Mavic will fill in the last missing piece of its body equipment puzzle and jump into the crowded bicycle helmet market, with the introduction of three new models: the top-end Plasma SLR, the mid-range Plasma, and the Syncro.
Mavic admittedly hasn't unleashed any groundbreaking technological advances with any of its new helmets. All three use conventional in-molded microshells over expanded polystyrene liners with excellent rear coverage, the styling is fairly derivative, Mavic didn't design the shape with aerodynamics in mind, and all three weigh right around 300g. Instead, Mavic says its designers concentrated on improving the fit and feel from a rider's perspective to produce, "something that looks, fits, and feels to the Mavic standard."
The interior shape is designed to minimize pressure points for the widest range of headforms, the Bell GPS-like height-adjustable retention system is cushioned for a soft feel, the one-piece padding is fairly generous, and Mavic says the padding's dual-density construction is an industry first.
Rather than use a simple soft, single-density foam that's light but quick to pack down (thus effectively not providing much real padding at all), Mavic's new padding uses a lower density against the rider's head plus a higher and more durable density against the foam liner.
Other details include countersunk Velcro tabs in the liner and notched interfaces between the retention system and straps to help keep all of the rider touch points perfectly flush.
The top-end Plasma SLR will retail for US$225 and will come in black or yellow/black. Main upgrades include visible carbon fiber internal reinforcements that allow for bigger vents and deeper interior channeling for better airflow, antibacterial X-Static pads, plus a soft carrying bag for travel.
The US$180 Plasma model will come in black/silver, white/silver, or white/black and offers the same fit and nearly identical look to the Plasma SLR but steps down to aluminized fiberglass internal reinforcements, non-X-Static pads, and ditches the storage bag.
Finally, there's the US$125 Syncro, which will come in white/black, black/red, or dark silver. This so-called "entry level" model includes a removable visor but omits the internal reinforcements altogether, thus leaving smaller vents and shallower interior channels.
Mavic didn't allow anyone to try the helmets on at the launch event but we expect rideable samples within the next few weeks.
This article first appeared on Bikeradar.com