Through “patent-pending U-Bar technology,” Louis Garneau has created what they say is the lightest helmet in the world that also has a retention system.Â Personally, I haven’t seen any modern helmet that doesn’t have some sort of (mechanical) retention system, but at 188g, it’s arguably one of the lightest production helmets anyway.
From the looks of it, though, they haven’t sacrificed strength and protection.
The “U-Bar” technology is U-shaped plastic ribs that are folded six times to create more of a “T” shape, actually. The ribs run throughout the exoskeleton to reinforce the entire helmet structure. (photo after the break)
From there, they added a “Super MSB” ring-shaped band inside the bottom of the helmet that’s encased the EPS, which would help keep the helmet from cracking apart into pieces from a side or frontal impact.
Pricing, colors and more info after the break…
At left is the U-Bar beams running through the helmet’s shell. At right, the area with the Super MSB ring.
By “lightest helmet with a retention system” Garneau means a mechanical retention system and not the elasticized bands being used by Giro’s ProLight. Spokesperson Heidi Myers says some people found those elastic ones to be uncomfortable, and while I personally thought the ProLight was pretty comfy (read the review here), it does lack the adjustment that some people seem to want and/or need. Garneau’s Spiderlock SL uses a simple dial to tighten the black bit under the base of your skull, and it’s incorporated into the webbing system to snug the helmet up around your noggin. What looks like a red dial on the back is actually the main straps running through the rear of the shell.
The Garneau X-Lite helmet is CPSC and ASTM approved, which means it could very well be the lightest helmet approved for sale in the U.S.
It goes on sale for just $169.99 in the Spring, which is a bargain for such a lightweight lid.Â Other colors will be full white/silver and yellow/gray.