New Uvex Helmets Bring Light Weight, Full Features to Lower Price Points
Part of Magura’s press launch revolved around the German brands SKS and Uvex, which Magura Direct imports for the US. Not everything here is new, but it’s the first chance I had to check out their helmets and features. Here’s the skinny: All but one of the Uvex helmets for the US market are made in Germany. Until recently, some models didn’t pass CPSC testing despite getting German and EU approvals. Now, they have a CPSC test facility in their plant and will be increasing the number of models coming to the states. Uvex, which stands for “UV exclusion”, makes a range of industrial, cycling and motorsports safety equipment, from masks to fire suits to sunglasses. All of their sunglass lens are impact rated, so they’re essentially safety glasses.
The helmets have some unique features not found on any other brand we’ve seen, all detailed after the break…
On the bottom row from left to right is the FP3, XP, Boss Race and i-Vo. The FP3 is top of the line helmet with narrow shell, double in-mold construction and internal reinforcement. $199, two sizes
The XP is a $99 one-size-fits-most full featured mountain bike helmet. Has crown height adjustment, 360º retention dial that’s integrated into the mold of the helmet so it won’t separate in a crash, bug netting on front vents to keep bees, etc., out. It has an available triangle-shaped LED blinky light that pops into the rear hole. An XP City is available with the light and a stubby visor.
The Boss Race is a double in-mold, very lightweight helmet for $120. The i-Vo is a new $69 helmet similar to the XP but without the crown height adjustment. It’s available in two sizes, four colors and with or without a visor. There’s a kids version called the Airwing with loud graphics for juveniles.
On the top row, R to L: The Ultrasonic Race is a new helmet coming this fall designed to be their lightest road helmet for a bit, until an FP5 debuts a bit later. Xenovo is a 225g lid with big vents and has all of the adjustability of the others at a mid-level price. Onyx is a smaller helmet for women or juveniles that also has all the fit features, a bug net and also comes at an attractive price point.
Almost all helmets have removeable strap clips that pop off and let the straps come out for washing. They’re also replaceable with small LED blinky lights that pop in to replace the plain clips.
Buckle is unique, using a push button release ratchet rather than a typical snap clip. The nice thing about this is it makes small tension adjustments easy, and you can loosen it a bit with one finger if you’ve got a long climb in front of you. It also means you shouldn’t have to reconfigure your entire helmet fit in the winter just to fit a skull cap or balaclava underneath.
I tried on several models and noticed something: They all fit very differently, and Uvex’s reps back that up. The plus side is that they’ve likely got a helmet that’ll fit you, the downside is it may not be the one you want. The redeemer is that weights and looks are fairly similar across the range.
The helmet retention dial is huge, making adjustments easy even with winter gloves.
The crown height adjustment lets you position the retention cage so the rear padding gets under the base of the skull. The two “dots” are the different mounting points for it on different size helmets, not really a user adjustable setting.
The FP3 is the only one with the internal reinforcement cage, which helps spread impacts across the entire helmet and keeps it from breaking apart.
Several models have bug screens built in, and most are available with a visor.
The XP/XP City has an available rear blinky light (the City version comes with it) that pops into a rear vent hole.
It’s worth mentioning that the weights mentioned in this post are pretty much EU approved models, the CPSC ones will be heavier because US standards require a denser EPS foam, among other things. Should you bash it up, they have a 25% discount crash replacement program, too.
They have an impressive range of Sunglasses, too, all in the middle price range above Tifosi but below Oakley. Many are offered with their VarioTransmission lenses that have the widest range of tint change on the market (17% to 77%) meaning you could almost ride them all the way through a 24 hour race.