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The TSG Geo Helmet, according to Technical Safety Gear (TSG), is 'reshaping the sphere of head protection'. Well, you may end up looking a little like Red Dwarf's Kryten, but for your money you're also getting a well-priced, fully featured, commuter-friendly lid with a rear LED, reflective straps and European and US safety accreditation – so it's not merely form over function.
If the Geo isn't doing it for you, check out our guide to the best cycling helmets for more options.
The most obvious starting point for this helmet is its looks. The helmet is a co-creation of the manufacturer TSG and the company Papertrophy, which is known for its angular paper-based animal creations. Yep, seriously. The initial concept for the Geo came from TSG's late CEO Ruedi Herger, who liked the idea of an angular helmet design but felt TSG couldn't bring it to fruition on its own – hence the collaboration with Papertrophy and the resulting Kryten-like shape. You can read more about all this on TSG's blog.
But ignore the shape and you'll find that beneath the looks is a decent helmet that's well designed for day-to-day urban riding, commuter and leisure rides. The lack of venting compared with a road helmet means it's not one for extended hard efforts, as you're likely to overheat, but during commuter-length rides at moderate efforts in late autumn and early winter I didn't find any issues.
Our 302g weight for the S/M (I actually tested the L/XL) is within 12g of what TSG claims (though it doesn't specify which size) and is fine for a helmet of this type. It's 32g lighter than the medium size Abus Hud-Y, and while I don't think helmets are the first place I'd look to lose weight, it's a considerable 155g lighter than the 52-58cm Kask Moebius, which I feel is enough of a difference to actually notice.
I'm a big fan of having a rear-facing LED in a bike helmet so I was pleased TSG has fitted one. Typically for a helmet light it's quite a modest affair with six individual LEDs, but I always feel that helmet-mounted illumination in addition to a bike-mounted light is a very good call for riding safety.
You can remove the light if you choose, though why would you? You pop it out using a pen from the inside and it's powered by a single CR2032 cell, though you need a small Phillips screwdriver to change the battery – I'd have preferred both a tool-free design and a rechargeable battery, which could also have added brightness (and upped the cost, of course), but I'm still glad it's there.
The six LEDs offer you a choice of solid lighting and two flashing modes: one with all six LEDs flashing regularly; the second with a single LED illuminated at any one time, first going clockwise and then anti-clockwise. You just press the light to turn it on and scroll through the modes and turn it off. Simple as.
The rear light is complemented by straps that have a reflective strip – which should be a no-brainer for pretty much any helmet designed for commuting as it adds lateral visibility – and the matt-finish shell has a couple of reflective TSG logos. The box also comes with a couple of reflective patches, featuring the TSG initials beneath a Viking-helmet-like logo for even more night-time visibility.
It's pretty much all standard in-mould helmet fare after that, bar the more blocky, angular design which is fine by me. It comes with quite thick padding around the entire inner circumference and another strip across the cranium. You also get a spare set of pads that are a good deal less thick; it's always nice to have a couple of options to help you achieve the right fit.
The straps – with the exception of the reflective strips – are all pretty familiar, as is the ratcheted rear dial that you can operate single-handedly while riding. It's not a micro-adjust dial, but is all fine and dandy.
It looks like a blocky skateboard helmet when you're wearing it. I found it comfortable, though it's only available in the UK in two sizes – S/M and L/XL, I tested the latter – so as always I'd strongly recommend trying before buying to see whether it works for your head shape. There's good protection all around your head, with an angular cutaway for your ears.
It hasn't picked up any knocks or dings during testing, but I haven't crashed or banged my head while wearing it. As with all helmets with a matt finish, it picks up grubby fingerprints and the like, though these wash off easily.
The construction quality appears to be very good for such a moderately priced helmet. The hard shell doesn't extend over the bottom face of the helmet, which I would like to have seen for shrugging off little knocks. But the join between the EPS and the hard shell is exceptionally neat throughout, and the vents' internal edges are just as tidily finished.
You can of course use pretty much any helmet for commuting. The Endura Hummvee, for example, costs £46.99. In spite of the modest price, Matt still thought it was a fantastic urban and off-road helmet that's light and well made.
The Kask Moebius comes in at a similar price to the TSG, but while you can fit an LED to it, it doesn't come as standard, and Tom wasn't overly impressed with its quite minimal venting or its quite hefty 447g weight.
I'd have preferred a brighter, rechargeable LED but I feel that in pretty much every other way TSG has delivered a very well-considered lid. It's comfortable, easy to adjust, has reasonable venting and personally I like the science-fiction looks, though your mileage may vary. And with a reasonable weight and good construction quality, it's a big thumbs up from me.
