A helmet, is a helmet, is a helmet... Or at least that is what a lot of people seem to think. It's a funny thing, people seem to think that it's ok to go out and buy a pair of sunglasses for $150 but then they go and strap on a twenty-five year old styrofoam brain bucket that looks like an old ocean buoy that a shark took a bite out of. Or worse yet, they go with out a helmet. I cringe when I ride by some people out there and see what they are wearing for head "protection". So, when it comes to helmets, I don't screw around.
When evaluating a helmet, I consider a few details including but not limited to, fit, adjustability, venting, heat moderation, comfort, weight, how much wind noise they create, inner cushioning, and style. The helmet I was using was a Giro Eclipse, I liked my Eclipse, that model even saved my life a few times. But, it was a few years old and it was time to think about a new helmet. It was time to venture into trying something new so, I went shopping. I went to my favorite local bike shop and tried on every helmet they had. One after another, I found helmet after helmet that didn't fit for whatever reason. One was the wrong shape for my head, one had poor padding, one felt awkward, one didn't have good adjustability to the straps or rear retension system. Finally, I tried on the Bell Furio and it was a perfect fit. One quick rotation of the GPS (Geared Positioning System) and the helmet was snug and securely in place, exactly where it needed to be to protect my head. Honesty, I wasn't even looking at the helmets, I was just trying them on. But, when I found one that felt good, I took a closer look. The Furio has 20 channeled vents, a finely tuned adjustment system and weighs about 272 grams.
I took one look in the mirror and was sold. It feels good, looks good and is a CPSC certified helmet. Next stop, the road test... Out on the road, I felt the same comfort that I felt in the bike shop. Working up a good sweat, the pads inside the helmet pulled all moisture away from my head. When I was down in the drops looking straight ahead, the helmet didn't protrude enough to obscure my view at all. The overall shape of the helmet was very good. At first I thought there might be some additional wind noise, a chuffing sound but, then I realized that that noise was coming from the straps. After adjusting the straps the noise was reduced.
The weight of the helmet was exactly what I was looking for. At 272 grams (around 9.5 oz.) the Furio is light enough that it won't give you neck pain on those 6 hour rides. As a matter of fact, even as a medium level helmet, the Furio is lighter then the Atmos (one of Giro's top models) and the Ghisallo (One of Bell's top models).
The Furio has 20 large, channeled vents. The channeling is designed to stream air through the helmet and conduct the air current out the back. We didn't do any wind tunnel tests (our wind tunnel is in the shop) but on the road, in the real world, the cooling affects of the venting worked exceptionally. Further evidence that the vents are large enough is the fact that I am getting some really spiffy zebra stripe skull tan lines, (mental note, start using sunblock).
The Furio has a nice light weight, it's easily adjusted, has good quality cushion inserts, terrific air flow and it looks pretty sharp. The rear retention system not only adjusts easily but can be micro tuned for a completely dialed-in fit. The overall shape and design off the helmet are very solid. The only real detractor I can find is the doubled chin straps. They are simple to adjust and comfortable but, they can cause a little bit of wind noise. In the end, the Furio is a great helmet, a great price point. It costs around half the price of the higher end models.