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Mike

Mike

Mike's Passions

Triathlon
Road Biking

Mike

Mikewrote a review of on April 4, 2018

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I did a lot of research and tried a lot of helmets before I decided on the Z20, which I did mainly for the ventilation, comfort, sweat guide (which truly does work), and tech. I wanted something that would be a true all-around helmet. I essentially narrowed my search to the Synthe, and Bontrager Velocis. The Synthe seemed overpriced and dated, and I really just opted for the Z20 due to the overall attention to detail seemed to be slightly above the Velocis.

Fit:
While subjective, the fit is very comfortable for me. I tried on other helmets such as the Synthe, Aro5 & 3, Bontrager Velocis, POC Octal, Specialized Prevail & Evade, Lazer Z1, and other competitors from Scott, LG, and Kask. While none of these helmets were truly uncomfortable (sans the Evade), the fit and finish and overall attention to detail of the Z20 is second to none. The overall profile of the helmet does feel a bit wider and fits a bit taller on my head, but it's marginal. I think some helmets with the Boa system may be a little more evenly distributed, but not by much.

Tech:
The Sweat Guide truly works and I'm a believer. I'm a heavy sweater and suffer through Texas heat during the summer. While aero is important, suffering through sweat all over my sunglasses and my eyes as well as suffocating in 95+ degrees & high humidity are both two big factors that take the fun out of cycling for me. The retention system is very comfortable and provides an even distribution across my head. I can't speak to the tech behind the protection, but the fit and finish as stated before is definitely a couple steps above the Bell Stratus (which is almost the same helmet for much less).

Ventilation:
In comparing to my Giro Atmos, and LG Course, ventilation is leaps and bounds above both of these. The Float Fit Race helps in airflow flowing over my head and thru the helmet.

The main pitfall of this helmet is sunglasses will not fit or stay in place in the front. The vents are too large and the pads designated for sunglasses are useless. While this is somewhat minor as sunglasses hold on fine in the back vents, I've never held my sunglasses in the back and it's a shame to have a feature designated for something that is more or less useless. There may be other pairs of sunnies that work for this feature, but my Oakley Jawbreakers and Smith Pivlock Max don't work at all.

While there are no statistics or claims to support the aero prowess, I think this helmet values ventilation over aero, differentiating itself from some others on the market.

Overall I'm very happy with this helmet. It's not perfect due to the minor annoyance of the sunglasses in the front vents, but the comfort and ventilation are great. While I can't compare to many other helmets in terms of performance, I'm still very happy with the features and overall performance of the Z20.

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Mike

Mikewrote a review of on September 18, 2017

3 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I've had this helmet for about 18 months now and my opinion of it has slowly declined. Though it's subjective, it's a comfortable helmet for me. I looked at the Kask Mojito (didn't like the leather chin strap) and Giro Synthe and ultimately just wanted something a little different than the Giro, since I already had an Atmos. The good thing is this is a low profile helmet - it doesn't look goofy and it doesn't look big; however, for me, that seems to impede on ventilation and sweat management.
I don't think this is a well ventilated helmet in that I never feel airflow through or over my head and sweat just tends to drip directly onto my face - a bit frustrating in Texas summer. Agree with some of the comments below, that the retention system feels cheap and flimsy, but I've had no issues with it in 18 months of use. I've had no crashes in it, but one knock of the retention system is that it seems to have a lot more wiggle room and play in the fit unlike some other helmets with a sturdier retention system - almost like it lacks a little structure.

While helmets are very subjective, the LG Course didn't really work for me. It's not a bad helmet by any means, but it's not a good/great helmet either. It's really just an average helmet.

(0)

 

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Mike

Mikewrote a review of on August 13, 2016

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I got these for 2 main reasons: 1) multiple lenses with good quality and clarity, 2) the field of view. An upgrade from the Bolle Draft, I wanted no obstruction of the frame. I tried on a few Oakleys (Radar, Jawbreaker), but ultimately couldn't find a reason to justify the cost difference. Additionally, the frameless design has unmatched field of view and being a triathlete, this was a big selling point since I'm looking up while in the TT position. The lens quality is good, but not great and the comfort is good, but not great. However, they are insanely lightweight which add a lot to the comfort and forgetting they're on while riding and running.
While I love no obstruction of the frame, I've noticed the frame on previous glasses more or less acted as a guard from sweat dripping down. These lenses tend to get a bit blurrier, smudged, and sweaty on rides and runs.

Overall, I would recommend these depending on what you're looking for. If you're a heavy sweater like me, then the dripping sweat on the lens gets a little frustrating. While lens quality and clarity are solid on the Smith, some Oakley's feel a little more Cadillac. If value, lightweight, easy replaceable lenses, and field of view are what you need, there isn't a better option.

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