Specialized Air Force Helmet£24.99

With a few exceptions, cycle helmets sold in the UK today aren't as tough as those sold about 10 years ago. That's because today's helmets are only certified to EN1078, which is a less stringent standard than Snell's B-90 or B-95...

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With a few exceptions, cycle helmets sold in the UK today aren't as tough as those sold about 10 years ago. That's because today's helmets are only certified to EN1078, which is a less stringent standard than Snell's B-90 or B-95, which many UK helmets were certified to in the early 1990s.

This Specializedhelmet is one of the exceptions. In the UK it carries only the EN1078 sticker but (along with Specialized's Aurora, Telluride, KidCobra and Deuce helmets for the UK market) is manufactured identically to the Snellapproved versions (listed at www.smf.org). As well as being tough, the AirForce is cheap, not too heavy, and fairly well vented, and you could race in it too. The design is almost one-size-fits-all with the adjustable FormFit cradle taking up the slack. Strap length could be more generous: with a 57cm sized head (average), the chin strap was only just long enough for me. It fitted securely, however. There's a detachable peak. Women's, children's versions and 'small adult' size are also available.

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