Highbar wants to redefine helmet straps: I rode 100km wearing one to see if it can

Testing Highbar's unreleased helmet, complete with pivoting solid strap system

Detail shot of the new helmet, complete with Highbar strap system
(Image: © Josh Croxton)

Cyclingnews Verdict

The aesthetics are polarising, but in use, it feels like any normal helmet. The primary aim of improving safety is a good thing, but for most riders, this can be overcome by spending a few more minutes on getting your traditional helmet strap tightened correctly. The additional benefits of aerodynamics and noise weren't noticeable in use.


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    Reduced risk of badly-tightened straps

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    Claimed improvements to aerodynamics and noise


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    It looks unusual

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    Slight discomfort when wearing it off the bike

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    The main problems it solves are easily fixed for free

You can trust Cyclingnews Our experts spend countless hours testing cycling tech and will always share honest, unbiased advice to help you choose. Find out more about how we test.

"You look like a construction worker!" Perhaps not the one-line summary that Highbar would have wanted for its new, unusual, innovative, still-unreleased helmet collaboration, but that's the quip that came from one of my friends as I rolled across the car park ahead of the Gralloch gravel race in Scotland.

I was there for fun, but an opportunity presented itself to test the new helmet that swaps traditional fabric straps for a rubberised, pivoting arm that tightens with a dial. I couldn't refuse; I had to see whether the brand's claims would stand up in the real world. 

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Testing scorecard and notes
Design and aestheticsFunctionally, it's designed well and plays nicely with glasses. Aesthetically, however, it was widely lambasted5/10
ComfortSome discomfort when wearing it off the bike, but totally fine once riding8/10
VentilationPlenty of vents to let air in and out9/10
SafetyHard to quantify this against wearing straps. Given it reduces the risk of wearing something badly, it must score well, but the suggestion that you loosen it on climbs comes with risks8/10
ValueThe fact that you can solve the safety problems without any additional expense (tightening your existing helmet correctly) makes it a hard sell, but I like that it removes the possibility of someone getting it wrong2/10
OverallRow 5 - Cell 1 64%

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Josh Croxton
Associate Editor (Tech)

Josh is Associate Editor of Cyclingnews – leading our content on the best bikes, kit and the latest breaking tech stories from the pro peloton. He has been with us since the summer of 2019 and throughout that time he's covered everything from buyer's guides and deals to the latest tech news and reviews. 

On the bike, Josh has been riding and racing for over 15 years. He started out racing cross country in his teens back when 26-inch wheels and triple chainsets were still mainstream, but he found favour in road racing in his early 20s, racing at a local and national level for Somerset-based Team Tor 2000. These days he rides indoors for convenience and fitness, and outdoors for fun on road, gravel, 'cross and cross-country bikes, the latter usually with his two dogs in tow.