The German-made Uvex fp 3.0 helmet is a step down from the fp 1 model used by the HTC-Columbia team in the world’s biggest road races, but should not be discounted by those looking for a high quality skid lid.
We love the coverage that it provides, especially at the rear where it drops down over the crown of a rider’s head much further than other top-level road racing helmets. It's still adequately ventilated, though, and remains relatively comfortable even on the hottest days.
The fp 3.0 provides rear coverage more akin to that of a mountain bike helmet
There are two negatives associated with this helmet. The first is that it’s slightly hefty – the larger shell size weighs 342g – which in the event of a crash is a likely a good thing, but in use, you can feel its weight down through your neck.
The second issue is that the fp 3.0 is available in just two shell sizes, which is fine if one of the sizes fits you well. Problems arise if you’re in between, as we were; without the retention system we were swimming in the shell, which limited the helmet’s comfort.
Features like the in-moulded shell reinforcements won't help if the lid doesn't fit properly
The extra space also made us question its effectiveness in the event of a crash. The helmet is CPSC, CE GS and EN DIN 1078 approved, but it can't be a good thing if your head is allowed too much movement within the shell on impact before the foam starts to absorb impact energy.
In the end, a final recommendation on the fp 3.0 – or indeed any helmet – hinges on fit. If this helmet fits you, and you can overlook its heft, it does have advantages to other makes and models in this category.
Besides its great coverage, the fp 3.0 is packed with all of the features required of a top-level helmet these days, including a retention chassis that’s adjustable by way of height and circumference, in-moulded ‘Roll over bar’ shell reinforcements, excellent interface with most sunglass arms and a unique multi stage buckle.
The FAS buckle allows the helmet’s strap length to be easily adjusted on the fly by 2.5cm, which is nice should you want to loosen it on a hot day or cinch it down on a descent; honestly, we never chose the latter.
The FAS multi-stage buckle is more novel than truly useful, but we see no drawback to it
The helmet straps are comfortable and lie flat against your head, plus the buckle has a neat fleece and Velcro holder to accommodate the excess strap cleanly.
The IAS 3D+ retention system is easy to operate one-handed via a rear mounted dial, plus the whole system can be raised or lowered, thought the helmet needs to be removed to make the latter changes.
The IAS 3D+ retention system offers vertical adjustment as well as circumferential
The internal padding is made from an anti-microbial material and is removable for washing. On hot and humid days we did find that the padding holds a lot of sweat, which can build up and release when moving the helmet around. This wasn’t a huge problem, but something that was noticeable. The pads seemed to hold more moisture than other helmets’ pads.
Ventilation is adequate, though not mindblowing, through the helmet’s 22 vents. We appreciated the fact that the front and rear vents are oriented in such a way that they accept and hold onto a pair of sunglasses, should you need to stow them. While both sides seem to work, we preferred using the front.