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Eurobike 2011: Mavic launches helmet range

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Ventilation looks to be very good on Mavic's new Plasma SLR helmet.

Ventilation looks to be very good on Mavic's new Plasma SLR helmet.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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For those that want a more subdued look, Mavic will also offer the top-end Plasma SLR in black.

For those that want a more subdued look, Mavic will also offer the top-end Plasma SLR in black.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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The webbed retention system arms are noticeably flexible and should help a bit with ventilation as compared to thicker bits of plastic.

The webbed retention system arms are noticeably flexible and should help a bit with ventilation as compared to thicker bits of plastic.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Mavic says the separate chin webbing helps the straps lay flatter on a rider's face. We still see about the same level of twist as usual, though.

Mavic says the separate chin webbing helps the straps lay flatter on a rider's face. We still see about the same level of twist as usual, though.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Styling on the new Mavic Plasma SLR strikes us as rather derivative, though. Take away the logos and this view definitely reminds us of other lids.

Styling on the new Mavic Plasma SLR strikes us as rather derivative, though. Take away the logos and this view definitely reminds us of other lids.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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(Image credit: James Huang)
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The retention system is padded on Mavic's new helmet range.

The retention system is padded on Mavic's new helmet range.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Mavic concentrated on rider comfort in the design of its new helmet range.

Mavic concentrated on rider comfort in the design of its new helmet range.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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A small notch cut out of the forehead of the Mavic Plasma SLR helmet should help dry out the brow padding during rides.

A small notch cut out of the forehead of the Mavic Plasma SLR helmet should help dry out the brow padding during rides.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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The interior channels on the new Mavic Plasma SLR helmet look fairly deep, which bodes well for ventilation.

The interior channels on the new Mavic Plasma SLR helmet look fairly deep, which bodes well for ventilation.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Nine exhaust ports on the Mavic Plasma helmet promise to suck out hot air.

Nine exhaust ports on the Mavic Plasma helmet promise to suck out hot air.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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The Syncro is Mavic's entry-level helmet for 2012 at US$125.

The Syncro is Mavic's entry-level helmet for 2012 at US$125.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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The second-tier Plasma uses the same shape as the top-end Plasma SLR but slightly cheaper padding and 'Alutex' interior reinforcements instead of real carbon fiber.

The second-tier Plasma uses the same shape as the top-end Plasma SLR but slightly cheaper padding and 'Alutex' interior reinforcements instead of real carbon fiber.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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The one-piece interior padding on the new Mavic Plasma SLR helmet uses dual-density foam and X-Static antibacterial fabric.

The one-piece interior padding on the new Mavic Plasma SLR helmet uses dual-density foam and X-Static antibacterial fabric.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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The second-tier Mavic Plasma helmet uses aluminum-coated fiberglass internal reinforcements instead of real carbon fiber.

The second-tier Mavic Plasma helmet uses aluminum-coated fiberglass internal reinforcements instead of real carbon fiber.
(Image credit: James Huang)

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