A well-vented, low-volume, lightweight helmet that goes about its business without much fanfare
- All-day comfort
- Abus' AirPort sunglasses rentention
- Counterintuitive pad screw
- No rotational impact protection
The Abus AirBreaker is the company's top-of-the-line road helmet, claiming to be both well vented but also boasting important ‘aero’ tech.
The AirBreaker is a fairly classically styled helmet with some of the design cues being reminiscent of the pre-70s leather hairnet 'helmets', albeit with the added protection of modern construction techniques.
Design and aesthetics
One of the most noticeable aspects of the design is how low volume the helmet is compared to other models, no Mario mushroom head with this one - an attribute it shares with Abus’ best aero helmet, the GameChanger.
The AirBreaker has some great design features that subtly and quietly get on with their job without shouting about it. When you first try the helmet on, you'll notice the one large pad attached to a semi-rigid cage allows it to move independently of the outer shell for better comfort.
It is also removable for easy washing. That said, careful consideration should be paid when removing the pad as the screw in the top is a left-hand thread, which can get damaged or broken if not aware.
The straps have a neat seam sewn to one edge to reduce flapping and wind noise. I found the helmet to be impressively quiet and, even while descending at over 40mph, there was very little in the way of wind noise.
The helmet is fitted with a twist dial at the rear to adjust the fit as you’d expect to find on any top-end helmet.
Abus claims the AirBreaker offers the best possible aerodynamics with optimum ventilation. It certainly feels fast, the quiet and close-fitting nature checked enough boxes that there might be some truth in the claims.
Safety comes courtesy of something Abus calls ActiCage, which is a structural reinforcement integrated into the EPS of the helmet. Unfortunately, this doesn't follow the industry trend of offering greater rotational impact protection to mitigate concussion in the event of a crash.
Having received the helmet for testing in balmy British December, I didn’t get to test the ventilation claims until a trip to Spain in February. It was most definitely hat and buff season at home.
Now, I know everyone claims their helmet has some fancy venting tech or some kind of trans-warp speed engine to speed up airflow and venting but, this is the first helmet I’ve worn while climbing in 25-degree heat that I’ve actually thought 'I can feel the air blowing through my helmet' - in this regard, it's one of the best road bike helmets I've tested.
The AirBreaker holds sunglasses particularly well too, no matter whether you choose to dock them up-front or at the back. Abus' AirPort design allows you to safely and aerodynamically store your glasses in the helmet’s rear, yet having tested it with a couple of popular models up-front, they slide in easily without the shell forcing the arms to poke me in the head and, once there, they remained comfortable and secure.
If you’re looking for a well-vented, low-volume, lightweight helmet that goes about its business without much fanfare. In terms of comfort and style, the AirBreaker is a great helmet to add to your list of choices. Let down only by the lack of rotational protection, it's still a worthy inclusion in our guide to the best road bike helmets.
- Temperature range: Winter/spring: 0-25 degrees Celsius
- Test duration: Three months
- Terrain: Road
Tech spec: Abus AirBreaker helmet
- Price: £229.99 / $355 / AU$450 / €310
- Weight: 230g (size large)
- Rotational protection: No
- Sizes: S,M, L
- Colours: 10
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