In the pursuit of creating the lightest and/or most aero road helmets, Bergamo-based brand Limar has long been at the vanguard.
Our own independent wind-tunnel tests have regularly seen the Italians’ top-end aero road lid, the £180 Air Speed, positioned near to the top step of the aero road-helmet podium (usually just below the S-Works Evade).
The result no doubt stems from the company’s long-standing collaboration with the Astana UCI WorldTeam, and painstaking hours on the track and in the Magny-Cours wind tunnel.
Limar’s 180g Ultralight+, meanwhile, was one of the lightest lids around for a long time.
Limar Air Stratos helmet details
Unlike the Air Speed, the Air Stratos on test here is targeted at the multi-terrain – if still speed-focused – market, with the reinforced double in-mould shell, relatively lean 240g weight and AirFit-System aimed at all-day gravel adventures.
But first, what’s the difference between a road and a gravel helmet?
In the context of the Air Stratos, that’s a difficult one to answer. There’s that reinforced double in-mould construction (where the outer and inner layers are fused together) and 15 sizeable vents, both features also seen on some of Limar’s road helmets.
Limar Air Stratos helmet performance
The above combination was welcome from a psychological and performance perspective during a lengthy test period, which has included the West Kernow Way in a late-summer heatwave and a winter Sonder gravel sportive.
The beefy yet quick-drying internal pads and chinstrap add to the all-day comfort package, but I would have preferred a larger retention-system dial at the rear to help with adjustment on the move (the internal sizing mechanism is pain-free, however).
Italian style is also evident in the choice of seven colour schemes, with the dark crimson seen here and an olive number our personal picks.
While the Air Stratos boasts Limar’s double in-mould shell, something that’s missing is a MIPS (multidirectional impact protection system) internal layer, which isn’t necessarily a huge surprise at the sub-£100 price point, but may well be a deal breaker for many.
Evidence of MIPS’ rotational protection continues to mount, with Virginia Tech tests regularly placing MIPS helmets at the top of the safety rankings (the overall evidence still isn’t conclusive, however, with the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute questioning its effectiveness).
Limar Air Stratos helmet bottom line
However, whatever the gravel marketing blurb, this is a classy and well-crafted lid for an array of riding situations.
The finishing quality, Limar’s proven record in aerodynamics and the internal comfort led me to believe this would be more expensive than it actually is. That’s something I rarely say when it comes to bike helmets.
|Price||EUR €100.00GBP £80.00|
|Features||Sizes: M (53-57cm), L (57-61cm)
Weight: 240g (M), 250g (L)
Colours: Amaranth, Deep Green, Iridescent Matt Black, Iridescent White, Silver, Blue, Red
Vents: 5 air vents, inner air flow channels
Sizing system: Air Fit System with height adjustment and webbing connection
Pads: Non-allergenic and washable comfort pads