple of months it still looks like new, save a few light scuffs to the matt finish.
Quite light for a helmet of this type - more so than many of its closest competitors.
Pretty good once you get it dialled in.
It's not cheap, but again it compares favourably with its competition. The Fidlock chin strap connector and unique style certainly go some way to justifying the extra cost.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Since the adjustment system is a little basic, you might find it hard to get the right fit for your head shape.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The unique style and the Fidlock connector.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The lack of an adjustable cradle.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
£79 is reasonable. The Bontrager Charge WaveCell has a higher safety certification, but it's heavy and costs £130. Alternatively, there are several MIPS helmets – such as the Giro Sutton MIPS and Lazer Next+ MIPS – which offer many similar features (and some that the Dashel Urban doesn't) at a similar price.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
If you want to stand out from the urban crowd, the Dashel Urban will certainly do that for you. Its Fidlock system is very good, albeit with a couple of minor annoyances in the strap design, and it's comfortable provided you can get the fit right. It's good, despite the niggles, and an seven.
About the tester
I usually ride: Steel audax bike My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, club rides, sportives,