Mavic will jump into the crowded bicycle helmet market with the introduction of three road models for 2012: the top-end Plasma SLR, the mid-range Plasma and the Syncro.
The French company haven't unleashed any groundbreaking technological advances. All three use conventional in-molded microshells over expanded polystyrene liners with excellent rear coverage, the styling is fairly derivative, the shape wasn't designed with aerodynamics in mind, and each weighs around 300g.
Mavic say their designers concentrated on improving the fit and feel from a rider's perspective to produce "something that looks, fits and feels to the Mavic standard". The interior shape is designed to minimize pressure points for the widest range of headforms, the Bell GPS-like height-adjustable retention system is cushioned for a soft feel and the one-piece padding is fairly generous.
Mavic say the padding's dual-density construction is an industry first. Rather than use a simple soft, single-density foam that's light but quick to pack down (thus not providing much padding at all), Mavic's new padding uses a lower density against the rider's head plus a higher and more durable density against the foam liner. Other details include countersunk Velcro tabs in the liner and notched interfaces between the retention system and straps to help keep all of the rider touch points perfectly flush.
The one-piece interior padding on the new Mavic Plasma SLR helmet uses dual-density foam and X-Static antibacterial fabric
The top-end Plasma SLR will retail for US$225 and will come in black or yellow/black. Main upgrades include visible carbon fiber internal reinforcements that allow for bigger vents and deeper interior channeling for better airflow, antibacterial X-Static pads, plus a soft carrying bag for travel.
The $180 Plasma model will come in black/silver, white/silver or white/black. It offers the same fit and a nearly identical look to the Plasma SLR but steps down to aluminized fiberglass internal reinforcements, non-X-Static pads, and ditches the storage bag.
Finally, there's the $125 Syncro, which will come in white/black, black/red or dark silver. This so-called "entry level" model includes a removable visor but omits the internal reinforcements altogether, thus leaving smaller vents and shallower interior channels.
Mavic didn't allow anyone to try the helmets on at the launch but we expect rideable samples within the next few weeks. Look out for a review on BikeRadar soon. For more pictures of the new lids, see our image gallery.
Exhaust ports are especially generous on the new Mavic Plasma SLR helmet