We’ve always liked Scott’s ARX helmet, thanks to its 22 large cooling vents and its reasonable price. The new Plus version adds MIPS to an already impressive mix.
MIPS is a patented ‘Brain Protection System’ that is claimed to increase safety by separating the shell and the liner with a low-friction layer, allowing the helmet to slide relative to your head in the event of an angled impact (see top right for further info). The ARX’s MIPS system is anchored to the shell by three rubber straps, which permit the necessary movement without interfering with how well the lid fits on your head.
Scott has previously incorporated MIPS technology into its mountain bike and winter sport helmets. We’re pleased that now MIPS has hit Scott’s road range it hasn’t resulted in a significant price hike over the standard lid.
Adding MIPS increases the weight, but our large helmet weighs 282g, which is just 20g more than the standard ARX. And frankly, low weight is not the first thing we look for when it comes to safety.
The ARX Plus is particularly impressive at the front, where its large internal channels and a well-vented brow prevent the build-up of sweat. Vertical adjustment may be limited to three press-studs offering 20mm of adjustability, which is less than sliders offer on top-level lids, but this proved perfectly adequate in practice. The small rear dial offers true micro-adjustment, which helps get a precise fit.
Padding is limited to a single piece that sits across your brow with fingers that extend rearwards, plus the pair of crown pads that keep the MIPS section away from your head. The extended rear has no padding and the shell is pretty closed off, with just two triangular ports in the lower couple of inches. On warm rides this can mean a bit of moisture might build up around the nape of your neck, but that’s the only downside on what is an otherwise impressive performer.