PRODUCT OF THE MONTH
Uvex City Light Commuter Helmet
Uvex City Light Commuter Helmet
Many of us commute to work every day – tackling busy city traffic in the light of day and afterhours. In the chaotic bustle of the urban environment, a cycling helmet is one piece of equipment you can’t afford to go without.
This month’s PoTM is a city helmet designed to offer the very best protection and it didn’t take us long to find an enthusiastic tester up for the task. Our English Editor Rosie works in our Berlin office and was keen to start commuting in, but without a helmet she’d been put off until now. Who better to test Uvex’s new City Light model? Read on to see whether it lived up to her expectations (and kept her riding into work!).
I’ve biked to work in many cities on and off for the past 10 years - but I became a little wary of urban commuting after having some scary near-misses with careless drivers in London. Since moving to Berlin I’ve decided that this fear needs kicking to the curb. Commuting is the best way to fit a bit of exercise into my daily routine and its way past time I got my butt back in the saddle. I was newly determined to ride the rat race. I got my route down and felt ready to start – but there was just one problem. Cycling through morning rush hour traffic with a bare head felt like daring the road gods to put an unexpected, blindly-opened car door in my path. One thing was missing: the all-important skull saver. So when I was offered the chance to try out Uvex’s new City Light model, I was chuffed – the timing was perfect!
I was stupidly excited from the moment the Uvex delivery landed on my desk. I’d never had anything other than the cheapest, most cumbersome of helmets before, and even just holding the box I knew this model was going to be very different. It was so light it felt like they’d forgotten to pack it in there. I couldn’t wait any longer and opened it up.
I wasn’t disappointed. It was super light compared to the helmets I’m used to. This model weighs 320g, which is a smidge heavier than my colleague Jurgen’s Garneau helmet, (according to its label) but felt like no difference at all in the hands.
I liked what I saw too. Its dark design was pretty damn sleek and subtle. The visor fit in well with the overall look of the piece and didn’t look awkward or bulky. The parts felt well-made and surprisingly solid for such a lightweight lid. I put it on and gave everything a fiddle. The chin strap was easy to clip and adjust. The helmet fit well. I’d opted for a size S (with my pea head circumference of 55 cm) and it sat really comfortably. Surprisingly, it didn’t require any extra adjustment but the helmet does come with a dial fit adjustment system which is easy to use if size tweaking is needed.
THE ACTUAL TEST
My daily commute into work lasts between 30-45 mins, depending on which route I take and how fast I can push my legs before breakfast. Pulling the helmet on in the mornings for this past month I’ve immediately felt more confident about the trip to work. In fact, the first day of testing I actually ended up with it on my head far longer than I’d anticipated. Nothing like facing your fear by throwing yourself in at the deep end.
By the end of the first day I’d worn it to commute to work in the morning, bike to our new shop on Kurfürstendamm in the afternoon, move on to a local brewery after work and then pulled it on again to bike home – all in temperatures of over 30 degrees.
To my surprise (and happiness) the helmet stayed comfortable the entire time – regardless of the blistering sunshine. I’m a pale goth-type who gets hot and flustered easily, but this lightweight lid’s cooling slits provided great ventilation. The visor partially shaded my eyes from the glare of the sun and the rest was covered by my shades – which comfortably fitted under the helmet without irritation. Also, taking it on and off so many times I quickly learnt to appreciate the City Light’s comfort lock on the chin strap. It was quick and easy to open and close with just one hand.
After a week of more of the same, I knew this helmet could handle sunny temps and pretty much anything that my usual daily routine might throw at it. But what with the long, light summer days there was one feature I hadn’t had a chance to use – and it was the USP of the whole helmet – the integrated LED chains (aka the ‘fancy lights’ to most of us).
The Uvex City Light is named for the eye-catching strip of blue lights that run across each side of the helmet and the red lights that are clustered at the back. These chains offer three modes (constant, blinking and fading in and out) which are simply selected by pressing a button at the rear of the helmet. They are quickly and conveniently recharged via USB.
The innovative lighting system and reflective straps are designed to ensure optimum visibility to all other road users during poor-visibility conditions – including fog, heavy rain or low light. To really put it through its paces I figured I’d need to take it for a spin at night.
Blasting round Kottbusser Tour at 11pm on a Saturday, the helmet didn’t let me down. I can’t prove that the blinking lights actually made me safer around drivers, (aside from not being hit…) but their disco-like flashing definitely put me in a good mood. Having not crashed, I also can’t properly attest to the safety of its impact protection, but having researched Uvex’s double inmould construction it sounds very reassuring: a polycarbonate outer shell and EPS inner layer offer superb impact resistance.
ABOUT THE BRAND
Uvex has been impressing the masses with its stylish designs for over 80 years. The German company creates cycling products that offer impeccable reliability, quality and a sporty design. Uvex’s helmets are many riders’ first choice due to their high-protection and comfortable fit. The core goal of the company is to bring more safety into peoples’ lives and to this end, their innovative products are intensively tested and constantly developed.VIEW BRAND