Italian helmet company MET have given BikeRadar a first look at the latest version of their Stradivarius road helmet, which will be available in February 2013 for £129.99.
It's the third generation of the Stradivarius, MET's aim being to improve the helmet's cooling as well as make the lid lighter. At first glance it appears they've succeeded on the weight front, with the 2013 model weighing a little over 200g for a medium – the previous model that we tested weighed 286g.
MET's Jean Pierre Coupé told us that they've achieved a lighter weight with the Stradivarius by using a bonded two shell construction. This helps spread the force of an impact over a larger area of the helmet, which means less material can be used for the same amount of protection.
Cooling is something that's going to take us a while longer to evaluate (being somewhere warm would help). That said, MET have added more vents to the Stradivarius, as well as keeping the contact between the rider's head and helmet pads to a minimum.
Speaking of pads, the Stradivarius continues to use MET's gel pads, which are designed to direct sweat out of the way of your eyes and down the side of your face instead of absorb it. This should help prevent the helmet from getting too smelly, and also avoid that horrible moment when you put it on after a coffee stop and it's full of cold sweat.
When asked about aero options for the MET Stradivarius, Coupé said they would be testing a closed shell version next season, working with their newly sponsored South African Pro Continental team MTN-Qhubeka. This would be with a view to making it publicly available in 2014 at the earliest.
Gel pads help wick away sweat