If there’s one thing you can say about French company Mavic, other than that they make some brilliant wheels, it’s that they’re not afraid to try something new. Aeroplanes, pedal cars, mudguards, electronic shifting, clipless pedals, tyres, shoes and clothing are all projects past and present to bear the name Mavic, so a simple bicycle helmet should be a breeze.
Enter a three-model range, two years in development and with a dash of Gallic style. Designed in-house, Mavic extensively researched the issues surrounding ﬁt and comfort, trying to ﬁt as many head sizes and shapes into their chosen shape and still keep the ﬁt rock solid. Naturally there are limits and, like any helmet, your head may not be the optimal shape.
Mavic have opted to go with a fairly round shape inner shell, as opposed to the slightly more oval shape of, say, Giro helmets. The helmet’s internal adjustment system is a one-handed dial affair, which is very reminiscent of that used on Bell helmets. The clicks are light and allow for ﬁne tuning. The inner padding is sparse but effective both in comfort and sweat wicking, and removable for washing.
The microshell is fused to the EPS liner in the industry-standard in-mould way to create a single, strong unit. The 22-vent shell itself has a rubberised outer surface that feels odd to touch but does look handsome in a satiny sort of a way. Attached to the helmet is a removable, ﬁxed-angle peak. It’s small and unobtrusive almost to the point of not quite being big enough.
We’ve not had warm enough weather since this helmet’s arrival to fully ascertain its air ﬂow/cooling ability on summer climbs, but judging purely by vent size and number it should be averagely cool. Of course it passes all the relevant safety tests, but it’s on looks that most people judge helmets and the look of the Syncro divided opinion neatly 50/50. Cross-country riders, well used to wearing sculpted road-inspired lids, liked it, while the Giro Xen/Xar wearing gravity dudes felt it was, well, a bit roadie.
Our size small tipped the scales at 318g – more than the claimed 260g and giving up more than 100g over the likes of Specialized’s Prevail. That said, a bit more material makes us more reassured. So, the Syncro is one for the rider who’s looking for a general purpose cross-country/trail lid with racy looks if not top-end race weight.
Check out the videos below, from Mavic, for more on their new helmet range:
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This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.