Cannondale Ryker helmet £50

New lid from an old hand

BikeRadar score 4/5

Cannondale have been very careful to ensure that they're bringing something different to their new helmet range and this bears out in their System Integration approach to the 298g Ryker.

System Integration is Cannondale’s way of combining structural and design elements together to save weight, increase strength and performance. The most obvious way that they've achieved this is on the Ryker is in the use of an alloy roll cage that's embedded into the EPS foam liner. 

Add this to the in-mould construction technique – where the outer surface of the EPS liner is bonded to a thin hard plastic cover; not a feature unique to Cannondale – and it gives the helmet an incredibly strong structure, while ensuring it stays together if you should be unlucky enough to have an accident and strike it.

Comfort is another area where Cannondale have tried to make a difference, first by trying to optimise the inner shape to fit as many different noggin shapes as possible. It’s worked too with most of our testers finding the fit either perfect or acceptable. If you like Specialized and Bell helmets, you’ll get on with the Ryker from the gun.

The micro-adjust strap works with one hand and the short rubberised pad means that it feels extremely snug without having to be done up particularly tight. Great news, especially in the summer when overly tight helmets can cause headaches. The 20 vents draw plenty of air and while this spring has been a bit cool to really feel the benefit, we know that come the summer we will be sitting pretty.

Stuff we don’t like is minimal, extending only to the straps, which are a bit thick and not fast to dry out, and the non-adjustable peak. It’s quite long and we’d like to have been able to push it back as with Giro’s POV visors. Given that the Ryker costs half the amount of most of the helmets we compared it to for performance we can work through those issues.

This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

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