The Sonic Elite is a 24-vent road cycling helmet that looks pretty stylish as helmets go. However, I’m not really interested in helmet style: I still own and use a slightly geeky looking and discontinued Bell Intercooler Pro.
Why? Apart from being well vented and snug fitting, like this, it’s tough: it was Snell approved. In common with most helmets on the market today, the Sonic Elite isn’t. It is certified to CPSC (the USA’s Consumer Products Safety Commission) and EN1078 standards, which are less stringent.
In other respects it’s a nice helmet. The ZipTite cradle makes it a firm fit on the head, while the QuickFit strap adjusters – where the helmet straps meet under the ears – prevent too much fussing with straps.
The pads are removable for washing. It’s a lot lighter than my old Bell helmet, although only 26g lighter than the Specialized Air Force helmet (sans helmet peak). In a hot climate, the better ventilation of the Sonic Elite might be the difference between wearing a helmet and not. In northern England I couldn’t tell any heat-difference between them, so would firmly recommend the cheaper, tougher Specialized Air Force.