A bicycle helmet can save your life in the event of a serious incident, but up until recently they’ve not been the most stylish of items. Thankfully times are changing, and over recent years helmets have become more breathable, more attractive and more aerodynamic – and sometimes you can even get all three at a price that doesn’t break the bank.
The MET Strale is the brand new addition to the Italian brand’s road helmet family, retailing at just £79.99 which is impressive for a premium looking lid. At 255g in a size Medium, it's not a heavy weight either.
The Strale is only available in a Medium and Large size, but the Medium comes in at 52-58cm which is fairly compact. Most brands confirm that their research shows no difference between men's and women's heads, aside from size, so provided the circumference runs small enough women will be well catered for in the unisex range.
Fewer vents, more breathability
The Strale has been designed to provide ‘ultra-comfortable and super ventilated riding’ – but MET haven’t created the ventilation by inserting lots of little channels. Instead, they’ve worked with just fourteen vents to move airflow more effectively.
The central cut out – called the NACA vent – has been designed around the 'Venturi effect'. We didn’t know what that meant either, but apparently it refers to the reduction in pressure when a fluid flows through a constricted area – or choke pipe. So effectively the front vent acts like a narrow pipe, allowing cool air to flow in, whilst nasty warm air is pushed out the back.
There are side vents, too – and MET claim the system provides ‘exceptional’ ventilation. We’ve yet to try one, but the design looks good at first glance.
There’s nothing worse than a great helmet that just doesn’t fit quite right. You want to put it on at the start of the ride, and forget all about it – so having to tweak and fiddle to get a close fit is never ideal.
MET have provided an adjustable retention system with a difference. As well as the normal headcage, that is adjusted via a dial, a Safe-T Duo system allows for three vertical adjustments. This means you can position the cage to sit lower or higher in the helmet depending upon the shape of your noggin.
As we’d expect, it’s ponytail compatible – but we’re not giving extra points for that because we reckon all helmets should be. All padding is anti-allergenic, removable and washable.
The strap dividers slide along the chin ribbon and are adjustable, snapping into place at the position of your choice. We rather like this feature, and it allows a better fit on a small face, where more often than not the split ends up sitting far beneath the ears.
Along the rear of the helmet, MET have applied a reflective sticker – we’ve not seen one up close yet to assess how durable this is – but it certainly seems like a good idea. The dial at the back of the helmet is also shaped to allow an LED light to be clipped to it, giving you an extra position for a rear bream. The Duo light itself isn’t included, but you can pick one up for less than £10.
MET have produced a video to show the key features of the lid – check it out below…
Interested? You can see the helmet, and read more, here.