At first glance the Met Forte is reminiscent of Team Sky’s new Kask Proton ventilated aero helmet, but looks are where the similarities end.
The Forte sits at the bottom of the Italian helmet manufacturer’s range of road helmets, and features generous vents on the front and back – but none on the very top. Despite 17 openings in total, the complete lack of internal channeling makes for a sweaty ride. Air entering the vents has limited escape options, and the only time we felt it rushing through was at speeds in excess of 50kph (30mph).
Adding to the sweatiness of the helmet, the padding is not made from quick drying CoolMax or gel, but instead simple anti allergenic fabric. This may not be a problem in dry climates, but the humidity around the Australian coast where we tested it meant padding that remained damp, despite being left to dry overnight.
The Forte, which is available in one size only, is claimed to fit heads ranging from 52cm to 59cm. Our testers usually ride in size medium lids, and it was apparent that the Forte had plenty of room for bigger and smaller craniums. The Safe-T Twist 2 retention system is adjusted with a dial on the back, and offers a big range of horizontal adjustment. That being said, there’s no height adjustment – a problem for our testers, who felt the retention system needed to sit a few cm lower.
The plastic around the dial on the retention system has a few sharp edges, which some of our testers felt digging into their noggins. Others complained of a hotspot just behind the ears, where the retention system connects to the shell.
On the plus side the Forte is fairly light, the Australian Standard version tipping our scales at 260g – nearly 20g lighter than the claimed weight of Met’s equivalent flagship Sine Thesis Ice Lite.
The straps are connected via a toggle on the outside of the helmet, and are soft and quite pliable. On the back are two sizable reflective patches, aiding in night time visibility.
Overall we believe that the Forte could use an update – Met does offer some great models, but as it stands the Forte isn’t one of them.