A comfy helmet built well and with some great features that make this helmet a great choice for commuters
The Abus Urban-I Helmet is squarely aimed at the urban rider. The name says it all. I’ve been using this helmet for a while (admittedly with a gap between, while recovering from back surgery) and while it’s no race lid it should still be of interest to everyone that commutes, rides on the street and, I would also argue that it’s a pretty good MTB helmet too.
I don’t think these types of multi-use helmets get much love. Some are just not that interesting or come in way to heavy and clumsy for the discerning rider to be interested and that is pretty much where I would have said I fit in. I would never have looked or wanted a helmet like this. That changed one evening when I saw a commuter wearing this helmet. It didn’t look ugly, had a nice shape that cover the back of the head, like a lot of MTB helmets and was sporting something very interesting I had not seen on any other helmet.
I was lucky enough to get in contact about this helmet after my interest was piqued by the sight of this helmet in the wild. At this point I would like to thank Abus for being patient with me as I was out of action half way through the review for well over six months! They kindly sent me the Signal Grey version which is nice and understated, it also comes in Signal White and Signal Yellow (hi-viz). It has a small non-removable peak, which is ideal on this sort of helmet for helping to keep the sun or wind and rain out of your eyes a little. What is great about the helmet is how reflective it is, your head will be lit up like a tasteful christmas tree. To me this being an urban helmet should be a given, Abus just did it very well. 360º reflective visibility sorted.
Two things that came as a great surprise. The first being it’s weight. At only 250g (Abus claimed weight) it felt more like a top quality race lid. Wearing the helmet was really comfortable, with some quality straps and buckles to adjust the already light helmet made it a helmet easy to forget it’s safely doing it’s job while you ride. This helmet, both in weight and comfort punches way above it’s price bracket, it really did surprise me as I was mainly interested in it’s safety features for commuting. The second surprise was the tension ratchet LED light. At this point I have to explain that due to the time it took me to do this review Abus has just released the Abus Urban-I v.2 Helmet which goes a step further and has put the LED into the rear triangle vent. I believe this to be a better position for it with greater visibility. Where I found the LED ratchet strap to be ingenious in use it was often obstructed by a ruck-sac so the V2 has solved the problem but the ratted strap Led execution was brilliant. If you can still get this version cheap, it’s well worth it.
Other than the LED replacement the V2 gets a better chin strap buckle, the new one is also an improvement and snaps closed using magnets, I’ve had a play with this new style and it they are really easy to use and well suited to the quick on off pace urban riding can bring. The main helmet shape and mould has not changed, along with the visor and built in front mesh to stop bugs flying in, also a nice touch. The weight has pretty much stayed the same too.
A superb helmet from what most people consider a lock company but, they also have a great line-up of helmets. The Abus Urban-I v.2 being a very worthy helmet. Like I said I tested V1 but, the overall comfort and design has not changed just the safety features have got better – bonus! If you're looking for a good commuter helmet that umm, doesn't look like a skateboard lid, then I can wholeheartedly recommend this one. It is also the most reflective all over helmet I've come across and with the darker evenings coming this is a perfect choice to help keep you more visible. It's comfort, weight and price make this a very good choice for everything other than racing really. A good all round helmet and a great safety conscious choice.
Review date: 12 October 2014