Well-made and good value commuter lid with a distinctive design and all the relevant safety credentials
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road.cc test report
Make and model: TSG Geo Urban Helmet
Size tested: L/XL (weight is for S/M)
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?
TSG says: "The Geo is a revolutionary new look in urban bike helmet. Created in collaboration with the founder of Papertrophy, the helmet's shell incorporates the unique angular design of the award winning company's paper creations. Its in-mold construction features a 10 vent cooling system and an easy to adjust Dial Fit System with fine-tuning for perfect comfort and fit. A removable LED rear light and reflective straps and print also add to the helmets safety credentials and visibility on the street, making this the ultimate in cool two-wheel urban head protection."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
In-Mold Construction is a technique that connects the shock absorbing EPS liner directly to the polycarbonate shells to create a lightweight and strong structure. In the first step, the flat PC sheet is heated and deep-drawn over the helmet mold. Then the outline of the helmet shell and the holes are milled out. This PC shell is then placed in the helmet mold and the anchors for straps and fitting systems are placed. Then the mold will be closed, and the EPS is injected. Now the polycarbonate shell bonds with the EPS and a super light, yet extremely stable helmet is created.
The Dial-Fit System makes it easy to dial in a custom fit in seconds. An adjustment wheel on the back of the helmet ensures size adjustment and increases stability for helmets that do not have our Snug Fit. Some of our mountain bike enduro/trail helmets also come with a height-adjustable Dial Fit System.
Tuned Fit System
Our Tuned Fit System allows a rider to dial in their fit using different thickness pads on the interior of the helmet. Our helmets always come with two sizes of pads. Each size comes in a different color which makes it easy to determine the right pads to fit the helmet to the head. It is very important to adjust the helmet with these included pads. For example, if necessary, the slightly thicker pads can be mounted on the back of the head and the pad for the front of the head can be thinner, or vice versa.
A helmet can only protect what it covers. Our Low Fit design sits low and fully protects the entire back and sides of your head without impairing field of vision or restricting movement.
10 VENTS WITH AIR FLOW CHANNELS
REMOVABLE LED BACK LIGHT
REFLECTIVE STRAPS AND PRINT
Reflective straps and or prints for additional visibility and safety.
COMFORT PADDING IN 2 SIZES
Premium heat-sealed padding that is pre-formed and quick-drying: Removable and machine (hand) washable.
S/M 54-56 CM
L/XL 57-59 CM
The construction quality looks very good, very clean and tidy throughout. The join between the EPS and hard shell is exceptionally neat, as is the finish around the vents.
It's comfortable and quick to set up. It passes European and US safety standards, though luckily I didn't need to put the helmet to the test by actually crashing...
I would like to have seen the hard shell extend around the bottom of the helmet, but I've no reason to think that this won't last for years.
The 302g weight (for the S/M, including the rear LED and the thicker padding) is reasonable and compares well with similar helmets.
No probs at all.
While the likes of the Endura Hummvee undercut the cost of the TSG by a good margin, the Geo comes in quite a bit cheaper than dedicated commuter helmets from Abus and Smith.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Absolutely fine. Comfortable to wear and reassuring European and US safety credentials.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Good price, all-round head protection and a rear LED.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
I do like the fact that it has a rear LED – though I'd have preferred a bit more oomph from a few more lumens, which a rechargeable rather than cell-powered unit would have delivered.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
Aside from the much cheaper Endura Hummvee, the TSG costs less than similar or similar-ish helmets that we've tested in the last year or so. The Abus Hud-Y is £129.99 and the Smith Dispatch even more expensive at £159.99, though that does feature both Koroyd and Mips.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes – if they were okay with the looks!
Use this box to explain your overall score
There's a lot to like about the TSG Geo. It's a well-made commuter helmet at a decent price, with a rear LED and reflective strap. The weight's decent, too, as is the venting – albeit not one for super-hard efforts. Overall, it's a good option – as long as the polygon design appeals.
About the tester
I usually ride: 2018 Giant TCR Advanced 2 with Halo Carbaura disc wheels My best bike is:
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, touring, sportives, general fitness riding,
Simon has been riding since he was a nipper and more seriously since his university days way back when. He has been a cycling journalist for more than two decades and reckons he has upwards of 200,000 miles in his legs. In his time he has competed (in the loosest sense of the word) in time trials, triathlons, duathlons and a lone cyclo-cross; he has been a long-distance commuter for decades – on road and canal towpath. He has also toured extensively in Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia and has ridden 4,000km from Cairns to Melbourne in Australia, and the 700km from Picton to Dunedin in New Zealand. If his legs carry on working, he'd like to ride from Perth to Sydney...