I would say a good helmet is one that you forget that you’re wearing; the MET Stradivarius HES is just that. Weighing in at only 250g it is definitely a helmet you forget you’re wearing. The new Safe-T Advanced occipital retention system mean this is even lighter and more comfortable than the previous model, making it hard to fault when it comes to comfort.
The new retention system adjusts the entire circumference of the helmet rather than just the rear like on most helmets, this micro adjustable system gives it a very secure and snug feel and is very easy to use even when riding. I found it very comfortable especially when wearing it for long periods of time, the gel pad inserts might not be to everyones liking but I found they held the helmet secure without any discomfort at all. The helmet is really well vented and keeps your head really cool in even the hottest weather, I didn’t find it too cold when the temperature dropped either.
One of the standout features that I hope I will never get to test is the impact resistance. The HES construction process which involves fusing two homothetic shells allows the pressure which builds up at the point of impact to be spread across the helmet dissipating the shock more effectively and thus minimises the damage to your bonce. What this essentially means is the helmet shell is separate to the retention system so when you crash the shell moves independently creating less stress to your head and neck.
I think that the Stradivarius is a great looking helmet, it is available in a variety of colourways which is definitely a bonus. I really like how the helmet looks from the rear, it is all spiky and…well cool looking. It also has numerous reflective stickers on the rear and the MET logos are also reflective; which is a definite plus as they help keep you seen and therefore safer. I would give the Stradivarius top marks for comfort, the only real faults I can find are; it can be awkward to get you sunglasses to fit through the vents and it is slightly wide, though I am sure this serves a purpose on impact; I mean the width not difficulty in placing your sunglasses. Overall it is a great piece of essential cycling kit. Retailing at around £129.99 it won’t break the bank either. Definitely worth checking out if your in the market for a new lid. Photos by Jeremie Reuiller courtesy of MET Helmets