Quiet, well vented and lightweight, the Limar Air Pro takes advantage of exotic materials to create a comfortable and great-looking lid
- Novel use of carbon fibre
- Oval head form may not suit everyone
- No MIPS or slip-plane liner
The Limar Air Pro is the latest model to join the brand's line-up of incredibly lightweight helmets.
The aptly named Ultralight was one of the first road helmets I ever purchased and is still probably the lightest. While it lived up to the name (and still does in its modern form) that helmet, in particular, brought along with it compromises in fit and ventilation and it looked a bit dorky.
But helmets, along with everything else, have improved ten-fold since those days, and Limar's Air Pro is the prime example of how far the best road bike helmets have come.
Design and aesthetics
The Limar Air Pro was designed in collaboration with the Astana-Premier Tech cycling team to serve as an open, well-vented helmet that still performed well in the wind tunnel. In typical bike industry form, Astana gave Limar the brief, the solution was to add carbon fibre, and the brand says it achieved both of these factors through its Carbon Coretech framework.
Limar has moulded what are essentially twin carbon wings into the helmet that run horizontally across the shell, serving a dual purpose of adding structure and strength and cleaning up the airflow through the helmet. In a similar claim to MET, with its Trenta 3k, the brand says the carbon fibre allowed it to use less EPS foam and still pass the relevant safety standards. Limar says the knock-on effect is that it reduced the overall weight and this size medium AS/NZS 2063 test sample weighs 268g. For the sake of comparison, an Aussie spec Lazer Genesis G1 (no MIPS) weighs 245g, a Giant Rev Pro MIPS is 292g and a Scott Centric Plus is also 292g.
With that said, I can't help but wonder if the carbon wing is more flash than function. Could Limar have achieved the same thing with EPS foam? Potentially, but that doesn't make a great talking point. At the same time, the rigidity and energy absorption that is offered may not have been achievable with foam.
According to CFD analysis and testing at Magny Cours wind tunnel in France, Limar says the Air Pro is 20 per cent faster than Ultralight+, or about one second per 10km on the road.
Overall, the helmet has 20 vents and deep internal channels that run its entire length. At the back is the brand's Air Fit retention system, which sees a micro-adjustable dial and three positions of height adjustment.
Visually, the Air Pro is a slick-looking lid, too. Whereby many of Limar's other helmets have jagged, futuristic aesthetics, the Limar Air Pro looks smooth.
Limar is offering the Air Pro in a whopping 10 colours and three sizes.
As with any helmet that makes claims about being faster over a certain distance, until we get that Cyclingnews wind tunnel we've been asking for, there is no way to confirm or deny the veracity of these claims. After having spent plenty of time with the Air Pro strapped to my head, I can say that it's a marked improvement over any Limar helmet I have worn to date in almost every way.
Whether or not the aero claims about the Air Pro are valid, it doesn't generate much wind noise as you ride, and is notably quieter than the Lazer Genesis and Bontrager Specter WaveCel I have also been wearing lately. As to whether or not this correlates to drag, your guess is as good as mine.
With the carbon-fibre wings creating the helmet's structure, longitudinal EPS foam ribs form the rest of the shell creating deep channels that run the entire length. The majority of these channels have an unobstructed path, pulling oodles of air through the helmet at high and low speed. This channelling comes under the front brow of the helmet, which allows some oxygen to be sucked in behind the forehead pad, drying it out before sweat can drip down into your sunglasses.
While Limar doesn't make a dog and pony show about sunglasses retention, the pointed ends of the ribs on the front vents create the perfect spot to ensure the ear stocks of your eyewear have something to hang onto.
Rather than anchoring the straps to the edge of the helmet, they are mounted about an inch up from the brim of the helmet, ensuring they sit flat along the sides of your head. The webbing Limar has used isn't quite a light as you find on similarly priced helmets from other brands, but it's flexible and lays flat. The ear splitters are an adjustable design, and while they wrangle the straps without any wrinkles, I wish helmet brands would put these sliding clips out to pasture — the fixed splitters simply work better. Limar also provides a small chin pad, which, if I'm honest, I took off straight away.
Limar hasn't opted for a full 360 wrap with its Air Pro retention system, but it's anchored about as close to the front of the helmet as possible. Made from soft plastic all around, this layout allows for even pressure as you spin the dial at the back, without simply squishing your forehead up against the front of the helmet. The height adjustment can be achieved one-handed with the helmet on your head, and the same goes for the geared micro adjustment dial — though it would benefit from a rubberised edge, especially with sweaty fingers. It plays nicely with the best cycling sunglasses, including the long straight arms used by Oakley, which can cause fit issues with some helmets.
When it comes to the fit, Limar uses quite an oval-shaped head form. Traditionally I tend to prefer rounder helmets; however, the Air Pro didn't cause any hotspots or discomfort — maybe my head is more egg-shaped than I thought.
To be frank, my initial experience with the Limar Ultralight all those years ago left a bad taste in my mouth, but the Air Pro has served as quite the pallet cleanser and wholly changed my tune.
Once you close the buckle you can't feel the Air Pro on your head such is its low weight and fit, and it's fared well in the Australian summer heat. It's well finished and competitively lightweight but comes at a price and will set you back $269 / £230 / AU$359.
Tech Specs: Limar Air Pro helmet
- Price: $269 / £230 / AU$359
- Weight: 268g (medium, actual)
- Rotational safety: No
- Aero: Yes
- Sizes: S, M, L
- Colours: 10
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